In Memoriam: Brian Merrilees

Faculty, students, and alumni of the Centre for Medieval Studies deeply regret the passing of Brian Merrilees, Emeritus Professor of French and Medieval Studies and fellow of Victoria College. Professor Merrilees was a brilliant scholar of Old French, as well as a compassionate and generous colleague and teacher who will be deeply missed by those fortunate enough to have known him. He was an officer of the Centre for Medieval Studies in its early years, as well as a mentor to generations of graduate and undergraduate students. A memorial celebration of his life will be held on September 30, 2013 at 5:00 p.m., Victoria College Chapel, 91 Charles St. West.  Reception to follow in Emmanuel College, Room 119.

For the obituary in the Globe and Mail see here. For two other obituaries in French, see here and here.

For a full list of Brian Merrilees’ publications, see Florilegium 24 (2007) here.

For a video of Brian Merrilees explaining a French-Latin dictionary, see here.

See also the recent publication of Aalma, a bilingual Latin-French epitome of the Catholicon of Johannes Balbus of Genoa, edited by Brian Merrilees, William Edwards, and Anne Grondeux.

Brian Merrilees

CMS Alumni Lecture 2013: Sian Echard (University of British Columbia)

On Thursday, October 17, 4pm, Prof. Sian Echard will give the CMS Alumni Lecture 2013. Her paper has the title “Mine, mine, mine! Marking Medieval Manuscripts, Then and Now.”

Abstract: “Signatures, ink stamps, and librarians’ notes – features of institutionalized books which modern readers either ignore or find slightly appalling – offer a way into teasing out the competing narratives that structure our encounters with medieval manuscripts. There is a fundamental tension between the fantasy of encountering a pristine “original” object, and the reality of a highly mediated and managed experience, but this tension is not new, as medieval and early modern owners also routinely left their marks on their books. In facing head-on the claim-staking that has from the start taken place on and around the medieval manuscript object, we can perhaps fashion new positions from which to encounter manuscripts and their texts.”

Siân Echard attended Queen’s University at Kingston, graduating in 1984. She then completed her MA and PhD at the Centre for Medieval Studies at the University of Toronto, and in 1990 took up a position in the Department of English at the University of British Columbia, where she is now Professor of English. Her research interests include Anglo- Latin literature (especially Geoffrey of Monmouth), Arthurian literature, John Gower, and manuscript studies and book history. She is particularly interested in how the presentation of text—on the page, in the archive, in the digital world—affects how text is received and discussed. Her most recent book, Printing the Middle Ages (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008), is focussed on post-medieval printings of medieval texts.

The talk is open to the public and will be followed by a reception.

Welcome to our New Students!

The Centre for Medieval Studies welcomes everyone to a new academic year 2013-14. A special welcome to our new MA and PhD students. We have 30 new MA students this year and 9 students entering the PhD class. We hope everyone will have a chance to meet them as soon as possible. Here is a list of the new students.

MA students:

  • Julia Cadney, BA (Mount Allison): History and Classics
  • Benjamin Durham, BA (Ohio): Codicology and Palaeography
  • Tomas Flecker, BA (Toronto): Late Antiquity and Early Medieval
  • Adam Giancola, BA (Toronto): Legal History, Canon Law, Italian History, Jurisprudence
  • Sarah Giesbrecht, BA (York): Religious Art and Book History
  • Sara Giesler, BA (Nipissing): Medieval Church Art and Propaganda
  • Melanie Hurley, BA (Memorial): Old English literature
  • Elena Iourtaeva, BA (Toronto): Art and monasticism in medieval Rus’; cultural exchanges between Eastern and Western Europe; the rise of Muscovy
  • Elisabet Lindale, BA (Acadia): Late medieval England; the Wars of the Roses; social and gender history; material culture
  • Cornelis Malan, B Compt (South Africa), MA (Southern Evangelical Seminary): Classical metaphysics (and epistemology), philosophical theology
  • Caitlin Mans, BA (Flagler College): women and gender; religious communities; and mystics on the Continent between the 10 and 13th centuries
  • Katie Menendez, BHum (Carleton): Humanities and History
  • Kylee Nicholls, BA (Sydney): Medieval Studies and Asian Studies
  • Kari North, BA (UBC) – Focus on women, politics, crusades, and warfare in the Late Middle Ages
  • Heather Darling Pigat, BA (York): Material Culture; Medieval Manuscript Pigments
  • Caroline Purse, BA (Cambridge): Old English literature; Anglo-Saxon history and archaeology; Medieval French literature; Celtic history
  • Boaz Faraday Schuman, BA (Calgary): scholastic metaphysics and philosophy of mind, especially in the thought of Duns Scotus and his pupil Franciscus de Mayronis; and Old English biblical paraphrases and saints’ lives
  • Terri Sanderson, BA (Dalhousie) BA (Ottawa): medieval cosmology, Old English literature
  • Marianna Stell, BA (Baylor): Art History and English Literature
  • Cameron Wachowich, BA (Toronto), MA (National University of Ireland, Galway): Insular medieval vernaculars, especially Irish; text editing and translation; reception studies; historiography
  • Julia Warnes, BA (Ottawa), MA (National University of Ireland, Galway): Late Antique private letter collections
  • Hannah Weaver, BA (Boston): French Romance, Chaucer, and Rhetoric
  • David Welch, BA (Baylor): Old and Middle English literature and medieval exegesis
  • Sarah White, BA (Victoria): Canon and Common Law in England, Document Studies
  • Sarah Wilk, BA (Lethbridge): Late Medieval Warfare, Chivalry, Masculinity
  • Dylan Wilkerson, BA (UCLA): English Literature and Scandinavian Literature

New PhD students:

  • Alex Bauer, BA, MA (Toronto): Old English, Comparative Literature
  • Lochin Brouillard, BA (McGill), MA (Toronto): Gender and Cultural History
  • Jason Brown, BA (Manitoba), MA (Toronto): Medieval Kingship and Old English Literature
  • Michael Fatigati, BA (Biola), MA (Villanova): Later Medieval Latin philosophy and Classical Arabic philosophy
  • Ryan Hall, BA (UCLA), MA (Toronto): Old English, Old Norse, Literary Theory
  • Samuel Klumpenhouwer, BA, MA (Toronto): Ecclesiastical History, esp. Mendicant Orders
  • Francesco Pica, MA and PhD (Antonianum Pontifical University, Rome): Late Medieval Theology and Philosophy; Franciscan thought (thirteen-fourteen century); Metaphysics; ethics
  • Bridget Riley, BA (Catholic U.), MA (Toronto): Cult of Saints, pilgrimage, and miracle collections
  • Bogdan Smarandache, BA (Montreal), MPhil (Cambridge), MA (Toronto): Frankish-Muslim Relations during the Crusades

New Faculty at CMS: Prof. Brent Miles

A very warm welcome to Prof. Brent Miles, our new Professor in medieval Celtic languages and literatures at CMS and St. Michael’s College! Brent Miles researches principally the vernacular literatures of medieval Ireland and Wales, though he has a strong secondary interest in Hiberno- and Anglo-Latin. The bulk of his published work to date has concerned the study of ancient pagan poetry and mythology in medieval Ireland and the relationship of this classical learning to the native corpus of heroic narrative in Irish; a monograph on this subject, Heroic Saga and Classical Epic in Medieval Ireland, was published by Boydell & Brewer in 2011. Miles is currently directing his research into two new areas: the literature of kingship in Irish and Hiberno-Latin; and medieval Welsh political prophecy and the English appropriation of Welsh legendary history in the First English Empire. In addition to teaching in Celtic culture and history, Miles Old and Middle Irish and Middle Welsh, and maintains particular teaching interests in the Welsh and Anglo-Norman Arthur, and the Celtic revival in modern Ireland, Wales and Scotland.

Before joining the University of Toronto Brent was a Visiting Professor and Senior Lecturer in the Department of Celtic Languages and Literatures at the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan, Poland. Prior to taking up that position, he held a Post-Doctoral Fellowship at University College, Cork, and conducted research as a visiting scholar at the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies. Brent received his PhD from the Centre for Medieval Studies!

James Carley Receives Pierre Chauveau Medal

Congratulations to Professor James Carley, who has just been awarded the 2013 Pierre Chauveau Medal of the Royal Society of Canada! The medal is awarded biennally for a distinguished contribution to knowledge in the humanities other than Canadian literature and Canadian history. The medal will be presented to Professor Carley at the Awards Ceremony during the Annual Symposium and the Annual General Meeting of the RSC in Banff in November.

The Pierre Chauveau Medal was established in 1951 to honour the memory of Pierre J.O. Chauveau (1820-1890), FRSC, writer, orator, educator, Canadian statesman and the second President of the RSC (1883-1884). He was the first Premier of Quebec (1867-1872) and Speaker of the Senate (1874).

CMS/PIMS Distinguished Visiting Scholar: Prof. Christopher Martin

A warm welcome to Prof. Christopher Martin, University of Auckland, who is our 2013 CMS/PIMS Distinguished Visiting Scholar. Prof. Martin will be in Toronto from September to December. He has an international reputation as a historian of logic, especially for his groundbreaking work on Boethius and Abelard; and he is currently working with Peter King (CMS) on an edition of Abelard’s commentary on Porphyry’s Isagoge. Prof. Martin has been part of the team editing the works of Richard Rufus of Cornwall; he has worked extensively on the emergence of twelfth-century thought, including original manuscript research; he has written on topics as varied as the use of Avicenna’s ‘Flying Man’ argument in High Scholasticism, Peter John Olivi on knowing that one knows, the influence of John Major in the fifteenth century, and the nature of logical consequence. He has been a visiting fellow in philosophy at All Souls College (Oxford), a visiting professor at the École Pratique des Hautes Études, and most recently held a Leverhulme Visiting Professorship at the University of Cambridge.

During his time in Toronto, Prof. Martin will be available to students and present a lecture on November 1: “Flights of Fancy: Some Thirteenth-Century Discussions of the Certainty of Self-Knowledge”; Alumni Hall 400, 4pm.

He will also conduct two seminars on Abelard’s logic:
— Wednesday, October 16 “Inconvenient Consequences: Peter Abaelard’s Revolution in Logic and its Failure, Part I”; LI 310, 3-5pm
— Friday, October 25 “Inconvenient Consequences: Peter Abaelard’s Revolution in Logic and its Failure, Part II”; LI 310, 1-3pm

Job Advertisement: Associate/Full Professor in Old English Language and Literature

The Faculty of Arts and Science, University of Toronto invites applications and nominations for the Cameron Professorship in Old English Language and Literature. This is a tenured appointment at the rank of Associate or Full Professor in the Centre for Medieval Studies (51%) and the Department of English (49%) with special responsibility as Chief Editor of the Dictionary of Old English (DOE). The appointment will be effective July 1, 2014.

The successful incumbent for this position will demonstrate a deep commitment to producing the highest quality scholarship in the field of Old English language and literature. The incumbent will provide leadership and forge critical links between scholars of Old English language and literature at the University of Toronto and their counterparts at universities and specialized institutions across Canada and abroad. Candidates are required to have a PhD and demonstrated evidence of teaching and research excellence in both Old English and other relevant fields (e.g. Medieval Latin and Old Norse).

The Centre for Medieval Studies and the Department of English offer the opportunity to teach and to conduct research in units that are committed to studying both medieval culture and English language and literature in historical depth and geographical range. Situated in one of the most diverse cities in the world, the Centre and the Department reflect that diversity in their approach to English as a world language. The Centre and Department are committed to excellence in teaching and research. Candidates must display evidence of excellence in both these areas. Salary will be commensurate with qualifications and experience.

For the full job advertisement see here.

University of Toronto Colloquium in Medieval Philosophy 2013

Friday, September 20

Session I (4:30 – 6:30)
Chair:  Stephen Dumont (University of Notre Dame)
Speaker:  Jon McGinnis (University of Missouri, St. Louis): “A Small Discovery: Avicenna’s Theory of Minima Naturalia
Commentator:  Alnoor Dhanani (Harvard University)

Saturday, September 21

Session II (10:00 – 12:00)
Chair:  Peter Eardley (University of Guelph)
Speaker:  Christopher Martin (University of Auckland): “Abelard on Modality and its Logics”
Commentator:  Kevin Guilfoy (Carroll University)

Session III (2:00 – 4:00)
Chair:  Ian Drummond (University of Toronto)
Joseph Stenberg (University of Colorado, Boulder): “Happiness in Aquinas: an Analysis of its Core”
Stephen Ogden (Yale University): “Averroes’s Argument from Universals for a Separate Material Intellect”
Simona Vucu (University of Toronto): “Henry of Ghent on Causal Powers”

Session IV (4:15 – 6:15)
Chair:  Henrik Lagerlund (Western University)
Speaker:  Gloria Frost (University of St. Thomas, St. Paul): “Three Medieval Models of Primary and Secondary Causation: Aquinas, Scotus, and Auriol”
Commentator:  Kara Richardson (Syracuse University)

All sessions will be held in Room 100 of the Jackman Humanities Building (170 St. George Street).

All sessions are free and open to the public.

Registration and inquiries: medieval_dot_philosophy_at_utoronto_dot_ca

The colloquium is sponsored by the Department of Philosophy, the Collaborative Program in Ancient and Medieval Studies, the Department of Near and Middle Eastern Studies, and the Centre for Medieval Studies.

Organizers: Deborah Black, Peter King, Martin Pickavé