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

News and Announcements

  • 15 Jan 2019 12:06 PM | Kristin Bourassa

    The Hellenic Studies Program at Simon Fraser University invites applications for a full-time tenure-track appointment at the rank of Assistant Professor who will hold the inaugural 5-year renewable Edward and Emily McWhinney Professorship in International Relations starting September 2019.

    Excellence in research and teaching are the primary criteria for this position. Candidates must have a research expertise in comparative approaches to interstate relations and population movements with a focus on Greece, the Balkans, and the Eastern Mediterranean. The ideal candidate will have a successful record in their chosen specialization, be well regarded in their field, and should have already gained a significant reputation in academic circles. The chosen candidate must hold a PhD in either history, political science, sociology, international relations or a related area by the employment start date.

    For more information, see the posting on the SFU website, here.

  • 10 Jan 2019 9:42 AM | Marc Cels (Administrator)

    Forwarded on behalf of Professor David Townsend, Chair, Medieval Latin Studies, Centre for Medieval Studies:

    We acknowledge with deep sadness the death of Professor A.G. Rigg on Monday, 7 January 2019.  George, as he was known universally to friends, colleagues, and generations of admiring and grateful students, died peacefully at home, in the presence of his beloved wife Jennifer, after a period of declining health.

    George was born on 17 February 1937 at Wigan, Lancashire, where he received his secondary education at Wigan Grammar School, which was known for its strong reputation in Classics. As an undergraduate he attended Pembroke College, Oxford from 1955 to 1959 leading to a B.A. in the English School.  He wrote his D. Phil thesis, “An edition of a fifteenth‑century commonplace book,” under the supervision of Norman Davis. That work was published in 1968 as A Glastonbury Miscellany of the Fifteenth Century: a descriptive Index of Trinity College, Cambridge, MS 0.9.38.  Concurrently with his doctoral work he taught at Merton College, Oxford, when he first met Jennifer, as well later at Balliol College. From 1966 to 1968 he held a Visiting Assistant Professorship in the Department of English at Stanford University. In 1968 he took the position of Assistant Professor in the newly formed Centre for Medieval Studies and the Department of English at the University of Toronto, where he taught until his reluctant retirement (still mandated by law at 65) in 2002. As an emeritus, his generous and energetic mentorship of graduate students continued for many years thereafter.

    His exacting philological standards secured his international reputation as a scholar of medieval Latin as well as of Middle English. His editions included the poems of Walter of Wimborne (1978), his controversial edition of the Z-Text of Piers Plowman (1983, with Charlotte Brewer) and a glossed epitome of Geoffrey of Monmouth, A Book of British Kings (2000). The latter was published as volume 30 of the Toronto Medieval Latin Texts, a series that George established and for which he served as general editor for its first thirty volumes. His many articles included a signal series of codicological studies of medieval Latin poetic anthologies which appeared in Mediaeval Studies. Medieval Latin: An Introduction and Bibliographical Guide, co-edited with Frank Mantello, remains an invaluable resource for students of the field, while his magisterial survey, Anglo-Latin Literature, 1066-1422, published in 1992, will remain the definitive reference work for decades to come.  He was elected Fellow of the Medieval Academy of America in 1997 and of the Royal Society of Canada in 1998.

    His passionate advocacy for reading competence in medieval Latin as a central feature of serious advanced training in medieval studies led to the creation of the Committee for Medieval Latin Studies, which he chaired from its inception until his retirement, and to the system of examinations that remains a hallmark of a Toronto training in the field. It was his tireless and exacting but endlessly patient encouragement of students in their pursuit of a notoriously rigorous standard that exposed the greatest number of Toronto graduate students to his teaching over the years. Those who took his seminars, and above all those who benefitted from his kindness, enthusiasm, and bonhomie as their doctoral supervisor experienced even more abundantly his rare combination of extraordinary erudition, good humour, genuine humility, and quiet empathy.

    We are all of us the poorer for the loss of this kind, good, and brilliant man. He is survived by his wife, Jennifer Rigg, sisters-in-law Joanne Hope and Ann Nicholson, and by his nephew, Rupert Hope. Warmest thanks to the Temmy Latner Centre for Palliative Care for their unfailing kindness and support.

    There will be a small ceremony at 11:00 am on Saturday, 19 January 2019, Humphrey Funeral Home, 1403 Bayview Avenue, Toronto, ON.  Phone: 416-487-4523.  In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to an animal rescue shelter or a charity of your choice.

    The Centre hopes to hold a memorial on the University of Toronto campus in the Spring, and an informal remembrance at the Medieval Congress at Kalamazoo prior to the annual CMS reception; details to follow.

    David Townsend

    Professor Emeritus of Medieval Studies and English

    University of Toronto

  • 8 Jan 2019 9:14 AM | Kristin Bourassa

    Liberation Tours is offering a discount for Canadian Society of Medievalists members on its "Medieval Britain: Castles, Cannons & Crowns. Battlefields & Cultural Landmarks" tour, August 13-27, 2019. For more information and to download the brochure, please visit their website, here:

  • 17 Dec 2018 8:14 PM | Kathy Cawsey (Administrator)


    Racism in Medieval Studies: Problems and Solutions

    A Discussion Session at the Annual Meeting of the Canadian Society of Medievalists

    Since the summer of 2017 it has become profoundly clear that the discipline of medieval studies has a racism problem. In July of that year, attendees at the International Medieval Congress brought attention to the fact that in spite of panels on topics such as diversity and otherness, medieval studies as a whole was fairly homogenous, and in terms of tone, at times, outright racist. In August, the “Unite the Right Rally” in Charlottesville, Virginia showed us that symbols from the medieval world were being coopted and used to support white supremacist agendas. Work by Medievalists of Color, the Public Medievalist’s series on Race, Racism and the Middle Ages, along with the with the work of scholars such as Geraldine Heng and Dorothy Kim, showed us that traditional ways of teaching medieval history and literature could homogenize and whiten the diversity found in the medieval world and that the academy itself was not equally welcoming for all scholars. In this era, with hate speech and hate crimes on the rise, medieval studies is trying to reorient itself to be more inclusive: in what we research and teach and in who is called on to research and teach it. It is in this context that this call for participation is situated.

    The planned discussion session is aimed at exploring problems and solutions to combat this two-pronged issue of racism in medieval studies. The format of the session is a short series of 5-minute presentations of problems, questions or potential solutions, and then a wider group discussion that will encompass everyone in the room.  If you are interested in offering a five minute presentation, please email Donna Trembinski at with your name and topic of interest.  We’d like to include as many concerns, ideas and voices as possible.   


  • 10 Nov 2018 4:45 PM | CSM Webmaster (Administrator)

    Medieval Studies and the TRC at the joint AMA/AMEMG conference 

    A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of attending a joint conference of the Atlantic Medieval Association and the Atlantic Medieval and Early Modern Group in Sackville, New Brunswick. It started out in an almost-can’t-see-to-drive downpour and ended in a glorious fall day aflame with autumn colours.

    The conference is about as small as you can get, and I almost didn’t go this year because I – and I’m sure I’m not alone in this – was swamped with teaching and admin. But small conferences like the AMA are so important. I attended some excellent papers, of course, and actually got the chance to make an astrolabe – Dr.  Samuel Gessner of the University of Lisbon was the keynote speaker, and the “Hands-on History of the Astrolabe” he presented was not a metaphor! (My arts-and-crafts skills are distinctly rusty, I might add.) The real value, though, was in making connections with other medievalists. Increasingly, many of us are the lone medievalists at our universities, and academic societies provide a welcome respite from the isolation and loneliness that can entail.

    Dr. Samuel Gessner Presents using a celestial globe

    A paper astrolabe craft

    I was also “pricked” – to use a Middle English word – by a panel responding to the calls to action from Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Hitherto I had felt a bit helpless in the face of the calls: yes, we can do more as institutions to support Indigenous students; yes, we can support calls for Indigenous literatures and histories, and work on making them mainstream – but honestly, I thought, as a medievalist, there’s not much I can do in my field. Saying “Indigenous peoples were around in the Middle Ages too and so we should study Indigenous cultures from 1000-1500” seemed a bit facile, to my way of thinking (never mind that it is imposing colonizing Western European periodization on the world, and risks cultural appropriation as well).

    But the panel got me thinking about the ways in which Canadian medievalists can seriously and genuinely respond to the TRC in our scholarship as well as our institutions. We talked about incorporating Indigenous knowledge practices both in our classrooms, rethinking the top-down lecture approach, and in our scholarship, applying Indigenous theories and approaches to canonical texts. We talked about ways to avoid falling into the trap of “empty words” and “rote repetition” in our acknowledgements of the Indigenous territories our universities are built upon. We talked about countering the alt-right appropriation of medieval images and medievalism. And after the conference Lauren Beck compiled and circulated a bibliography of Indigenous literary and historical theory and methods.

    In the coming months I will be posting more about these kinds of topics – both ways to counter the alt-right in our classrooms, and ways of thinking about Indigenous theory in our scholarship. I’d also like to know how you are responding to the TRC, not only in your institution but in your scholarship and teaching. And any Indigenous resources you can send me would be great as well.

    Kathy Cawsey

    President, CSM/SCM

  • 5 Nov 2018 8:42 AM | Kristin Bourassa

    The Centre for Medieval Literature (University of Southern Denmark, Odense, and University of York) invites expressions of interest for Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) Individual Fellowship applications, September 2019 deadline. Selected candidates will receive mentorship from the Centre for Medieval Literature in applying for an Individual Fellowship based at either the University of Southern Denmark or the University of York.

    For more information, see the call at the Centre for Medieval Literature

  • 29 Oct 2018 3:55 AM | Kristin Bourassa

    Calls for applications

    The Cluster (Understanding Written Artefacts, University of Hamburg) welcomes applications from across disciplines that show a clear focus on the study of written artefacts.

    35 Positions: Research Associate, TV-L 13, 75% of standard work hours per week

    15 Positions: Research Associate TV-L 13, full position

    5 Positions: Research Associate TV-L 15

    For more information, see Cluster of Excellence: Understanding Written Artefacts.

  • 14 Oct 2018 5:32 PM | Brandon Alakas
    "Topographies of Interiority: Medieval Representation"

    Calling for papers on topological representations of interiority in medieval literature. Since the “spatial turn” in the humanities and social sciences, the novel and modern incarnations of the lyric poem have been the focal texts of spatial approaches. Medieval representations of space and place present a challenge of alterity since as they do not confirm modern expectations of isometry, mimesis, or "accurate" mapping. Nevertheless, the pre-cartographic imagination of medieval cultures is not simplistic or monolithic, but present the modern reader with a different series of preoccupations and configurations. These preoccupations are enveloped in the diction of the soul and passions, but necessitate a two-way confluence and construction of the exterior world:

     Some topics might include:

    • The employment or negation of place/space in the writings associated with mysticism
    • The division of “the world” as an enemy of the soul, with "nature," "creation," or "the universe" as redeemable and/or distinct(?) categories
    • The topologies of love and/or grief
    • Spatial mnemonics and Memoria
    • Dreamscapes
    • Humoral influence in different spaces
    • Medieval Maps/mapping and cosmological analogy
    • Pilgrimage, exploration and interior resonances

    Send paper proposals to by December 10
  • 9 Oct 2018 1:57 PM | Brandon Alakas

    Call for Papers - PCDP 2019: Fairies and the Fantastic

    February 22-23, 2019

    The Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies at the Ohio State University invites abstracts and panel proposals on the topic of Fairies and the Fantastic.  The submission deadline is October 31, 2018.  In the Prologue to Chaucer’s Wife of Bath’s Tale, the narrator reminisces about a time when the land was full of fairies and the Elf Queen danced merrily on the green.  In the centuries since Chaucer, fairies, far from disappearing, have lived on in the popular imagination and its creations.  This conference is especially interested in Fairies and the Fantastic in the broadly conceived Medieval and Renaissance periods, but it also invites papers that look back to earlier examples of fairy belief or that explore the uses of fairies in later popular culture.  All approaches are welcome, from literary, artistic, cinematic, and gaming analyses, to historical and cultural investigations.  We also encourage papers with broad geographical scope that examine the ‘presence’ of fairies outside Western Europe--in Scandinavia, Persia, and other parts of the world.

    Twenty-minute papers will be organized thematically into two-hour sessions of four papers each, ranging across two days. Submissions for entire sessions are welcome, in which case a session title and abstract should be submitted, along with individual paper titles and abstracts from the different presenters.

    Abstracts for sessions and individual papers should be limited to 250 words.

    Please submit them along with any questions to

    In keeping with the spirit of past PCDP events, the academic conference will be part of a broader ‘carnival’ of events and activities, including food- and culture-ways demonstrations; exhibits of artwork, books, and manuscripts; combat; gaming; and Cosplay.  We welcome proposals for non-academic presentations and activities.

    Keynote address: Chris Woodyard, “The Many Roads to Fairyland”

  • 24 Sep 2018 10:15 AM | Brandon Alakas

    The Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies at Durham University is seeking applications for the post of ZKS Lendrum Priory Library Junior Research Fellow

    This post is full-time and fixed term for 12 months commencing 1 January 2019.

    The ZKS Lendrum Priory Library Junior Research Fellowship is located in the Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies. IMEMS is one of the largest, most diverse and dynamic centres of medieval and early modern studies in the world, bringing together over eighty members of permanent academic staff, plus many postgraduate and postdoctoral researchers, from all three faculties of the University. Archaeology, English, History and Modern Languages are particularly well-represented among its members, but the Institute has a specific brief to encourage and support links across disciplines and inter- and multi-disciplinary research initiatives.

    Generous grants from the Zeno Karl Schindler Foundation and Chris & Margaret Lendrum make it possible to offer this Fellowship. The appointed Fellow will be known as the ZKS Lendrum Priory Library Fellow. Applications are invited for this Assistant Professor (Research) Junior Research Fellowship on any aspect of the physical and digitised collections of Durham Priory Library, including their origin, manufacture, content, decoration, and history of the texts. The successful applicant will be expected to engage actively in the academic life of the Institute and of the Durham Priory Library Recreated project, which is a collaboration between Durham University and Durham Cathedral. The project is digitising the substantial collection of medieval manuscripts and early-printed books from the Cathedral’s original Priory Library, which date from the sixth century onwards.

    It is anticipated that interviews will be held 7 November 2018.

    Closes midday on 30-Sep-2018


    For more information and to apply click here

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