CSM Community Manager

CSM Community Manager

The "Medievalist of the Month" feature is currently on hiatus while we focus on some updates to the CSM website. To contribute to Medievalist of the Month in the future, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.!

April 7, 2017 - Registration deadline April 5

This workshop will concentrate on East Syriac Christianity in the Mongol Empire, from the rise of Chinggis Khan (d. 1227), through the evolution of the the unified Mongol Empire that he created into four separate states—the Il-khanate in Persia (1256–1335), the Chaghatayid Khanate in Central Asia (1242–1347), the Qipchaq Khanate (Golden Horde) on the northern steppe (1256–1360) and the Yuan dynasty in Mongolia and China (1260–1368)—to the end of Mongol power in Asia and the Middle East in the late 14th century, after which East Syriac Christianity either vanished or was seriously diminished in its presence and influence.


For more information: https://eastofbyzantium.org/upcoming-events/east-syriac-christianity-in-the-mongol-empire/.

The Canadian Society of Medievalists would like to remind scholars of the Margaret Wade Labarge Book Prize.  Submissions for the 2017 Labarge Prize (books published in 2016) should have 3 copies of eligible books sent to the committee chair, Kenna Olsen, to the mail address below by 15 April 2017:


Dr. Kenna Olsen

Department of English, Languages, and Cultures

Mount Royal University

4825 Mount Royal Gate SW

Calgary, AB, Canada

T3E 6K6

Eligibility:  Any book in the field of medieval studies (including monographs, editions, translations, and other categories as determined by the Prize Committee), authored or co-authored, translated or co-translated, edited or co-edited, etc. (the test being at least 50% participation) by a Canadian or someone resident in Canada. Edited collections of essays are not eligible.


Registration: http://www.congress2017.ca

36th Annual Meeting-Congress 2017-May 27-29-Ryerson University-Toronto

Saturday, May 27, 2017

9:00 am to 10:30 am

Session 1: Migration and Integration in Northern Europe

Presider/Président: tba


1.     Sébastien Rossignol (Memorial University), “Intégration et assimilation : les immigrants allemands au Moyen Âge ».

2.     Rasa Mažeika, (University of Toronto), “Did any aspect of Laws of War exist in war with the pagans?”

3.      Megan Arnott, (Western Michigan University), “Far and Wide: The romantic exploits of Haraldr harðráði in Miklagarðr and beyond”.


9:30 am to 10:30 am


Session 2: Medieval Law and the iudicium Dei

Presider/Président: tba


1.     Jonathan Robinson (York University), “Poverty and the Poor in Medieval Law”.

2.     Eduardo Fabbro (Saint Jerome University), “Deo iudicante: God and Warfare in Carolingian Thought”.



10:30 am to 11:00 am


11:00 am to 12:30 pm

Session 3: The Eternal Logos: Writing in Islamic Culture

Presider/Président: tba


1.     Marcus Millwright (University of Victoria), “Written in Stone? The Qur’an in the Material Record of the First Century of Islam”.

2.     Zahra S. Kazani (University of Victoria), “Looking at Writing: Examining the Calligraphic Patterns in the Manuscript of the Kitab al-Diryaq

3.     Munazzah Akhtar (University of Victoria), The Writing on the Wall. Interpreting the Inscriptions of Samma Monuments in Sindh (Pakistan)”.

4.     Erica Dodd (University of Victoria), “The pre-Islamic Logos”.




Session 4: Trauma and Disability in Medieval Culture

Presider/Président: tba


1.     Siobhain Bly Calkin (Carleton University), “Recounting the Capture of the Cross: Loss, Trauma, and the Challenges of Narrating Cultural Dispossession”.

2.     Michael Treschow (University of British Columbia-Okanagan), “Violence, Wounds, and Vengeance, in late Anglo-Saxon England”.

3.     Donna Trembinski (St Francis Xavier University), “The Disappeared: Masculinities and Femininities at the Intersection of Disability and Trauma”.


12:30 pm to 2:00 pm


2:00 pm to 3:45 pm

Session 5: Visual Culture of the Middle Ages

Presider/Président: tba


1.     Alma Santosuosso (Wilfrid Laurier University), “The Musicians of the Bayeux Tapestry”.

2.     Danijela Zutic (McGill University), “Terra Cognita: Authorship in Medieval Herbal Tradition”.

3.     Gabriele Giannini (Université de Montréal), “Manuscrits démembrés et histoire culturelle de la Wallonie”.

4.     Heather Pigat (Art Museum University of Toronto), “Economical Luxury: New Considerations of Purple Manuscripts”.



Session 6: The History of Service and Servants in the Middle Ages

Presider/Président: tba


1.     Lochin Brouillard (University of Toronto), “Parefamilias, Son, and Servant: Rethinking the History of Service and the Family in the Medieval Monastery”.

2.     Isabelle Cochelin (University of Toronto), “Lay Monastic Servants versus Lay Domestic Servants”.

3.     Francine Michaud (University of Calgary), “The Meaning of Servanthood in Private Households. The Case of Thirteenth- and Fourteenth-Century Marseille.

4.     Christine Ekholts (Independent Scholar), “Order in the Family. Servants, Slaves, and Violence in Scandinavian Law”



3:45 pm to 4:15 pm


4:30 pm to 5:30 pm

Plenary Address: Suzanne Conklin Akbari

Professor of English and Medieval Studies; Director, Centre for Medieval Studies; Graduate Faculty, Undergraduate Instructor (UTSG)

7:00 pm

Grad Student Night and Executive Meeting









Sunday, May 28, 2017

9:00 am to 10:45 am

Session 7: Gendered Readings/Writing

Presider/Président: tba


1.     Joanne Findon (Trent University), “A Woman’s Last Word: Emer’s Construction of the Hero in Brislech Mór Maige Muirthemni”.

2.     Leanne MacDonald (University of Notre Dame), “A Man of God in a Wedding Dress: Cross-Dressing and the Sponsa Christi Motif”.

3.     Ruth Wehlau (Queen’s University), “Constructing the Chivalric Body; Lancelot’s Wounds in Malory’s ‘The Book of Tristram’ and ‘Sir Lancelot and Queen Guenevere’”.

4.     Nicole Slipp (Queen’s University), “Margery Kempe and Maternity: Biological Motherhood vs. Spiritual Mothering”.



Session 8: Manuscripts

Presider/Président: tba


1.     Jenny Watson (Leiden University), “Artless Books: Words and Imagery in Monastic Manuscript Culture”.

2.     Sarah-Nelle Jackson (University of British Columbia), “Friars and Fascicles: The Parodic Structure of MS Digby 86”.

3.     James Grier (University of Western Ontario), “De rebus incertis: Stephen of Liège and the Divine Office”.

4.     Jessica Henderson and Laura Mitchell (University of Toronto), “A Virtual Library: Reconstructing John Stow’s Medieval Manuscripts”.


10:45 am to 11:00 am


11:00 am to 12:30 pm

Session 9: Representing Medicine, Science and Morality

Presider/Président: tba


1.     Rachel Koopmans (York University), “Physicians Pictured in the Early Gothic Stained Glass of Canterbury Cathedral”.

2.     Stephanie Lahey (University of Victoria), “Cheap Medicine: Parchment Offcuts in Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Ashmole 1378”

3.     Guilherme Sanches de Oliveira (University of Cincinnati), “What Medieval Maps Teach us about Contemporary Science”.

4.     Brian Pollick (University of Victoria), “Open Arms: The Moral and Social Functions of Merchant Family Shields in Late-Medieval Italy”.




Session 10: Historiography

Presider/Président: tba


1.     James Mellon (Independent Scholar), “Nicolas of Cusa and the History of Political Thought”.

2.     Richard Shaw (Our Lady Seat of Wisdom, Ontario), “The composition of Bede’s Historia ecclesiastica”.

3.     Sean Otto (Wycliffe College, Toronto), “From Morning Star to Medieval Theologian to … What? The Move from Confessional to Professional History in the Case of John Wyclif and the Future of Wycliffian Studies”.


12:30 pm to 2:30 pm

LUNCH/DîNER and AGM (Lunch will be provided for participants in AGM)



2:30 pm to 4:15 pm

Session 11: Art and Architecture

Presider/Président: Dominic Marner


1.     John Osborne (Carleton University), “The church of S. Maria Antiqua and the evolving discipline of medieval art history”.

2.     Jim Bugslag (University of Manitoba), “The Earliest Byzantine Churches of the Theotokos: Some Sectarian and Politico-Religious Considerations”.

3.     Malcolm Thurlby (York University),”Speyer Cathedral, the Pantheon, and         Imperial Image of the Holy Roman Emperor”.

4.     Anna-Maria Moubayed (Ryerson University), “Église Saint-Martin-de-Besse, Aquitaine A Case Study of Eve’s Romanesque Body and Decorative Patterns”.



Session 12: Language and Translation

Presider/Président: tba


1.     Patrick McBrine (Independent Scholar), “Biblical Epics in Late Antiquity and Anglo-Saxon England”.

2.     Samuel Grigoryan (Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier III), « The Interchange of Rites and Systems of Values in the Eastern Mediterranean during the Crusades: The Chivalry and Knighthood in the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia”.

3.     Kathy Cawsey (Dalhousie University), “Traces of a Philosophy of Language in the English Vernacular”

4.     Michael Kightley (University of Louisiana at Lafayette), “Repetition, Class, and the Unnamed Speakers of Beowulf”.


5:00 pm to 6:00 pm

7:00 pm

President’s Reception


All are invited (and encouraged) to attend the banquet. Please confirm your attendance by writing to Dominic Marner (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) by May 20.











Monday, May 29, 2017

9:00 am to 10:30 am













9:30am to 10:30 am

Session 13: Telling stories: methodological approaches to legal records

in late medieval Europe

Presider/Président: tba


1.     Roisin Cossar (University of Manitoba), “Untold Stories: Erasure, Correction, and Notarial Presence in Documents of Practice from Italy”.

2.     Alexandra Guerson (New College, University of Toronto) and Dana Wessell Lightfoot (University of Northern British Columbia), “Tracing familial networks: the value of collaborative research in uncovering stories of mixed families in late medieval Girona”.

3.     Shannon McSheffrey (Concordia University) “Narrative, Fact, and Allegation in English Coroners’ Inquest Reports”.



Session 14: Animals and Monsters

Presider/Président: tba


1.     Andrew Taylor (University of Ottawa), “’Nous trouvons en l’escripture’: The Metamorphosis as a Key to Froissart’s Voyage en Béarn”.

2.     Matthew Roby (Exeter College, University of Oxford), “Eating People and Feeling Sorry: Cannabals, Contrition, and the Didactic Donestre in the Old English Wonders of the East and Latin Mirabilia”.



10:30 am to 11:00 am


11:00 am to 12:45 pm

Session 15: Communicating Solutions to the Great Western Schism (1378-1417) in France

Presider/Président: tba


1.     Magda Hayton (Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies), “Communicating Solutions through Prophecy: the Hildegardian ‘Schism Extracts’”.

2.     Robert Shaw (Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies), “Monastic Example and Schism: The Orationarium in vita Christi of Pierre Pocquet”.

3.     Kristin Bourassa (University of Southern Denmark), “’Le tres doulereux scisme’: The papal schism in Pierre Salmon’s Dialogues”.

4.     Philippe Genequand (Université de Montréal), “The deposition of Avignon Pope Benedict XIII and the end of the Great Western Schism”.




Session 16: Rewriting the Medieval Past: Twentieth Century Responses to Medieval English and Norse Literature

Presider/Président: tba


1.     Dustin Geeraert (University of Manitoba), “What has Darwin to do with Odin? Doubt of Divine Order in Medievalist Literature”.

2.     David Watt (University of Manitoba),”How do you even win this game? Style and Structure in George R. R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire”.

3.     Christopher Crocker (University of Winnipeg), “Once more, with fiction: On the interpretive value of modern retellings of medieval Nordic myth”.


12:45 pm to 2:00 pm


2:00 pm to 3:30pm




Session 17: Workshop on Teaching


“Contrapasso” and “Allegoria," University of Toronto, April 4-5, 2017

For more information: http://dante.medieval.utoronto.ca.

The Canada section of Ménestrel's directory of medieval studies programs, resources, and associations has recently been updated! You can see the updates here. Corrections and additions welcome!

Cross-posted from MedTextL:

The Medieval French Forum of the MLA is sponsoring two sessions and co-sponsoring a third at the MLA.  Please send abstracts to the names listed for each separate session.  Please feel free to circulate widely - and to email the organisers for more information, given the brevity of the official MLA descriptions!

Joint session Medieval/16th c. French:

Propaganda, Polemic, Persuasion: A Round-Table

How did changing modes of literary production, patronage, and censorship affect the presentation and exchange of ideas in French Medieval and Renaissance worlds? Please send 200-word proposals by 10 March 2017 to Cathy Yandell (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) and Kathy M. Krause (​This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

Medieval French sessions:

1. The DNA of Story

The DNA of Story: the replication, proliferation, mutation, variation of stories across texts, genres, manuscripts, etc. When is the “same story” no longer the same? 250 word abstracts by 15 March 2017 to Kathy M. Krause (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

2. Fake News

Empty rumors, false accusations or reports, malicious gossip, (mis)information, obfuscation, tall tales, impossible boasts, etc. circulating in Medieval French literature. 250 word abstracts to Kathy Krause by 15 March 2017 to Kathy M. Krause (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).


Boydell & Brewer is offering CSM members a discount code for the following two titles:

9781843844365. Representing the Dead: Epitaph Fictions in Late-Medieval France. Helen J. Swift

9781843839897. Trees in the Religions of Early Medieval England. Michael D.J. Bintley

Use the code BB335 while checking out at boydellandbrewer.com!



This month's featured CSM member is our very own webmaster, Andrew Klein!


I received my B.A. at the University of Saskatchewan, in English. There I also completed a Masters in Interdisciplinary Studies. More recently, I completed my doctoral studies in English at the University of Notre Dame.

You’re arriving at an airport for a research trip and the border control agent asks what you do. How do you answer?

I would like to say I don’t flub this simple question – but many of us do under the skeptical stare of the weary border-control officer, don’t we? The combined effects of a border officer in Calais dismissing my long-winded explanation of what I do with “Well, that’s booooring” and an American border officer’s scoffing disbelief that any school would pay me a stipend to study the Middle Ages have meant that I can never really steer myself through this ordeal without stammering embarrassingly incoherent responses. Usually the word “professor” is met with some dim glimmer of recognition in my oppressor’s eyes.

What projects are you currently working on?

Though the semester’s beginning means that projects are beginning to languish, I am looking forward to turning my dissertation (which focuses on England the nation, internationally conceived) into a book, and I have been working on an article on digital visualizations of natural imagery in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and another on the derogatory trope of Scottish footwear. I’ve got a few pieces on bobs, wheels, and manuscript mise-en-page coming down the pipe as well.

What do you think is the best part of being a medievalist?

Other than the people you meet? The breadth of the area. Being a medievalist has opened me up to such a variety of scholarship and scholars. It can be a pain to be expected to teach a thousand years’ worth of literature, but I’m always stretching myself because of it, and meeting interesting folks along the way. The word “medievalist” can also raise eyebrows in a really satisfying way outside of academic circles.

Why did you join the CSM? What other societies do you belong to?

When I was an undergraduate looking to do graduate work, my soon-to-be supervisor, Dr. Yin Liu, said I ought to consider joining. I’m glad that I have: the CSM is a warm, supportive community even when one isn’t able to make it to the annual meetings, and for those of us now living in Trumpland, having a (any!) connection to the motherland is a real boon. I also belong to the Medieval Academy of America, The New Chaucer Society, and The International Arthurian Society.

Where can we find/read some of your work?

The latest volume of Studies in Iconography (2016) has a piece in it by me. I’ve co-authored another piece on mise-en-page that will be coming out, hopefully in 2017, in a collection titled The Medieval Literary beyond Form from Boydell and Brewer.

Any final thoughts?

Teaching at a liberal arts college (Wabash College) has really made me aware of how fortunate we are to have an active, genial community of Canadian medievalists, now connected via the web. I’m glad to have a part in managing the website – and I hope I can bring some useful updates to the site in the near future. 


February 17, 2017

Kalamazoo ICM 2017

Sessions sponsored by the Centre for Medieval Literature and the Canadian Society of Medievalists/Société canadienne des médiévistes


Friday, 10:00 am, #177,  Fetzer 1060

Reconsidering the Boundaries of Late Medieval Political Literature I

Sponsor: Canadian Society of Medievalists/La Société canadienne des médiévistes; Centre for Medieval Literature, Syddansk Univ. and Univ. of York

Organizer: Kristin Bourassa, Centre for Medieval Literature, Syddansk Univ.; Justin Sturgeon, Univ. of West Florida

Presider: Kristin Bourassa


"Political Literature without a Political Nation? An Assessment of the Takkanot ha-Kahal Texts and Other Legislative Literature in Jewish Communities at the End of the Middle Ages" (Martin Borýsek, Centre for Medieval Literature, Univ. of York)

"The Invention of a New Language of Politics in between Medicine, Economics, and Science: The Singular Contribution of Nicole Oresme" (Nicole Hochner, Hebrew Univ. of Jerusalem)

"Late Medieval Princely Hagiography in Rus’ and the Balkans as Political Literature" (Alexandra Vukovich, Newnham College, Univ. of Cambridge)


Friday,1:30 pm #243, Schneider 1135

Reconsidering the Boundaries of Late Medieval Political Literature II

Sponsor: Canadian Society of Medievalists/La Société canadienne des médiévistes; Centre for Medieval Literature, Syddansk Univ. and Univ. of York

Organizer: Kristin Bourassa, Centre for Medieval Literature, Syddansk Univ.; Justin Sturgeon, Univ. of West Florida

Presider: Justin Sturgeon


"Political Tyranny, Women, and Love in Fifteenth-Century Castilian Letters" (Ana M. Montero, St. Louis Univ.)

"Le livre des fais du bon messire Jehan Le Maingre, dit Bouciquat: A Mirror for Princes?" (Craig Taylor, Univ. of York)

"Mirror-for-Magistrates: Reflections on a European Urban Corpus of Political Manuals" (David P. H. Napolitano, Univ. of Cambridge)




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