Updates regarding COVID-19


Our administration office is closed and all the work is done remotely.  You can still leave messages on our main phone (416 978 4884) as our Graduate administrator can listen to them at distance. The best, however, is to reach us all via email or to reach the Interim Director (IC) on her cellphone.

The Summer Latin Program has started and all our Summer Latin courses are being given online. Please contact our graduate administrator for further details.

All our Fall courses will be given online and, for some of them, when possible, also in person. See the program here.

Training for TAships and Course Instructorships can be found on the TATP website.

PIMS Library and UofT Libraries are closedFor news about UofT Libraries, click here. “Curbside” pickup for faculty, students and staff is possible for books housed in Robarts that are not available through the HathiTrust Emergency Temporary Access Service (ETAS). You can make a request using a Get Help button in the catalogue record for a book you would like. If your request is successful, you will be notified by email and can pick the book up at Robarts. The Kelly Library is offering a similar Curbside Pickup Service. When you find an item owned by the Kelly Library and listed in the UofT Library Catalogue, click on the blue “Get Help” button in the lower right corner.  If the item is not available digitally through the HathiTrust Digital Library, you will be able to make a request to borrow the print book or DVD from the Kelly Library. You can find more information on Kelly Curbside Pickup here.

Moreover, for our CMS students: CMS and PIMS collaborate to provide digital access to some of the PIMS resources. Find out more here.

Interlibrary loans will also try to help you for your research; do not hesitate to reach out to themMoreover, many publishing houses and journals made their publications in free access. Check their websites. See also, among other sites, the National Emergency Library and OpenAccess.

Given that there exists far more resources online than the UTCat lets us see, if you need any assistance or have questions, a great person to contact is the liaison librarian for your discipline: https://onesearch.library.utoronto.ca/liaison-librarians. No-one is specifically in charge of medieval studies but Graham Bradshaw would be happy to help. If he cannot help you himself, he will find another librarian whom to contact. Dr Greti Dinkova-Bruun (PIMS library) and Richard Carter (Kelly Library) would also be happy to be of help.

PhD defences, Special Field Exams, and Annual Committee meetings

For the time being, all will be done online, and not in-person. Students are responsible for organizing the SFE and their annual committee meetings. Contact the graduate administrator if you have any question.

September Latin exams: regarding their format, please read the attached memo. Concerning the practice exams and the mock exams in preparation for the September Latin exams, please refer to this second memo.

Possible sources of financial help for CMS students

There exists various emergency funds on campus and outside campus for Graduate students:

  1. FAS Graduate Students Emergency Bursary. This Bursary is now  managed via CMS. Fill up this form and send it to Rhonda Marley. The forms will be reviewed on Friday and the results being made known the following Monday.
  2. School of Graduate Studies’ Emergency Grant
  3. School of Graduate Studies’ Emergency Loan programs
  4. Canadian Government: for help from the Government that might be useful to Graduate Students, see this site. Careful: this document is regularly updated. So if its date seems a bit old, go on the website of the FAS Graduate Students Emergency Bursary to check if you can find a more recent version.


. The Student Executive Committee has also created a fund: the Student Executive Committee COVID-19 Relief Fund offers limited funds from the SEC budget to all CMS students (particularly MAs, P5 and unfunded PhDs, international students, and student parents) to help defray emergency expenses, lost income, rent, food, medication, and other costs incurred or exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Requests can be for as little as 20$. Please email any member of the student executive committee to apply or for more information.


. CMS Executive Office has created a CMS Emergency Fund for PhD students outside of the funded cohort, to help them with the current situationOnly an annual meeting report (with the statement that you are in a “Satisfactory Standing”) and a rationale are required to apply. There is no deadline. Evaluations and payments are done weekly.

Moreover, there exists, at least for this year, CMS awards to support writing and completion for students who will be in P6-P8 this coming September. These awards amount to $4,000 (with one instalment of $2,000 in the Fall and the other one in the Spring). The deadline to apply was June 15.

Finally, whatever group you are in, do not hesitate to contact us.

SSHRC news: here

If you feel distressed in these difficult times, please go to this website: https://www.artsci.utoronto.ca/news/caring-your-mental-health.

In addition to the regular University Student Crisis Number (only during office hours: 416-946-7111), OISE has compiled a list of city resources especially for COVID-19 coping, with 24/7 emergency counselling services (the Gerstein crisis centre has been especially recommended): https://www.oise.utoronto.ca/aphd/Home/COVID-19_Coping_Resources/index.html

See as well, for graduate students, the Guide to Working From Home for Graduate/Postdoctoral Researchers and, for their supervisors, the Strategies for Graduate Mentoring and Supervision at a Distance.

See for University’s Employee and Family Assistance Program:  http://benefits.hrandequity.utoronto.ca/efap/

Each step to take in case you are worried regarding COVID-19 (see Self-Assessment by Ontario Public Health)

All employees and students should monitor themselves for COVID-19 symptoms listed in the University’s COVID-19 FAQs

  • If experiencing symptoms, please follow the directives detailed on the Toronto Public Health website including self-isolating, taking the available Self-Assessment and following the recommendations for seeking additional care from their primary care provider, Telehealth or nearest hospital based of their symptoms
  • If one of you (Faculty, student or staff member) is contacted by a Public Health authority with regards to COVID-19, please contact the University’s Occupational Health Nurse at: ehs.occhealth@utoronto.ca
  • If any student is sick or self-isolating, please advise your supervisor or the Interim Director and Acting Manager.
  • If any Faculty member or staff is sick or self-isolating, please contact Interim Director with Suzanne and Michael and complete the Employee Absence Self-Declaration form, available in the HR Service Centre and linked below:
  • If advised by Public Health that you are to self-isolate, you must confirm with Public Health that you are clear to resume normal activities prior to returning to work or study.

If you think someone you know might have it

“Remember that privacy is important: If you or someone else in your unit believes or suspects that a member of your unit may have been infected with COVID-19, we are not to share this information with others unless asked to do so by a Public Health Authority.”

Papers to be filled up for faculty who feels flu-like symptoms or is in self isolation

“In order to track COVID-19 related absences as advised by public health, we request that all faculty, staff and librarians who are absent due to flu-like symptoms or are self-isolating complete the Employee Absence Self-Declaration form, available in the HR Service Centre and linked below:


See Website https://safetyabroad.utoronto.ca/covid-19/

What if research-related travel needs to be reimbursed?

The tri-council is allowing reimbursement of canceled travel fees. See the website of Research Services https://research.utoronto.ca/covid-19 regarding Faculty. For students, please contact us, cc-ing at least two persons: graduate administrator, Interim Director, etc.

Here is the website with news from the University and FAQ. For SGS, check School of Graduate Studies information and for HR, HR & Equity COVID-19 page.

Please also refer to Government of Canada travel advisories and Toronto Public Health advisories as this is an evolving situation.

Careful all as there is an increase in internet scams, please read this message.

Congratulations to Talia Zajac (CMS 2017) for her two postdoc fellowships

 Talia Zajac has been offered and has accepted the following prestigious postdoctoral fellowships: a Mellon Fellowship at the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies for the coming academic year 2020-2021 and a 36-month Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowship beginning May 2021 in the John Rylands Research Institute, University of Manchester. She will conduct research on “Royal women, cultural exchanges, and Rus’ ecumenical marriages, circa 1000-1250”

Seal by the Rus’–born Duchess Gremislava (or in Polish, Grzymisława, d. 1258), widow of Duke Leszek the White of Kraków (d. 1227), affixed to a charter issued on 12 May 1228, kept in the Archiwum Główne Akt Dawnych / The Central Archives of Historical Records in Warsaw, Zb. dok. perg. 6429, digitized at: http://www.agad.gov.pl/inwentarze/ddpp.xml

Regarding this seal, Talia wrote “To the best of my knowledge, this is the only extant seal issued by a Rus’-born bride in Latin Christendom in the pre-Mongol period (before 1240/1241). It is also remarkable because it is the earliest Polish seal that depicts a duchess crowned, seated on a throne, and alone, without written or visual reference to the authority of husbands or sons; a strong statement of female authority.”

Memo Regarding the CMS Practice and Mock Latin Exams, Summer 2020

Dear Students,

     As promised in the previous memo regarding our options for administering the Centre’s Latin exams in September, we are now providing the information on the practice and mock exams which all students are welcome and encouraged to participate in. Both the practice and mock exams will be offered through U of T’s Quercus platform, accessible with students’ credentials for registered U of T students and via temporary guest access for students who have not yet registered and for external participants. To obtain a Guest ID, please contact Rhonda Marley.

     All incoming and current students who have not yet passed both exams will be added to the course by June 23, along with non-CMS students currently enrolled in summer Latin courses. Other non-CMS students should contact Rhonda Marley to be enrolled, as should any current or incoming students who have not been added by June 23.

     1. Practice Exams

     A new course called “CMS Latin Exams” has been created on Quercus. The purpose of these practice exams is to give an opportunity to the students to test and familiarize themselves with the technical aspects of writing the exam on Quercus.

     2. Mock Exams

     The mock exams will be set for Monday, July 20, 1 p.m. Eastern/Toronto time. Students who plan to write the mock exam/s need to register by July 15 by contacting Rhonda Marley.

     The mock exams will contain 2 passages instead of 4 and would thus be scheduled for 1,5 hours rather than 3, as is the case for the real exams. The mock exams will be timed but not marked, although translations for self-check will be provided. The mock exams will be monitored by a member of the Latin Committee through a video-meeting on Zoom. The purpose of the mock exams is for the students to have an experience as close as possible to the real exam situation in September, and to get acquainted with the hybrid Quercus/Zoom system adopted by CMS for the September exams.

     3. Feedback from the Students

     CMS and the Latin Committee will appreciate the students’ feedback by July 31, so that any potential technical problems could be addressed in timely fashion. Please send your comments to the Chair of the CMS Student Executive Committee Laura Moncion.

For the Latin Committee
Dr. Greti Dinkova-Bruun, Chair.

Posted in Uncategorized

Memo Regarding the CMS Latin Exams in September 2020

Dear Students at the Centre for Medieval Studies,

     Because of the uncertainty about how the Fall term of 2020 will unfold at the University of Toronto in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the CMS Latin Committee met on May 26 to discuss our options for administering the Centre’s Latin exams in September. After serious deliberation, it was agreed that under the current conditions writing the exams online will be the default option. In light of the problems experienced in the April writing of the exams and in consideration of the feedback the Latin Committee received from the CMS Student Executive Committee, it was decided that CMS will not again use the services of ProctorU. A different system for writing the exams online was agreed upon (see below, Section 1). As an alternative to writing the exam online, the possibility of writing the exams on-site in person was also discussed (see below, Section 2).

     Training for the online option will be provided during the summer, after which a new round of feedback from the students will be requested, in order to ascertain whether any adjustments need to be implemented. The aim is to ensure that the September Latin exams are written in an environment which allows students to perform at their very best in a fair and equitable way.


     Important Dates and Information


     Information about the training for the online option will be provided during the month of June.

     Students who are planning to take the Latin Exam on September 9 (Level 1) or September 11 (Level 2) need to register via email with Rhonda Marley by August 4, 2020. At the moment of their registration, students are asked to indicate whether they prefer writing the exam on-site in person, should this option be available in September 2020. Students in different time zones should indicate their time constraints at the time of registration.

     CMS will communicate to students registered for the exams all the details concerning the exams, both online and in person (if this option is available), by August 20, 2020.

1. Writing the Latin Exams online

After discussing three options for administering online exams, the Committee agreed on using the following hybrid system. Exams will be conducted online through the Quercus site (accessible with students’ credentials for registered U of T students and via temporary guest access for students who have not yet registered and for external participants). Live support and monitoring will be offered to the participants in the exams by members of the Latin Committee through a video-meeting on Zoom. Students will not be recorded while taking the exams, nor will a browser lock-down software be used.

This hybrid system will provide equal conditions for all students, conditions which are comparable with those occurring during regular times during on-site in person exams. This effective and friendly monitoring was successfully implemented during the April Modern Language Exams at CMS. The hybrid system also includes configuration strategies to ensure that the needs of students with special needs are accommodated.

For additional information about Quercus, please consult this page.

For additional information about Zoom, please consult this page.

2. Writing the Latin Exams on-site in person

     While it is not currently possible to guarantee on-site in person exams, the Committee discussed also this option. A decision was made that in case the University of Toronto makes the public buildings accessible in September 2020, the students who so desire can write the Latin Exam at:

     2a. The Library of the Pontifical Institute for Mediaeval Studies.

     The PIMS Library offers many advantages over the spaces at the Centre for Medieval Studies:

1) because of its size, the PIMS Library can ensure satisfactory social distancing;

2) the PIMS Library will provide equal conditions for all students writing the exam;

3) the PIMS Library will provide a quiet space where the students can concentrate on the exam without any external disturbances. In order to ensure this, the Librarian has promised to close the Library for other patrons during the exams. As an exception, students will be allowed to bring in water and snacks, while phones and all other personal belongings will be placed in the lockers.

For additional information about the PIMS library, please consult this page.

     2b. The University of Toronto Exam Centre.

     Students with specific accessibility needs or health concerns can express their preference for writing the exams in person at the University of Toronto Exam Centre. The Exam Centre will do its best to satisfy such requests, should this possibility be available.

For additional information about the University of Toronto Accessibility Services, please consult this page.

     It needs to be stressed that both “writing in person”-options depend on the decision of the University of Toronto to make the relevant buildings accessible and require an explicit choice to be made by the student who is interested in one of these options. This is why each student, who will be writing the Latin exam/s in September, is asked to specify whether they would prefer to write the exam on-site in person, provided that this is possible by the University’s regulations, at the moment of the registration no later than August 4. Any change in preferences should be communicated to Rhonda Marley by September 1.

For the Latin Committee

Dr. Greti Dinkova-Bruun, Chair

Posted in Uncategorized

P6, P7 and P8 Writing and Completion Fund

The following is for this year only. Other solutions will be found in the future.

To support your writing and completion, PhD students who will be registered in P6, P7 and P8 in 2020-21 can obtain an award of $4,000 if they fulfill the following requirements:

. For the ones who will be registered in P6 in 2020-21: at least 2 chapters completed by the beginning of the next academic year (11 September 2020), and a plan to finish by the end of 2020-2021.

. For the ones who will be registered in P7 in 2020-21: at least 3 chapters completed by the beginning of the next academic year (11 September 2020), and a plan to finish by the end of 2020-2021.

. For the ones who will be registered in P8 in 2020-21: at least 4 chapters completed by the beginning of the next academic year (11 September 2020) and a firm intention to finish in 2020- 2021.

In case the obtention of books from the libraries is still significantly limited during July and August, then one of these chapters can still be in draft form.

To obtain this financial support, please submit by June 15, 2020 the following documents to the graduate administrator, Rhonda Marley:

. Annual Advisory Committee Meeting Report in which the members of your Advisory Committee testify that you meet the criteria above.

. If you have not yet these chapters ready but will have them by 11 Sept 2020, then we will also ask a September letter from your supervisor confirming that the chapters are done.

Support will be disbursed in two instalments: students who fulfill these requirements will receive $2,000 in the Fall, and if they are still registered in the program, $2,000 in the Spring.

If you do not fulfill these requirements and are in the unfunded cohort, do not hesitate to apply to CMS Emergency Fund.

Posted in Uncategorized

Congratulations to Alexandra (Alex) Gillespie, new VP-Principal at UTM!

Screen Shot 2020-05-14 at 8.49.58 PMAlex Gillespie has been appointed as new Vice-President, University of Toronto and Principal, University of Toronto Mississauga (UTM). The appointment runs from July 1, 2020 to December 31, 2025.

Alex Gillespie is the chair of UTM’s Department of English & Drama. She is well-known in our community of medievalists as a great supervisor of many of our PhD students. She also engages in fascinating and important projects. She is the principal investigator of U of T Old Books New Science Lab; she and her team have received over $2.5 million (Cdn) in funding. Their international research initiative uses non-destructive analytic techniques to investigate the origins and development of books in their project entitled The Book and the Silk Roads. In 2016, she founded the Jackman Humanities Institute’s tri-campus Digital Humanities Network. Her 2006 book, Print Culture and the Medieval Author, showed that pre-modern ideas about authorship shaped Western printing technologies while her forthcoming monograph, Chaucer’s Books, explores the literary history and philosophy of the book sciences.

Publication of Letters A-C of the Epinal-Erfurt Glossary Editing Project

Professor Herren wishes to announce the publication of Letters A-C of the Epinal-Erfurt Glossary Editing Project, sponsored by the  Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, and housed at the Dictionary of Old English. Final preparations are being made for Letter D, which will be published soon.

The editorial team includes CMS doctoral candidates Dylan Wilkerson, Cameron Laird, Deanna Brooks, and Shirley Kinney, with acknowledgements to Dr. Stephen Pelle and Dr. Robert Getz, co-editors of the Dictionary of Old English. The international editorial team consists of Michael Herren, David Porter (Southern University), and Hans Sauer (Munich).

Screen Shot 2020-04-12 at 3.57.10 PM

Congratulations to Michael Herren and Andrew Dunning for a new edition

Prof. Michael W. Herren with the assistance of R.W. Hunt Curator Andrew Dunning (CMS 2016), has published Iohannis Scotti Eriugenae Carmina. Corpus Christianorum Continuatio Medievalis 167. Brepols: Turnhout, 2020. In the same volume, one finds as well Giovanni Mandolino and Chiara O. Tommasi, De Imagine, Eriugena’s translation of Gregory of Nyssa’s De Opificio Hominis.

The volume is dedicated to the memory of Professor Edouard Jeauneau, Senior Fellow of the Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies, who supervised students from the Centre of Medieval Studies over many years. The dedicatory preface was written by Prof. Andrew Hicks (CMS 2011), who, along with Andrew Dunning, assisted Professor Jeauneau in the preparation of his magisterial edition of Eriugena’s Periphyseon.

On-line Summer Latin Courses (deadline for enrolment: May 1st)

CMS Summer Latin Programme has existed for decades. For the first time, given the exceptional circumstances, all the courses will be given online. If you are interested, please enrol as soon as possible as there is a numerus clausus.

The summer courses are non-credit and are taught by senior graduate students of the Centre who are thoroughly fluent in Latin and are already experienced teachers in our program. They work under the supervision of the faculty members teaching Medieval Latin and are trained specifically for these courses; we take great care in making appointments to these positions.

Students admitted to CMS MA or PhD programs for the next academic year can attend any of these summer courses, at the appropriate level, for free.

Students who attend the courses regularly and do all the assignments will be given an official letter from CMS indicating the course content and their participation in it.

The program is under the direction of the Committee for Medieval Latin Studies in the Centre for Medieval Studies. The Centre for Medieval Studies assumes no responsibility for cancellation of classes due to circumstances beyond its control.

Beginning Latin
19 May to 10 July 2020
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday
Schedule yet to be finalized
Textbook: Moreland and Fleischer, Latin: An Intensive Course. 
The book is available for purchase online, with delivery, from the UofT Bookstore (link to https://uoftbookstore.com/buy_book_detail.asp?pf_id=14357534).


An introductory intensive course for those with little or no previous exposure to Latin. You can’t expect to assimilate Latin grammar thoroughly or build an extensive vocabulary in just eight weeks, but those who successfully complete the course are adequately prepared to attend our Level One Latin class – that is, they should be able to score at least 30% on our Level One Latin examination in September.

14 July to 30 July 2020
Tuesday and Thursday
Following Beginning Latin, a three-week supplemental reading course will offer students an opportunity to consolidate their grasp of the language. Assignments will include selections from the Vulgate, the Gesta Romanorum, and other medieval texts of a similar level of difficulty. The supplemental course is open to those registered for Basic Latin with no additional tuition fee.


For the following two courses, Level One Latin and Level Two Latin, please see the enrolment restrictions. Given the COVID-19 Pandemic, if you have not already registered for the CMS Latin exam(s), you will not be able to take the exam(s), and, thus, to take these courses this year. We are really sorry for this.


Level One Latin

25 May to 03 July 2020
Monday through Friday
Schedule yet to be finalized
The class presupposes a basic knowledge of the elements of Latin (declensions and conjugations, some vocabulary, and prior exposure to complex syntax) as laid out in an introductory course (such as our Beginning Latin course). See also below “Review Session”.
The instructor will be available regularly for consultation. This course prepares students to sit our Level One exam in September. Readings encompass Latin texts of various periods, countries of origin, and disciplinary interest, with emphasis on close grammatical commentary and analysis. (Typical texts might include the works of Geoffrey of Monmouth, the Gesta Romanorum, the Vulgate Bible, Apollonius of Tyre, and others of similar difficulty.)
To register, a minimum mark of 30% on the April Level One Latin Exam is required. A mark below that might indicate you’d be better off in the Beginning Latin course. A mark below 50% suggests you should arrive early for the intensive grammar review as described above.
12 May to 22 May 2020
Tuesday through Friday
Schedule yet to be finalized.
Prior to the Level One Latin course we will offer a two-week intensive grammar review open at no extra charge to those who register for the Level One Latin course. We strongly recommend you take this review if you’re concerned that your grasp of grammar is shaky.


Level Two Latin

06 July to 14 August 2020
Monday through Friday
This course might still be given with in-person classes (depending how the pandemic evolves): 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. (Room: LI 310)
The instructor will be available regularly for consultation. For students who have already passed our Level One Latin examination and already have a thorough knowledge of Latin grammar and a basic working vocabulary. This course prepares you to take our Level Two Latin examination; a pass at that level indicates that a student is fluent in Latin, is completely sound on grammar (both accidence and syntax), can handle complex sentences, has a wide vocabulary, and can be trusted to use Latin for research purposes efficiently and without error. Class work includes regular sight passages and prepared reading of difficult Medieval Latin. As with the Level One Latin course, we try to make choices representative of different periods and a wide range of subject matter. (Typical texts might include works by Augustine, Notker Balbulus, Bernard of Clairvaux, Dante, Petrarch, Boccaccio, Boethius and others of similar difficulty).
A Level One Latin Exam Pass is required to register. (Note: if you take and pass our Level Two Latin examination in April, you’re unlikely to benefit from these courses.)


Fees & Financial Support
The fees below are applicable to ALL students (including currently registered U of T graduate and undergraduate students) for Beginning Latin. The Level One Latin and Level Two Latin courses are free for graduate students currently registered full-time in the School of Graduate Studies, U of T. The fees below apply to all others.
Each course: $1,200 (CAD) for Canadian residents, or its equivalent in US dollars for non-Canadian residents, to be paid by 1 May.
For forms of payment, please contact CMS graduate administrator.


In case of withdrawal, return of the original receipt is required to process refund. Until the start of classes, a full refund is available, minus $50 for administrative services. In the first week of classes, 50 per cent of fees will be refunded. After the first week of classes has ended, no refund is possible.


Applying for Summer Latin
Enrolment in each course is limited. To register for any of the summer courses a letter and requisite registration fee must be submitted by 1 May.

Please note: although students (including CMS) currently registered in the University of Toronto do not pay additional fees for the Level One, Level Two, and Grammar Review courses, they MUST register their intention to take the courses by the 1 May deadline in order to reserve a space by sending an email to medieval.studies@utoronto.ca.