Just Released: From Learning to Love: Schools, Law, and Pastoral Care in the Middle Ages. Essays in Honour of Joseph W. Goering


The Centre for Medieval Studies would like to highlight the publication of From Learning to Love: Schools, Law, and Pastoral Care in the Middle Ages. Essays in Honour of Joseph W. Goering, edited by Tristan Sharp with Isabelle Cochelin, Greti Dinkova-Bruun, Abigail Firey, and Giulio Silano. (Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies Press, 2017).

More information can be found on the publisher’s website.

joegoeringThose familiar with the research and teaching of Professor Joseph Ward Goering, whom this volume honours, are aware of the breadth and depth of his scholarship. His studies have plumbed canon law, theology, romance, and art. Throughout his career, he has shown how crossing these areas of both speculative and practical knowledge is essential to our understanding of the medieval Church. He has quietly but tirelessly argued that the intellectual work of the medieval schools was sophisticated, nuanced, and filled with lively debate; that the disciplines of law and theology had numerous intersections; that popular piety was rich in surprising narratives and imagery; that clergy and laity operated in concert as much as in conflict; and perhaps most importantly, that the intentions to press the boundaries of learning, to deepen faith, and to share the wonders of human creativity were as alive in the later Middle Ages as in any other age. Each of the thirty-five studies in this volume adds tesserae to the mosaic Joe has outlined.Contributions come from intellectual and social history, law, theology and religious studies, philosophy, literary studies, and musicology. The first part concentrates especially on the work of the medieval schoolmen. The second traces the impact of advanced education on judges, administrators, and clergy who strove to apply their learning within their orbit of influence or power. The third reveals ways in which the work of the schoolmen and pastors was poured into stories, traditions, and extra-curricular knowledge that in turn shaped the culture inhabited by masters. Joe has encouraged us all to consider the ways in which medieval education and pastoral care touched everything else; the present volume shows how right he was.

Help the DOE to meet the Triangle Community Foundation Challenge!


In 2014 the Dictionary of Old English (DOE) welcomed its new staff Chief Editor, Roy M. Liuzza, and new Drafting Editors, Rob Getz and Stephen Pelle. Continuing the work of the DOE is a great privilege and a great challenge, and support at this time is an expression of confidence in the scholarly mission of the Dictionary.

In 2013, the DOE was awarded a $500,000 five-year Challenge Grant from the Triangle Community Foundation of Raleigh, North Carolina. The grant requires a 1:1 match to release funds to the project. Thanks to the generosity of hundreds of individuals and institutions, we were able to raise $100,000 to release the first instalment of funds in 2014. Our goal now is to raise another $100,000 to match next year’s grant. Support is especially welcome at this time, when each donation, no matter how large or small, will have twice the impact.

Your gift will help to ensure that the DOE will reach completion and will serve scholars and lovers of the English language for generations to come. Donations may be made online through credit card, or a pledge form is available to facilitate donations by mail; please make your cheque out to “DOE/ University of Toronto”. Tax receipts will be issued for all gifts.

The Implications of Reading Brian Stock Colloquium – 15 March 2019

Please consult the website of the event for additional information.



The colloquium offers an opportunity to consider the legacy and influence of Brian Stock’s scholarship on the history of reading.


Conference speakers are automatically registered. Others wishing to register should do so through the Eventbrite website. Registration is free of charge.


Fri, 15 March 2019

8:30 AM – 7:00 PM EDT


Rm 112 of the Victoria College Building

73 Queen’s Park Crescent East

Toronto, ON M5S 2C3



Room 112 (Alumni Hall) of the Victoria College Building

8:15 Registration and Welcome

8:45 Opening Remarks


Aviad Kleinberg, Tel Aviv University, “The Life of Brian”

SESSION 1: 9:30-11:00

Seth Lerer, UC San Diego, “The Textualized Augustine and Late Antique Communities”

Paul Saenger, Newberry Library, “Augustine’s Ideas on Vision and the Evolving Format of the Patristic Page”

Sarah Spence, Medieval Academy of America, “Augustine, Vergil and the Geography of Loss”

11:00-11:30 coffee

SESSION 2: 11:30-12:30

Willemien Otten, University of Chicago, “Naturalism without Mediation: William of Conches and Hildegard of Bingen on Thinking Nature”

Suzanne Akbari, University of Toronto ,”Allegory and Integument, from the Victorines to Christine de Pizan”

12:30-2:30 Lunch

SESSION 3: 2:30-4:00

John Magee, University of Toronto, “Boethius and the Legacy of Alexander of Aphrodisias”

Marcia Colish, Yale University, “Self-Baptism in the Middle Ages”

Elisa Brilli, University of Toronto, “Dante’s Inner Dialogues”

4:00-4:30 coffee

SESSION 4: 4:30-6:00

Albert Ascoli, UC Berkeley, “Believe Me! Stories of Reading in the Early Modern Period”

Jane Tylus, Yale University, “Listening for the congedo: scenes of goodbye in the Renaissance”

Giuseppe Mazzotta, Yale University, “”What is Vico’s New Science About? Vico’s Imaginary Dialogue with St. Augustine”


Natalie Zemon Davis, University of Toronto, “A Scholarly Friendship”



The organizers wish to gratefully acknowledge the generous support of the following departments and units:

The Principal’s Office at Victoria College

The Department of Comparative Literature, University of Toronto

The Pontifical Institute for Medieval Studies

The Department of Classics, University of Toronto

The Centre for Medieval Studies, University of Toronto

The Emilio Goggio Chair in Italian Studies

The Faculty of Theology at St. Michael’s College

The Department of English, University of Toronto

Program for the University of Toronto Colloquium in Medieval Philosophy 2018 – 21-22 September

Session I (4:30 – 6:30)
Chair: Peter Eardley (University of Guelph)
Christopher Martin (University of Auckland): “Only God Can Make A Tree: Abaelard on Wholes and Parts and Some Evidence of His Later Thinking About Them.”
Commentator: Jeffrey Brower (Purdue University)

Session II (10:00 – 12:00)
Chair: Kara Richardson (Syracuse University)
Riccardo Strobino (Tufts University): “Avicenna’s Account of Conditionals and the Logic of Scientific Discourse”
Commentator: Asad Q. Ahmed (University of California, Berkeley)

Session III (2:00 – 4:00)
Chair: Matthieu Remacle (University of Toronto)
Michael Fatigati (University of Toronto): “Avicenna on Uniquely Human Emotions”
Daniel Simpson (St. Louis University): “Naturally Apt For One Another: Ockham on the Nature of Causal Linkage”
Aline Medeiros Ramos (Université du Québéc à Montréal/Université du Québéc à Trois-Rivières): “The Status of Prudence in Buridan’s Ethics”

Session IV (4:15 – 6:15)
Chair: Claude Panaccio (Université du Québec à Montréal)
Irène Rosier-Catach (École Pratique des Hautes Études, Paris): “The ‘Linguistic Turn’ of Medieval Logic in the Early XIIth Century”
Commentator: Andrew Arlig (Brooklyn College)

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).

Organizers: Deborah Black, Peter King, Martin Pickavé

CMS students and faculty at IMC Kalamazoo 2018

A number of faculty members and students at the Centre for Medieval Studies will be presenting papers or organizing sessions at the 53rd International Congress on Medieval Studies at Kalamazoo, May 10-13, 2018.


B. S. W. Barootes, “A Readers’ Theatre Performance of the Pearl-Poet (A Performance),” “Charles d’Orléans: Forms and Genres,” “Postcards from the Edge: Boundaries and Liminality in the Pearl-Poet,” “The Provincial Aristocratic Household in Late Medieval England”

Claude L. Evans,” Changing Landscapes and Images: New Collaborative Projects in Ecclesiastical History: Monasticon Aquitaniae, Mont Saint-Michel, MILBRETEUR (l’an MIL en BRETagne et en EURope), Beauport Abbey (A Roundtable)”

Haruko Momma, “Insular/Continental Interface before 1100: Culture, Literature, History”

Medieval Ethiopia, presided by Michael Gervers



Suzanne Conklin Akbari, “Encyclopedism” as part of “Medievalists Read Moby Dick (A Roundtable)”

Suzanne Conklin Akbari, “War Memorial: Medieval Siege Poetry and the Onslaught of Time”

B. S. W. Barootes, “Enclosure and Release: Structural Mourning in Fortunes Stabilnes”

Alexandra Bolintineanu with Tamsyn Mahoney-Steel, Johns Hopkins Univ., “IIIF for Medievalists I: A Gentle Introduction (A Workshop)”

Deanna Brook’s, “Monks and Manuscripts: The Anglo-Saxon Use of Five Carolingian Reform Texts”

Brianna Daigneault, “Reformulating the Myth: Unicorns in Romance”

Augustine Dickinson, “Zärʾa Yaʿəqob’s Campaign against Magic: Prayer, Rhetoric, and Policy”

Michael Fatigati, “Avicenna on Evaluative Judgments and the Emotions”

Alexandra Gillespie, “Parker’s Tertullian”

Julia King, “Using IIIF to Digitally Reunite Manuscript Fragments” as part of “Methods and Tools for Reuniting Manuscript Fragments (A Roundtable)”

Cameron Laird, “The Insular Origin of the Bern Riddles”

Valentine Anthony Pakis, “Known Knowns and Known Unknowns: Prolonged Trends and Current Problems in Old High German and Old English Glossographic Research”

Stephen Pelle, “A New Witness to the Circulation of the Seven Heavens Apocryphon”

Daniel Price, “Political Authority and Divine Immanence in the Holy Tears of Genoveve of Paris”

Daniel Price with Ahmad Nazir Atassi, Louisiana Tech Univ., “Popular Piety in the Early Development of the Medieval State” as part of “Medievalists without Borders: Cooperative Projects on Popular Culture in Islamic and Christian Lands (A Roundtable)”

Vajra Regan, “A Thirteenth-Century Version of the Almandal: Newly Discovered and Described for the First Time”

Nora Thorburn, “Ditches, Wheels, und Druppenval: Keeping the Water out of the Records in Medieval Osnabrück, 1250–1400”

Nicholas Wheeler, “Anti-Episcopal Conspiracy and Perjury in the Visigothic Church”

Eva von Contzen, “Lists in Premodern Literature” — 27 March 2018

Workshop: Lists in Premodern Literature: Exploring the Practices of Enumeration

Date: Tuesday, 27 March 2018, 10 am – 12:00 noon

Location: Room 310, Lillian Massey Building

Have you come across any lists or enumerations in your texts recently and wondered how to come to terms with these passages?

Premodern texts of all genres abound with lists: epic catalogues,genealogies, lists of people, animals, places, and things, inventories, rolls, litanies, indices, and many more. The premodern ubiquity of lists has been discarded as a “typically medieval impulse” (Muscatine) and has received surprisingly little attention by scholars. Lists and enumerations often leave us with a feeling of discomfort as modern aesthetics has shifted away from the appreciation of enumerative forms. What happens, though, if we take the form of the list seriously and approach it as a device in its own right that affords a wide range of functions?

Eva von Contzen:  Introduction: Enumerating the World

Jill Caskey: Person, Place, Thing

Laura Moncion: Lists of the Dead: the Durham Liber Vitae and Monastic Necrologies

Suzanne Conklin Akbari: Lists in Medieval Tomb Ekphrases

Evina Steinova: Synonyma Ciceronis

Markus Stock: The Love Bestiary by Burkhart von Hohenfels (KLD 6,2)


Come and join us for the discussion in Room 310, Lillian Massey Building, 125 Queen’s Park!

For questions or queries, please contact Eva von Contzen (email hidden; JavaScript is required).

Congratulations to Richard Shaw for his recent publication!

Congratulations to alumnus Richard Shaw (PhD 2013) for the publication of The Gregorian Mission to Kent in Bede’s Ecclesiastical History: Methodology and Sources, London, Routledge, 2018.

shaw gregorian miss

Historians have long relied on Bede’s Ecclesiastical History for their narrative of early Christian Anglo-Saxon England, but what material lay behind Bede’s own narrative? What were his sources and how reliable were they? How much was based on contemporary material? How much on later evidence? What was rhetoric? What represents his own agendas, deductions or even inventions?

This book represents the first systematic attempt to answers these questions for Bede’s History,taking as a test case the coherent narrative of the Gregorian mission and the early Church in Kent. Through this critique, it becomes possible, for the first time, to catalogue Bede’s sources and assess their origins, provenance and value – even reconstructing the original shape of many that are now lost. The striking paucity of his primary sources for the period emerges clearly. This study explains the reason why this was the case. At the same time, Bede is shown to have had access to a greater variety of texts, especially documentary, than has previously been realised.

This volume thus reveals Bede the historian at work, with implications for understanding his monastery, library and intellectual milieu together with the world in which he lived and worked. It also showcases what can be achieved using a similar methodology for the rest of the Ecclesiastical History and for other contemporary works.

Most importantly, thanks to this study, it is now feasible – indeed necessary – for subsequent historians to base their reconstructions of the events of c.600 not on Bede but on his sources. As a result, this book lays the foundations for future work on the conversion of Anglo-Saxon England and offers the prospect of replacing and not merely refining Bede’s narrative of the history of early Christian Kent.”


For more information, consult the publisher’s website.

Richard Shaw, “How Did Early Medieval Historians Use their Sources?” — 22 March 2018

USMC Fireside Chat Series presents:

Lecture by Dr. Richard Shaw, Our Lady Seat of Wisdom College

“How did Early Medieval Historians Use Their Sources?”

22 March 2018, 6:00 pm

The Basilian Common Room, University of St. Michael’s College.

Faced with the inclusion of fables, miracle stories and legendary or mythological elements it is sometimes difficult to take the works of writers from the early Middle Ages seriously. We continue to use these texts, however, when we produce our histories of the past. It is imperative therefore that we seek to understand both the methods and the sources of our sources if we are interested in attempting to reconstruct the past that they describe. Richard Shaw will examine these questions by looking in particular at Bede’s Ecclesiastical History and the ways in which Bede worked with the limited materials at his disposal.

Richard Shaw is Associate Professor and Chairman of the History Department at Our Lady Seat of Wisdom College. He completed his PhD at the Centre for Medieval Studies at the University of Toronto. His book The Gregorian Mission to Kent in Bede’s Ecclesiastical History: Methodology and Sources was published by Routledge in 2018. Richard has also published on Antony of Egypt, Cassiodorus, Gregory of Tours, Augustine of Canterbury, Bede, Ælfric of Eynsham, Thomas Aquinas and François de Laval. He was awarded the 2014 Eusebius Essay Prize by the Journal of Ecclesiastical History and was shortlisted for the 2016 Medium Ævum Essay Prize.

Eva von Contzen, Visiting Professor at CMS

Eva von Contzen, Professor of English literature at the University of Freiburg, Germany, and principal investigator of the project “Lists in Literature and Culture”, funded by the European Research Council, is a visiting Professor at the Centre from 15 February to 15 April 2018. Her research interests include narrative forms and functions in medieval literature, especially hagiography; the reception of classical texts in the Middle Ages; the practices of list-making and lists in literary texts; and historical narratology. She is currently working on a monograph on the tradition of the epic catalogue from Homer to Omeros.


2017-18 J.R. O’Donnell Lecture: Michael Herren — 13 February 2018

You are invited to the 2017-18 J.R. O’Donnell Memorial Lecture in Medieval Studies by:

 Professor Michael Herren, York University

  “Comedy, Irony, and Philosophy: Menippean Satire in late Late Antiquity”


Tuesday, 13 February 2018

4:10 p.m.

 Room 310

Centre for Medieval Studies

125 Queen’s Park

Toronto, Ontario

Reception to follow

 This lecture series is free and open to the public.  If you have an accessibility or accommodation need for this event, please contact the Centre for Medieval Studies email hidden; JavaScript is required 416 978 4884

Jointly sponsored by: The Centre for Medieval Studies, Centre for Comparative Literature, Department of Classis, JMLAT, and PIMS