The Delaware Valley Medieval Association

Area Events

Area lectures, conferences,events, and other notices of interest to the DVMA community are posted below, with the most recent announcements at the top:

If you have announcements you would like us to post on our website, please send them to:

Medieval Latin Online (Summer 2014):  Malchus and Brendan.

In the summer of 2014 Professors William Turpin (Swarthmore College, 
Classics) and Bruce Venarde (University of Pittsburgh, History) will 
offer a second free online Latin translation course, meeting as a Google 
Hangout. The class will meet once a week starting on Monday, June 2nd, 
from 8:00PM to 9:15 or 9:30 PM EST, and will continue for perhaps ten 
weeks. We will be translating and discussing Jerome's "Life of Malchus" 
and the anonymous "Voyage of St. Brendan." Both texts are interesting in 
themselves (at times they are downright exciting), and they are 
important documents in the history of Medieval monasticism. The course 
is intended for students who have completed a year or so of classical 
Latin at the college level, or the equivalent in high school. It should 
also be suitable for those whose Latin may be a little rusty, or for 
more accomplished Latinists with an interest in medieval Latin.

To participate or to receive updates on the course it will necessary to 
have a Google account, and to join the Google Plus "Community" called 
"Medieval Latin (Summer 2014): Malchus and Brendan.”

Google Hangouts will allow eight active participants (i.e. people who 
may wish to translate a particular section of text) and an unlimited 
number of auditors, who will be able to follow on YouTube and submit 
questions and comments using the messaging function. The sessions will 
also be archived on YouTube (sessions from 2013 can be found if you 
search “Gesta Francorum”); this will make it possible for people to 
catch up for missed sessions if they wish to, and of course it will make 
the sessions easier for people in different time zones.

Anyone wanting to be an active participant will need a computer with a 
webcamera and microphone, and perhaps also a quiet room. We will provide 
a webpage for interested participants to sign up for particular sections 
of the text; such participants will then be invited to translate and to 
raise questions or comment as seems appropriate. The "instructors," and 
other active participants will offer assistance and comments as 
necessary, just as in an ordinary class with participants sitting around 
a table.

The basic intention of this course is to replicate to the extent 
possible the experience of a student in (say) a college Latin class at 
the early intermediate level, minus the quizzes, tests, and continuing 
assessment; at present we have no mechanism for awarding credit or 
certificates of attendance. The most immediate model, in fact, may be an 
informal reading group devoted to a particular ancient or medieval text. 
The basic premise, as with those reading groups, is that a small 
community of interested participants can both encourage and enhance what 
is essentially a private encounter with a text.

For texts and signup sheet go to

Questions may be addressed to

Call for Papers

Against Gravity: Building Practices in the Pre-Industrial World

20-22 March 2015

University of Pennsylvania

Following on the success of “Masons at Work”(held in spring 2012, and published as, the symposium aims to assemble specialists to examine building practices in the pre-industrial world, with an emphasis on Greek, Roman, Byzantine, medieval, and pre-modern Islamic architecture. In addition to invited speakers, we are soliciting 20-minute papers that examine the problems which pre-modern masons commonly encountered - and the solutions they developed - in the process of design and construction.  Evidence may be drawn from a variety of sources, but we encourage studies based on the analysis of well-preserved buildings.

Those wishing to speak should submit by email a letter to the organizing committee, including name, title, institutional affiliation, paper title, plus a summary of 200 words or fewer.  Graduate students should include a note of support from their adviser.  Deadline: 15 November 2014 The final program will be announced immediately thereafter.  Submit proposals to with “Against Gravity” in the subject line.

 Organizing Committee: Lothar Haselberger, Renata Holod, Robert Ousterhout


Call for Papers and Sessions

“Interdisciplinarity in the Age of Relevance.”

Deadline for submission of a 300 word abstract is August 15, 2014.

Abstracts and short CV should be sent to:

While we will entertain papers on any topic, from any discipline of Medieval Studies—Art History, Religion, Philosophy, English, History, Foreign Languages, Music, we particularly welcome those that engage the multifaceted topic of “Interdisciplinarity in the Age of Relevance.”

Many of us in the academy, even those amongst us who are preparing for a career in the academy, are confronted with the constant refrain of “relevance.” The state of the academy and its public rhetoric profess among its highest goals an emphasis on community engagement, tangible solutions to “real” world problems, and quantifiable results that produce change and progress.  Highlighting the value of stem research, and stressing the potential for expansive pools of external funding, we in the Humanities are asked to consider the creative potential and lucrative benefits of interdisciplinary research clusters and cross-campus collaborative partnerships.   The underlying suggestion in this none-to-subtle rhetoric--even recently professed by the President of the United States—is, of course,  that the humanities in general, and Medieval Studies in particular,  are less-relevant in our current era because we do not on the surface contribute to this over-arching public mission.   

Beginning however, with the understanding that all the various disciplines comprising Medieval Studies—English, History, Music/Liturgy, Philosophy/Religion, Archaeology, Art History, Language Studies—are inherently interdisciplinary and in some sense inseparable, we seek papers that explore or exploit  the difference between “Interdisciplinary,” “Intra-disciplinary,” Extra-disciplinary,” and even “Super-disciplinary” studies.  We are interested in examples of those who are engaging technology in their studies and/or have incorporated a theoretical stance in line with the hard sciences, or perhaps seek to turn the notion of “Relevance” on its head.  We ask: What role do Medievalists play in this new age?  Where do we see ourselves and our projects in the world of “real solutions?”


Announcing a new postgraduate student essay prize (from the Gender & Medieval Studies Group):

The group is pleased to announce an annual prize for the best student essay, to be awarded at the GMS conference in January each year. The competition is open to students at all levels, including those who will complete their degree in the coming year.

Essays should be between 7,000 and 8,000 words in length (including notes) and should engage with questions of gender and/or sexuality in the Middle Ages. Submissions from postgraduates working within any discipline in the field are strongly encouraged.

There will be a prize of £100 for the winning essay, along with free registration at the next GMS conference. A bursary towards UK travel costs may also be available. The winning essay will also be considered for publication in the academic journal  Medieval Feminist Forum, run by the Society for Medieval Feminist Scholarship (SMFS). There may be years when no prize is awarded, depending upon submissions in any given year.

Electronic submissions should be submitted to Isabel Davis ( ) by Monday, September 1st 2014.

Perspectives on Chivalry: Medieval to Modern

An Interdisciplinary Symposium at Rowan University

12-13 June 2014

Call for Papers

The concept of chivalry has permeated Western society since the Middle Ages. From medieval treatises to mod-ern films; from romanticized Victorian portrayals to cynical postmodern commentaries, chivalry has been idol-ized and debated for centuries.

In this interdisciplinary symposium, hosted by Rowan University, presenters will explore these various viewpoints throughout the ages. The symposium will be held on Thursday and Friday, 12-13 June 2014, at Rowan’s main campus in Glassboro, New Jersey.

Keynote presentations will be given by Dr. Jeffrey Hamilton (Baylor University) and Dr. Sarah James (University of Kent, Canterbury).

Abstracts of 200 words are invited from both professional scholars and postgraduate researchers. Papers are to be 30 to 40 minutes in length, and there is no restriction on subject matter, save that papers address the topic of chivalry. In addition, there will be one undergraduate session of shorter 15 to 20-minute papers; interested un-dergraduate students of any discipline are encouraged to submit their 200-word abstracts, as well. A collected volume of proceedings is anticipated for this symposium. To submit a proposal or ask for further information, please email Jon-Mark Grussenmeyer ( The deadline for abstract submissions is 1 March 2014.

Vatican City, 3 December 2013 (VIS) – The Vatican Apostolic Library (BAV) and the Bodleian Libraries of the University of Oxford have joined forces to digitalise and make available online some of the most important and unique Bibles in the world, as well as biblical texts from their collections. From today, 3 December, the digitalised texts can be accessed at

The initiative is the first step of an important four-year collaborative project for the publication of digital content on the internet. A committee of academics and experts from around the world has selected for digitalisation a part of the collection of manuscripts in Hebrew and Greek, as well as incunabula from the Bodleian and Vatican Apostolic Libraries. The selection process has taken into account both the requirements of scholars and practical needs. Restorers from both libraries have collaborated with conservators to ascertain not only the value of the contents, but also the conditions of preservation of the works.

Although for some years now the two institutions have digitally reproduced part of their collections, this project provides them both with the opportunity to increase the scale and numerical capacity of the volumes digitalised, while taking care not to expose the works, very delicate on account of their age and conservational condition, to risk of damage.

The website, just opened, provides high-resolution scale images permitting detailed study and scientific analysis. The site includes also hosts videos and essays by scholars and supporters of the digitalisation project, including Archbishop Jean-Louis Brugues, archivist and librarian of the Holy Roman Church and Archbishop of Canterbury and primate of the Anglican Church, Justin Welby. A blog with articles on conservation, digitalisation techniques and methods used during the project completes the site, which may be viewed in both English and Italian.

A message from D. Fairchild Ruggles (University of Illinois) about an exciting new NEH film series:

As part of the Muslim Bookshelf portion of its Bridging Cultures initiative, the NEH asked me to make a series of 7 short films on Islamic calligraphy, illustrated manuscripts, textiles, ornament, mosques, architecture of travel, and gardens. They are now available on line, gratis, and are designed for students and teachers in fields outside of Islamic art history. For a classroom in medieval art, where Islam may get only a lecture or two, they may be a good resource. See NEH Islamic Art Spots at

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