Connaught New Researcher Awards for Profs Miles and Walton

CMS is very pleased to announce that two faculty members – Brent Miles and Audrey Walton – have been awarded Connaught New Researcher Awards, in the amount of $10,000 each.

BMiles.2016Brent Miles, Assistant Professor of Medieval Studies, holds a joint appointment at CMS and St. Michael’s College. His project, “The Literature of Biblical Kingship in Medieval Ireland: A Critical Edition of the Sermo ad Reges and the Teacusc Rigda Solam,” centers on the editing and translating of two key tracts on kingship in Ireland, “A Sermon to Kings” and “The Royal Teaching of Solomon.” The edition, presented in a format accessible both to specialists and to those not previously familiar with Irish culture, will further the study of the biblical and the native Celtic learning that underlies the intellectual traditions of the Latin West.

IMG_20150826_161203987Audrey Walton, Assistant Professor of English and Medieval Studies, holds a joint appointment in the Department of English and CMS. Her project, “New Wine in Old Skins: Early Medieval Theory of Language and the Invention of Vernacular Literature,” examines the significance of sacred poetry in English to the political and social identity of the English church, from England’s conversion at the end of the sixth century to the flourishing of England’s vernacular theology in the fourteenth. This book participates in ongoing scholarly conversations about sacred language, vernacularity, and world religions.

Congratulations to both of them!

Prestigious TATP Teaching Excellence Award: TWO CMS PhD students short-listed, one finalist!

Every year, the Centre for Teaching Support & Innovation offers awards to the best Teaching Assistants on campus. This year, there were 361 nominations from students and 46 nominations from faculty; in total, over 180 TAs were nominated from 78 departments, a particularly competitive year. Only twelve TAs made it to the short-list. Of these twelve short-listed among hundreds of TAs on campus, TWO were PhD students from the Centre for Medieval Studies: Nicholas Wheeler and Amanda Wetmore, and Amanda was among the five winners. She won the 2016 Teaching Assistants’ Training Program (TATP) Teaching Excellence Award. CONGRATULATIONS!

Here are some extracts of the letters written for these two TAs.

Photo on 24-5-2016 at 11.22 AM (1)One professor wrote about Amanda: “Amanda is a wonderful communicator who plans her lessons so thoroughly that she is able to let class discussion follow the movement of the needs and interests of students. She patiently gets the students in ENG 150Y to focus on the nuts and bolts of how literary texts work – the rhetorical devices, narrative structures, and thematic associations that go into the texture of literary compositions. The result is that students come out of her tutorials knowing they have real transferable skills as well as a much enriched understanding of cultural history.”

Wheeler photographOne student wrote about Nicholas: “Nicholas’ passion for learning is contagious and so he makes everything interesting. He also has the gift of tying medieval concepts to the development of our modern views.” A professor wrote: “[Nicholas’ contagious pleasure in teaching] is manifested by the incredible energy and joy he emanates when he is in front of his audience, tempered only by his desire to transmit his message in the clearest way possible. [H]e has a very clear sense of what must ABSOLUTELY be transmitted to them [the students] if we hope they understand anything of our message, a gift of clarity not given to all.”

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 two out of the twelve TAs short-listed by TATP this year, and already one from the twelve TAs short-listed last year (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.

Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream – Digital Humanities / Medieval Studies

Job Field: Teaching Stream
Faculty / Division: Faculty of Arts and Science
Department: UTSG: Centre for Medieval Studies / Woodsworth College
Campus: UTSG
Job Posting: May 11, 2016
Job Closing: May 26, 2016
Description: Digital Humanities
The Centre for Medieval Studies and Woodsworth College at the University of Toronto invite applications for a continuing Teaching Stream appointment in Digital Humanities / Medieval Studies. The appointment will be at the rank of Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream and will commence July 1, 2016.
Applicants must have a completed PhD degree by the time of appointment in Medieval Studies, History, English, or other related humanities discipline, as well as strong computer skills and experience in Digital Humanities pedagogy and research support across a variety of disciplines and platforms. The successful applicant will have a strong record of excellent teaching at the undergraduate level and must demonstrate capacity for excellence at the graduate level. Evidence of teaching excellence will include a teaching dossier, letters of reference, teaching evaluations, and sample syllabi for courses and/or workshops. Although our primary objective is teaching excellence, we also expect that the successful candidate will be actively engaged in the development and administration of an undergraduate program in Digital Humanities, and in the support of major research initiatives in Digital Medieval Studies, especially as these relate to graduate education.
Salary will be commensurate with qualifications and experience.
At the Centre for Medieval Studies, the successful candidate will, through workshops, classes, and mentorship, provide support to graduate students who are employed as Research Assistants for Digital Humanities research projects in premodern studies, with a special focus on projects that are based in or that collaborate with CMS: these include, for example, the Dictionary of Old English; Digital Tools for Manuscript Study and other projects in the Old Books New Science labs; DECIMA; Serai. The successful candidate will have experience delivering relevant skills training for graduate students on the use of a variety of DH tools and platforms (e.g., VisColl, Scalar, Omeka, Mirador, Cytoscope, Neatline, Gephi, Unity); emerging frameworks for data curation and interoperability (e.g., W3C Web Annotation Model, IIIF); and programming and markup languages and data formats (e.g., relational databases and SQL, TEI, XML, XSLT, JSON, Python). For more information about the Centre for Medieval Studies, see
At Woodsworth College, the successful candidate will develop undergraduate courses in digital humanities, leading to the establishment of an interdisciplinary minor program. Responsibilities will include planning and developing the overall program as well as individual courses. It is expected that the successful candidate will become the director of the new Digital Humanities program and will continue to teach or oversee its core courses, as well as doing other teaching for the College. For more information about Woodsworth College, see
The University of Toronto is a research-intensive institution with an interdisciplinary commitment, a multicultural student body, and a modern campus. The University offers the opportunity to conduct research, teach and live in one of the most diverse cities in the world. Woodsworth College is the largest undergraduate college in the Faculty of Arts and Science at the University of Toronto, with a strong tradition of providing pathways to university and fostering innovation in undergraduate education. The successful applicant will be expected to participate in the life of the College, as well as in the graduate community at the Centre for Medieval Studies and broader DH environment.
All qualified applicants are invited to apply online by clicking on the ‘apply’ link below. Applications should include a cover letter, curriculum vitae, and a teaching dossier that includes a statement of teaching philosophy and evidence of teaching excellence. If you have questions about the position, please contact Professor Suzanne Akbari, Search Committee Chair (
Submission guidelines can be found at: We recommend combining attached documents into one or two files in PDF/MS Word format.
Applicants should also ask three referees to email letters directly to Professor Suzanne Akbari, Search Committee Chair ( by the closing date of 26 May 2016.
The University of Toronto is strongly committed to diversity within its community and especially welcomes applications from visible minority group members, women, Aboriginal persons, persons with disabilities, members of sexual minority groups, and others who may contribute to the further diversification of ideas.
All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority.

Pre-Kalamazoo Overflow Sessions: May 10, 10am-1pm

Practice Your Kazoo Overflow Session
Tuesday, May 10, Room 310, Lillian Massey Building
10:00 am – 1:00 pm

Since the first Practice Your Kazoo session was so popular that it filled right up, we’re running an informal overflow session the following morning. After you’ve attended the formal session on Monday May 9th, please join us on Tuesday the 10th for Practice Your Kazoo Part II: The Two Kazoos! Our schedule is below.

Plenary, 10:00 am – 10:45 am
Lara Howerton, “Mending Medieval Manuscripts: The Tools and Techniques of Embroidered Parchment Repairs”

Coffee break, 10:45 am – 11:00 am

Panel 1: Out of This World, 11:00 am – 11:45 am
Anna Wilson, “They also had FURS”
Kaitlin Heller, “The Truth Is Up There: UFOs and National Identity from Medieval Europe to Antebellum America”

Coffee break, 11:45 am – 12:00 noon

Panel 2: Power and Control, 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
Christopher Berard, “‘De rotunda tabula prohibenda’: Squaring the Circle of Medieval Round Tables”
Daniel Price, “Don’t Mess with This Monastery: Two Sixth-Century Gallic Vitae Leveraging Famous Patrons into Raw Political Power”

Pre-Kalamazoo: May 9, 9am-4pm

Session 1: 9.00-10.30
Constanz Buyken, “Defining, Performing, and Questioning: “Chivalry” and Gender in Late Medieval Conduct Literature and the Tournament”
Sara Wilk, “Christine de Pizan, Chivalry, and Feminism”
Sarah Gregory, “Trans-like Identities in the Late Middle Ages and Early Renaissance”
Guillaume Bureaux, “The Persistence of the Warrior Tradition in the Last Years of the Middle Ages: The Example of the Pas d’Armes in Burgundy under Duke Charles the Bold”

Coffee/tea Break 10.30-10.45

Session 2: 10.45-12.00 
Sarah Gilbert, “Anglo-Saxon Medical Recipes in non-medical manuscripts: matters of culture, context and community”
Elise Williams, “Mendicant Medics: When Friars Treated in the Middle Ages”
Ariana Ellis, “The Great Equalizers: Death and Humour During the Black Death of the Fourteenth Century”

Lunch Break 12.00-1.00

Session 3: 1.00 – 2.15
Vanina Kopp, “Playful Reading as Pastime at the French Court: The Performance of Literary Games and Poetic Competitions in the Late Middle Ages”
Dylan Wilkerson, “Source Study of the Prologue of Guthlac A”
Amy Conwell, “Confessing Nothing: Marguerite Porete’s Middle English I without You”

Coffee/Tea Break 2.15-2.30

Session 4: 2.30- 4.00
Sigbjørn Sønnesyn, “‘But first: are you experienced?’: Robert Grosseteste’s Experiential Epistemology”
Jonathan Turnock, “Many lords, many kings: Architectural and sculptural visualisations of Anglo-Norman lordship”
Stephanie Britton, “Memory and identity at Canterbury: the written record”
Kate Menendez, “The Role of Exegesis in Complicating the Linear Narrative in Jonas of Bobbio’s Life of Columbanus”


Henry Daniel’s Linguistic Innovation

Henry Daniel’s Linguistic Innovation
Sarah Star

Tuesday, 10 May 2016
4:00 pm
Centre for Medieval Studies, Room 310

Henry Daniel, fourteenth-century Dominican friar, wrote the earliest known academic medical treatise in Middle English. To accomplish this task, he had to create much of the vocabulary needed to express specialist knowledge in English. In this talk, Sarah Star will outline some features of Daniel’s linguistic innovation, idiosyncratic style, and connections with medieval English literary culture to show how he established his vernacular authority.

Download the poster here.