Giving Day, 16 March, 2023

Giving Day 2023!

Please help the Cornell Medieval Studies Program do even more by supporting us on Giving Day, Thursday March 16, 2023 – it’s quick and easy. Gifts in previous years have funded student research trips, brought scholars to campus for lectures and workshops, and otherwise supported us in keeping the Cornell Medieval Studies Program a world-class hub for pre-modern scholarship. Please visit this link on March 16 to make your gift. Every little bit helps!


Diex vos sait, sæl og blessuð, السلام عليكم, and hello from the Medieval Studies Program at Cornell University! We are excited to share what the Medieval Studies Program has been up to here in Ithaca and what’s to come in the weeks and months ahead. You’re always welcome to join us on Zoom (for our live streamed events) or at the A.D. White House if you’re in the area. Please visit our website and our calendar of events for all the details.

This past December’s annual Festival of Medieval Readings was particularly special, as it was held in honor of Tom Hill, Professor of English and Medieval Studies, who retired after decades of teaching at Cornell. Across a storied career that changed the landscape of medieval literary criticism, Tom has brought erudition, delightful curiosity, and wry humor to broad swaths of medieval learning—from the well-known haunts of Old English, Middle English, and the Anglo-Latin tradition, across the more rarified air of Old Norse-Icelandic, to the Western Germanic fringes of Old Frisian. Some of us have been lucky enough to follow him down some of these paths, many of us have been surprised at one time or another by the remarkable finds of his Wandervogel-spirit, and all of us have benefited from his scholarly erudition, pedagogical generosity, and good humor all along the way.

Other highlights since our last update include the election of Ross Brann, Milton R. Konvitz Professor of Judeo-Islamic Studies, to the Fellows of the Medieval Academy of America. Dr Sophia D’Ignazio (PhD 2022) won the Society for Medieval Feminist Scholarship’s Best Graduate Student Essay for her article entitled “The Carolingian Gender Reform: Making Monastic Women Female in the Eighth and Ninth Century.” Look out for the publication of her essay in a forthcoming issue of Medieval Feminist Forum. Fifth-year PhD candidate Alice Wolff was the lead author of an article recently published in Weed Science (Cambridge University Press), “In the Ruins: The Neglected Link between Archaeology and Weed Science.” Alice and her co-authors chart new interdisciplinary avenues for research at the intersection of archaeobotany and weed ecology. Third-year graduate student Ryan Randle published a provocative piece, “Medieval Arthuriana Was Always Scary, but Not in the Way You’d Think: On Sir Gawain and The Green Knight,” in the Bright Lights Film Journal. Highlighting the oft forgotten terrors of sexual violence in medieval Arthurian literature, a far cry from the Disneyfied version brought to the screen in The Sword and Stone (1963), Ryan argues that the macabre tone of A24’s The Green Night (2021) challenges “old paradigms of understanding the Middle Ages” in popular film (in November 2022, the Medieval Studies Graduate Associate hosted a screening and panel discussion of The Green Knight). Second-year graduate student Zachary Thomas has edited and translated (with Gerhard Eger) Honorius of Autun’s Jewel of the Soul (Gemma animae), forthcoming later this spring in the Dumbarton Oaks Medieval Library, published by Harvard University Press. On March 11, 2023, our graduate students, led by MSSC President Sarah Lavoy-Brunette, recently hosted the 33rd Annual Medieval Studies Student Colloquium on the theme “Lacunae,” which featured an international line-up of fourteen graduate student papers and concluded with a keynote lecture by Wallace Cleaves (Gabrieleno/Tongva), University of California at Riverside, “The Unfilled Space of Colonial Imagination: Medieval America, California, and the Revision of Turtle Island.”

Finally, in May 2022 we celebrated the graduation of four Medieval Studies PhDs (Sophia D’Ignzaio, Ryan Lawrence, Patrick Naeve, and Paul Vinhage), properly fêted three more recent PhDs who earned their degrees while we were unable to hold ceremonies because of the pandemic (Samuel Barber, 2021; John Wyatt Greenlee, 2020; and Abigail Sprenkle, 2021), and congratulated ten undergraduate minors in Medieval Studies and Viking Studies, six from 2022 (Grace Bichler, Friðrik Diehl, Cameron Hamidi, Matthew Harms, Abraham Moss, and Enya Zimecka) and four more from previous years (Peter Buonanno, Carl DiFranco, Colton Poore, and Philip Whitmarsh). Join me in congratulating all our recent graduates.

Upcoming lectures, seminars, and events

March 16 (Olin Library 703): Medieval Studies Graduate Student Roundtable: Kate Bajorek, “An Eternal Home: Reconsidering Eaves-Drip Burial through Affective and Domestic Archaeology.”

March 16 (Olin Library B32): Medieval Writing Open House, sponsored by the CUL Conservation Lab.

March 21 (AD White House): Paul Vinhage (Cornell), “Which Came First, the Letter or the Sound? Grammatical Theory and Practice in the Early Middle Ages.”

March 28 (AD White House): Adam Matthews (Cornell), “Thresholds of Heaven: The Creation and Judicial Use of Sacred Space in Post-Carolingian Catalonia, 800–1100.”

April 11 (Goldwin Smith Hall 142): Toni Alimi (Cornell), “Natural Liberty and Slavery in Suarez.”

April 20 (Olin Library 703): Medieval Studies Graduate Student Roundtable, Hunter Phillips, “De la meschine vus voel dire: Female Lovesickness in Le Roman de Silence.”

April 22 (Goldwin Smith G64): “Modern Extremism and the Medieval World,” a lecture and workshop with Sammy Rangel, co-founder of “Life after Hate” (in collaboration with Union College and Fordham University).

April 25 (AD White House): Alan R. van der Arend (Cornell), “What Counted as ‘Thought’ in Late-Medieval Italy?”

May 4 (Olin Library 703): Medieval Studies Graduate Student Roundtable, Thari Zweers, “Christine de Pizan’s Construction of Borders in the Ditié de la Jehanne d’Arc.”

May 26–27: Save the dates for our Medieval Studies Commencement (reception, Friday, May 26, 4:30–6pm; ceremony, Saturday, 10–11:30am).

Other 2022–23 lecturers

Benjamin Anderson (Cornell), Tarren Andrews (Yale University), Nancy Marie Brown (independent scholar), Wallace Cleaves (University of California at Riverside), Monica Green (independent scholar), John Wyatt Greenlee (Cornell), Mirela Ivanova (University of Sheffield), Ryan Lawrence (Cornell), Laura Morreale (independent scholar), Patrick Naeve (Cornell)

Some the new and forthcoming books by faculty and graduate students

Benjamin Anderson, co-editor, Is Byzantine Studies a Colonialist Discipline? (Penn State University Press, 2023)

Benjamin Anderson, co-editor, The Byzantine Neighbourhood: Urban Space and Political Action (Routledge, 2022).

Kim Haines-Eitzen, Sonorous Desert: What Deep Listening Taught Early Christian Monks – and What It Can Teach Us (Princeton University Press, 2022).

Jason Sion Mokhtarian, Medicine in the Talmud: Natural and Supernatural Therapies between Magic and Science (University of California Press, 2022).

Courtney Roby, The Mechanical Tradition of Hero of Alexandria (Cambridge University Press, 2023).

Zachary Thomas, co-editor and translator, Honorius Augustodunensis: Jewel of the Soul (Dumbarton Oakes Medieval Library, Harvard University Press, 2023).

farað gesunde, ἔρρωσο, خداحافظ, salve (etc.),

Andrew Hicks

Director, Medieval Studies Program

More news

2022 Festival of Medieval Readings_Patrick