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

News and Announcements

  • 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 | Anonymous

    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

  • 24 Sep 2018 8:22 AM | Brandon Alakas

    Tenure Track Assistant Professor of English in Medieval Literature & Culture, with expertise in race/ethnicity. Department of English.

    Saint Louis University is a research university. Attractions include 2:2 load, amazing library holdings, the Vatican Film Library, the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, several Latin reading groups, medievalist colleagues in English, German, Art History, History, Theology, and Philosophy, medievalists in the St Louis area, and a university with a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion.

    (see our Clock Tower Accords…/ke…/diversity/clock-towers-accords.php).

  • 3 Sep 2018 9:09 AM | Anonymous

    CSM President’s note

    Hello Canadian Medievalists,

    Well, Labour Day is upon us and the fluster and flurry of a new teaching term has arrived. You will all have received Scrinium in your email boxes, so if you weren’t at Congress, you will know that I am the new CSM President (joined by Dominic Marner as Past President, Marc Cels as Vice President, Meredith Bacola as the indispensable Secretary/Treasurer ... as well as the even-more-indispensable Andrew Klein as webmaster, Christa Canitz and Sebastien Rossignol as Florilegium editors, Brandon Alakas, Kristin Bourassa, and Stephanie Lahey as social media co-ordinators, and various members of the Board and prize chairs). I am only realizing as I type what a great, and extensive, team of people there are in the CSM. Many thanks go to the people stepping down, especially to David Watt as Past President.

    First, an apology – I’m sorry I couldn’t make it to Congress this year. This is what I was doing instead:

    (Rievaulx Abbey)

    I hope you all had a good summer and are ready for the fall. Send me information about your research and projects you’re involved in. We know that Canadian Medievalists are doing exciting things, but Canadians are a modest bunch, and too often we only find out what other medievalists are doing by accident. Send photos we can post too.

    Have a great back-to-school season!

    Veuillez m’excuser pour écrire en Anglais seulement.

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