Saturday, April 25, 2009

Medieval Club Sponsored Sessions at Kalamazoo

The Medieval Club is sponsoring two sessions at Kalamazoo this year:

Visibility, Presence, Voice: Theorizing Gender and Authority in Late Medieval Writing
Presider: Katharine Jager, Univ. of Houston–Downtown

"Taking Cover: Gender and Vision in Walter Hilton’s Scale of Perfection"
Holly A. Crocker, Univ. of South Carolina–Columbia

"Masculinity’s Self Destruction: Philomena in Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde"
Jennifer Garrison, Rutgers Univ.

"Resisting Reason: Authority and Desire in The Romance of the Rose and Piers Plowman"
Jessica Barr, Eureka College

Session 204, Friday 10.00 am, Valley I, Room 105

Glosynge is a glorious thyng: Medieval Studies and the Future of Commentary
Presider: Nicola Masciandaro, Brooklyn College, CUNY

"Dreaming of/as Commentary"
Erin Felicia Labbie, Bowling Green State Univ.

"Room for Commentary"
Christopher Taylor, Univ. of Texas–Austin

"Agamben: Singularity and the Principle of Individuation"
Bruno Gulli, Long Island Univ.

Session 269, Friday 3.30 pm, Valley I, Room 110 (note change of time)

Monday, April 20, 2009

Upcoming Event: David Gary Shaw @ Medieval Club

Information by the Way: Townspeople and Cultural Networks in Later Medieval England
David Gary Shaw

I argue that piepowder people were the most dynamic social class in later medieval England. They were the elite travellers. There were traders among them, but commerce was only a small part of what they achieved and it was not what they shared: piepowder people were united by the purposeful travelling life. They created an intricate social and informational network that accelerated culture by sharing ideas and sharing news. The responsible ‘riding servants’ were one segment of the group. These were often educated men, who worked for their masters by riding out to supervise key tasks, conveying messages, material and commands. They rode too with questions and curiosity. Examining a confidential servant like William Worcestre allows us to see the shape of the information networks that stitched later medieval society and culture together. It also allows us to see as well the way social value and personal identity was shaped by life on the road.

David Gary Shaw is Professor of History at Wesleyan University.
He is the author of The Creation of a Community (1993) and Necessary Conjunctions: The Social Self in Medieval England (2005). He co-edited The Return of Science: Evolution, History and Theory (2002) with Philip Pomper. His current research interests include the circulation of people and ideas in later medieval England and bishops and indulgences in the later medieval English church.

Friday, May 1, 2009, 7:30 PM
CUNY Graduate Center (365 Fifth Ave. @ 34th St.) Room 4406
Reception, with wine and cheese, follows.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Walter Cahn @ The Morgan

At the Pearly Gates: Judgment, Heaven, and Hell in The New Yorker
Tuesday, April 21, 2009, 6:30 p.m.

In this richly illustrated lecture, Walter Cahn, Carnegie Professor of the History of Art (emeritus), Yale University, explores the imagery and views of the hereafter in our own time. Largely a product of the Middle Ages, these depictions surprisingly share the pages of The New Yorker with more familiar satires on the foibles of doctors, lawyers, and twenty-somethings, among other hilarious subjects. Presented in cooperation with the International Center of Medieval Art (ICMA). The exhibition On the Money: Cartoons for The New Yorker From the Melvin R. Seiden Collection will be open at 5:30 p.m. especially for lecture attendees.

Tickets: $15 for Non-Members; $10 for Morgan and ICMA Members

Free to students with valid ID. Reservations recommended (

For tickets, please visit, or call 212-685-0008, ext. 560.

The Arts of Intimacy @ the Queen Sofia Spanish Institute

Monday, April 27, 2009 at 6:00 p.m.

Join Dr. Jerrilynn D. Dodds and Dr. María Rosa Menocal as they engage in a dialogue on the subject of their recent publication, The Arts of Intimacy: Christians, Jews, and Muslims in the Making of Castilian Culture (co-authored by Abigail Krasner Balbale).

This lavishly illustrated book explores the vibrant interaction among different and sometimes opposing cultures, and how their contacts with one another transformed them all. It chronicles the tumultuous history of Castile in the wake of the Christian capture of the Islamic city of Tulaytula, now Toledo, in the eleventh century and traces the development of Castilian culture as it was forged in the new intimacy of Christians with the Muslims and Jews they had overcome.

The authors paint a portrait of the culture through its arts, architecture, poetry and prose, uniquely combining literary and visual arts. Concentrating on the eleventh and twelfth centuries, the book reveals the extent to which Castilian identity is deeply rooted in the experience of confrontation, interaction, and at times union with Hebrew and Arabic cultures during the first centuries of its creation. Abundantly illustrated, the volume serves as a splendid souvenir of southern Spain; beautifully written, it illuminates a culture deeply enriched by others.

Jerrilynn D. Dodds is distinguished professor and senior faculty advisor to the provost at the City College of the City University of New York. She is author of the prize-winning Architecture and Ideology in Early Medieval Spain and numerous books and catalogs concerning cultural interaction in Spain, Bosnia, and the United States, including NY Masjid: The Mosques of New York and Al-Andalus: The Art of Islamic Spain, which she edited for the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

María Rosa Menocal is director of the Whitney Humanities Center and Sterling Professor of Humanities at Yale University. She has written The Arabic Role in Medieval Literary History: A Forgotten Heritage, Writing in Dante's Cult of Truth: From Borges to Boccaccio, and Shards of Love: Exile and the Origins of the Lyric, and coedited a volume in the Cambridge History of Arabic Literature series, The Literature of al-Andalus. Her most recent book, The Ornament of the World, has been translated into eleven languages.

Please R.S.V.P. to Meryl 212-628-0420 or