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MEM is the Medieval, Early Modern and Colonial Hispanic Studies Research Group founded in Spring 2006 by Professors Catherine Larson, Steven Wagschal, and Juan Carlos Conde (now at Oxford University). The group hosts lectures, colloquia and symposia to promote the interchange of ideas between scholars in the US, the Americas and Europe, and to enhance the research on Hispanic culture and literature of our own graduate students and faculty. Our current membership includes six faculty and ten graduate students.

Please contact Ryan Giles or Steve Wagschal for more information or if you are interested in joining.


In Spring 2015, The Department of Spanish and Portuguese and the Medieval and Early Modern and Colonial Hispanic Studies Research Group (MEM) proudly presents Perspectives on Early Modern Theater:
A Symposium in Honor of Professor Catherine Larson’s Retirement

The symposium featured three alumni speakers: Mindy Badia, Ph.D. 1996 (Associate Professor, Indiana University Southeast),Robert Bayliss, Ph.D. 2003 (Associate Professor, University of Kansas), Anthony Grubbs, Ph.D. 2005 (Associate Professor, Michigan State University).


In Spring 2015, Professor Denise Filios
Associate Professor, University of Iowa presented the lecture “Unbounded Speech: Performance, Manuscripts, and the Libro de buen amor (Book of Good Love)”


In Fall 2014, Professor Carolyn Nadeau at Illinois Wesleyan University presented the lecture "Transcultural Food: What Cervantes’ Writing Reveals about New World-Old World Exchanges".
Abstract: As food travelled into Spain from the Americas we witness a key stage of trans-culturation that laid the groundwork for revolutionizing Spanish cuisine


In Spring 2013, Commonweath Professor E. Michael Gerli of Spanish at the University of Virginia presented the lecture "The Gathering Storm: Pre-Expulsion Converso Apologia in Castile 1391-1492" The lecture examine the writings of new converts (conversos) to Christianity in the crucial, turbulent years following the fourteenth-century waves of mass conversion and the establishment of the Spanish Inquisition, leading to the explusion of Sephardic Jews in late medieval Spain.


On October 4th and 5th, 2013, Indiana University hosted the “Sensory Worlds: Iberian Empires and The Other Senses Symposium.” The two day event consisted of four panels and three lectures, with a total of fourteen presenters from eleven different universities in the US and Canada. The symposium’s goal was to explore the ways in which Iberian writers crafted images to describe sensory perceptions of Old and New Worlds, both real and imagined.  While previous research has tended to focus on the visual, invited speakers and panelists were asked to explore the ways in which medieval and early modern texts produced, activated, and continue to indulge the other senses—from the standpoint of philosophical and aesthetic insights, as well as modern approaches to cognition. Download symposium program pdf



Fall 2009

In conjunction with IU's Department of the History of Art and the Indianapolis Museum of Art (IMA), the MEM was proud to present the "Sacred and Profane Spain" conference.

Download symposium program pdf




Elizabeth Wright

Fall 2007

Professor Elizabeth R. Wright
Associate Professor, University of Georgia-Athens, presented the lecture "Enemy Incarnations:  The Epic Stratagems of Joannes Latinus,  an African-Andalusian Freedman Navigating an Age of Mass Enslavement (1570–73)"

Professor Wright also led the workshop "Intimations of Imperial Foundations:  A Cortés Letter and a Vernacular Livy for a New King and His Restless Subjects (Zaragoza, 1520–23)" 


The Other Golden Age

In Spring 2007, we held our first “Reunion Colloquium.” Entitled “The Other Golden Age,” the colloquium investigated the significant cultural production on the margins of the Spanish Golden Age, exploring texts by and about Muslims, by women, and including the use of indigenous languages.

The colloquium featured four recent alumni speakers: Robert Bayliss, Ph.D. 2003 (Assistant Professor, University of Kansas), Ana Benito, Ph.D. 2002 (Assistant Professor, Indiana University-Purdue University, Fort Wayne), Millie Gimmel, Ph.D. 2002 (Assistant Professor, University of Tennessee), Miguel Ángel Vázquez, Ph.D. 2001 (Assistant Professor, Florida Atlantic University.)


Patricia Grieve

In Fall 2006, Professor Patricia Grieve (Nancy and Jeffrey Marcus Professor in the Humanities at Columbia University) presented the lecture "The Eve of Spain: Mythmaking and the Conversion of History" and also led a workshop at the College Arts and Humanities Institute (CAHI). MEMbers enjoyed a catered dinner with the speaker after the events. 


Don Quixote 1605-2005 Symposium

In Fall 2005, our successful organization of the Don Quixote 1605-2005 Symposium led us to found MEM. The Symposium celebrated the 400th anniversary of Cervantes's Don Quijote de la Mancha Part I