Imitation, Emulation and Forgery: CMS Medieval Colloquium 2012

The 33rd Medieval Colloquium of the Centre for Medieval Studies
Friday & Saturday March 2–3, 2012
Alumni Hall, Old Victoria College, 93 Charles Street West, Toronto

Updated: Information for conferees

The Centre for Medieval Studies invites you to register now for its 33rd Medieval Colloquium, a 2-day conference to be held on March 2–3 2012 on the subject of imitation in the Middle Ages, featuring distinguished keynotes Jan Ziolkowski and Marjorie Curry Woods.

Please register by February 10, 2012: Faculty $40, Senior $25, Student $15 (lunches included).

Registration Form
Preliminary Program

If you have accessibility requirements, if you need directions, or any other concerns, please contact Jessica Lockhart.

Imitation is a central concept within medieval thought, linking disparate genres and avenues of human experience within a network of interconnected models and interpretive structures. Medieval people saw their work standing within a relationship of resemblance to models and sources that predated their efforts, from the image of God in man, to the examples of poets, historiographers and hagiographers. Imitation implies both a faithfulness to its sources and also an inherent differentiation, and medieval culture used this space that embodied both sameness and difference as a particularly fertile zone; the religious found an imperfect mirror within the world and humanity, reflecting the transcendent world beyond matter; saints imitated Christ and one another, authors and poets looked to the models of both Christian and pagan antiquity, texts were copied and diffused, artists looked to the work of their forbears and the world around them, and knights fashioned themselves in the guise of the heroes of romance. Establishing a relationship to a transcendental model was a primary mechanism of producing authority, and it formed the basis for traditions of textual transmission, institutional legitimacy, personal identity, and a sweeping range of other persistent ideas. While scholars of medieval subjects have each grappled with imitation in their own fields, rarely have those discoveries been brought together in a concentrated interdisciplinary conversation.


The Centre for Medieval Studies is proud to welcome this colloquium’s speakers:

Jan Ziolkowski, Arthur Kingsley Porter Professor of Medieval Latin, Harvard University
Keynote Title: “Medieval Images of Imitation”

Marjorie Curry Woods, Blumberg Centennial Professor of English and University
Distinguished Teaching Professor, University of Texas at Austin
Keynote Title: “Imitation and Emotion”


Pre-registration is open until February 10, 2012. The registration fee (which includes lunch on both days and the Friday evening reception) is $40 for regular admission, with reduced rates of $25 for senior citizens and $15 for students.

The registration form can be printed from our website. Forms should be filled out and mailed or hand-delivered with attached cheque.

Please make cheques payable to University of Toronto. Send to:

CMS Conference, Centre for Medieval Studies
125 Queen’s Park
Toronto, ON  M5S 2C7


We have secured a block of rooms for conference participants at a reduced rate in the Holiday Inn at Bloor-Yorkville, which is one of the closest hotels to the conference. This preferred group rate is $129.99 CAD single/double occupancy or $139.99 CAD triple/quad occupancy per night, plus tax, and is available for the period between Thursday March 1 and Sunday March 4; you must book your room before February 2. If you are travelling from outside the Toronto area we recommend that you arrive on Thursday evening if you wish to attend the whole conference.

The easiest way to book a room is to book online through Holiday Inn; our group code is MEC. Alternately, you may phone the hotel at 1 877 660 8550 (remember to mention the group code). In addition to this convenient hotel, there are many options for hostels and hotels in Toronto; Trip Advisor or Expedia will allow you to search for other hotels in the area, should you so wish.


This colloquium would not be possible without the generous support of sponsors including the Centre for Medieval Studies, the Department of English, the Department of Near and Middle Eastern Studies, the Emilio Goggio Chair in Italian Studies, the Collaborative Program in Ancient and Medieval Philosophy, the Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies, the Department of Classics, the Centre for Comparative Literature, the Department of Linguistics, the Centre for Jewish Studies at the University of Toronto, the University of Trinity College, the University of Victoria College, and the Department of Spanish and Portuguese.