Indiana University Bloomington
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Medieval Studies Symposium

Making Manifest: Revelation and Illumination in the Middle Ages

March 27-28, 2009

The Book of Revelation captivated the medieval world, providing inspiration for scholarship, theology, art, music, and, of course, eschatological speculation. But the concept of revelation had an even broader impact. Literally and metaphorically the term encapsulates many of the developments and innovations of the Middle Ages, whether we’re speaking of divinity revealed to humans, ideas dawning upon men, or crimes exposed to public view. From the “eureka moment”, to its translation into representation (visual, musical, literary, or scientific) and its reception and influence in the wider world, revelation seeks investigation and interpretation.

Schedule / Program

The complete schedule is listed beneath the links below.

Complete Program, including Credits
Keynote Flyer
Schedule in Word Document
Concert Flyer
Campus Map


7.00-10.00 Reception and Reader’s Circle

Woodburn House
519 N. College Ave


All Panels as well as the Keynote Address will be held in Woodburn Hall 120

10.00 Registration & Coffee

10.15-11.50 Panel I: Revealing Self and Society

Moderator: Erin Sweany, Indiana University Department of English

Dreambooks and literature: the Somniale Danielis in the codex Laurenziano Martelli 12 Valerio Cappozzo, Indiana University Department of French and Italian

A New Heaven and a New Earth: The Crusader Maps of Jerusalem as Imaged Revelation Terah Walkup, Northwestern University Department of Art History

From the Wound to the Womb—Julian of Norwich
d’Andra White, Texas A&M University-Commerce Department of Literature and Languages

12.00-1.15 Lunch

Ballantine Hall 006

1.30-3.15 Panel II: Envisioning Medieval Mysticisms

Moderator: Megan Barrett, Indiana University Department of Germanic Studies

Ubertino of Casale’s Struggle against the 'Heresy of the Free Spirit': Contemplation, Ethics and Identity in the Joachimite Sixth Tempus
Christine Dunn
, Indiana University Department of History

Medieval Mysticisms; Or, the Meaninglessness of the Word 'Sex'
Kerilyn Harkaway, Indiana University Department of English

Contentious Sight: Medieval Visionary Experience and the Role of Gender
William E. Smith III, Indiana University Department of Religious Studies

3.30-4.45 Panel III: Divine Performances: Realizing Revelation through Song

Moderator: Katie Lyn Peebles, Indiana University Departments of English and Folklore

Musica Divina and Dante’s Paradiso
Donald James MacKinnon, University of Western Ontario, Department of Modern Languages and Literatures

Moments of Revelation in Machaut’s Remede de Fortune
Brooke Green, Indiana University Early Music Institute

6.00 - Keynote Address by Lorenzo DiTommaso, “Revelation and History”

Lorenzo DiTommaso is an Assistant Professor of Theology at Concordia University, Montréal. He is a specialist in apocalypticism (ancient, mediaeval, and modern), with special interests in apocryphal literature, manuscript studies, and the Dead Sea Scrolls. Among his current projects is a new book, From Antiquity to Armageddon: The Architecture of Apocalypticism, which will be published by Oxford University Press.

Critical scholarship rightly omits revelation as a historiographic category. Yet for over two thousand years, history has been (and continues to be) the principal subject of apocalyptic revelation. From the books of Daniel and Revelation, through the works of Joachim and Bonaventure, to the theologies of groups like Heaven’s Gate and Aum Shinrikyo, revelation seeks to make manifest the purpose and meaning of history. Mysteries of time and space are also disclosed through non-literary media, including manuscript illumination, maps, and music. This paper offers some thoughts on apocalyptic revelation – what it is, and what it is not – as well as the assumptions of its underlying worldview, apocalypticism.

Refreshments will be served


6.00 - Thomas Binkley Memorial Concert of the Early Music Institute, “Fumeux fume”

The concert will be held in Recital Hall, located in Merrill Hall, in the Jacobs School of Music.

si ascendero in caelum tu illic es si descendero ad infernum ades
si sumpsero pinnas meas diluculo et habitavero in extremis maris
Psalm 138 (Latin Vulgate): 8,9

For the “Revelation and Illumination” Medieval Studies Symposium, the Early Music Institute goes beyond the obvious with a slightly mysterious concert focused on possibility, wishfulness, hope and a bit of regret. Our title comprises the first words of a ballad by a composer about whom all we know is the name “Solage.” Its text conjures up images of smoky speculation. The music, by composers such as Machaut, Obrecht, Agricola and Tromboncino, is drawn mostly from fourteenth through early sixteenth century of France and Italy. Many of the texts begin with the word “if,” and several pieces by different composers have only two words of text that are, not coincidentally, one suspects, part of Psalm 138. The concert will be enhanced by video imagery directed by Margaret Dolinsky.

Concentus: Paul Elliott and Wendy Gillespie, directors

Reception to follow in the Auer Hall Green Room