Graduate Student Life

Medieval Studies students and faculty

Medieval Studies at Cornell is an intensely alive program. Not all medievalists are in the ; we have a large number of students who are de facto medievalists based in other departments, such as Classics, English, German Studies, History, and Romance Studies. Most of the faculty are not only colleagues, but also friends. There is a great deal of intellectual exchange, informal reading groups, co-teaching, lunches, discussion of one another’s work, supervision of student teaching, lectures, and more.

Listed below are a number of annual and semesterly events in which graduate medievalists at Cornell often participate.

Vagantes Graduate Student Conference

Vagantes is an annual, travelling conference for graduate students studying any aspect of the Middle Ages. The conference was conceived with several goals in mind, which include fostering of a sense of community among medievalists in the beginning stages of their careers, providing exposure to an interdisciplinary forum, and showcasing the resources of the host institutions, all at minimal cost to graduate students.

The conference was held at Cornell in its third year, from March 11-14, 2004. For more information,visit


Quodlibet, the undergraduate society for Medieval Studies (in which many graduates participate), organizes fall and spring guest lectures by non-Cornell medievalists. Quodlibet has a mailing list of over 100 students, professors, and staff in departments all over campus; an even broader membership of undergraduate and graduate students in a wide range of fields who attend our events; and a steering committee of a handful of students.


Each year a group of faculty accompany almost all our students to the International Congress on Medieval Studies at Kalamazoo, Michigan. Most attending faculty and many students give papers.

Medieval Readings

Each December medievalists from across departments and programs congregate for an afternoon of food, drink, and the recitation of poetry and prose in languages current at different times and in many places throughout the medieval world. The program from a recent Festival of Medieval Readings is available here.

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