Friday, November 19, 2010

Paleography class to be offered Spring 2011

Eric Knibbs, Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow, will be teaching a graduate-level Spring 2011 Penn history course, Medieval Latin Paleography (HIST 620.303).

Some knowledge of Latin will be necessary, but he will provide optional weekly meetings at a mutually convenient time for those with less confidence in their language skills.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

3rd Annual Lawrence J. Schoenberg Symposium on Manuscript Studies in the Digital Age

November 19-20, 2010

Cantus scriptus: Technologies of Medieval Song

In partnership with the Rare Book Department of the Free Library of Philadelphia and the Department of Music, Penn Libraries are pleased to announce the 3rd annual Lawrence J. Schoenberg Symposium on Manuscript Studies in the Digital Age. This year's symposium will be on the theme of music in medieval and early modern manuscripts.  We will explore a range of issues relating to music’s materiality in the late medieval period, especially as it pertains to the manuscript source. We will bring together scholars and performers who will examine the ways the written text of music, especially in the unit of the codex, can be expressive as well  as prescriptive; the multiple functions of music’s most important technology – its notation; and finally, the role that modern digital technology can facilitate the study of manuscripts today.
The symposium begins Friday evening at the Free Library of Philadelphia with a lecture and performance by the award-winning early music duo Asteria.  On Saturday at the University of Pennsylvania, seven speakers will present papers on various topics relating to the history of music manuscripts and notation. The symposium will conclude with a roundtable to discuss issues related to the digitization of music manuscripts and related documents and the role of the digital humanities in medieval musicology.

Special exhibitions of music manuscripts will be on view at both institutions.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Fall Semester M@P Meeting Schedule

"Memento Mori" makeup colloquium - 1:30-4:30pm, Oct. 1
Ovid's Metamorphoses - Kevin Brownlee - 5pm, Oct. 20
Carmina Burana - Katie Malczyk - 5pm, Nov. 3
Boethius' De musica - Liz Mellon - 4pm, Nov. 17
Pseudo-Dionysus (TBA) - CJ Jones - 5pm, Dec. 1

All events will be held in the English Grad Lounge in Fisher-Bennett Hall, and readings will be posted ahead of time on Blackboard. Please write to if you would like to have access to the site.

CFP for Third Annual Conference: April 1-2, 2011

Medievalists @ Penn (M@P) Third Annual Graduate Student Conference
"Mater(ia) familias: Family Matters"
April 1-2, 2011, University of Pennsylvania
Keynote speaker: Ann Marie Rasmussen, Duke University

From the nuclear to the royal to the holy, families fill the Middle Ages. As a dominant structuring principle of society, the concept of the family knits together the prevalent social, political and economic relations attending the formation and development of the medieval subject. As an ideological construct, the family motif pervades all spheres of cultural expression, from theological and philosophical debates to literary creations, visual productions and musical compositions. As a taxonomizing unit, the notion of family organizes our understanding of language, of material texts and of literary categories. This year’s theme asks us to probe and complicate the questions of gender, structure and power raised by the idea of the family in order to illuminate the complex discursive relations at the heart of medieval society.

Our conference invites submissions concerning one or more formulations of the idea of family. Proposals might look at actual families, whether functional or dysfunctional, real or supernatural, or seek to theorize more abstract concepts of family in relation to linguistic groups, manuscripts and textual transmission. As per our group's mission, we welcome a plurality of perspectives from across all fields of study in recognition of the profound interdisciplinarity of our common object of inquiry: the Middle Ages.

Topics might include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • genealogies
  • text and manuscript families
  • families of believers
  • divine families, the Trinity
  • monastic orders
  • gender roles
  • supernatural/monstrous families
  • genre and canon formation
  • arranged marriages
  • marriage as economic transaction
  • kinship structures
  • nontraditional/non-nuclear families
  • sibling rivalry
  • conduct manuals, didactic texts
  • wills, legacies, inheritances, posterity
  • language families
  • ruptures, estrangement, long distance relationships
  • incest
  • polygamy
  • childbearing and childrearing
  • dynasties

Please send 300-word abstracts to by January 15, 2011

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Paleography Group

These are the remaining sessions for the paleography workshop this semester:

11/3 6:30-7:30 - Emily Steiner will convene a workshop on late medieval English and Latin alphabetical indexes.

11/17 6:30-7:30 - Marissa Nicosia will convene a workshop on prose and institutional documents in secretary hand.

12/8 5:00-7:00 - Alex Devine will convene a workshop comparing medieval and renaissance manuscripts on a shared topic (topic TBA). There will be wine and dessert to celebrate the end of the semester.

All meetings will be held on Wednesday evenings in the Fisher Bennett Hall grad lounge, Room 330.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Fall 2010 Med/Ren Schedule

During the 2010-2011 academic year, unless stated otherwise, all meetings will be at 5pm in the graduate student lounge in Fisher-Bennett.

October 13 - Marcy North (Penn State)October 27th - CJ Jones (Penn)November 10th - Carla Mazzio (University of Buffalo)December 2nd - Patricia Dailey (Columbia) - a Thursday evening meeting, co-hosted with the Theorizing Reading Group

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Memento Mori Make-Up Colloquium

Image courtesy of the Folger Shakespeare Library of the Folger Institute

Snowbanks could not daunt us, nor blizzards deter us from our way! Installment Part Deux of the Second Annual Medievalists @ Penn Graduate Student Conference returns -- refomulated and reconfigured into a roundtable Q&A and discussion of pre-circulated papers from five of the conference panelists unable to present their work earlier.

Please join us on Friday, October 1st, in the English Grad Lounge from 1:30 - 4:30 pm. A light lunch will be served. Links to the pre-circulated papers may be found below.

We hope to see you there to kick off M@P's fourth year!

Maeve Doyle (Bryn Mawr): “Presence and Absence: Owner Portraits and a Prayer for the Dying in a Book of Hours ca. 1320.”

Courtney E. Rydel (Penn): “Sex and Sorrow: St. Theodora and St. Savina in the ‘Vernon Golden Legend.’”  and handout.

Elizaveta Strakhov (Penn): ‘And that Compas Seye Men is the Middes of the World’: Mandeville’s Jerusalem and the Simultaneity of History.”

Lydia Kertz (Penn): “Pro Patria Mori: Privileging a Hero’s Death in Sir Tristrem.”

Tekla Bude (Penn): “Death and Absence in Julian of Norwich's Revelation of Divine Love.”