Jim Ginther, Dean of St Mike’s Faculty of Theology

Congratulations and welcome back to Jim Ginther!

Jim_TheologyThe University of St. Michael’s College (USMC) has just announced the appointment of Dr. James R. Ginther (CMS, PhD 1995) as the Dean of its Faculty of Theology. Dr. Ginther officially takes up his duties August 1, 2015.


After finishing his PhD thesis at CMS in 1995, Jim took the position of Lecturer in Medieval Theology at the University of Leeds, where he was also involved in the Leed’s Center for Medieval Studies and the annual International Medieval Congress. In 2002, he moved to Saint Louis University (Missouri,USA) as Professor of Medieval Theology . He was the Director of the Center for Digital Theology from 2006 to 2013 and remained the Director when it expanded to become a Center for Digital Humanities. He was also Chair of the Department of Theological Studies.
Jim’s research and publications focus on Medieval scholastic theology and intellectual history. He has published in traditional print as well as in digital humanities. In 1998 he began the Electronic Grosseteste, a freely accessible web-site that made the Latin writings of Robert Grosseteste (ca. 1170-1253) available for online searching and reading. He is currently the Director of the Center for Humanities at Saint Louis University and has produced a number of digital projects, including the Virtual Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi, Electronic Norman Anonymous and the T-PEN application (Transcription for Editorial and Paleographical Notation).

CMS is delighted by your return to TO, Jim!

Global and Postglobal Perspectives on Medieval Art and Art History

Global and Postglobal Perspectives on Medieval Art and Art History

For more on this project, see also http://news.artsci.utoronto.ca/ and the project website: http://globalpostglobalmedievalart.blogspot.ca
Guangzhou after lectureThe project that includes four faculty members associated with CMS, Jill Caskey, Adam Cohen, Jenny Purtle and Linda Safran, is celebrated in this week Bulletin. This three-year collaborative project is supported by a grant from the Getty Foundation as part of its Connecting Art Histories initiative. Medieval art and art history are bringing together faculty and students from the University of Toronto and the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts (GAFA) in China. Graduate students at U of T and Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts will enrol in identical medieval art history courses, including ‘Making Pictures in Medieval China’ and ‘Multicultural Arts of Medieval Sicily.’ At the conclusion of each graduate course, faculty and students from both institutions will undertake field trips to study works of art first hand in Sicily and Dunhuang, China.

PLS continues its year-long celebration of 50 years of performance research practice with the FESTIVAL OF EARLY DRAMA

An anniversary nearly 400 (and 50!) years in the making! Toronto’s Medieval and Renaissance players celebrate their 50th anniversary with the Festival of Early Drama June 5 – 7 2015 plsfest.ca

Poculi Ludique Societas (PLS) continues its year-long celebration of 50 years of performance research practice with the FESTIVAL OF EARLY DRAMA. The festival kicks off at 6 pm on Friday June 5 at the Isabel Bader Theatre, 93 Charles St. Toronto, with a performance of Ben Jonson’s Masque of Queens presented by Loyola University, New Orleans.


With multiple PWYC family-friendly events happening over two days on the U of T campus, FoED2015 is sure to appeal to families, scholars, students, and medieval and early modern history enthusiasts. More info: plsfest.ca

Research done by Michael Gervers in Ethiopia celebrated in the Bulletin

The research done by Michael Gervers in Ethiopia, on the knowledge and techniques of how Ethiopia’s rock-cut churches are created, is celebrated in UofT Bulletin:



Michael will interview “the few remaining master craftsmen responsible for carving the churches”. “[T]hanks to a significant grant from the Arcadia Fund, the knowledge and techniques of how Ethiopia’s rock-cut churches are created will be preserved for generations to come. […] It typically takes a master craftsman five years to make an average church that is 15 metres square by four metres high. Craftsmen are trained as young men on the hewing techniques but knowledge is passed down orally without any written instruction to rely on beyond a written contract.”

Congratulations to Peter Buchanan

Congratulations to Peter Buchanan

Delayed congratulations to Peter Buchanan (PhD 2013) for his tenure-track position in the Department of English, at the University of New Mexico Highlands University! This academic year 2014-2015 was his (very busy) first year.

Congratulations to Maire Johnson

Congratulations to Maire Johnson

Starting 1 August, 2015, Maire Johnson (PhD 2010) will be a tenure-track Assistant Professor in the Department of History at Emporia State University (Kansas). She will be teaching all levels, undergraduate (including World Civ to 1500) and graduate (MA only), both online and in-person. She is quite excited: she got along very well with the faculty and is looking forward to working with them.

Toronto-Cologne Colloquium 2015 Call for Papers

The Centre is soliciting abstracts (one page) from CMS students for 30-minute papers dealing with any aspect of medieval studies. Submissions for papers on any topic are welcome: history, literature (Latin and/or vernacular), art history, philosophy, music, medicine, etc.

The colloquium will be sponsored jointly by the a.r.t.e.s. Graduate School of the Universität zu Köln and the Centre for Medieval Studies of the University of Toronto and it will take place in Cologne on November 19-21, 2015. The University of Bonn Department of English will also participate this year. The aim of the colloquium is to promote discussion and exchange among graduate students and faculty from both institutions. Costs for travel and accommodation of six students will be covered.

Cologne was among the most important German cities of the Middle Ages and still boasts twelve Romanesque churches and many other buildings from the later Middle Ages. It is home to the biggest medieval urban archive north of the Alps and several other important archives and libraries (e.g. the library of the archdiocese). With over 40,000 students the University of Cologne is also one of the biggest German universities.

Please send abstracts to Professor Lawrin Armstrong (lawrin.armstrong@utoronto.ca) by 19 June 2015.

For a PDF version of this Call for Papers, click here.

The Toronto Henry Daniel Project

The Toronto Henry Daniel Project seeks to make the two principal works of the English medical writer Henry Daniel (fl. ca. 1379), the Liber Uricrisiarum and the Herbal, accessible to scholars of Middle English literature and language, historians of medicine and science, and cultural historians.  Daniel’s works are long and thorough syntheses of Latin learning in the vernacular, the first dealing with both medical diagnosis and theory and the second with botanical knowledge directed toward therapeutic uses.  They are among the earliest such treatises in English, reveal a detailed knowledge of contemporary medical and herbal learning, but remain only minimally studied and nearly invisible to scholars.

The project is rooted in Professor E. Ruth Harvey’s detailed and foundational researches into the extant manuscripts of Daniel’s works and the late classical, Arabic, and Latin medical-historical traditions on which those works are based. Her close work with the many manuscripts of the Liber Uricrisiarum and the two surviving copies of the Herbal lies at the heart of the Project, especially in her analyses of the relationships among the multiple versions of Daniel’s treatises, both of which appear to have undergone authorial revision as well as later scribal manipulation.

The principal objectives of the Project are the following:

  • to generate reading editions of the Liber Uricrisiarum and the Herbal, with highly selective textual apparatus and annotations focused on identification of the many explicit source citations in Daniel’s works, and thereby pave the way for future critical editions and in-depth studies of those works;
  • to give historians of medicine, literary and linguistic scholars, and cultural historians access to these important vernacular syntheses of learned medical and herbal knowledge in the later Middle Ages;
  • to facilitate and encourage collaboration among scholars around the world who are working on Daniel’s writings, language, and cultural contexts;
  • to provide a “hub” website that will allow Daniel scholars to find fellow-researchers, resources, and a venue for sharing information.

We welcome collaboration from other scholars working on Henry Daniel and announcements of publications related to Daniel’s writings for posting on the forthcoming project website.