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

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Publishing for Graduate Students: A Recap

PublishingforGraduateStudents Chad Turner’s comprehensive notes

Panel Questions

Karl Steel’s Facebook post

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
  • 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
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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.


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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).

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“Persecution, Punishment and Purgatory in the Long Middle Ages” – Grad Student Conference, Nov. 7, 2014

10th Annual Graduate Student Conference in Medieval Studies

Persecution, Punishment and Purgatory in the Long Middle Ages

November 7, 2014
Graduate Center – CUNY
Room 9205

9:30 — Registration

10:00 — Panel one
Esther Bernstein “Enmity and Amity: The Ambivalent Nature of Medieval Jewish-Christian Religious Borrowings”
David Heayn “Urban Violence: Riot Culture and Dynamics in Late Antique Eastern Mediterranean Cities”
Nicolas Bergamo “The Constantine V persecution: ‘Building a new imperial elite'”
Moderator: Clare Wilson

11:30 — Panel two
Sian Webb “Untitled”
Rachel Wagner “Acting Like Jesus: St. Margaret of Ypres’s Holy Performance”
Moderator: Jennifer Alberghini

12:30 — Lunch break

1:30 — Roundtable
Jay Gates
Christopher Leydon
Lauren Mancia
Haruko Momma
Moderator: David Greetham

3:30 — Panel three
Deidre Riley “Purgatories of the Mind:  Punishment and Self-Knowledge in Robert of Cisyle”
Rebecca Fullan “Untitled”
Kristen Streahle “E bem cavalca a guiza de barone: Elena the Executioner”
Moderator: Chad Turner

This event is co-sponsored by the Pearl Kibre Medieval Study, the Doctoral Students’ Council, the Medieval Studies Certificate Program, the Henri Peyre French Institute, the French Department, the English Department, the Comparative Literature Department, and the Music Department.

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“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.

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ICMS (Kalamazoo) 2015 Call for Papers: “Medieval Celebrations”

ICMS 2015 Panel

Medieval Celebrations

The people of the medieval world found plenty of reasons to celebrate and many ways to do so. They celebrated the seasons and the passage of time. They celebrated the life and resurrection of Christ and His host of saints. They celebrated kings and fools. They celebrated with formal ritual and with chaotic debauchery. This panel aims to identify the many forms of medieval celebration. Topics for presentations include but are not limited to:

•    Festivals, feasts, and food
•    Holy days and saints days
•    Forms of ritual
•    The Mass
•    Coronation
•    Baptisms, weddings, and funerals
•    Entertainment and performance
•    Agriculture and pagan vestiges
•    Markets
•    Mockery and foolery

Please submit your abstract of no more than 300 words by September 15, 2014.
Include your name and affiliation.
Papers must be 15-20 minutes in length.
Submissions should be emailed to

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Call for Papers: “Persecution, Punishment and Purgatory in the Long Middle Ages”

10th Annual Pearl Kibre Medieval Study Graduate Student Conference

CUNY Graduate Center, New York, NY
November 7, 2014

Persecution, Punishment and Purgatory in the Long Middle Ages

The Pearl Kibre Medieval Study, the CUNY Graduate Center’s student-run organization for medieval studies, announces its tenth annual Graduate Student Conference at the CUNY Graduate Center on Friday, November 7, 2014. This year’s theme, Persecution, Punishment and Purgatory, is designed to address a number of methodological, historical, and theoretical issues within the diverse fields of medieval studies ranging from late antiquity to the early modern period. We invite grad students to submit proposals.

Submit a 300-word abstract by September 5th to

Topics may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Origins and uses of persecution
  • The result 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 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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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!

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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

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

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..?)

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