CMS/PIMS Distinguished Visiting Scholar: Prof. Christopher Martin

A warm welcome to Prof. Christopher Martin, University of Auckland, who is our 2013 CMS/PIMS Distinguished Visiting Scholar. Prof. Martin will be in Toronto from September to December. He has an international reputation as a historian of logic, especially for his groundbreaking work on Boethius and Abelard; and he is currently working with Peter King (CMS) on an edition of Abelard’s commentary on Porphyry’s Isagoge. Prof. Martin has been part of the team editing the works of Richard Rufus of Cornwall; he has worked extensively on the emergence of twelfth-century thought, including original manuscript research; he has written on topics as varied as the use of Avicenna’s ‘Flying Man’ argument in High Scholasticism, Peter John Olivi on knowing that one knows, the influence of John Major in the fifteenth century, and the nature of logical consequence. He has been a visiting fellow in philosophy at All Souls College (Oxford), a visiting professor at the École Pratique des Hautes Études, and most recently held a Leverhulme Visiting Professorship at the University of Cambridge.

During his time in Toronto, Prof. Martin will be available to students and present a lecture on November 1: “Flights of Fancy: Some Thirteenth-Century Discussions of the Certainty of Self-Knowledge”; Alumni Hall 400, 4pm.

He will also conduct two seminars on Abelard’s logic:
— Wednesday, October 16 “Inconvenient Consequences: Peter Abaelard’s Revolution in Logic and its Failure, Part I”; LI 310, 3-5pm
— Friday, October 25 “Inconvenient Consequences: Peter Abaelard’s Revolution in Logic and its Failure, Part II”; LI 310, 1-3pm

Job Advertisement: Associate/Full Professor in Old English Language and Literature

The Faculty of Arts and Science, University of Toronto invites applications and nominations for the Cameron Professorship in Old English Language and Literature. This is a tenured appointment at the rank of Associate or Full Professor in the Centre for Medieval Studies (51%) and the Department of English (49%) with special responsibility as Chief Editor of the Dictionary of Old English (DOE). The appointment will be effective July 1, 2014.

The successful incumbent for this position will demonstrate a deep commitment to producing the highest quality scholarship in the field of Old English language and literature. The incumbent will provide leadership and forge critical links between scholars of Old English language and literature at the University of Toronto and their counterparts at universities and specialized institutions across Canada and abroad. Candidates are required to have a PhD and demonstrated evidence of teaching and research excellence in both Old English and other relevant fields (e.g. Medieval Latin and Old Norse).

The Centre for Medieval Studies and the Department of English offer the opportunity to teach and to conduct research in units that are committed to studying both medieval culture and English language and literature in historical depth and geographical range. Situated in one of the most diverse cities in the world, the Centre and the Department reflect that diversity in their approach to English as a world language. The Centre and Department are committed to excellence in teaching and research. Candidates must display evidence of excellence in both these areas. Salary will be commensurate with qualifications and experience.

For the full job advertisement see here.

University of Toronto Colloquium in Medieval Philosophy 2013

Friday, September 20

Session I (4:30 – 6:30)
Chair:  Stephen Dumont (University of Notre Dame)
Speaker:  Jon McGinnis (University of Missouri, St. Louis): “A Small Discovery: Avicenna’s Theory of Minima Naturalia
Commentator:  Alnoor Dhanani (Harvard University)

Saturday, September 21

Session II (10:00 – 12:00)
Chair:  Peter Eardley (University of Guelph)
Speaker:  Christopher Martin (University of Auckland): “Abelard on Modality and its Logics”
Commentator:  Kevin Guilfoy (Carroll University)

Session III (2:00 – 4:00)
Chair:  Ian Drummond (University of Toronto)
Joseph Stenberg (University of Colorado, Boulder): “Happiness in Aquinas: an Analysis of its Core”
Stephen Ogden (Yale University): “Averroes’s Argument from Universals for a Separate Material Intellect”
Simona Vucu (University of Toronto): “Henry of Ghent on Causal Powers”

Session IV (4:15 – 6:15)
Chair:  Henrik Lagerlund (Western University)
Speaker:  Gloria Frost (University of St. Thomas, St. Paul): “Three Medieval Models of Primary and Secondary Causation: Aquinas, Scotus, and Auriol”
Commentator:  Kara Richardson (Syracuse University)

All sessions will be held in Room 100 of the Jackman Humanities Building (170 St. George Street).

All sessions are free and open to the public.

Registration and inquiries: email hidden; JavaScript is required

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

Organizers: Deborah Black, Peter King, Martin Pickavé

New Book by CMS Alumnus Philip Slavin

BrethrenCongratulations to Philip Slavin (PhD 2008). His new book “Bread and Ale for the Brethren” has just been published by the University of Hertfordshire Press.

From the description: “By 1300, England and other West-European countries had undergone a significant degree of commercialisation. More and more communities, both urban and rural, depended on an efficient network of local markets to obtain the goods they needed, in particular for their food. Yet in spite of this, some landed lords and, most notably, monasteries and convents continued to rely on the produce of their own estates, even though there were significant costs and risks associated with the production, transportation and storage of their own food. Philip Slavin sets out to account for this puzzling situation through an in-depth study of the changing patterns and fortunes of the provisioning of Norwich Cathedral Priory between c.1260 and 1536. Close analysis of contemporary archival sources reveals that the Priory made a deliberate choice, dictated by various economic, social and environmental factors and which, altogether, made isolation from the market a profitable, and very rational, option.”

For more information see the publisher’s website.

New Publication by Isabelle Cochelin

Congratulations to Isabelle Cochelin on the publication of Medieval Lifecycles: Continuity and Change, a volume she co-edited with Karen Smyth. The book also contains articles by two CMS alumnae, Mary Dzon and Jessie Sherwood.

“The essays in this collection present new research into a variety of questions on birth, childhood, adolescence, adulthood, middle age, and old age, ordered in a more or less chronological manner according to the lifecycle. The volume exposes attitudes and representations of the lifecycle from the Anglo-Saxon period to the end of the Middle Ages as being full of inconsistencies as well as definitive categories, and of variation and stasis. This attests to the fact that medieval conceptions and representations of the stages of life and their interrelationships are much more nuanced and less idealized than is usually credited. Medieval conceptual, mental, artistic, cultural, and sociological processes are scrutinized using various approaches and methods that cross disciplinary boundaries.”

For more information see the publisher’s website.

Konrad Eisenbichler wins the Flaiano International Prize for Italian Scholarship

Congratulations to Konrad Eisenbichler on winning the Flaiano International Prize for Italian Scholarship for his book The Sword and the Pen. Women, Politics, and Poetry in Sixteenth-Century Italy (Notre Dame University Press, 2012).

The various Premi Flaiano are among the most prestigious to be awarded in Italy. These awards are bestowed for outstanding achievement in cinema, theatre, radio/television, and literature. The awards ceremony will be broadcast on television from Italy on July 14th, 2013.

Prof. Eisenbichler is both the first University of Toronto recipient, as well as the first Canadian to win this esteemed award.

Update: See also the detailed report in the UofT Bulletin.

New Book by Suzanne Akbari

Congratulations to Suzanne Akbari and Karla Mallette, her coeditor, on the publication of “A Sea of Languages: Rethinking the Arabic Role in Medieval Literary History”!

From the publisher’s description: “Medieval European literature was once thought to have been isolationist in its nature, but recent scholarship has revealed the ways in which Spanish and Italian authors – including Cervantes and Marco Polo – were influenced by Arabic poetry, music, and philosophy.  A Sea of Languages brings together some of the most influential scholars working in Muslim-Christian-Jewish cultural communications today to discuss the convergence of the literary, social, and economic histories of the medieval Mediterranean. This volume takes as a starting point María Rosa Menocal’s groundbreaking work The Arabic Role in Medieval Literary History, a major catalyst in the reconsideration of prevailing assumptions regarding the insularity of medieval European literature. Reframing ongoing debates within literary studies in dynamic new ways, A Sea of Languages will become a critical resource and reference point for a new generation of scholars and students on the intersection of Arabic and European literature.”

For more information see here.

Changes in CMS Leadership

With July 1 two changes in the CMS Leadership will take effect. Professor Suzanne Akbari will take over the directorship from Professor John Magee. Many thanks to John for his many years of service to CMS (in various administrative roles)! Moreover, Professor Isabelle Cochelin will start as the new PhD Coordinator. She follows Professor Jill Caskey. Also to you, Jill, many, many thanks!

Jill Caskey wins SSHRC Insight Grant

Congratulations to Jill Caskey on winning a SSHRC Insight Grant! The grant will support her research project entitled “Pilgrimage, the cult of saints, and patronage in the Kingdom of Sicily, ca. 1300” in the next five years. The study examines the artistic patronage of three cult sites, St Nicholas in Bari, St. Andrew in Amalfi, and St Januarius (the famed Gennaro) in Naples. It probes the ways in which the Angevin kings dealt with old, prestigious cults in southern Italy and supported the development of new ones.

Well done!! Good luck with this exciting project.

Ariella Elema wins Boyle Dissertation Prize

Congratulations to Ariella Elema who has just been awarded the Leonard Boyle Dissertation Prize of the Canadian Society of Medievalists for her dissertation “Trial by Battle in France and England”! This is great news. The runner-up was another former CMS student, Stephen Pelle with his dissertation “Continuity and Renewal in English Homiletic Eschatology, ca. 1150-1200”. Well done, both of you!