CFP 2018 Conference Channeling Relations in Medieval England and France

Organizers: Stephanie Grace-Petinos (University of Wisconsin-Madison); Deborah McGrady (University of Virginia); Elizabeth Robertson (University of Glasgow); Sara Rychtarik (Graduate Center, CUNY)
Date: May 4, 2018
Location: CUNY Graduate Center
This event is hosted by Pearl Kibre Medieval Study at the CUNY Graduate Center

For medievalists, interdisciplinary work has always been a necessity, and our major annual conferences reflect this need to broaden our understanding of the dynamic and widespread time period. While medieval scholars may specialize in one area of medieval studies, they also understand that separating traditions – by culture, language, religion, geographic borders, etc. – can create a limited and narrow understanding of the Middle Ages. This is especially the case for medievalists who study medieval England and France. Although, or perhaps because, they were frequently engaged in war, these two countries had many rich literary and cultural exchanges over the course of the Middle Ages. For Middle English scholars, French literature and music are often valuable resources for the sources of the works of popular authors such as Geoffrey Chaucer, and so are often read in medieval English classes. Yet why is Chaucer not routinely read in French departments? Or, on the other side, medieval English texts, law, as well as literature, were often written in French, not English. But British literature survey courses often limit their coverage of the Anglo-French corpus to one or two lais of Marie de France.

This one-day conference offers the opportunity for scholars, whether they usually preserve or cross departmental lines in their own work, to come together with scholars from departments with whom they may not routinely discuss academic work/research/approaches. While this conference focuses on literary and cultural exchanges between England and France, we are not discounting other traditions and welcome submissions for individual papers or full panel proposals that also incorporate other perspectives, particularly non-western.

Topics to be discussed can include, but are by no means limited to:
– A text that belongs to both the English and French traditions
– A text, legend or corpus of characters that exist with variations in each tradition
– A textual theme shared by both traditions
– A historical event that occurred in both traditions (i.e. The Hundred Years War)
– Religious orders or religious figures prominent in both England and France
– Historical or literary figures that travel throughout England and France
– French texts that circulate within England; English texts that circulate within France; English and/or French texts that circulate within both England and France

Please send abstracts of 250 words to by December 31, 2017.

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Teaching the Middle Ages Workshop Documents and Resources

Lesson Plan Workshop with Paola Ureni

Points to consider:
Connect to our time for student interest

Medieval and Now shares common ideas (mind, soul, individual, etc.)

Greater complexity in those concepts for Medieval

Helpful links

This site is a collection of materials for teaching medieval classes. Particularly recommended is the Medieval or Modern questionaire. (Note: may require registration).

A blog which explores the impact of Chaucer’s works around the world. Includespedagogical ideas and resources, such as “Teaching the Wife of Bath through Adaptation.”

Useful texts (not necessarily medieval)

“Why Read the Classics” Italo Calvino

Jeffrey Jerome Cohen “Monster Culture (Seven Theses)”

For teaching the Gothic

Eve Sedgwick The Coherence of Gothic Conventions (used with Scooby-Doo episodes)

Writing instruction materials



Sample syllabi




Sample lesson plans

lessonplanjephthahsdaughterlessonplanonchaucerandplagiarism lesson plans – lanval and the wanderer Beowulf OE guidelines

Stay tuned for information about our final workshop of the semester.

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Conference Full Schedule with Participants

9:30: Registration


10:00: Panel One | Looking Back at Looking Back: Pre-Modern Views of the Past

Moderator:  Alexander Baldassano, CUNY Graduate Center


Classicisms and Medievalisms in the Songs of Raimbaut de Vaqueiras

Clare Wilson, CUNY Graduate Center


Poking Holes in the Walls of the Patriarchy: The Pyramus and Thisbe Myth in Chaucer and Shakespeare

Jennifer Alberghini, CUNY Graduate Center


For Your Reference (and Reverence): Illustrated Relic Directories and German Media Theory for the Late Middle Ages

Christian Whitworth, Tufts University


Coffee Break


11:30: Panel Two | Enlightening Students about the Dark Ages: Teaching with Pre-Modernisms

Moderator: Allen Strouse, CUNY Graduate Center


Shame! Shame! Shame! Teaching Puritanism with The Game of Thrones

Christina Katopodis, CUNY Graduate Center


Introducing Witch Diction: An Investigation and Analysis of the Pedagogical Presentation of Witchcraft in the Undergraduate Historical Seminar Setting

Ryan Kelly, Eastern University


12:30: Lunch Break


1:30: Panel Three | Young and Modern: Depictions of the Medieval from Tolkien to Today

Moderator: Mary Jean McNamara, CUNY Graduate Center


Fighting the Past: Medieval Dragons in Children’s and YA Literature

Esther Bernstein, CUNY Graduate Center


Tolkien’s Unstable Machinery: The Lord of the Rings as Mimetic History

Micheal Angelo Rumore, CUNY Graduate Center


Compression Dangerous and Beautiful: Incest as Intimate Politics in Elizabeth E. Wein’s The Winter Prince

Rebecca Fullan, CUNY Graduate Center




3:00: Keynote | TRANSTEMPORALITIES: Freud and Mehmed II @ Troy

Kathleen Biddick, Temple University

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12th Annual PKMS Graduate Student Conference-Pre-Modernisms Preliminary Schedule



Pearl Kibre Medieval Study

12th Annual Graduate Student Conference

Friday, October 28, 2016

9:30am – 5pm

The Graduate Center, CUNY

Room 9204

Schedule of Events


9:30: Registration


10:00: Panel One

Looking Back at Looking Back:

Pre-Modern Views of the Past


Coffee Break


11:30: Panel Two

Enlightening Students about the Dark Ages:

Teaching with Pre-Modernisms


12:30: Lunch Break


1:30: Panel Three

Young and Modern:

Depictions of the Medieval

from Tolkien to Today



3:00: Keynote

Kathleen Biddick


Freud and Mehmed II @ Troy


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Coming Attraction


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A CFP of Possible Interest for Kalamazoo

Passing along for our colleagues at Rutgers:

Cultural and Literary Transmission in the Global Middle Ages (Kalamazoo 2017)

Sponsored by the Rutgers Program for Medieval Studies

Organizers: Izzy Stern and Erik Wade

Scholarship on the global Middle Ages has flourished in recent years, examining the role that a global community played in the medieval period. Such work demonstrates the remarkable links between various civilizations in the medieval period and the extent to which the Middle Ages truly were a hotbed of trade. Recent scholarship has considered the cultural interactions of trade, literary transmission, pilgrimage, religious conversion, explorers, colonization, and military expeditions. Building off of this work, this panel seeks to consider the role of intercultural interactions in the Middle Ages.

This panel seeks entries from all disciplines and invites applicants to interpret “interactions” broadly. Presenters may discuss literary interactions, military, exploratory, cultural, trade, political, religious, or anything else. Whether investigating the story of Abul-Abbas—the elephant given to the Carolingian Emperor Charlemagne by the Abbasid Caliph Harun al-Rashid—or the spread of coal-based iron production in eleventh-century China or the tenth-century journey of Ahmad ibn Fadlān from Baghdad through modern-day Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan to the camp of the Bulghār khan on the Volga river, papers may consider a variety of kinds of “interactions” in a globalized medieval period.

How did medieval writers and historians conceive of these interactions? How were these interactions recorded or remembered? How often was a particular story’s genealogy and foreign origins remembered, for example? What can we say about the trauma caused by these often violent interactions? How do these interactions help us reconceive of usually static terms such as “culture,” “country,” “nation,” and others? How did medieval people see themselves fitting in to the scale of the “global?” In modern depictions of the medieval world, how have these interactions been forgotten in the preservation of a white Middle Ages?

Please send questions, abstracts of 300 words, and participant information forms ( to both Izzy Stern ( and Erik Wade ( by September 10.

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CFP for 2017 International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, MI

CFP: Persecution, Punishment, and Purgatory I-II: Methodological Considerations, Historical Explorations

Sponsored by the Medieval Studies Certificate Program, Graduate Center, CUNY

52nd International Congress on Medieval Studies, May 11-14, 2017, Kalamazoo, MI

Societies and cultures shape themselves in part through a series of exclusions, and those exclusions may involve both individual punishment and the persecution of particular groups. Of course, medieval societies and cultures had their own distinct modes of exclusion, punishment, and persecution. R.I. Moore famously, if controversially, argued for the “formation of a persecuting society” in the Central Middle Ages; interestingly, the same moment sees (in Jacques LeGoff’s terminology) “the birth of Purgatory.” These panels consider these issues in two different directions: methodological, asking how we read the limited documentary evidence to understand the position of the persecuted, as well as the persecutor, and historically, looking at representations in a variety of documents (e.g. trial records, art, and literature) to consider these questions through disparate methodologies (Please specify which panel you are applying to).

Please send 250-word abstract and PIF to by September 15, 2016.

Topics might include, but certainly are not limited to:

  • the origins and uses of persecution
  • the experience of religious and ethnic pogroms
  • forced conversions and expulsions
  • persecution as a method of socio-cultural nation and identity formation
  • the character of legal and extra-legal punishment
  • punishment as a form of discipline
  • self-inflicted and devotional punishment
  • the role of punishment in the family
  • the variations of punishment based on class, status, and gender
  • punishment as social control
  • concepts of the afterlife
  • the relationship between sin/punishment and the afterlife
  • liminal spaces
  • peripheries
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12th Annual PKMS Graduate Student Conference CFP

Pre-Modernisms: Friday, October 28th, The Graduate Center, CUNY

As the famous sayings go, everything old is new again, and history repeats itself. How many times have we heard someone described as a Renaissance man or woman, or something that seems old-fashioned called “medieval?” Scholars of these periods often find, of course, that such evaluations are, at best, inaccurate. However, trans-temporal approaches to study and even historical anachronisms can produce fruitful new inquiries into our fields, from contemporary children’s literature that engages in medievalisms to produce new fantasy worlds to queer and transgender studies that attempt to see the past from non-normative perspectives. This conference aims to bring together a wide variety of scholars of different disciplines and especially different time periods to pair what we know about the classical, medieval, and early modern periods with what later times perceive about these periods and how they manipulate the past for present agendas. As such, this conference is aimed not only at pre-modern scholars, but also at scholars of later and contemporary periods whose work engages in envisioning the past.

Please submit a 300-word abstract no later than September 15 at 5 PM.


Topics may include, but are not limited to:

Arthurian Tradition

Early Book Collections

Architectural Styles

Medieval TV and Film

Children’s and Young Adult Literature

Historical Fiction

J.R.R. Tolkien

Historically Based Political Rhetoric

History of Marginal Perspectives

Law and the Legal Tradition

Renaissance Humanism

Philosophical Traditions

Renaissance Faires and Period Dress

Medieval and Early Modern Adaptations of Classical Texts

Premodern Recipes and Remedies

Contemporary Classroom Approaches

Linguistic Developments

Premodern Historiography (including history plays)

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Conference Livestreaming

To view a livestream of the conference, visit

and click on the Medieval Graduate Student Conference.

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“Sanctity and Sinfulness: Hagiographical Studies in Memory of Thomas Head” – 2016 Conference Schedule

We are pleased to announce the schedule for the Pearl Kibre Medieval Study’s upcoming annual graduate student conference, “Sanctity and Sinfulness: Hagiographical Studies in Memory of Thomas Head.” The conference will be held on Friday, February 26 from 10:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. in Room 9204 of the CUNY Graduate Center.

10:30 Registration

11:00   Panel 1: Embodiment and Evidence in the Lives of Holy Women

  1. Alexander Baldassano, CUNY Graduate Center – The Life of Saint Eugenia: Beyond Gender in the Legenda Aurea
  2. Alicia Cannizzo, CUNY Graduate Center – The Case of Margherita of Città di Castello and the Burden of Proof for Sainthood in the Later Middle Ages

12:00   Lunch Break

1:00     Roundtable: Hagiography and the Work of Thomas Head: The Legends and the Legacy

  1. Marlene Hennessy, CUNY Hunter
  2. Paul Freedman, Yale University
  3. Cynthia Hahn, CUNY Graduate Center & Hunter

2:30     Exploring the Kinship of the Sacred and the Secular

  1. Stephanie Petinos, CUNY Graduate Center – Relicized bodies in Le Roman de la Manekine
  2. Alyssa Coltrain, Rutgers University – “Now art thus Goddus child”: Appropriating Hagiography and Rewriting Family in Sir Gowther
  3. David A. Heayn, CUNY Graduate Center – Byzantine Monasticism in Two Anatolian Provinces, ca. 500-700

4:15     Reception, room 5105

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