Category Archives: News

Laurent Ferri Presents “The Proud Symbolism of Medieval Heraldry: Why It Matters; Why It Is Fun!”

Cutting on vellum from the Great Choir Book of Ferdinand and Isabella, Castile, ca. 1479-92 Cornell University Library, Division of Rare Books and Manuscripts, #6532 Map Case Folder 8 (New Acquisition)
Join us for a presentation by Laurent Ferri, curator of pre-1800 collections in the Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, adjunct associate professor of comparative literature, and member of the graduate field in the Department of Medieval Studies.  The presentation takes place on Thursday, September 24, from 4:30 to 6:00 p.m. in the Carl A. Kroch Library, room 2B48.

Rare and beautiful materials from the Cornell’s collections will be on display. They document the importance of heraldry to study wars, tournaments, family dynamics and structures, or social identification and control, but also—and perhaps, more unexpectedly—art patronage, cartography, finance, and even pharmacopoeia in Europe from c. 1150-1550, with particular emphasis on the following regions: England, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, and Spain.

This event is cosponsored by Medieval Studies and Cornell University Library.

For more information, contact or call (607) 255-3530.

image: Cutting on vellum from the Great Choir Book of Ferdinand and Isabella, Castile, ca. 1479-92. Cornell University Library, Division of Rare Books and Manuscripts, #6532 Map Case Folder 8 (New Acquisition)

The Medieval Roundtable: A Monthly Series of Graduate Presentations

The Ph.D. students in Medieval Studies begin a series of monthly work-in-progress discussions. These will be held on the first Friday of the month, from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. All are welcome! This semester’s schedule is as follows:

Sep 4 | 2:30 p.m., Goldwin Smith 258
Wyatt Greenlee, “A Moveable Feast: Eels and Spatial Construction in 17th Century England”

Nov 6 | 2:30 p.m., Olin Library rm. 703
Rae Grabowski, “Rumination and Digestion: The Body of Christ and the Word”  

Dec 4 | 2:30 p.m., Olin Library rm. 703
Anna Waymack, “Maximianus and Chaucer’s Reeve”


‘Unfashionable Creatures’: Tolkien’s 1931 Curricular Reform and the Fantastic Imagination

Dr. Maria Sachiko Cecire (Assistant Professor; Director, Experimental Humanities, Bard College) presents “‘Unfashionable Creatures’: Tolkien’s 1931 Curricular Reform and the Fantastic Imagination,” a lecture co-sponsored by Quodlibet and the Medieval Studies program, Friday, April 10 at 4pm in Goldwin Smith Hall G22. A reception follows; this event is open to the public.

Dr. Cecire’s areas of specialization include children’s literature and culture, medieval literature and its reception, media studies, and gender studies. Publications include the coedited volumeSpace and Place in Children’s Literature (Ashgate, 2015), and articles and essays in Medieval English Theatre, Shakespeare Bulletin, The Disney Middle Ages, Anglo-Saxon Culture and the Modern Imagination, Arthurian Literature, The Journal of Children’s Literature Studies, and Studies in Ethnicity and Nationalism.

Ding Xiang Warner publishes “Transmitting Authority”


Ding Xiang Warner [Associate Professor, Asian Studies] has published a new book, Transmitting Authority: Wang Tong and the Zhongshuo in Medieval China’s Manuscript Culture [Brill]. The book “investigates the rise and fall of the cultural currency of the Confucian teacher Wang Tong (ca. 584–617), a.k.a. Master Wenzhong, in the five centuries following his death, by examining the textual and social history of the Zhongshuo, which purports to record Wang Tong’s teachings.” Read more here.

Matthew Giancarlo to deliver workshop and lecture, November 6-7

Matthew Giancarlo (Associate Professor, Engish, University of Kentucky) will host a workshop to discuss his article forthcoming in Exemplaria: “Mirror, Mirror: Princely Hermeneutics, Practical Constitutionalism, and the Genres of the English Fürstenspiegel,” in Olin Library rm. 403 at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, November 6.

He will also give a talk, entitled “Constituting Medievalism?: Historicist Literary Inquiry and the Pitfalls of Narrative,” at 4:30 p.m. on Friday, November 7, in Goldwin Smith 142.

Selected Publications:
“Chaucer and Contemporary Courts of Law and Politics: House, Law, Game.” Chapter in The Oxford Handbook of Chaucer. Forthcoming from Oxford University Press.
“Political Forms and Institutions in Piers Plowman.” Chapter in The Cambridge Companion to Piers Plowman. Cambridge University Press, 2014.
“Dressing up a ‘galaunt’: Traditional Piety and Fashionable Politics in Peter Idley’s ‘translacions’ of Mannyng and Lydgate.” In After Arundel: Religious Writing in Fifteenth-Century England.  Brepols, 2012.
“Troubling the New Constitutionalism: Politics, Penitence, and the Dilemma of Dread in the Digby Poems,” Journal of English and Germanic Philology 110 (2011).
Parliament and Literature in Late Medieval England. Cambridge University Press, 2007.
Other articles and reviews in journals such as Speculum, ELH: English Literary History, Representations, Studies in the Age of Chaucer, The Medieval Review, The Yearbook of Langland Studies, Modern Language Quarterly, and University of Toronto Quarterly.

Carol Symes to present lecture and workshop, November 11-12

Carol Symes (Professor of History and Medieval Studies, University of Illinois) will deliver a lecture on Tuesday, November 11th, at 4:30 p.m. in the Guerlac Room of the AD White House, entitled “Performative Texts, Embodied Literacies, and the Documentary Revolution of Medieval Europe.”

On Wednesday, November 12th, from 10 to 11 a.m. in the English Lounge (258 Goldwin Smith Hall), Professor Symes has agreed to host a workshop for interested faculty and graduate students.  Participants will read, discuss, and comment on a pre-circulated chapter from her current book project.

Scott Gwara Lecture and Roundtable: “Medieval Meets Digital,” Thursday, October 16, 4:30 p.m.

“Medieval Meets Digital: the Manuscriptlink Project and the Cornell Manuscripts”:

Scott Gwara (Univ. of South Carolina)will present a lecture, “Manuscript Fragmentology: Restoring a Medieval Library Online, Page by Page,” in the Kroch Library (Olin), Rare Lecture Room 2B48.

Panelists include Prof. in MS Andrew Galloway, Prof. in MS Andrew Hicks, PhD candidate in MS Ruth Mullett, and digital expert Anne Sauer.

The event is sponsored by the Medieval Studies Program, the French Studies Program, the Cornell library, and the Society for the Humanities.

Cynthia Robinson’s “Imagining the Passion in Multiconfessional Castile” reviewed in “Marginalia”

“Imagining the Passion in Multiconfessional Castile contains a wealth of information, detail, and insight, as well as abundant and beautiful illustrations,” writes Barbara Mujica. “Robinson brings to light countless unpublished and unknown texts and images and elucidates many understudied works. This volume not only alters our understanding of medieval Castilian devotional practices but also helps to bridge the gap between the Spanish Middle Ages and sixteenth-century mysticism, especially that of Teresa of Avila, John of the Cross, and Luis de León.” Read more here.

Benjamin Anderson, Andrew Hicks, and Courtney Roby Launch Medieval Cosmology Collaboration

The arrival at Cornell of three medieval cosmology scholars in the last three years has created a rare density of expertise in the topic, and they have launched a collaboration to take a closer, interdisciplinary look at complex cosmologies and the medieval reception of ancient science. Read more here.

Hannah Byland participates in digital humanities internship program

Medieval manuscripts will meet multimedia in a course taught by Hannah Byland, a third-year Medieval Studies Ph.D. student who is participating in Cornell University Library’s new digital humanities internship program.

Byland is designing a course that will allow her freshmen to augment traditional academic writing with the library’s audiovisual resources – which, she believes, will help her students “mine Cornell’s resources and add to their own understanding of the material.”

Read more here.