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MS 61, fol 1v, Corpus Christi College, Cambridge

News and Announcements

  • 15 Oct 2020 11:33 AM | Siobhain Calkin (Administrator)

    A new podcast hosted by Kathy Cawsey, Associate Professor (English) at Dalhousie University and past President of the Canadian Society of Medievalists. Check it out at:

  • 14 Oct 2020 8:50 AM | Marc Cels (Administrator)

    Congratulations and welcome back to Canada to Dr. Professor Carolyn Muessig, who in July 2020 became Chair of Christian Thought in the Department of Classics and Religion at the University of Calgary. The Department's website says: "She specializes in Medieval Christianity, with particular emphasis on its devotional dimensions and the contribution of female teachers and preachers in Western Europe. Among her publications are The Faces of Women in the Sermons of Jacques de Vitry and The Stigmata in Medieval and Early Modern Europe. An award-winning teacher, she works with undergraduate and postgraduate students, and has supervised numerous PhD candidates and postdoctoral researchers. She is presently assessing the activities of medieval and early modern female preachers. Professor Muessig is committed to bringing together diverse communities from within and outside academe to explore the significance of Christianity in art, history and culture."

  • 13 Oct 2020 10:14 AM | Kathy Cawsey (Administrator)

    Rare Book School’s Andrew W. Mellon Society of Fellows in Critical Bibliography (SoFCB) invites applications for its 2021–23 cohort of junior fellows. The deadline is Monday, 2 November 2020.

    Continuing the work of the Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship in Critical Bibliography (2012–17), this scholarly society works to advance the study of texts, images, and artifacts as material objects through capacious, interdisciplinary scholarship—and to enrich humanistic inquiry and education by identifying, mentoring, and training promising early-career scholars. Junior Fellows will be encouraged and supported in integrating the methods of critical bibliography into their teaching and research, fostering collegial conversations about historical and emerging media across disciplines and institutions, and sharing their knowledge with broader publics.

    The fellowship includes tuition waivers for two Rare Book School courses, as well as funding for Junior Fellows to participate in the Society’s annual meeting and orientation. Additional funds are available for fellows to organize symposia at their home institutions, and fellows will have the option of attending a bibliographical field school to visit libraries, archives, and collections in a major metropolitan area. After completing two years in good standing as Junior Fellows, program participants will have the option to become Senior Fellows in the Society.

    The Society is committed to supporting diversity and to advancing the scholarship of outstanding persons of every race, gender, sexual orientation, creed, and socioeconomic background, and to enhancing the diversity of the professions and academic disciplines it represents, including those of the professoriate, museums, libraries, archives, public humanities, and digital humanities. We warmly encourage prospective applicants from a wide range of disciplines, institutions, and areas of expertise.

    For more information and to apply, please visit:

    For more information about diversity and the SoFCB, please visit the SoFCB Diversity & Outreach Committee’s Welcome Letter:

    Inquiries about the SoFCB Junior Fellows Program can be directed to Sonia Hazard, SoFCB Selection Committee Chair, at, or Donna Sy, SoFCB Administrative Director, at

    We would be most grateful if you would pass along this call for applications to anyone you know who might be interested in applying, or to those who might advise early-career scholars with an interest in the study of material objects.

    Please note that Rare Book School has many additional scholarship and fellowship opportunities now available:
    •       Rare Book School Access 2021 Scholarship, Directors’ Scholarship, et al.
    •       The Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship for Diversity, Inclusion & Cultural Heritage
    •       The M. C. Lang Fellowship in Book History, Bibliography, and Humanities Teaching with Historical Sources

  • 9 Oct 2020 1:35 PM | Marc Cels (Administrator)

    The Department of Historical and Cultural Studies at the University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC) invites applications for a full-time tenure-stream position in the area of Late Antiquity and/or Early Islam. The appointment will be at the rank of Assistant Professor, with an expected start date of July 1, 2021, or shortly thereafter. The successful candidate will be joining a vibrant, multi-disciplinary scholarly community at UTSC and in the tri-campus University of Toronto with related regional, temporal, and thematic foci.Applications due by 30 Nov. 2020.

  • 9 Oct 2020 1:33 PM | Marc Cels (Administrator)

    The Department of English and the Centre for Medieval Studies in the Faculty of Arts & Science at the University of Toronto invite applications for a joint full-time tenure stream position (75% English & 25% Centre for Medieval Studies) in the field of Later Medieval English Literature (1200-1500). The appointment will be at the rank of Associate Professor, with an expected start date of July 1, 2021. Applications due 11/30/2020.


  • 7 Oct 2020 1:33 PM | Siobhain Calkin (Administrator)

    Have you published a monograph, translation, or edition in 2020? If so, consider submitting it for the 2021 Margaret Wade Labarge Book Prize! Eligibility criteria for this year's prize have just been posted on the Labarge Prize page on this website, and submissions are due February 15 2021. Questions? Contact the Chair of the Prize Committee, Dr. James V. Maiello at 

  • 26 Aug 2020 9:56 AM | Siobhain Calkin (Administrator)

    Congratulations to Dr. Atri Hatef Naiemi, winner of the 2020 Leonard Boyle Dissertation Prize for "A Dialogue between Friends and Foes: Transcultural Interactions in Ilkhanid Capital Cities (1256-1335 AD)," completed at the University of Victoria under the direction of Professor Marcus Milwright.

    The Prize Committee noted that in her innovative inter-disciplinary thesis, Dr. Hatef Naiemi works with different kinds of sources in a multitude of  languages, including Persian, Arabic and Chinese, and shows how a study of cities and urban development does not necessarily have to rely primarily on evidence drawn from archaeological reports. Dr. Hatef Naiemi consistently challenges the common perception that Mongol conquerors simply adopted the religious and visual culture of their Muslim subjects. Instead she argues that in the architectural design of the cities built by early conquerors, especially those Ghazan Khan founded, one can see clear negotiations between appeals to traditional Mongol culture and forms of
    authority and Persian Muslim cultural influences. This intervention is
    an important correction; the chapter on the Mongols in the recent
    edition of the Oxford Handbook of Iranian History (2012) suggests that
    the Mongol acculturation in the Ilkhanate was largely one-way. Dr. Hatef
    Naiemi ends her thesis by suggesting the evidence of Mongol cities
    demonstrates that the best way to understand the Mongol interaction with
    Persian culture is not one of one-way acculturation but one of
    transculturation. For its multidisciplinarity and its originality, the Canadian
    Society of Medievalists’ Boyle Prize Committee is pleased to award "A
    Dialogue between Friends and Foes: Transcultural Interactions in
    Ilkhanid Capital Cities (1256-1335 AD)" the 2020 Boyle Prize.

  • 22 Jul 2020 12:15 PM | CSM Webmaster (Administrator)

    Congratulations to David K. Coley, winner of the 2020 Labarge Prize for his book, Death and the Pearl Maiden: Plague, Poetry, England. Focused on the poems of MS Cotton Nero A.x., David's work explores discourses of plague in fourteenth-century English poetry.

    More about this important and timely work can be found here.

    David K. Coley is Associate Professor of English at Simon Fraser University.

  • 8 May 2020 8:12 AM | Marc Cels (Administrator)

    UTP has put out an exciting spring brochure of medieval and renaissance studies titles. In addition to regular online discounts at, the press is offering an extra $5 discount in the month of May. Simply enter the promo code ICMS2020 at check-out.

  • 29 Apr 2020 11:05 AM | Marc Cels (Administrator)

    Medieval Studies at Western

    M.J. Toswell

    Regrettably, we will not be welcoming Canadian medievalists to the University of Western Ontario at the beginning of June this year for what some of us still think of as the Learneds, Congress for the young sprigs. However, let me welcome you all in spirit if not in person, with a brief update on the field at Western. Since Michael Fox wrote an account of medieval studies on the main campus at Western and Susan Small wrote concerning King’s College (Florilegium 20 [2003], 77-80 and 81-2), more has changed in field at Western than I would have expected. Fox, for example, speaks of a program in Medieval Studies in active development, but it took many more years before that development resulted in a minor and then a major. The "churn" rate in faculty (the term used by the senior administration at Western) has been pretty high, and that has meant significant changes in courses and events at Western. On the other hand, we have enjoyed a significant increase in resources. All told, like many of our colleagues around the world, we have tried to renovate and shift our approaches to a more global consideration of the Middle Ages and to a broader temporal approach as well. We have our successes, and we have our failures. Here are some of the details with respect to programs, faculty, events, resources, and a return to programs at the end to turn to our future.

    In 1999, the Faculty of Arts and Humanities endorsed an interdisciplinary program in medieval studies in principle, including a required first-year course in the subject, introducing some of the many areas of our subject. It will probably not surprise seasoned colleagues to learn that the required first-year course was first offered in 2012-2013, and the minor in medieval studies was approved that year. This full-year introduction to the Middle Ages has been offered every year since, with an average enrolment of 65-75 students. Within a year of the minor, a major in medieval studies opened. Students have completed over the years capstone courses on manuscript materials held in the library, taken an upper-year introduction to manuscripts taught by Jim Grier in the Don Wright Faculty of Music, enjoyed Medieval Days a few times, and started us on a way forward.

    The faculty, however, has been a more complex story. Departures and retirements have been a large part of our story for the last eighteen years across the campus, but there have been some very happy arrivals: Donna Rogers, an expert on Spanish medieval literature and food, decamped from Brescia to Algoma; Marjorie Ratcliffe, our main campus medieval hispanist, retired; Francis Gingras left the Department of French for Université de Montréal but Mario Longtin joined the Department of French Studies; Henrik Lagerlund left Philosophy to return to Stockholm; History attracted Margaret McGlynn and Eona Karakacili to join Maya Shatzmiller, but Eona moved onwards and Margaret moved upwards so that she is largely in administration these days; Kathy Brush retired from teaching art history in our Visual Arts department, but now Cody Barteet offers courses in the Italian florescence and especially in the late medieval/early modern period in Hispanoamerica; English lost Russell Poole to retirement, hired Jane Tolmie only to lose her to Queen’s and their Women’s Studies department, and then very successfully attracted Richard Moll, Anne Schuurman, and Michael Fox; at King’s, Susan Small and Paul Werstine in Modern Languages have been joined by Gyongyi Hegedus in Religious Studies and by Adam Bohnet in History; at Huron, Stephen McClatchie, by training a scholar of music, is offering courses in medieval liturgy and early history of the church; Dominick Grace remains in English at Brescia; so also Laurence de Looze, Melitta Adamson, and James Miller hold down the fort in the Department of Languages and Cultures (formerly Modern Languages); Jim Grier remains as our expert in early medieval music but Terence Bailey, who attracted the CANTUS project to Western and fostered its development, retired so that the CANTUS project has moved with some of his students and colleagues to the University of Waterloo–but Western is happy to have Kate Helsen as a new medieval musicologist engaged in digital humanities research including her Optical Neume Recognition project and her Melodic Construction and Evolution project on plainchant. We also rejoice in a few fellow travelers: Paul Potter held the chair in the History of Medicine in the Schulich Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, and since his retirement the Jason A. Hannah Chair is held by Shelley McKellar, principally in the Department of History, but with a cross-appointment to Surgery; both have some interest in matters medieval. The Department of Classics also has some colleagues who work on late antiquity: Alex Meyer serves on the medieval studies steering committee and teaches history of the late Roman empire, and Beth Greene is a late Roman archaeologist and social historian. Colleagues in the Renaissance/early modern field in various departments also overlap with our interests at times.

    Those shared interests have meant some very successful events in medieval studies over the years. Michael Fox organized a conference on the reception of the Old Testament in Old and Middle English, which emerged as a collection of essays published by University of Toronto Press. Jane Tolmie organized two small and very successful symposia/conferences called "The New Medievalisms," and involving young scholars with their first major projects reading out long sections in a workshop format enlivened and enlightened by two senior scholars offering the first rounds of advice. Many books and major articles emerged in the wake of those conferences in 2004 and 2005. The International Society for Studies in Medievalism came to Western in 2007, with the principal highlight of an opening plenary talk by Terry Jones. (Uniquely in my experience, a local limo firm offered to take my keynote speaker from London to Pearson airport all alone in a limo, free, so long as the speaker would agree to one brief conversation with the driver and the signing of one T-shirt. He did, and my budget for the event was saved.)  Kathy Brush organized a whole series of events and a graduate course on medievalism in Canada, borrowing objects from the Malcove Collection at the ROM and from many other locations in order to put on a series of exhibitions at Museum London, the McIntosh Gallery at Western, and the Visual Arts gallery spaces, culminating in a collection of papers. Mario Longtin took on the editorship of ROMARD (Research on Medieval and Renaissance Drama) for some years, fitting the annual publication of the journal around a busy schedule of presenting plays in London (including a goodly number of medieval French farces). Margaret McGlynn organizes conferences on law and governance in pre-modern Britain (so far in 2011 and 2015 but with more promised), which elegantly meet in the Moot Court at the Law Building. And there are many other events large and small, and a very impressive array of scholarship in train and completed.

    Our resources for medieval studies are impressive. First among many useful features of Western are the buildings themselves, which except for a weird set of three or four aberrations in the late 60's and early 70's are all Gothic Revival efforts with vertical height, various kinds of towers and crenellations, lancet windows and stone tracery. The Collegiate Gothic effect is heightened by the firm adherence through the years to using limestone as part of the facade of every building–it does not always work, but it is always there. This means that reference to the medieval origins of universities can include a walk outside around the campus to admire architectural features on nearly every building. University College, the first building completed on the campus in 1924, has lost its barrel-vaulted ceilings, but the Middlesex Memorial Tower continues to soar over the campus, and to carry the flag, even though the latest branding initiative has chosen a modernized crest and a turn away from this iconic building. Since the undergraduate interdisciplinary program in medieval studies began, the Western Libraries have played their part in providing additional resources, buying one complete manuscript known as Canon Grandel’s prayerbook, and acquiring a sheaf or two of manuscript fragments, single pages from known manuscripts such as the Llangattock Breviary, and manuscripts that were probably among those disassembled by Otto Ege at the end of the nineteenth century and beginning of the twentieth. Rebinding of one early printed book also resulted in two manuscript pages emerging from the padding of the covers, and other pieces, including coins, have added to the Special Collections under the care of the new curator, Debbie Meert-Williston. In fact, the library is collaborating with some researchers on campus, led by Andrew Nelson and Ron Martin, to do some spectroscopy and MRI tests of the Western manuscript collection. During Kathy Brush’s research into the medieval collections in London, she determined that more materials are available than have been generally realized, including manuscript materials at King’s, and a papal bull at Huron. Finally, Western was particularly lucky to receive a foundational donation of 45,000 books (with another 10,000 or so following later) from John Davis Barnett in 1918, a collection that reached across many subjects and established Western’s first dedicated on-campus library (Lawson Hall in 1934) as a collection worth building and maintaining. As a result, Western’s book collections were quite superb through to the third quarter of the twentieth century, and often materials could be found in Weldon Library that were otherwise unavailable anywhere on the continent. We have been lucky in this respect.

    Now, however, transformational change is taking over in many ways. Our book collections are being drawn down and consolidated with those of other southern Ontario libraries, and the ramifications of this gradual displacement of printed matter are not as clear to campus researchers as they could be. We have great difficulty, because of the downturn in enrolments in the humanities, in obtaining budget lines with which to recruit new faculty, so we watch our graduate students make difficult choices with regret and uncertainty. This spring, we have concluded that our program in medieval studies must broaden its horizons, temporally speaking, and accept courses in late antiquity at one end of the field, and in the Renaissance or early modern period at the other. Less clear at this point is the geographic expansion of our field into global medievalism. We are lucky at Western to have some faculty members who already work in medieval Korea (Adam Bohnet) or the baroque in Mexico addressing the architecture of Yucatán before and after first contact with the colonial powers of Europe (Cody Barteet). In the medieval studies program we have also expanded into the world of medievalism, albeit very tentatively, and in our individual courses we are embracing new ways of seeing our field: looking at the Vinland Sagas as Norse settler colonialism, queering the perception of Richard I of England, embracing the radical feminine power of Hildegard of Bingen. My own paper at Congress in early June was another look at Champlain’s astrolabe, that most medieval of instruments lost near the Ottawa River and reconfigured (upside-down) in the famous statue of Champlain on Nepean Point behind the National Gallery of Canada. Maybe, I hope, I will be able to make my argument about the lost astrolabe, the statue, and the nations involved with both on another day and in another venue, to my colleagues in the world of medieval studies in Canada.

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