ROUND-TABLE on WORLD HISTORY COURSES ON DIFFICULT TOPICS (with Profs Bergen, Meyerson, and Remensnyder)

Graduate Students, Post-Docs, Professors and Instructors in History and CMS are invited to a Round-Table with:

Professors Doris Bergen and Mark Meyerson (University of Toronto) who have co-taught a course on the World History of Violence

and Amy Remensnyder (Brown University) who teaches a course on the Global History of Prison and Captivity

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‘Why teach about violence and captivity?’ and ‘Difficulties encountered in teaching such courses?’ are some of the questions that will be discussed.

Thursday, 17 March 2016, 4:10 pm

Centre for Medieval Studies, Great Hall (Room 312), 3rd Floor, Lillian Massey Building

Small Reception to follow

Felix Heinzer, ‘Many things newly composed for the Church’

2015-2016 W. John Bennett Distinguished Visiting Scholar


Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg

‘Many things newly composed for the Church,’ Walahfrid Strabo († 849) and Notker Balbulus († 912) between Biblical Tradition and Poetical Innovation


If in the late 8thand early 9th century the so-called “Gregorian” chant gained general  acceptance in western Liturgy, the following decades were marked by discussions about the legitimacy of poetical embellishment of this repertory mostly shaped of biblical texts. In this context, the paradigmatic figures of Walahfrid Strabo of Reichenau and Notker I. of Saint Gall tag the beginnings of a controversy on worship and esthetics which was to rumble on during centuries.

Friday, 18 March 2016, 4:10 pm

Alumni Hall, Room 100

121 St. Joseph St.

Reception to follow

Congratulations to Bridget Riley Walsh for winning this year Bethell Prize

Congratulations to CMS Doctoral Student Bridget for winning the Denis Bethell Prize Essay for 2015 for her essay “Lost and Found:  Eadmer’s De Reliquiis Sancti Audoeni as a Cross-Channel Solution to the Canterbury-York Dispute.” This honor includes a cash prize of $400.00 which will be presented to Bridget at the next Haskins Society meeting (November 2016). In addition, her piece will be featured in Volume 28 of the Haskins Society Journal. Dr. Ruth Mazo Karras was the Bethell Prize judge.

Congratulations to Alexander Callander Murray for his new book on Gregory of Tours

A Companion to Gregory of Tours (ed. by Alexander Callander Murray. Brill’s Companions to the Christian Tradition, vol. 63. Leiden: Brill, 2016) written by fourteen contributors,  contains sixteen chapters covering various aspects of Gregory’s life, times, works, and legacy. Among the contributors are three CMS graduates: Alex Murray (1976), John Kitchen (1995), and Richard Shaw (2013).

Capture d’écran 2016-02-24 à 9.55.10 AMGregory, bishop of Tours (573-594), was among the most prolific writers of his age and uniquely managed to cover the genres of history, hagiography, and ecclesiastical instruction. He not only wrote about events (of the secular, spiritual, and even natural variety) but about himself as an actor and witness. Though his work (especially the Histories) has been recycled and studied for centuries, our grasp of an even basic understanding of it, never mind Gregory’s significance in the history of the late antique West, has hardly yet attained a definitive perspective.
A Companion to Gregory of Tours brings together fourteen scholars who provide an expert guide to interpreting his works, his period, and his legacy in religious and historical studies.

Contributors are: Pascale Bourgain, Roger Collins, John J. Contreni, Stefan Esders, Martin Heinzelmann, Yitzhak Hen, John K. Kitchen, Simon Loseby, Alexander Callander Murray, Patrick Périn, Joachim Pizarro, Helmut Reimitz, Michael Roberts, Richard Shaw.

Toronto meeting of the MAA, 6-8 April 2017

The Centre for Medieval Studies and the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies will soon be the hosts of the 2017 Annual Meeting of the Medieval Academy of America.
Capture d’écran 2016-02-15 à 10.08.34 PMIt will take place in downtown Toronto, on the St. George campus of the University of Toronto. For more information, please consult the meeting website.

There will be selected parts of the program held at the Art Gallery of Ontario and the closing plenary at Aga Khan Museum. There will also be an optional excursion to the oldest European settlement in Ontario (1615), the Jesuit mission of Sainte-Marie-Among-the-Hurons, and the Shrine of the Canadian Martyrs in Midland, Ontario.

The conference (held on 6-8 April 2017 and followed by the CARA meeting on 9 April) will feature three plenary speakers and over fifty concurrent sessions, including thematic threads such as ‘The Medieval Mediterranean,’ ‘Manuscript Studies,’ ‘Old English Studies’ and many others. Roundtable discussions will focus on topics such as K-12 education, diversity in the medieval studies classroom, compatible careers, and scholarly publication in the age of Open Access. Registration will begin on 6 February 2017 but you are encouraged to make hotel bookings as soon as possible (information on the conference website).

Congratulations to Markus Stock for his new book on Alexander the Great

Congratulations to Markus Stock for the new book he edited with University of Toronto Press, Alexander the Great in the Middle Ages: Transcultural Perspectives.

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In the Middle Ages, the life story of Alexander the Great was a well-traveled tale. Known in numerous versions, many of them derived from the ancient Greek Alexander Romance, it was told and re-told throughout Europe, India, the Middle East, and Central Asia. The essays collected in Alexander the Great in the Middle Ages examine these remarkable legends not merely as stories of conquest and discovery, but also as representations of otherness, migration, translation, cosmopolitanism, and diaspora.

Alongside studies of the Alexander legend in medieval and early modern Latin, English, French, German, and Persian, Alexander the Great in the Middle Ages breaks new ground by examining rarer topics such as Hebrew Alexander romances, Coptic and Arabic Alexander materials, and early modern Malay versions of the Alexander legend. Brought together in this wide-ranging collection, these essays testify to the enduring fascination and transcultural adaptability of medieval stories about the extraordinary Macedonian leader.