Lecture by Barbara H. Rosenwein, Sept. 26

The Centre for Medieval Studies cordially invites you to a lecture by

Barbara H. Rosenwein Professor emerita, Loyola University, Chicago 

Angry Words, Then and Now

Thursday, 26 September 2019, 4:10 p.m. Room 310

Reception to follow

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British Library (London), Yates Thompson 3, Penitential Psalms (France), f. 165v, “Anger” 

“We are all servants” — The Diversity of Service in Premodern Europe (20-22 Sept)

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Organized by Isabelle Cochelin (UofT), Elisheva Baumgarten (Hebrew University of Jerusalem) and Konrad Eisenbichler (UofT) with Lochin Brouillard (UofT) and Emma Gabe (UofT)

Scientific Advisory Board: Antoinette Fauve-Chamoux (EHESS) and Diane Wolfthal (Rice University)

Administration: Lane Springer (UofT)

Click here for Registration 

Location: Great Hall, Centre for Medieval Studies (UofT)


Friday: September 20th

8am-9am – Registration

9am-9:30am – Opening Remarks

I. Service in (Jewish and Christian) Legal and Religious Discourses

9:30am-11:00am – The Legal Discourse on Service 

Chair: Steven Bednarski (University of Waterloo)

Ilana Ben-Ezra (New York University), “Between Custom and Law: Raymond de Penaforte’s approach to the Master-Servant Relationship Between Jews and Christians”

Yael Ejgenberg (Bar-Ilan University), “Domestic servants in Jewish households and rabbinical law in medieval Europe”

Sarah Pech-Pelletier (Univ. Paris 13), “L’évolution de la notion de ‘service’ entre les XIIIe et XVIe siècles: serviteurs, esclaves et maîtres sous le regard de la loi”

11:00am-1pm- Lunch (ad lib)

1pm-2:30pm – The Concept of Service in Religious Texts 

Chair: Lochin Brouillard (University of Toronto)

Magda Hayton (Missouri State University), “The Concept of Service in Hildegard of Bingen’s Apocalyptic Discourse and the Making of the Exordium magnum

Judah Galinsky (Bar-Ilan University), “The Religious Ideal of the “Faithful Servant”: Moses of Coucy and Rashi”

Discussion on the importance of service in both medieval Judaism and Christianity led by Elisheva Baumgarten (Hebrew University), Darlene Brooks Hedstrom (Wittenberg University), and Isabelle Cochelin (University of Toronto)

2:30pm-3pm- Coffee Break

II. Service in Lay Context (in Christian and Jewish milieus)

3pm-4:30pm – Differences in Status and Religion 

Chair: Judith Baskin (University of Oregon)

Lucie Laumonier (Concordia University), “Domestic Service in Late Medieval Languedoc: The Household and the Family”

Federica Francesconi (University at Albany, SUNY), “Anonymous Women, Last Wills, and Domestic Service in the Early-Modern Venetian Ghetto”

Natalie Rothman (University of Toronto), “Patronage and servitude in early modern Catholic Istanbul”

Saturday: September 21st

8:30-10:30am –Servants and Masters

Chair: Natalie Zemon Davis (University of Toronto)

Debra Blumenthal (University of California at Santa Barbara), “’Services for which I expect to be compensated’: Mothering as a Labor of Love in Fifteenth-Century Valencia”

P. J. P. Goldberg (University of York, UK), “The experience of life-cycle servanthood in later medieval English town and country”

Shannon McSheffrey (Concordia University), “Servants, Masters, and Xenophobic Violence in early Tudor London”

Elizabeth S. Cohen (York University), ““I am a girl, a servant, and I eat their bread”: Domestic service and dependency in Rome, circa 1600”

10:30am-11am – Coffee Break

11am-1pm – Trust and Mistrust 

Chair: Angela Zhang (York University)

Emily J. Hutchison (Mount Royal University, Calgary), “Mutual Suspicion and Distrust: Servants and Masters in the Criminal Records of Late Medieval Paris”

Kim M. Phillips (University of Auckland), “Breast into Service: Wet Nurses in Late Medieval England”

Elena Brizio (Georgetown University, Fiesole Campus, Italy), “Friends or Enemies? Sienese Servant Women in the 15thand 16thcenturies”

Marlee Couling (York University), “‘She would long since have been starved’: The Alliances of Mistresses and Female Servants in Seventeenth-Century England”

1pm-2pm- Lunch

III. Service in Christian Religious Contexts

2pm-3:30pm –Service in Female Religious Communities 

Chair: Bert Roest (Radboud University)

Kate E. Bush (University of Rhode Island), “Maids of the Handmaidens: Manual Labor in Female Franciscan Community, c. 1250-1550”

Emma Gabe (University of Toronto), “The Discourse on Service in the Late Medieval Sister-Books”

Isabel Harvey (Humboldt University, Berlin & Ca’ Foscari, University of Venice), “Tridentine Reform of Convents from Below: When Servants Become Converse Nuns”

3:30pm-4pm -Coffee Break

4pm-5:30pm –Serving Recluses, Priests and the Sick 

Chair: Konrad Eisenbichler (University of Toronto)

Laura Moncion (University of Toronto), “Crossing the Threshold: Recluses and their Servants”

Adam J. Davis (Denison University), “Servants in Medieval Hospitals: In Service of the Sick Poor ‘Lords of the House’”

Roisin Cossar (University of Manitoba), “The Life Stories of Clerics’ Servants in Fifteenth-Century Italy”

Sunday: September 22nd

IV. Service in Art, Literature and Court

9:30am-11am – Service at Court 

Chair: Elisa Brilli (University of Toronto)

Arnaud Montreuil (University of Ottawa), “Qui pour armes servoient: service and knighting in vernacular literature (12thand 13thcent.)”

Jiting Chu (Zhengzhou University), “L’Accompagnement en tant que service : les suivantes des dames de haute noblesse à la fin du Moyen Âge”

Rolf Strom-Olsen (IE School of Arts & Humanities, Madrid), “The Part-Time Courtier: the periodic contract system at the Court of Burgundy”

11am-11:30am- Coffee Break

11:30am-1pm – Visual Representation of Service 

Chair: Matt Kavaler (University of Toronto)

Francesca Canadé Sautman (Hunter College), “Women Servants, Headwraps and Turbans: Locating Status and Service in the fifteenth-century Burgundian Reach”

Diane Wolfthal (Rice University), “The Unseen Servant”

Mathilde Legeay (University de Nantes), “Between painting and reality: maidservants in seventeenth-century religious Italian painting”

1pm-2pm – Lunch

2pm-3:00pm – Staging Service and Servants 

Chair: Mario Longtin (Western University)

Laura Muñoz (UCLA), “Servants and the Politics of Language Choice in Three Plays by Guillén de Castro”

Rosalind Kerr (University of Alberta), “Masters and Servants On and Off stage in The Commedia dell’Arte”

3pm-3:30pm- Coffee Break

3:30pm-4:30pm – Concluding Round Table 

Chair: Antoinette Fauve-Chamoux (EHESS)

Diane Wolfthal (Rice University), Shami Ghosh (University of Toronto), Elizabeth Ewan (Guelph University), and Mario Longtin (Western University, London).

University of Toronto Colloquium in Medieval Philosophy 2019 (20-21 Sept.)

All sessions are free and open to the public and will be held in Room 100 of the Jackman Humanities Building (170 St. George Street).


Session I (4:30 – 6:30)

Chair: Therese Cory (University of Notre Dame)

Emmanuel Bermon (Université de Bordeaux): “The Augustinian Proof for the Immortality of the Soul”

Commentator: Scott MacDonald (Cornell University)



Session II (10:00 – 12:00) 

Chair: Giorgio Pini (Fordham University)

Matteo di Giovanni (University of Turin): “Western Islamic Hylomorphism: Matter and Form in Averroes’ Philosophy”

Commentator: Stephen Menn (McGill University)


Session III (2:00 – 4:00)

Chair: Simona Vucu (University of Toronto)

Matthieu Remacle (University of Toronto): “Logic as a Normative Linguistic Discipline in al-Farabi”

Jacob Andrews (Loyola University Chicago): “William of Auxerre on the Compatibility of Faith and Arguments”

Machessa Samz (Nazareth College, Rochester): “Vital du Four on the Intellect’s Cognition of the Singular”


Session IV (4:15 – 6:15)

Chair: Peter Hartman (Loyola University Chicago)

Christina Van Dyke: “Reason and Its Limits in 13th-15th Century Contemplative Philosophy”

Commentator: Jennifer Hart Weed (University of New Brunswick)


The colloquium is sponsored by the Department of Philosophy, the Collaborative Program in Ancient and Medieval Philosophy, the Centre for Medieval Studies, the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, and the Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations.

Organizers: Deborah Black, Peter King, Martin Pickavé

Position available: research associate (limited term) – Old English

The Centre invites applications for a Research Associate (Limited Term) for a 1-year part-time appointment, with the possibility of renewal.  The anticipated start date is November 1, 2019. Review of applications will begin on August 26, 2019, however this position will remain open until filled. To apply, please click here.

The successful candidate will have a PhD by the time of appointment or shortly thereafter. Applicants must have expertise in Od English language, familiarity with the corpus of Old English, and excellent research ability. Knowledge of Latin is essential and proficiency in Old English paleography is desirable. The primary responsibility of the successful candidate will be to do preparatory work to support editors in writing entries for the Dictionary of Old English.

This position offers a rare opportunity to participate in team research in the humanities, and therefore requires the ability to work well with other members of the project.  For more information about the Dictionary of Old English, please visit our home page at http://www.doe.utoronto.ca.
Any questions regarding this position should be directed to Dr. Robert Getz email hidden; JavaScript is required or Dr. Stephen Pelle email hidden; JavaScript is required.
To see a video about the project, click here:
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Congratulations to James P. Carley for his Gold Medal from the Bibliographical Society

Our colleague James P. Carley (CMS 1976) has been chosen as the recipient of the British Bibliographical Society‘s 2019 Gold Medal. Founded in 1892, the Bibliographical Society is the senior learned society dealing with the study of the book and its history. From time to time the Society awards a Gold Medal for distinguished services to bibliography to individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the development of the subject and the furtherance of the Society’s aims. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, James Carley is also Distinguished Research Professor Emeritus at York University, Honorary Professor at the University of Kent, Honorary Research Fellow at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford, and Fellow at the Pontifical Institute. The presentation of the Gold Medal will take place before the lecture on Tuesday, 21 January 2020, at the Society of Antiquaries.Screen Shot 2019-07-07 at 2.25.19 PM

Congratulations to Talia Zajac for the Prize she won for a Recent Article

Talia Zajac (CMS 2017) won the Canadian Association of Ukrainian Studies’ Best Article in 2017-2018 Award for

“The Social-Political Roles of the Princess in Kyivan Rus’, ca. 945–1240.” In A Companion to Global Queenship. Ed. Elena Woodacre. Series Ed. Dymphna Evans. Leeds: ARC Humanities Press / Amsterdam University Press, 2018, 125–146.

ARC-COMP_Woodacre-Queenship_cover_8May2018A prize ceremony will take place at the University of British Columbia (Vancouver, BC) during the 2019 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences.

Public Lecture by Michelle P. Brown, June 6, 4pm, CMS

Join us for a talk by Dr Michelle P. Brown, formerly the Curator of Illuminated Manuscripts at the British Library and Professor of Medieval Manuscripts Studies at the School of Advanced Study, University of London, where she now holds the status of Professor Emerita.

Her talk will be titled “The Eastwardness of Things: New Evidence for Early Medieval East-West Relations

sinai palimpsest overlay image[2]June 6, 2019


Centre for Medieval Studies

Lilliam Massey Bldg, Room 310

125 Queen’s Park Crescent

Reception to follow

Dr Brown’s visit has been sponsored by the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library and the reception by the Centre for Medieval Studies.sinai0055

Congratulations to Michael Barbezat for his new position!

Michael Barbezat (CMS 2013) has recently become a research fellow in the Institute for Religion and Critical Inquiry at the Australian Catholic University in Melbourne, Australia. The position is ongoing, with a five-year probation, dependant upon publications. His new institutional email is: email hidden; JavaScript is required.

IMG_2448Regarding publications, Michael’s first book was out last December: Burning Bodies: Communities, Eschatology, and the Punishment of Heresy in the Middle Ages. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2018.

Among the most recent, one should also mention:

“‘He Doubted That These Things Actually Happened’: Knowing the Other World in the Tractatus de Purgatorio sancti Patricii.History of Religions 57.4 (2018): 321–347.

“Desire for Complete Enjoyment: The Use of the Latin Affectus in Hugh of St. Victor’s De archa Noe.” In Before Emotion: The Language of Feeling, 400–1800, edited by Juanita Feros Ruys, Michael Champion, and Kirk Essary, 76–85. New York: Routledge, 2019.

“A Conjuration of Patrick: A Legacy of Doubt and Imagining in Hamlet.” In Hamlet and Emotions, edited by Paul Megna, Bríd Phillips, and R. S. White, 41–59. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2019.

“The Corporeal Orientation: A Medieval and Early Modern Framework for Understanding Deviance Through the Object(s) of Love.” In The Routledge History Handbook to Emotions in Europe, 1100–1700, edited by Susan Broomhall and Andrew Lynch. New York: Routledge, under contract.

Nomination of CMS Director Suzanne Akbari at the Institute for Advanced Study

CMS is both very sad and proud to announce that CMS Director Suzanne Akbari will become the new medievalist at the Institute for Advanced Study (Princeton). Below is her letter announcing this news to us, at the Centre. If you want to read about her nomination (and great research), please click here. We hope to celebrate Prof. Akbari and thank her for her service as CMS Director in the early Fall.

“Dear CMS colleagues, both staff and faculty,

I’m writing to share some news, which some of you already are aware of (on a ‘need to know’ basis), but which only becomes public knowledge this week. I’ve been offered a faculty position in the School of Historical Studies at the Institute for Advanced Study, in Princeton, starting this fall. With the permission of the Dean, I will continue to be a regular faculty member at U of T in 2019-20, on an unpaid leave of absence; from 1 July 2020, I’ll be an associate member of the graduate faculty, able to continue to supervise doctoral students and sit on committees, and to take on new supervisions (jointly with a local U of T-based co-supervisor).Screen Shot 2019-05-22 at 7.35.08 PM

 With regard to graduate supervision and research activity, I think that very little will change: I will be keeping my apartment in Toronto and continuing to work on some collaborative research projects, and therefore in town about once a month, at least for the first year. I’ll still be up frequently thereafter, not least because my daughter Sara is staying in Toronto. I’m eager to remain a member of the CMS community, as completely as you’ll still have me.
This appointment came as a great surprise to me, and I’m still not quite settled in my mind. I didn’t apply for the job, and must have been nominated; immediately after the tentative offer, at the end of January, I was just shocked, and then delighted. In the last few weeks, though, I’ve become preoccupied by mixed feelings: pleased at this new opportunity to build community in a very different environment, and hopefully to have new avenues for public humanities engagement (which, as many of you know, is important to me); but also sad at leaving familiar environments, dear friends, colleagues, and students.
Best wishes,
Suzanne Conklin Akbari
Director, Centre for Medieval Studies (on leave, 2018-19)
Professor, English and Medieval Studies
University of Toronto”