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Luisa Nardini, Director MBE 3.602, Mailcode E3100, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-232-2069

Medieval Studies

Election Results! Our new officers have just been announced:

Director (2013-14) Luisa Nardini (Associate Professor, School of Music)

Advisors (2013) Cynthia Talbot (Associate Professor, History and Asian Studies) and

Jorie Woods (Professor, English)


Fellowships Committee Member (2013) Stephennie Mulder (Assistant Professor, Art History and Middle Eastern Studies)

Reports from Medieval-Studies grant holders in 2012:

Raúl Ariza-Barile writes: During the summer of 2012, I received a grant from Medieval Studies, which allowed me to conduct manuscript research in Europe. Specifically, I visited Bayeux, France, and Geneva, Switzerland. In Bayeux, I saw the famous tapestry (a fundamental document and work of art for all scholars in Anglo-Norman history and literature), and consulted Norman ecclesiastical records. In Geneva, I was a fellow scholar at the Fondation Bodmer, an archive housing an impressive collection of Anglo-Norman manuscripts. Of particular importance for scholars in medieval English literature is Codex CB 82, which contains the first fictional version of the Havelok story (a major romance narrative in Middle English and Anglo-Norman) and which I transcribed and compared with a previous, incomplete 1925 edition. My archival work will be important both for my dissertation, a study on shared textual histories between Norman England and the Iberian Peninsula; and possibly, a new critical edition of the Anglo-Norman Havelok.

Jessica Bedol writes: "With the research grant I received in Spring 2012, I traveled to Madrid to conduct research at the Archivo Histórico Nacional, where I conducted primary research into surviving records of the Inquisition of Toledo from the 1480s to the mid-sixteenth century, and surveyed books compiled by Inquisitors containing outlines of communal and religious activities and detailed instructions on identifying and questioning heretics.  In these records, I was thrilled to find the name of an organist and composer at Iglesia de Santo Tomé de Toledo, who had been accused of heresy and questioned by Inquisitors in 1495.  This composer has not been mentioned in any of the literature I had previously examined, and I am eagerly awaiting the arrival of copies of his records in the mail so I may incorporate an account of his activities and inquisition into my research."

Joe Fees writes: The Medieval Studies Grant allowed me to attend the 47th International Congress on Medieval Studies in Kalamazoo to present a paper titled "Reflections of Society and Sexuality in the Muwashshahs with Romance Kharjas".  I was able to receive a lot of useful feedback and attend many interesting panels.  Additionally, I was able to do research for three weeks in Madrid for my dissertation.

Martino Lovato writes: Thanks to the Medieval Studies Fellowship, I have been able to complete my research on the relationship between Egidio of Viterbo and Leo Africanus at the Biblioteca Angelica and at the Biblioteca Nazionale di Napoli. On my next visit to Rome, hopefully next Spring, I plan to conclude this aspect of my research. The second part of this project, related to the publishing of Rome National Library MN.953, has been completed. I have been able to reach all the specialists in the field and present the project to them. Further developments are expected after the end of this year.

News from UT Medievalists:

Dr. Samer Ali (Middle Eastern Studies) is currently working on a book titled In the Name of Love: Traditions of People Power in the Islamic Middle Ages, and he delivered a part of the book in February 2012 at the NYU Abu Dhabi Institute. The paper focused on Abu Hayyan al-Tawhidi's chapter in Imta' wal-Mu'anasa (Pleasure and Camaraderie) comparing humans to other animals, which was witten in 10th-century Iraq. He was also elected to the MLA Executive Council for a four-year term.

Raúl Ariza-Barile (doctoral candidate, English) is wroking on his dissertation, A Broken Romance, which investigates textual links between England and Spain in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. Scholarship on England-Spain literary relations has thus far predominantly focused on the Early Modern Period, while medieval connections between these two territories have been less studied. The project retraces the English-Spanish literary networks which, he argues, became broken as a result of the imperial competition that the two nations faced during the sixteenth century. During 2012, he was an invited lecturer at the University of Texas-Pan American (with a paper on Chaucer’s Franklin’s Tale), gave papers at The 47th International Conference on Medieval Studies (Kalamazoo) the New Chaucer Society (Portland), and will present at the Second Biennial Meeting of the Babel Group (Boston) in late September.

Sarah Celentano (doctoral candidate, Art History) was awarded a 2012 Grace Frank Dissertation Grant from the Medieval Academy of America for her dissertation "Embodied Reading as Political Action in the Hortus Deliciarum".

Dr. Lesley-Anne Dyer (Center for the Study of Core Texts and Ideas) recently accepted a book contract with the Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies for her book, Translating Eternity in the Twelfth-Century Renaissance from Anselm to Bernard Silvestris. She has also had two forthcoming publications accepted for publication: an article with Studia Patristica entitled, “The Twelfth-Century Influence of Hilary of Poitiers on Richard of St.Victor’s De Trinitate," and a book chapter entitled, “Veiled Platonic Triads and Peter Abelard’s Theologia ‘Summi Boni’,” in Abelardiana, edited by B. Hellemans, Brill Intellectual History Series.

Robert S Garbacz (doctoral candidate, English) presented a paper at Kalamazoo about what a twelfth-century rhetorical text has to teach us about using games as learning opportunities, and he spent a week studying a manuscript containing The Eclogues of Theodolus at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is working on his dissertation, which engages with the ways medieval "young-adult" educational texts helped to develop cognitive structures in culturally-distinctive manners that guided the production of adult texts and ideologies.

Dr. Joan Holladay (Art History) continues to work on Gothic Sculpture in America 3: The Museums of New York and Pennsylvania, a project for which she is co-editor.  This volume will include 449 entries by 34 authors on works in 27 museums.  The end is in sight!  She recently published “Kings, Notaries, and Merchants: Audience and Image in the Grand’ Salle of the Palace at Paris,” an article related to another book in progress, in a volume on ritual and daily life edited by the Institut für Realienkunde of the Austrian Academy of Sciences.
She has been invited to serve as Colgate NEH Professor of the Humanities at Colgate University in the spring of 2013.

Dr. Jonathan Kaplan (Middle Eastern Studies) is a scholar of Ancient Judaism whose research and teaching focuses on the study of the Hebrew Bible and the history of its interpretation in the Second Temple and early Rabbinic periods. His current book project, tentatively entitled My Perfect One: Subversive Typology and Early Rabbinic Reading of the Song of Songs, is a study of the interpretations of the Song of Songs contained in the earliest compilations of rabbinic interpretation of the Bible, which are known as the halachic midrashim.

Dr. Elon Lang (Liberal Arts Honors and Core Texts) is interested in the intersection between the study of manuscripts and book production and the study of medieval reading and performance. His research focuses largely on Thomas Hoccleve, fifteenth-century English poet, because he and his surviving works' unique bibliographic circumstances demonstrate the kind of poetics that forms at such an intersection. He is editing a digital archive of material for the study of Hoccleve's texts and working to transform my dissertation into journal articles on Hoccleve.  He is currently slated to teach literature topics classes and researched-writing for Liberal Arts Honors and Core Texts this year. He'll be emphasizing drama in the fall with his custom-designed LAH 350 "Drama Queens" and a CTI 350 "Masterworks of World Drama," which he is subtitling "In Pursuit of Justice." In the Spring, he'll be teaching a class in CTI called "Satan and the Idea of Evil," which will survey the history of Satan and the Devil as a literary character from the Bible, the York Mystery Plays, and Milton through C.S. Lewis and Glenn Duncan.

Dr. Glenn Peers (Art History) has two exhibitions opening this coming year: Under Gods, an exhibition of photography by the British artist Liz Hingley, which will run from September 21st until October 27th at the Visual Arts Center (Art Building, 23d and San Jacinto), and Byzantine Things in the World at the Menil Collection, Houston, which will begin a three-month run in late May 2013.

Christopher Taylor (doctoral candidate, English) is currently working on his dissertation, tentatively titled: "Unknowing the Middle Ages: Christian History, Typology and the Uses of Narrative, 1250-1450." He also has forthcoming publications on Prester John as a cultural nomad in Literature Compass, and on Julian of Norwich and the influence of medieval mystics on early Surrealism in the volume Beholding Violence in Medieval and Early Modern Europe (Ashgate, November 2012).

Please send your medieval news to

A correction to the Kalamazoo CFP from one of our own:

Society for the Study of the Bible in the Middle
Ages (SSBMA) (4): I. Psalms Interpretation; II.
Philosophers and the Bible; III. Biblical Translatio [i.e. translation broadly conceived];
IV. Medieval Jewish Approaches to Scriptural
Interpretation (A Roundtable)
Lesley-Anne Dyer
1111 Lake Country
Seabrook, TX 77586
Phone: 832-607-9650

Medievalists meet every Friday at noon at the Blanton Museum café.  Please join us!

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