Medieval Studies is a forum for the presentation and discussion of scholarly work in Medieval Studies, emphasizing comparative and interdisciplinary approaches. Working closely with Harvard’s Committee on Medieval Studies, other Mahindra Humanities Center seminars, and medievalists across campus, this seminar fosters dialogue between established medievalists, both local and visitors, and graduate students.

Upcoming Events

Sharon Gerstle, UCLA
Talk Title TBA
Monday, February 24, 2020 - 12:08pm
Room 110, Barker Center
David Ganz, Visiting Scholar in Medieval Studies
The Palaeography of Silence
Monday, April 6, 2020 - 5:00pm
Room 133, Barker Center

Past Events 2019 - 20

Margot Fassler, University of Notre Dame
Eric Weiskott, Boston College
Michael Cuthbert, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Hearing the Middle Ages
Beverly Kienzle, Harvard University
Hildegard of Bingen: A Medieval Woman Claims Theological Ground in the Western Tradition
Aleksandra Bunčič, University of Sarajevo
Written in the Stars: Jewish Science in Medieval Spain
Judith Peraino, Cornell University
Of Medieval Manuscripts and Mixtapes: Splicing the Body into Recorded Sound
Maria Subtelny, University of Toronto
Iranian Elements in the Pseudo-Aristotelian Sirr al-asrār (Secretum secretorum)
Deeana Klepper, Boston University
Choosing Sins
Graeme Boone, The Ohio State University
Affective Inflection in the Works of Jean Gerson and Guillaume Dufay

Past Events 2018 - 19

Thomas Forrest Kelly, Harvard University
The Role of the Scroll in the Middle Ages
John Niles, University of Wisconsin
The Exeter Book: Codicological Grace and Integrative Poetics
Almut Suerbaum, Oxford University
Voices from the Past: The Poetic Presence of Medieval Heroes in Contemporary German Literature
Sari Nusseibeh, Al-Quds University
Are Possible Facts Real? An Avicennian Vignette
Suzanne Preston Blier, Harvard University
1325, Mansa Musa, and How Medieval Africa Made the World Modern
Scott Bruce, Fordham University
Robin Fleming, Boston College
Matthew Vernon, University of California, Davis
Anna Wilson, Harvard University
Leftovers: Reflections on a Theme
Beverly Kienzle, Harvard University
Hildegard of Bingen: A Medieval Woman Claims Theological Ground in the Western Tradition
Mackenzie Cooley, Hamilton College
The Fragility of Difference: Animals, Humans, and the Renaissance Invention of Race
Ambrogio Camozzi Pistoja, Harvard University
Parabolic Epistemology: Dante and Giotto
Mary-Jo Arn, Harvard University
Charles d’Orléans: Playing With the Enemy
Riccardo Rao, University of Bergamo
Medieval Wolves: From Cultural to Biological History
Melissa Vise, Washington and Lee University
Verbal Violence in Tales and Acts: The Decameron and the Notarial Register
Patrick Boucheron, College de France
France in the World: A Medievalist Reflects on the "Master Narrative"

Past Events 2017 - 18

Allen Fromherz, Georgia State University
Catherine McKenna, Harvard University
Charles Stang, Harvard Divinity School
Blurred Boundaries: Defining "The West" in Medieval Studies
Daniel Donoghue, Harvard University
Two Questions: Could Medieval Readers Shut Up? Did Ambrose Astonish Augustine?
Adam Afterman, Tel Aviv University
The Rise of the "Holy Spirit" in Thirteenth- to Sixteenth-Century Kabbalah
Stijn Praet, University of Stockholm
On the Narrative Logic of an Asinine Medieval Fairy Tale
Eva Schlotheuber, University of Düsseldorf
Letters from the Convent: The Late Medieval Benedictine Nuns of Lüne Writing on Daily Life, Amor Dei, and Politics
Sarah Axelrod, Harvard University
The "Right" Lessons from Literature, as Taught by Giovanni Boccaccio
Panagiotis Roilos, Harvard University
The Cultural Politics of Phantasia: Late Antique and Byzantine Developments
Patrick Geary, Princeton University
Katharine Park, Harvard University
Cord Whitaker, Wellesley College
Mary Dockray-Miller, Lesley University
The Faking of the Middle Ages: Misappropriation, Misrepresentation, and the Medieval
Jeremy Cohen, Tel Aviv University
Engaging the Past, Envisioning the Future: Reflections of/on a Spanish Jewish Exile
Anna Wilson, Harvard University
Molecular Medievalism: Heston Blumenthal's Meat Fruit
Roy Mottahedeh, Harvard University
Medieval Kashan
Michael Stolz, Bern University
The Tolerance of Religious Ambiguity: Reading Wolfram von Eschenbach’s Parzival in a Post-Secular Context
Benjamin Braude, Boston College
Female Sultan/Female Pope: Shajar and the Mamluk Origins of Pope Joan
Catherine McKenna, Harvard University
The Horse You Rode In On: Decoding without Context.

Past Events 2016 - 17

Looking for Law in All the Wrong Places: Medieval Legal History and the Problem of Sources
Emily Rose, Harvard University
Cutting Edge: The Changing Imagery of Ritual Murder
Stephen Mitchell, Harvard University
The (Real) Mother of Dragons
Pernille Hermann, Aarhus University
Vision, Space, and Memory in Old Norse Literature
Bernhard Jussen, University of Frankfurt
From Marcus Aurelius' Horse to the Sexuality of Christ: Toward the Reconfiguration of European Historical Macronarratives
Dimiter Angelov, Harvard University
Native or Western? New Evidence on Ordeals in Byzantium
Anne Broadbridge, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Michael Penn, Stanford University
Charles Stang, Harvard Divinity School
John Zaleski, Harvard University
Blurred Boundaries: Defining the "East" in Medieval Studies
Joseph Nagy, Harvard University
Medieval Celtic Pigs and Pork
Justine Landau, Harvard University
A Good Poet, A Dead Poet? Untimeliness and Literary Assessment in Medieval Iran
Elena Boeck, Dumbarton Oaks
Rome, Constantinople, Troy: Triangulating Past and Present in the Fourteenth Century
Brian FitzGerald, Harvard University
The Greek East and the Spiritual Franciscan View of History
Shane Bobrycki, Harvard University
Plus quam civile bellum in Isidore of Seville
Lisa Fagin Davis, The Medieval Academy
Broken Books: Digital Methods for Reconstructing Dismembered Manuscripts

Past Events 2015 - 16

Catherine McKenna, Harvard University
Ahmed Ragab, Harvard Divinity School
Eileen Sweeney, Boston College
Nicholas Watson, Harvard University
Jan Ziolkowski, Harvard University
Artes and Liberal Arts: From Medieval Learning to the Modern University
Ahmed Ragab, Harvard Divinity School
That Weight in Your Loins: Patienthood and Case Histories in Medieval Islamicate Medicine
Sean Gilsdorf, Harvard University
Doing Words (and Pictures, and Curriculum) with Things
Charles Donahue, Harvard Law School
Why Would Anyone Want to Look at an English Manuscript Statute Book?
Sarah Spence, Medieval Academy of America
Sicily and the Poetic Negotiation of Empire
Virginie Greene, Harvard University
Performing Old French Poetry
Julian Yolles, Harvard University
Reading the Desert Fathers in Frankish Sidon
Burcht Pranger, University of Amsterdam
Inside Augustine
Ann Marie Rasmussen, University of Waterloo
The Polyfunctionality of Script on Medieval Badges
Josiah Blackmore, Harvard University
Maryanne Kowaleski, Fordham University, Radcliffe Institute
Christopher Loveluck, Nottingham University
Sea Stories: Towards a Pelagic Middle Ages
Racha Kirakosian, Harvard University
Mystical Books and Material Text(ure)
Carlos Fraenkel, McGill University
Universalism, Pluralism, Exclusivism: Maimonides in the Context of Medieval Arabic Philosophy
Christopher Loveluck, Harvard University
Game Theory, Archaeology and the Urban Worlds of Western Europe, c. AD 1000-1150
Francisco Prado-Vilar, Colegio Real Complutense
Factum est silentium: Cosmic Silence as an Image in Medieval Manuscript Illumination
Christine Smith, Harvard University
"What to Remember about St.Peter’s": A Humanist’s Account of a Medieval Marvel
Ben Morgan, Oxford University
Varieties of Freedom: Eckhart, Seuse, “Sister Catherine,” and Forms of Agency in Recent Cognitive Science
Rowan Dorin, Harvard University
The Epidemiology of Expulsion in Late Medieval Europe

Past Events 2014 - 15

In memoriam Jacques Le Goff
Philippe Buc, University of Vienna
The Logic of Exegesis and the Logic of Violence: Medieval Exegesis and More Modern Holy Warfare
Katherine Jansen, Catholic University of America
Preaching, Penance, and Peacemaking in Late Medieval Italy
Benjamin Bagby, University of Paris
Sam Barrett, Cambridge University
Monks Singing Pagans: Finding the Music in Boethius's Metra
David Joseph Wrisley, American University of Beirut
Visualizing Medieval French Places: Spatial Information, Scale, and Literary History
Niels Gaul, Central European University and Dumbarton Oaks
Three Steps Towards Comparing Networks of Learning in Byzantium and the "Latin" West, c. 900–1200

Past Events 2013 - 14

Christine Desan, Harvard Law School
Eurydice Georganteli, Harvard University
Lianna Farber, University of Minnesota
Daniel Smail, Harvard University
What is Medieval Money?
Gregory T. Clark, University of the South
Beyond Use: A Digital Tool for the Analysis of Late Medieval Manuscript Books of Hours
Chet van Duzer, Library of Congress
Seeing the World Anew: The Maps of Ptolemy, Henricus Martellus, and Martin Waldseemüller
Old Norse Mythology in its Comparative Contexts: The Aarhus Old Norse Mythology Conference at Harvard
Marc Epstein, Vassar College
“Artist Anonymous, Patron Unknown: Iconography and Authorial Intention in the Medieval Haggadah”
Jerome Singerman, University of Pennsylvania Press
The Medieval Studies Monograph in the Twenty-First Century
Consors Regni: Medieval and Early Modern Queens in Their Contexts
Albertus Horsting, Harvard University
How to Read Augustine According to Prosper of Aquitaine
Alastair Minnis, Yale University
Rita Copeland, University of Pennsylvania
Mary Franklin-Brown, University of Minnesota
Katharine Park, Harvard University
Anna Zayaruznaya, Yale University
Writing, Showing, Knowing, and Remembering: Authorship, Authority, and Experiment in the Middle Ages
Pedro Memelsdorff, Schola Cantorum Basiliensis
What's In a Musical Manuscript? MS Faenza 117 and its Newly-Revised Context
Andrea Marculescu, Harvard University
Girls Interrupted: The Voice of the Possessed in Medieval French Theater
Hélène Debax, Université de Toulouse
Joint Lordship in the Medieval West, Eleventh to Thirteenth Centuries
Joanna Story, University of Leicester
Charlemagne's Epitaph for Pope Hadrian in Old St. Peter's, Rome

Past Events 2012 - 13

Panel Discussion: A Global Middle Ages?
Conference: Preaching the Saints - Sermons, Art, and Music in the Later Middle Ages
Conference: Preaching the Saints - Sermons, Art, and Music in the Later Middle Ages
"Medieval Studies after Harvard"
Hildegard Keller, Indiana University
"Of Mice, Men, and Metaphors: Figurative Speech about Time"
On Islamic books
De ratione temporum; or, Why Should We Be "Medieval"?
Benjamin Braude, Boston College
"A Book and a Chapel: Giovanni Nanni's Anthology of Ancient Frauds and Michelangelo's Sistine Ceiling Frescoes"
Paul Crossley, Courtauld Institute
"The Myth of the Cathedral"

Past Events 2011 - 12

Theresa Coletti, University of Maryland
"Reading the Bible in South Africa through the Prism of Medieval English Drama"
Emily Rose, Baruch College, City University of New York
"Hugh of Lincoln and the Medieval Blood Libel"
Daniela Mueller, University of Nijmegen
"Female Leadership from the Twelfth Century to the Fifteenth Century: From Hildegard of Bingen to Jeanne d’Arc
Peter Fergusson, Wellesley College
“Canterbury Cathedral Priory and its Drawn Image in the Eadwine Psalter c. 1160 “
Lawrence Nees, University of Delaware
"The Eagle Capitals in the Dome of the Rock"
David Aberbach, McGill University
“Islam on Medieval Poetry as Part of the Emergence of European National Identities”
Andrea Worm, Augsburg University
"’Credo in deum:’ Diagramatic Representations of the Creed in the Late Middle Ages”
Didier Méhu, Université Laval
"Visualizing the Invisible: The Empty Frame of the Romanesque Altar"
Marjorie Curry Woods, Princeton Institute of Advanced Studies
“Weeping for Dido: Teaching Rhetoric, Gender, and Emotion”
Francis Michael Ludlow, Trinity College Dublin
"Medieval Irish Annals as Sources for the Environmental History and Historical Climatology of the North Atlantic, c.430-1650 AD"
Michael Davis, Mount Holyoke College
"From Stylus to SketchUp: Technologies of Representation of Medieval Architecture"
Susan Harvey, Brown University
"Eve in Syriac Tradition"
Christopher Young, Pembroke College
“Kaiserchronik: Literature and History in the German Middle Ages”
Celia M. Chazelle, The College of New Jersey
"Bede and his Accusers"
Michele Trizio, Dumbarton Oaks Fellow
“Aristotle's Ethics in the West and the Byzantine Commentary Tradition”
Sim Innes, Harvard University
“Fionn mac Cumhaill as Virtuous Pagan”

Past Events 2010 - 11

Erik Kwakkel, Universiteit Leiden
“Age of Innovation: The Manuscript Book in the Twelfth-Century Renaissance”
Paul Szarmach, Medieval Academy of America
"The Old English Translation of Augustine's Soliloquies"
Aglae Pizzone, Milan University
"'Imagine there's a tragelaph': Figuring Out the Rise of Fictionality in Byzantium"
Patricia Lovett, Calligraphy and Lettering Arts Society
“Lindesfarne Gospels”
Katrin Kogman-Appel, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
“An Illuminated Hebrew Prayerbook from the Rhineland: Ritual and Community”
Nicholas Watson, Harvard University
Claire Fanger, Rice University
“Angel Magic in the Medieval University: John of Morigny Rewrites the Ars Notoria”
Jonathan Decter, Brandeis University
“Jewish Panegyric in the Medieval Mediterranean”
Sheila Bonde, Brown University
Clark Maines, Wesleyan University
"Looking for Christo in the Middle Ages: Wrapping and Unwrapping the Transition from Romanesque to Gothic at Cisterician Ourscamp”
Eric Goldberg, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
“Imperator et venator: Louis the Pious and the Carolingian Hunt”
Beverly Kienzle, Harvard University
Travis Stevens, Harvard University
Catherine Mooney, Boston College
"Preaching, Heresy, and the Writing of Female Hagiography"
Katharine Park, Harvard University
"The Science of the Senses: Observation and Experience in Medieval Europe"
Beat Brenk, Università di Roma
"Rhetoric, Ambition and the Function of the Cappella Palatina in Palermo"
Joseph Pucci, Brown University
"Ambiguity in the Personal Poetry of Venantius Fortunatus"
Charles Donahue, Harvard Law School
Legal History Workshop
Katherine Tachau, University of Iowa
“With Weapons Forged by the Enemy: The Bibles Moralisées on the Study of Philosophy, Science, and Law in Thirteenth-Century Paris”