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2019-2020 PKMS Events

Check back on this website and on our Facebook page for updates!

September 13, Friday, 2019

Welcome Back + Business Meeting
Room 5105, The Graduate Center, CUNY

October 4, Friday, 2019

Workshop with David Perry
The Public Scholar in the Precarious University: A Workshop with David Perry
Room 5409, The Graduate Center, CUNY

December 20, Friday, 2019

End-of-Year Business Meeting
Room 5105, The Graduate Center, CUNY

early-February, 2020 (tentative)

Welcome Back + Business Meeting & Student Work-in-Progress Workshop

mid-March, 2020 (tentative)

Student Work-in-Progress Workshop

early-April, 2020 (tentative)
“Whan that Aprille Day” poetry event

May 1, Friday, 2020: Annual Conference
Working Through and Beyond the “Global Turn” in Medieval Studies
Keynote Speaker: Kathleen Davis, University of Rhode Island

October 4, 2019: The Public Scholar in the Precarious University, a workshop with David Perry

The Public Scholar in the Precarious University: A Workshop with David Perry

Friday, October 4, 2019, 2:00pm-3:30pm
Room 5409, The Graduate Center, CUNY

Should academics go public? How does it work? What are the risks of speaking out? What are the risks of being silent? What are the benefits? How to go about it? David Perry, a widely-published journalist and historian, will speak about the perils and promises of breaking out of the Ivory Tower in this networked age, then lead the group in a workshop where they think about their own public voice.

David Perry is a journalist and medieval historian. After receiving a PhD from the University of Minnesota in 2006, David was a professor of history at Dominican University in the Chicago area. His book, Sacred Plunder: Venice and the Aftermath of the Fourth Crusade (Penn State University Press in 2015) explores the construction and contests over the memorialization of the Fourth Crusade as revealed in texts about the movement of relics from East to West. Since 2013, David has published over 400 essays in numerous outlets, including CNN, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, Pacific Standard, and The Nation. His journalism covers contemporary politics, parenting, health justice, higher education, and the myriad ways that history informs the present.

Co-sponsored by Pearl Kibre Medieval Study, the Medieval Studies Certificate Program, PublicsLab and the Center for the Humanities at the Graduate Center, CUNY

The workshop will be followed by David Perry’s evening talk at 7:30pm for Medieval Club of New York in the English Department Lounge, Room 4406, on “Online Fanboys, Medievalism, and Global White Supremacy,” co-sponsored by Medieval Club of New York, the Russell Hope Memorial Fund, PublicsLab, and the Center for the Humanities. The full description for the talk “Online Fanboys, Medievalism, and Global White Supremacy” is here.

Crossing Boundaries: Program

Conference Schedule
Friday, May 3, 2019

The CUNY Graduate Center
365 5th Avenue
New York, NY 10016
Room 5409

Tapestry: Wild Men and Moors; German about 1440 From the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

8:30am-9:00am Registration & Breakfast

9:00am-10:15am Panel #1: Crossing TEMPORAL Boundaries
Moderator: Dainy Bernstein

Fate, Faust, and Magical Girls: Japanese Reception of German Medievalism through the Case of Puelli Magi Madoka Magicka
William Arguelles, GC

Crossing the Irish Border: Towards an Understanding of Ireland’s Early Medieval Sculptural Heritage
Megan Henvey, University of York

10:15am-10:25am Coffee Break

10:25am-11:40am Panel #2: Crossing AESTHETIC Boundaries
Moderator: Robin Hizme

“Luminous and Gracefully Decorated”: A Guided Reading of the Armenian Lives of the Fathers
Earnestine Qiu, Tufts University

Le Roman de la Rose and the Dialectic of Vices: Text and Image
Cortney Berg, Arizona State University

“In swich Englissh as he kan”: A Study of Chaucer’s Vernacular
Wesley Boyko, Vanderbilt University

11:40am-11:50am Coffee Break

11:50am-1:05pm Panel #3: Crossing NORMATIVE Boundaries
Moderator: Jennifer Alberghini

The Precarious Language of Madness in Thomas Hoccleve’s Complaint
Emily Price, GC

The Well Behaved Rarely Make History: A Case Study of Cross-Dressing in Regard to Sodomy Laws and Gender Constructions in the High and Late Middle Ages
Margaret Paz, San Francisco State University

“How Can I Know if This is Truly a Sickness, or Something Else?”: Medieval Epistemology of Humoral Imbalance of the Love-Sick Body in Cligès

Miranda Hajduk, GC

1:05pm-2:10pm Lunch Break

2:10pm-3:10pm Roundtable: Teaching Across Boundaries in Medieval Classes
Moderator: Steven Kruger, Queens College and GC
Kristina Richardson (History, Queens College), Jennifer Ball (Art History, Brooklyn College and GC), Abby Kornfeld (Art History and Jewish Studies, City College of New York), Lauren Mancia (History, Brooklyn College)

3:10pm-3:20pm Coffee Break

3:20pm-4:35pm Panel #4: Crossing CULTURAL Boundaries
Moderator: William Arguelles

Tristan and the Medieval World
Mark-Allan Donaldson, GC

Majority in Number, Minority in Status, the Legacy of Byzantium in Islamic State Administration
Aliya Abdukadir Ali, Exeter University

Gender, Disability, and Jews in the Old English “Elene”: Intersections
Heide Estes, Monmouth University

4:35-4:45pm Coffee Break

4:45pm-5:45pm Keynote
Moderator: Soojung Choe

Of Saracens and Their Objects in the Epic: Translation, Association, Desire
Shirin Khanmohamadi, San Francisco State University

5:45pm Reception

Medieval Family Matters: A Graduate Student Panel

flyer for event

Friday, March 1
The Graduate Center, CUNY
365 Fifth Avenue
Room 5409


  • Jennifer Alberghini (English, GC)
  • Joseph Pentangelo (Linguistics, GC)
  • Dainy Bernstein (English, GC)
  • Izzy Stern (English, Rutgers)

Faculty Respondent:
Sara McDougall (History, John Jay & French, GC)

Race and Religion in the Middle Ages: A Roundtable

Join us for a roundtable of graduate students discussing their work on race and religion in the Middle Ages.

Wednesday, December 12, 6-8pm
The Graduate Center, CUNY
Room 5409

Mark-Allan Donaldson: studying medieval texts without ignoring the presence of racial tension and representation.
William Arguelles: the essentially connected nature of the feminine and dynasty, and medieval imperialism.
Paola Maria Rodriguez: pagan characters in Dante’s Purgatorio.
Soojung Choe: shifting modes of representation of ‘Saracens’ from medieval romance to early modern theatre.

November 27: Guest Lecture, Carissa Harris

Voicing Violence:
Reading Rape Survival Narratives from the Medieval Pastourelle to the Daniel Holtzclaw Case

Carissa Harris
Temple University

November 27, 6-8pm
The Graduate Center, CUNY
Room 5409


2018-2019 Events

Check back on this website and on our Facebook page for updates!

October 10: Student Workshop
Medievalist Methods: An Interdisciplinary Workshop
Room 5409

November 27: Guest Lecture
Carissa Harris, “Voicing Violence: Reading Rape Survival Narratives from the Medieval Pastourelle to the Daniel Holtzclaw Case.”
Room 5409

December 12: Student Roundtable / Workshop
Race and Religion in the Middle Ages

March 1: Student Roundtable / Workshop
Medieval Family Matters: A Student Roundtable

April 1:
“Whan that Aprille Day” poetry event

May 3: Annual Conference
Crossing Boundaries: Toward an Interdisciplinary Medieval Studies
Keynote Speaker: Shirin Khanmohamadi, San Francisco State University

Medievalist Methods: An Interdisciplinary Workshop

October 10, 2018
Room TBA

Join us for presentations from students and faculty about their research methods and challenges, with specific attention to interdisciplinary work, followed by open discussion among all participants and attendees.

(Save the event on Facebook.)

Decentralizing Europe in Medieval Studies

Paleography and Manuscript Studies Workshop

Dear all,

Please join the Pearl Kibre Medieval Study on Friday, Nov. 6th in Rm. 5409 from 1-3 PM for a paleography and manuscript studies workshop. Facilitated by Dr. Michael Sargent, the workshop is designed to introduce Medieval and Early Modern handwritings and manuscript studies.

We hope you are able to join us!


The Pearl Kibre Medieval Study

Publishing for Graduate Students: A Recap

PublishingforGraduateStudents Chad Turner’s comprehensive notes

Panel Questions

Karl Steel’s Facebook post https://www.facebook.com/karl.steel/posts/10205622561577917

Panelists: Karl Steel, Associate Professor of English Literature at Brooklyn College and CUNY Graduate Center

Jennifer Ball Brooklyn College and CUNY Graduate Center

Moderator: Mary Catherine Kinniburgh

  • Both panelists admitted to unusual first publication experiences: Karl Steel’s first article as a Master’s student was a translation of French travel literature from a West African who traveled to the Soviet Union; Jennifer Ball’s first publication was her book, which she completed in a post-doc
  • Jennifer Ball never published in grad school, though from her experience on search committees, many more graduate students have publications on their resumes now.
  • Other publications besides articles in peer-review journals are book reviews, book chapters, encyclopedia entries, catalogs [for Art History]
  • Keep priorities–don’t let publishing distract from dissertation writing
  • Karl Steel suggested, after chapters are complete, to take 7000 words of the bulk and submit (Standard journal articles are 6-7000 w0rds)
  • Journal articles are “pithy,” (often stronger) arguments get straight to the point, more condensed that a book, not need to burden with background from the filed
  • Recommended reading Writing Your Journal Article in Twelve Weeks Wendy Belcher, Getting It Published and From Dissertation to Book William Germano
  • Book reviews: less important than other genres, suggested mainly if it’s useful to your work
  • How to write a book review: describe the argument in 2-3 paragraphs, end discuss what would have liked to be in it, although for grad students, this should just be evaluation instead
  • How to publish things: people ask; conference networking is important(Often writing projects can be solicited by others as one becomes known in the field)
  • For articles, don’t meander, have a strong central argument; shouldn’t feel like a seminar paper
  • Why an article might be rejected: argument doesn’t hold up because of incorrect facts, weak writing (lacks clarity or organization)
  • blog posts–not as popular as used to be, but still useful for writing, get people to read things
  • Reading your paper like a blog post is a good way of gauging how readers might react
  • Writing groups are useful, having both insiders and outsiders read it
  • Karl Steel suggests writing for 15-20 minutes a day (or banking that time for longer sessions)
  • Getting straight to the point with  articles–start with an anecdote
  • Editing other people’s work will help you in  your own work (as well as helping them)
  • If your professor tells you that you should publish something, you should take their advice on revisions and submit it
  • Conference questions help expand your argument, can be included in drafts
  • Mostly contraction is necessary for revision; focus in on your central argument
  • Publishing early doesn’t mean that you will run out of ideas
  • When submitting to a journal, a cover letter will tell what it’s about
  • Dissertation embargo: Putting dissertation online may not be the problem that it is often feared–so far there has not been a case where it’s prevented something from being published
  • Journals, particularly second-tier publications, are hungry for content–submission is doing them a favor
  • Submission etiquette: Can’t submit to more than one journal at a time
  • usually editors will tell you when to expect it back, generally 2-3 months; it’s okay to ask after 4 months or more (it may be that the reviewer has not gotten back to the editor)
  • Peer reviewers are people in the field outside of the journal
  • The importance of gossip–useful to know the status of journals to be sure if your work will actually be published
  • Peer review is the gold standard
  • Kalamazoo and other conferences are good to meet people–introduce yourself to panelists, follow them on Twitter, send emails, etc.
  • Co-authored works–not the same as a monograph on a CV but still useful–if have a more established person in the field writing with you, it looks good (see Karl Steel’s recent co-authored review essay in postmedieval with Jeffrey Jerome Cohen https://www.academia.edu/11985941/Race_Travel._Time_Heritage_a_review_essay)
  • Rejection is inevitable: get used to it
  • Usual responses: Accepted as is (rare), accepted upon revision, revise and resubmit, rejected
  • Try to follow their submission requirements as closely as possible (formats, etc.)
  • Image rights (manuscripts as well as art)–usually get from libraries, write to them
  • Make sure images are in a TIF file, not JPEG

Publishing for Graduate Students: A (Premodern) Panel

The Pearl Kibre Medieval Study is pleased to announce an interdisciplinary faculty panel on publishing for graduate students, to be held Wednesday, April 15, 3:30pm-5:00pm at The Graduate Center, CUNY, Room 5409.

Students will hear from Karl Steel (Assistant Professor of English, Brooklyn College and The Graduate Center, CUNY), Jennifer Ball (Professor of Early Christian and Byzantine Art, Brooklyn College and The Graduate Center, CUNY), and Anne Stone (Associate Professor of Music, The Graduate Center, CUNY), who will address a variety of questions on digital versus print publications, manuscript preparation, journal selection, and beyond.

We look forward to seeing you there.


Event Honoring Gordon Whatley – Nov. 21

On November 21, 2014, starting at 3 p.m., the Ph.D. Program in English at the CUNY Graduate Center will host an event honoring Gordon Whatley on the occasion of his retirement.

At 3 p.m., students and colleagues will speak about Gordon’s work at CUNY, and at 4 p.m., there will be a lecture:

Robert Upchurch, University of North Texas
“An Anglo-Saxon Bishop and his Book: Liturgical Performance as Pastoral Care in the Wake of the Norman Conquest.”

The talk tells a story of Bishop Leofric of Exeter and a book of pastoral materials he used to navigate the regime change of 1066. Both book and bishop weathered the Norman Conquest, and I suggest the former aided the latter in doing so. As spiritual head of a city that found itself in a precarious political position in the wake of William’s victory, Leofric put to practical use a set of episcopal rites for public penance that had been earlier compiled for study. The bishop’s performances of highly-orchestrated, dramatic Ash Wednesday and Maundy Thursday services helped him to mend the frayed social fabric of his city and to shepherd a motley flock through the aftermath of extraordinarily tumultuous times.

The lecture will be followed by a reception.

The event will take place at the CUNY Graduate Center, 365 Fifth Avenue, New York, in room 4406 (English Program).

“Erecting Sex: Hermaphrodites and the Making of Surgery in Medieval Europe” – lecture by Leah DeVun, Friday, Oct. 3

- Jacob van Maerlant, Der Naturen Bloeme
– Jacob van Maerlant, Der Naturen Bloeme

Please join us for a lecture by Leah DeVun on Friday, October 3, 2014 at 6:00 PM in Room 5409 of the Graduate Center, CUNY. Reception to follow!

Dr. DeVun is an Associate Professor of Women’s and Gender History at Rutgers University.

“Erecting Sex: Hermaphrodites and the Making of Surgery in Medieval Europe”

In this paper, DeVun focuses on ‘hermaphrodites’ and the emerging profession of surgery in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. During this period, surgeons made novel claims about their authority to regulate sexual difference by surgically ‘correcting’ errant sexual anatomies. Their theories about sex, she argues, drew upon both ancient roots and contemporary conflicts to conceptualize sexual difference in ways that influenced Western Europe for centuries after. She argues that a close examination of medieval surgical texts complicates orthodox narratives in the broader history of sex and sexuality: medieval theorists approached sex in sophisticated and varied manners that belie any simple opposition of modern and premodern paradigms. In addition, because surgical treatments of hermaphrodites in the Middle Ages prefigure in many ways the treatment of atypical sex (a condition now called, controversially, intersex or Disorders of Sex Development) in the modern Western world, she suggests that the writings of medieval surgeons have the potential to provide new perspectives on our current debates about surgery and sexual difference.

This event is co-sponsored by the Pearl Kibre Medieval Study and the Doctoral Students’ Council.

Medieval Congress (K’zoo) Run Through

Salutations, medievalist friends!

We are planning a run-through for anyone that is giving a paper at Kalamazoo (or anywhere, really). We are meeting in the medieval study (room 5105) on Friday, May 2, at 4:00pm. At 4:45, we will hold an official group meeting. Following the meeting, everyone is welcome to stay for pizza and a medieval-themed movie!

We hope to see you there!

SYMPOSIUM To commemorate the retirement of DAVID GREETHAM

To commemorate the retirement of DAVID GREETHAM
from the doctoral faculty of the CUNY Graduate Center.

CUNY Graduate Center, 365 5th Ave, New York, NY 10016

Schedule of Events
12:00: Welcome: Carrie Hintz, Deputy Executive Officer; Master of Ceremonies: Ammiel Alcalay, Deputy Executive Officer.

12:15: Textual Workshop, Thesis Room, 4th Floor: Randall McLeod, University of Toronto: “Fiatflux”
A light lunch will be served. Limited to 15 participants: RSVP to david.greetham@gmail.com.

Opening Poem: Joyce Ashuntantang (University of Hartford)

1:30-3:30: Panel Discussion: Autopsies: The Textual Body after David Greetham
Marta Werner, Moderator (D’Youville College)
Panelists: Emily Lauer (Suffolk County Community College). “Judge a Book by its Cover: Textual Scholarship of Pop Culture.”
Katherine D. Harris (San José State University), “Marking the Body, Marking the Text: David Greetham’s ‘Archive Fever’ ”
Jeffrey Drouin, (University of Tulsa), “Iconoclastic Textuality: The Ecclesiastical Proust Archive”
Matthew G. Kirschenbaum (University of Maryland), “.txtual Forensics”

3:30-4:00: Open session for comments, embarrassing recollections, brickbats, etc.

4:00-5:30: Friday Forum Lecture(s): Randall McLeod, “It’s Greek to David: Two Demi-Talks”

Closing Poem: Joyce Ashuntantang.

6:00—on: Post-symposium Party in Thurgood Marshall events room at 80 LaSalle Street, Morningside Gardens: No. 1 train to 125 Street. RSVP to rberson@gmail.com.

This event is not organized by the PKMS, but so many of us have been influenced by Professor Greetham that it is important we show our appreciation. (Remember how he moderated our roundtable last fall..?)

More Medieval Studies Events

Annual IUDC Graduate Student Colloquium
The Annual Graduate Student Medieval New York Colloquium
SUNY Stony Brook Manhattan Campus
Friday, March 14, 2014 – 9:30 – 4:30

The French of Outremer: Communities and Communications in the Crusading  Mediterranean
34th Annual Conference of the Center for Medieval Studies
Fordham University, Lincoln Center Campus
Saturday, March 29-30, 2014

Medieval Congress
The 49th International Congress on Medieval Studies
Western Michigan University
May 8-11, 2014

Boccaccio’s 700th Birthday Party

Greetings, friends of the medieval and early modern eras!

2013 is the 700th birthday of our boy Giovanni Boccaccio, and before the year is out, we’d would like to throw him a party.
The party will be co-chosted by the Pearl Kibre Medieval Study and the Early Modern Interdisciplinary Group.

Monday, December 16 (reading day)
5:00 pm
GC, room 5414

The party is potluck. We encourage you to try a period or themed recipe, but that is not at all required. (If everyone brought an authentic dish, we might end up with another evening of six pies and three versions of carrots.) Check out www.godecookery.com for ideas.

If you know what you might bring, please comment below. If you plan to come but don’t know what you might bring, comment below.

We hope you can join us in celebrating the birthday of a famous plague survivor. Oh, and author, poet, and humanist.

New Directions in Medieval Scholarship – Roundtable

Friday, November 15, 3:00pm
CUNY Graduate Center, room 5409

New Directions in Medieval Scholarship
Fifth Annual Roundtable
Pearl Kibre Medieval Study

Moderator: David Greetham, Graduate Center, English

  • Lauren Mancia, Brooklyn College, History
    “Affective Devotion as Emotional Reform in the Eleventh-Century Benedictine Monastery”
  • William McClellan, Baruch College, English
    A reading of the Clerk’s Tale and the Man of Law’s Tale using Al Shoaf’s “reading history-as-ethical-meditation”
  • Katharine Goodland, College of Staten Island, English
    “Medieval Drama in Black and White”

Following the presentations, all are encouraged to engage in open discussion regarding current trends in medieval studies.

Guest Speaker: Jocelyn Wogan-Browne

Friday, November 8, 2013 – 3:00 pm
Graduate Center, CUNY – room 5409

Utility French and the Making of English Literate Culture

In recent years, historical socio-linguistics and attention to manuscript culture have broadened our approach to ‘literary history,’  and re-contexualised our post-medieval term, ‘literature’.  These perspectives help to bring into view a broader spectrum of medieval writings and to trouble boundaries between the literary and the documentary.  This paper will explore the new rush to textuality, to writing down disciplinary, occupational, and technical knowledge in treatises, compilations, and encyclopaedias across the thirteenth century in England.   Literary scholars have tended to focus study of utilitarian writing, as also of bureaucratic and documentary cultures, on Anglophone writings in the late fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, but these texts form only one strand of a more complicated multilingual story.

Jocelyn Wogan-Browne,
Thomas F. X. and Teresa Mullarkey Chair of Literature,
English Department,
Fordham University