Digital Pedagogy: Teaching Medieval Paleography in the Virtual Environment

Wednesday 4 May, 2-4 pm, Lillian Massey Building 301

Capture d’écran 2016-04-29 à 5.25.13 PMCarin Ruff (Ph.D. CMS 2001) will present vHMML (, a suite of online tools for manuscript study that was developed by Centre for Medieval Studies grads working with the Hill Museum and Manuscript Library ( Carin will give a tour of vHMML’s online paleography course (“School”) and digital paleographical album (“Folio”) and suggest ways they might be used by those teaching or studying beyond the reach of CMS’s paleography courses. She will also discuss the process of converting a real-life, propria persona paleography course to a virtual one, and will talk about some of the issues in the ongoing development of this complex suite of tools from the perspective of content development and project management.


Laura Mitchell (Ph.D. CMS 2011) and Alexandra Bolintineanu (Ph.D. CMS 2012) will present on the International Image Interoperability Framework, an emerging international standard that enables consistent digital image delivery and annotation across multiple digital libraries, and that underlies both the vHMML toolkit and the current Mellon- funded CMS/UTLibrary collaborative project, Digital Tools for Manuscript Study. We discuss how our scholarship as medievalists contributes to the data curation work of a large digital project: not only from a research perspective, but from the perspectives of technical development, project management, and a laboratory-based research community.




Old English Colloquium, Friday, 6 May 2016

Old English Colloquium

Centre for Medieval Studies, 125 Queen’s Park, Room 310

Friday, 6 May 2016

9:00-10:15 am
Chair: Dylan Wilkerson (University of Toronto)
Leslie Lockett (Ohio State University): “New Manuscript Evidence for the Relationship Between the Old English Soliloquies and the Carolingian Study of Augustine’s Soliloquia.”

10:15-10:30 am
Coffee Break

10:30-11:15 am
Christopher Jones (Ohio State University)
Rob Getz (University of Toronto)
Stephen Pelle (University of Toronto)
Lexicography Workshop: “Problems in Old English Lexicography: Preost and Mæssepreost

11:15-11:30 am
Coffee Break

Chair: Elise Williams (University of Toronto)
Val Pakis (University of Toronto): “‘Perhaps the Most Famous Romance of Germanic Philology’: Eduard Sievers and the Invention of Genesis B
Rob Getz (University of Toronto): “Genesis A 2733b-34: The Problem, the (Gothic) Solution”

12:30pm-2:00pm: Lunch (Great Hall)

2:00-3:30 pm
Chair: Dylan Wilkerson (University of Toronto)
Cameron Laird (University of Toronto): “Cynewulfian Accounts of Creation and The Fall”
Jessica Lockhart (University of Toronto): “Wonder and the Riddles in Solomon and Saturn II
Mallory McCampbell (University of Toronto): “Wilderness and Beorg in Guthlac A

3:30-3:45 pm
Coffee Break

3:45-5:00 pm
Chair: Elise Williams (University of Toronto)
Drew Jones: “Eucharistic Theology in the Circle of Alcuin: An Unedited Treatise in Munich, BSB, Clm 6389”

Reception to follow.
Download the poster here.

Grace in UofT News!


Grace Desa, Medieval Studies — Distinguished Service Award

Photo of: Grace DesaGrace Desa has served as graduate administrator at the Centre for Medieval Studies for 29 years. Desa has worked with eight different directors and each one credits her with supreme competence. All who work with her appreciate her vivacity, joie de vivre and teasing sense of humour. In the words of one colleague: “Grace is the ever-present, ever-helpful, and always cordial human face of the Centre for Medieval Studies. The unit is famous for its outstanding Latin and palaeography programs but it is also famous for its Grace.”


Congratulations to Peter King for his prestigious SSHRC Grant

CMS is pleased to announce that Professor Peter King has been awarded a multiyear grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Council of Canada (SSHRC), to fund him and his students as he works on “The History of the Will.”

Here his description of the project:

Pavia, San Pietro cielo d'oro, Boethius and Augustine tombs (12)

Saint Augustine’s tomb, San Pietro cielo d’oro, Pavia

“We want things; we think about courses of action; we choose what to do. These phenomena are the subject of affective psychology, which is the branch of the philosophy of mind that deals with motivation and decision.
In the Middle Ages, such phenomena came to be seen as the product of different quasi-independent psychological faculties: the passions (sensitive appetite) and the will (intellective appetite), each of which
is related to the cognitive faculties of perception and thought.

The picture of the will as a distinct psychological faculty which relies on but is not determined by either our desires or our thoughts is still common today; it was forged in the Latin West during the Middle Ages, and remains fundamental in our conception of responsibility and freedom.  My research tries to understand how this conception of the will emerged historically: what intellectual pressures caused philosophers to identify motivation as a distinct psychological faculty, and further what led them eventually to hold that the will was a largely autonomous faculty of the mind, capable of determining itself to action, that is, to choice and decision, of its own nature.”

Ancient Abbeys of Brittany Project Colloquium, May 5-6

Monasteries, convergences, exchanges and confrontations in the West of Europe in the Middle Ages/ Monastères, convergences, échanges et confrontations dans l’Ouest de l’Europe au Moyen Âge

Capture d’écran 2016-04-20 à 2.02.42 PMThursday, May 5, 2016 Rooms 250, 260 and 270, Instructional Centre Building, University of Toronto Mississauga


 Friday May 6, 2016 Room 100, Jackman Humanities Building, University of Toronto St. George

Thursday, May 5, 2016

University of Toronto Mississauga, Instructional Centre Building (IB)


Light Breakfast: 8:30 – 9 a.m.


Opening remarks, Room IB 250, 9 – 9:15 a.m.

Emmanuel Nikiema, Chair, Department of Language Studies, University of Toronto Mississauga


Keynote speaker, Room IB 250, 9:15 – 10:15 a.m.

Caroline Brett, University of Cambridge, “Monasteries, Migration and Models for the Early Medieval Breton Church”

Chair: Ann Hutchison, Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies and York University


Break: 10:15 – 10:45 a.m.


Two Concurrent Sessions: 10:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

Session ONE, Room IB 250 Exchanges and confrontations I

Chair: Kenneth Paul Evans, York University

Janet Burton, University of Wales at Lampeter, ‘‘ ‘Serving two masters?’ Cistercian abbots in conquered Wales“

Joëlle Quaghebeur, CERHIO-Lorient, Université de Bretagne-Sud, “Sainte-Croix de Quimperlé et Saint-Sauveur de Redon: abbayes soeurs ou ennemies (XIe-XIIe siècles)?”

Karen Stöber, Universitat de Lleida, “Not so Far From the Concourse of Men? Cistercian Communities and Society in Medieval Catalonia”


Session TWO, Room IB 260 Exchanges and confrontations II

Chair: Claude Lucette Evans, University of Toronto Mississauga

Sébastien Barret, IRHT, Orléans, “Playing with Influences: Cluniac Charters, Tenth to Twelfth Century”

Isabelle Cochelin, University of Toronto St. George, “The ‘Exterior Within’ in Customaries from the Tenth and Eleventh Centuries”

Cédric Jeanneau, CRBC, Université de Bretagne occidentale, “Le monastère et sa familia à l’époque grégorienne: attractivité, attirance et confrontation dans le sud du Bas-Poitou”


Lunch: 12:15 – 1:15 p.m.


Three Concurrent Sessions: 1:15 – 2:45 p.m.

Session THREE, Room IB 250 Exchanges I

Chair: Alison Syme, University of Toronto Mississauga

Yves Gallet, AUSONIUS, Université de Bordeaux, “De Redon à Landévennec. Topographie et architecture des abbayes de Bretagne dans le monde carolingien”

Harriet Sonne de Torrens, University of Toronto Mississauga, “A Flemish Triptych from the Premonstratensian Abbey of Beauport in Brittany”

Malcolm Thurlby, York University, “Glastonbury Abbey: an Architectural History of the Twelfth and Early Thirteenth Century Fabric”


Session FOUR, Room IB 260 Exchanges II

Chair: Catherine Vincent, CHISCO, Université Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense

Stéphane Lecouteux, CRAHAM, Université de Caen Basse Normandie, “Une manière efficace d’appréhender les échanges entre monastères dans l’Ouest de l’Europe au Moyen Âge: l’étude des réseaux de confraternité”

Henry Drummond, Merton College, University of Oxford, “Hearing the Sacred Word: the Sonic World of Miracles in the Cantigas de Santa Maria”

Andrew Dunning, University of Toronto St. George, “Promoting Community Relations through Literary Exchanges at St Mary’s Abbey, Cirencester”


Session FIVE, Room IB 270 Exchanges and conflicts

Chair: Jean-Michel Picard, University College Dublin

Steven Lemaître, HCA, Université de Rennes 2, “Interactions et conflits entre commanderies et monastères en Bretagne, XIIe-XIVe siècles”

Julien Bachelier, CERHIO-Rennes, Université de Rennes 2, “Les abbayes en Haute-Bretagne aux XIe-XIIe siècles: de la convergence d’intérêts aux confrontations”

Vincent Launay, CERHIO-Rennes, Université de Bretagne-Sud, “Une abbaye bretonne aux XIIe-XIIIe siècles: Saint-Sulpice et le pouvoir épiscopal”


Break: 2:45 – 3:15 p.m.


Two Concurrent Sessions: 3:15 – 4:45 p.m.

Session SIX, Room IB 250 Reform and confrontation

Chair: Michael Lettieri, University of Toronto Mississauga

Guy Jarousseau, LEM, Université catholique de l’Ouest, “Relations et ruptures au sein du courant réformateur monastique de l’Ouest ligérien (vers 950-vers 1050)”

Anna Anisimova, Institute of World History and Russian State University for the Humanities, “Monasteries in Urban Environment: is it a Call for Confrontation?”


Session SEVEN, Room IB 260 Change and adaptation

Chair: Lochin Brouillard, University of Toronto St. George

Ralf Lützelschwab, Freie Universität, Berlin‚ “Clairvaux in the Fourteenth Century: Tribulations of a Cistercian Primary Abbey”

Jean-Baptiste Vincent, GRHIS, Université de Rouen, “Entre ‘unanimité et diversité cistercienne,’ le processus de transculturation de maisons affiliées à Cîteaux, l’exemple des monastères savigniens de Normandie”

Mathilde Gardeux, ARAR, Université Lumière Lyon 2, “Voir les abbayes comme des lieux d’échanges: le cas des établissements bénédictins normands à travers leurs bâtiments de réception (XIIe-XIVe siècle)”

Reception: Faculty Club, 41 Willcocks Street, Toronto, 6 – 8 p.m.



Friday, May 6, 2016

University of Toronto St. George

Jackman Humanities Building (JH), 170 St. George Street, Room 100A


Light Breakfast: 8:30 – 9 a.m.


Opening remarks, Day 2, 9 – 9:15 a.m.

Salvatore Bancheri, Chair, Department of Italian Studies, Emilio Goggio Chair in Italian Studies


Keynote speaker, Day 2, 9:15 – 10 a.m.

Bernard Ardura, Commission historique, Vatican, “Les chapitres généraux comme modèles de l’interaction entre le centre et la périphérie des ordres religieux au Moyen Âge”


Break: 10 – 10:30 a.m.


Session EIGHT, 10:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. Convergences I

Chair: Cédric Jeanneau, CRBC, Université de Bretagne occidentale

Joseph-Claude Poulin, Université de Montréal, “Alet, Landévennec, Redon: trois ateliers d’écriture hagiographique vers 870”

Cyprien Henry, Archives Nationales, Paris “La rédaction de cartulaires en Bretagne aux XIe et XIIe siècles: un témoin des influences et réseaux monastiques dans l’Europe du nordsouest”

Jean-Michel Picard, University College Dublin, “Échanges et divergences: monastères doubles et conhospitae dans les pays celtes du haut Moyen Âge”

Marielle Lamy, Centre Roland Mousnier, Université Paris-Sorbonne, “Regards croisés de moines blancs et de moines noirs sur la figure de saint Benoît”


Lunch: 12:15 – 1:15 p.m.


Session NINE, 1:15 – 3:00 p.m. Convergences II

Chair: Joëlle Quaghebeur, CERHIO-Lorient, Université de Bretagne-Sud

Catherine Vincent, CHISCO, Université Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense, “Monastères et pèlerinages aux trois derniers siècles du Moyen Âge, à travers quelques exemples de l’Ouest du royaume de France”

Esther Dehoux, IRHiS, Université de Lille, “Orate pro nostris, ut oravimus pro vestris : Convergences, échanges et solidarités dans les abbayes de l’Ouest (Xe-XIVe siècle)”

Regan Eby, Boston College, “Castellans, Clerical Families, and Reformed Monasticism: Confrontations and Convergences at La Sainte-Trinité, Combourg, c.1050-1120”

Visit to Book Exhibition: Robarts and Fisher Libraries, 4 – 5 p.m. Robarts and Fisher Rare Books Library Exhibit, Blackburn Room (RL 4036), Robarts Library


Conference Dinner, 7:30 p.m. (Separate registration required)

Hopefully, more information will be available at some point on

May 2, 11am-12pm: Information Session on Occitan and Catalan Medieval Literatures

Are you interested in learning more about two rich and understudied medieval literatures? Medieval Occitan and Catalan are two sister languages used in the south of France and in the eastern regions of the Iberian Peninsula, and are the vehicles for new literary forms and aesthetic practices arising in the twelfth century. The Centre for Medieval Studies is pleased to offer graduate courses next year that will provide the tools for close engagement with literary texts ranging from the earliest courtly love lyrics in Occitan, to the Catalan royal chronicles of intrigue and conquest of Muslim territories in thirteenth-century Catalonia. As a capstone event, there will be a joint workshop where papers presented by students in both courses will enable further dialogue between the Catalan and Occitan cultural spheres.
If you would like to hear more about the interconnections between Occitan and Catalan languages and cultures, and about how these two courses will approach their respective literary cultures,
please come to an information session to be held on
Monday, May 2 from 11:00-12:00 at the Centre for Medieval Studies, Room 301.
Professors Dorothea Kullmann (Occitan) and Jill Ross (Catalan) will be present to talk about their respective courses and about the exciting things happening in both Occitan and Catalan literary studies.
Capture d’écran 2016-04-22 à 10.51.33 AM
MST3152F: Introduction to Medieval Occitan (W 11-1, CMS)
A language course, designed for beginners who have little or no previous knowledge of Old Occitan and who wish to acquire the means to approach medieval Occitan literature in the original language. (A seminar on medieval Occitan literature will be offered in the spring term.) We will study historical phonetics, morphology, and syntax, using original text examples from different genres, including some troubadour poetry
MST3153S: Medieval Occitan Literature (W 11-1, CMS)
A brief general introduction to medieval Occitan literature will be followed by the study of a specific corpus, author, or genre, or a particular aspect of this literature. Apart from troubadour lyric, genres such as romance, epic, hagiography etc. may also be covered. Participants will become acquainted with the literature and culture of Southern France and its relationship to other European cultures. This year (2017-2018) we will explore the status of troubadour lyric within the literary system. Both lyrical and non-lyrical texts will therefore be included.
MST 3140Y: Medieval Catalan Language and Literature (R 10-12, CMS)
This full-year course is designed to teach the Catalan language (in both its medieval and modern forms) to students interested in reading medieval Catalan texts. The course begins with an intensive introduction to Catalan grammar and slowly introduces students to a variety of literary and historical texts written between 1200 and 1500. By late fall semester the emphasis in the course shifts away from grammar to reading literature in the spring semester. Texts to be studied include lyric poetry, historical chronicles, sermons, Arthurian romance, and allegorical dream visions by authors such as Ramon Llull, Bernat Desclot, Vicent Ferrer, Ausiàs March, Guillem de Torroella and Bernat Metge. No prior knowledge of Catalan is required although knowledge of another Romance language or Latin would be helpful.

2016 Leonard E. Boyle Lecture: Roberta Gilchrist, “Glastonbury Abbey Archaeology, Legend and Interpretation”

You are invited to attend the 2016 Leonard E. Boyle Lecture

“Glastonbury Abbey: Archaeology, Legend, and Interpretation”

sponsored by the Friends of the Library, Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies

presented by Roberta Gilchrist (University of Reading)

Research Dean for Heritage and Creativity and Professor of Archaeology

4:00 p.m., Monday, 2 May 2016

Room 400, Alumni Hall
121 St. Joseph Street
St. Michael’s College
University of Toronto

Reception to follow.

Roberta Gilchrist’s research addresses medieval social archaeology, with particular focus on gender and belief. She has published widely on the archaeology of medieval burial and religious communities (nunneries, monasteries, hospitals, cathedrals). She is particularly intrigued by the relationship between Christianity and medieval magic. A champion for equal opportunities, Gilchrist promotes women in archaeology and is actively involved in initiatives to integrate disability into the teaching of fieldwork.

Download the poster here.


Congratulations to Alexander Andrée for his prestigious SSHRC Grant

CMS is pleased to announce that Professor Alexander Andrée has been awarded a multiyear Insight Grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Council of Canada (SSHRC), to fund him and his students as he works on “Biblical Commentaries from the School of Laon in the Twelfth Century.”


 In Professor Andrée’s own words: “This project aims to study the exposition and teaching of the Bible as it was performed at the cathedral school at Laon in the early twelfth century, and how this teaching influenced the development of theology that took place in the schools of Paris over the following decades. Its primary objectives are to uncover and define the biblical scholarship that was pursued at Laon and brought the school its fame in the early years of the twelfth century and, through this process, to recover the lost teaching of Anselm of Laon, the foremost master of the sacred page of his time, and thereby to re-evaluate the position of Anselm and his school in the theological movement of the twelfth century. The first objective builds on a thorough study of textual material, mainly biblical commentaries, that survive from Laon or are otherwise associated with the school; the second, issuing from and dependent on the first study, will be achieved through subjecting the unearthed material to internal and external textual criticism; the third objective, finally, will be reached through examining how the discovered material influenced prevailing streams of biblical exegesis and theology in the twelfth and early thirteenth centuries.” Congratulations!

Congratulations to Andrew Dunning (CMS 2016) for his new book!

Andrew Dunning, Samuel Presbiter. Notes from the School of William de Montibus, edited from Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Bodley 860, Toronto Medieval Latin Texts, Toronto: PIMS, 2016.


Capture d’écran 2016-04-20 à 4.58.36 PM

Preserved in a single manuscript from the abbey library of Bury St Edmunds, and here edited for the first time, Samuel Presbiter’s series of short, extensively annotated poems offers a rare record of one of the innovative formats that medieval schoolmasters used to engage students beyond conventional lectures. The text affords the reader a vivid experience of immersion in the pedagogical techniques of the twelfth-century classroom. The poems and commentary present key lessons from the doctrinal instruction of William de Montibus (c. 1140–1213), the beloved master of the school of Lincoln Cathedral.

Dictionary of Old English awarded prestigious NEH grant

wyrm (large)The Centre for Medieval Studies is thrilled to announce that the Dictionary of Old English (DOE) has been awarded a prestigious grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The grant (US $160,000/CAN $210,000) will be administered through the NEH’s Division of Preservation and Access and will allow the DOE to continue to make progress over the next two years, particularly in the areas of technological innovation and sustainability.

The DOE is one of a very few projects outside the United States to enjoy the support of the NEH, which has been one of the DOE’s most important backers for many years. The support of agencies outside Canada is a clear indicator of the international importance of the DOE’s work.

The NEH’s evaluators for this grant hail the DOE as “one of the most significant scholarly lexical projects” of the last 50 years and “a model project in every way.” Singled out for particular praise are the project’s efforts to link to related entries in the Middle English Dictionary and Oxford English Dictionary, as well as the recent incorporation of links to manuscript images, which is commended as “an innovative approach to ‘problematic citations,’ changing the nature of evidence for historical dictionaries.”

Half of the new NEH grant will be awarded outright, while the other half must be matched by other third-party contributions in order to be released. If you would like to contribute to the DOE to help raise the matching funds, you may make donations online through credit card or by mail.


Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at: