Every year, the Centre for Teaching Support & Innovation offers awards to the best Teaching Assistants on campus. Only twelve TAs make it to the short-list among hundreds nominated. Of these twelve short-listed in 2017, one was a PhD student from the Centre for Medieval Studies: Lochin Brouillard. CONGRATULATIONS!
Here are some extracts of the letter written for Lochin by the professor who nominated her. “Lochin has been my T.A. in the VIC 343Y ‘Sex and Gender in the Renaissance’ for the past three years and has gained my absolute trust and admiration for the great work she has done in the course. […] One reason for Lochin’s great success as a TA is her profound dedication to teaching and to helping students do their best. She mentors students on a one-to-one basis, learns their name, draws them into the discussion, and makes them feel at home and valued. Another reason is Lochin’s own character – open, friendly, relaxed, supportive. She epitomizes the best of what a teacher should be. She always has a smile on her lips and great ideas in her mind – she engages with students and contributes to class discussions with ease and elegance, and also with profound knowledge of the materials and the field. And she manages to steer a clear, scholarly course without infringing on anyone’s sensibilities (not an easy task on a course on ‘sex and gender’).”
The Teaching Assistants’ Training Program’s (TATP) Teaching Excellence Award was created in 2003 to recognize the outstanding contributions of teaching assistants across all four divisions in the School of Graduate Studies at the University of Toronto. The award seeks to value the work of TAs who regularly inspire and challenge undergraduate students. It means that the individuals who won this award and the ones who were short-listed for it can count themselves among the University’s top TAs!
CMS does not have an undergraduate component to its program. Therefore our PhD students are sometimes frustrated as they cannot TA as much as they would like. The fact that one of the twelve TAs short-listed by TATP this year, two from last year (Amanda Wetmore who won the award and Nicholas Wheeler), and already one in 2015 (Michael Fatigati) were from CMS is the perfect proof that any institution hiring CMS students gets the service of extremely talented and incredibly knowledgeable TAs.
We are very sad to share the news that Georges Whalen has passed away. Many of you may have known Georges during his years as an MA and doctoral student at the Centre for Medieval Studies (1983 – 1991), or perhaps encountered him at one of his favourite places to spend time, the Common Room of the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies. More information on Georges’ life, including details about the family’s wishes concerning ways that Georges might be remembered, can be found here:
Georges Whalen (right) in Rievaulx with Robert Stanton
Georges aurait été sensible au fait que notre message d’adieu soit écrit en anglais et en français.
Georges, merci pour ta joie, ta générosité, et surtout ton incroyable curiosité et ta gentillesse. Te connaître fut un plaisir et tes enfants peuvent compter sur de nombreux médiévistes à travers le monde pour leur conter des anecdotes, multiples et variées, sur toi et l’amitié qu’ils t’ont portée.
2016-2017 W. John Bennett Distinguished Visiting Scholar
PROFESSOR CHARLES BURNETT (Warburg Institute, University of London)
“Arabica Veritas. Europeans’ Search for ‘Truth’ in Arabic Scientific and Philosophical Literature of the Middle Ages”
Friday, 10 February 2017, 4:10 pm;
Alumni Hall, Room 100 (121 St. Joseph Street);
Reception to follow
British Library, Royal 12.B.VI, f. 1r
Why did the Latin world seek out Arabic texts for translation between the eleventh and the thirteenth centuries? In the religious context it is clear that Muslim literature was translated in order to understand and refute Islam. But in science and philosophy the search was for ‘the truth’ which could be found amongst the Arabs. This lecture explores what was meant by the ‘Arabica veritas’ (or ‘Arabum veritas’), and why this truth was regarded as being important. Can someone else’s ‘truth’ provide security in the face of the inherent uncertainty of sublunary matters?
Charles Burnett, MA, PhD, LGSM is Professor of the History of Arabic/Islamic Influences in Europe at the Warburg Institute, University of London, and Co-Director of the Centre for the History of Arabic Studies in Europe. He is a Fellow of the British Academy, Corresponding Fellow of the Medieval Academy of America, and Fellow of the International Society for the History of Science. He is leader of the Humanities in the European Research Area project on Encounters with the Orient in Early Modern European Scholarship (EOS). His research centres on the transmission of texts, techniques and artefacts from the Arab world to the West, especially in the Middle Ages. He has documented this transmission by editing and translating several texts that were first translated from Arabic into Latin, and also by describing the historical and cultural context of these translations. Throughout his research and his publications he has aimed to document the extent to which Arabic authorities and texts translated from Arabic have shaped European learning, in the universities, in medical schools and in esoteric circles. Among his books are The Introduction of Arabic Learning into England (1997), Arabic into Latin in the Middle Ages: The Translators and their Intellectual and Social Context (2009) and Numerals and Arithmetic in the Middle Ages (2010). Other interests include Jesuit education in Japan in the late sixteenth century, the use of Japanese themes in Latin drama in Europe in the seventeenth century and the use of music in therapy and in the Christian mission.
The final preparations for the MAA Meeting in Toronto, on April 6-8, 2017, are in full swing. Please go directly to its website for more information.
Drawing of the Virgin Mary ‘with her beloved son,’ from a Ge’ez manuscript copy of Weddasé Māryām, circa 1875.
Unknown Ethiopian scribe – http://digital2.library.ucla.edu/viewer/viewer.do?projectNo=122&arkId=21198/zz001d5z1z
To learn more about the ancient Ethiopian and Eritrean language of Ge’ez that is being taught at the graduate level at the Centre for Medieval Studies since this January 2017, listen to CBC Metro Morning on Friday 6 January 2017 and read the great article “The Weeknd helps bring an ancient language to life at U of T” on CBC News website and the one in The Bulletin, “The university is now one of the only places in the world where students can learn Ge’ez“.
Please admire CMS Faculty Rob Getz and Stephen Pelle explaining, with much humour, the beauty of Old English and celebrating the advance of the Dictionary of Old English to the letter H. You can read about them in an article on CBC News. They were first celebrated in another article, this one in the University of Toronto Magazine. On either site, watch the great video!
To learn more about the ancient ethiopian language of Ge’ez that will be taught at the graduate level at the Centre for Medieval Studies starting January 2017, and to see how much enthusiasm this project has generated so far, please read an article in okayafrica. international edition.
The Centre for Medieval Studies is delighted to announce the release of the Dictionary of Old English: A-H online. This is the first release of the letter H (2,956 headwords) and also includes significant revisions to the eight previously published letters. This release features a new and updated interface with improved search capabilities.
Here’s the link:
Next year theme for the Jackman Humanities Institute Faculty Research Fellowships is:
Indelible Violence: Shame, Reconciliation and the Work of Apology
Performances of reconciliation and apology attempt to erase violence that is arguably indelible. What ideological and therapeutic work does reconciliation do, under whose authority, for whose benefit, and with what limits? What would it mean to acknowledge the role of shame? How might the work of truth and reconciliation commissions be compared to other ways of shifting relations from violence and violation to co-existence? How does the work of apology stabilize social identities, conditions, and relations and how do indelible traces of violence work for and against those conditions, identities and relations?
Prof Mark Meyerson has won a Twelve-Month Fellowship for the following fascinating project:
The Shame of Reconciliation: The Spanish Inquisition as a Truth Commission
This project focuses on the Spanish Inquisition as an institution of transitional justice, exploring how it worked to assimilate forcibly baptized Jews (Conversos) and Muslims (Moriscos) into Spanish Catholic society through ‘reconciling’ them with the Church in a judicial process which involved publicly disciplining and shaming them and which often had the unintended effect of impeding their assimilation. The examination of the Inquisition’s activities and their social ramifications will be integral to a comparative study of ethnic violence in premodern and modern societies and the efforts of societies to recover from such violence.
Professor Nancy Partner
Department of History and Classical Studies, McGill University
will give a lecture on
“’Tell Me Where is Fancy Bred?’ History of Emotions and Medieval Emotions”
Thursday, 10 November 2016
CENTRE FOR MEDIEVAL STUDIES
Centre for Medieval Studies, Room 310
3rd Floor, Lillian Massey Building
125 Queen’s Park, Toronto