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.

Lecture by Professor Steven Bednarski, January 16 at 4:00 pm

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

Professor Steven Bednarski
Department of History, University of Waterloo
Centre for Medieval Studies, University of Toronto

Environments of Change & Changing Environments: Digitizing the Middle Ages

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Thursday January 16, 2020 at 4:00 pm

Centre for Medieval Studies, Room 301
Lillian Massey Building
University of Toronto
125 Queen’s Park, Toronto

In this talk, Project Director and PI, Prof. Steven Bednarski, presents the goals and objectives of Environments of Change and explores ways of integrating the approaches offered by traditional and digital humanists with those of the natural and pure sciences.

Environments of Change is a new SSHRC-funded research network that unites scholars from over a dozen disciplines including history, literature studies, art history, conservation, archaeology, geomorphology, palaeoclimatology, and dendrochronology with fifteen industry partners. The project explores how best to use emerging digital technologies to shine light on the complex relationship between people and nature at the end of the Middle Ages. To do this, project members have built the Medieval Digital Research in Arts and Graphical Environmental Networks Lab (DRAGEN), Canada’s first and only digital humanities lab dedicated to climate and culture. Through the Lab, and with the support of $2,500,000 in SSHRC funding and another $7,500,000 in partnered contributions, Environments of Change will provide 467 training opportunities over seven years to students and junior colleagues in Canada, the US, and the UK. These opportunities will train the next generation of digitally minded medievalists.

Congratulations to our recent PhD graduates!

Congratulations to our PhD students who recently defended their theses:

Riley, Bridget (2019) “Quotquot invenire posset: Inventiones and Historical Memory in Southern Italy, c. 900-1150″

“This dissertation examines inventiones, that is narratives of relic discoveries, written in southern Italy between the tenth and twelfth centuries. During this period, communities dealt with sweeping changes brought on by political upheaval, invasion, and ecclesiastical reforms. Several inventiones written concomitantly to these events have received little scholarly attention. This dissertation has two goals: to enhance our understanding of the genre in general and to explore further the local circumstances that prompted their composition and copying. The following four case studies pertain to Christian communities in Naples, Benevento, and Larino, and the abbey of San Vincenzo al Volturno respectively. This dissertation argues that, because of their “inventive” nature, these sources were powerful means of writing and rewriting history and, more often than not, the exercise of historical memory fueled their production. In particular, this dissertation contends that in eleventh-and twelfth-century southern Italy, as communities underwent the transition from Lombard to Norman authorities, the memory of the Lombard lords of the past was utilized in inventiones as a powerful tool to rewrite the identity of a community as it negotiated the changing political and ecclesiastical landscape. Furthermore, this dissertation argues that because of the devotional nature of inventiones, typically composed for use in the liturgy and thus potentially exposed to a large public, the history encoded within these sources was made all the more powerful. Inventiones reveal how the liturgy, ritual, and devotion were mobilized by medieval communities and display an inherent reciprocity between historical and devotional writing and thought. In order to unlock these features as well as the local conflicts and agendas that prompted the production of inventiones, both a close study of the original manuscripts of extant inventiones as well as attention to contemporary liturgical, diplomatic, and material sources are major components of each case study.”

Warnes, Julia (2019) “Dúngal: A Study of his Life and Works”

This study provides the first comprehensive treatment of the life and works of Dúngal, cleric and scholar active on the European continent during the ninth century. This dissertation has two main aims. First, it seeks to clarify what we can know about Dúngal based on an examination of the texts and manuscripts. It establishes a corpus of texts that can be attributed to Dúngal, and reassesses the palaeographic evidence of the manuscripts associated with him. Second, this dissertation provides a study of Dúngal in order to investigate broader questions about Carolingian intellectual history in the ninth century: what texts were they reading, what questions were they asking, or how were manuscripts being constructed, used, and reused? In sum, it examines Dúngal in order to contribute to our understanding of Carolingian intellectual culture in the ninth century.

Cologne-Toronto Graduate Student Colloquium December 12-14, 2019

Sponsored jointly by the a.r.t.e.s. Graduate School and the Zentrum für Mittelalterstudien (ZEMAK), Universität zu Köln, and the Centre for Medieval Studies, University of Toronto.

The colloquium will take place in Cologne between the 12th and the 14th of December 2019. Six papers by students of each institution will be presented and commented on by professors of the other institution. The aim of the colloquium is to foster discussion and exchange among graduate students and faculty from both institutions.

This is the seventh colloquium in the series, which alternates between Cologne and Toronto. The University of Cologne is one of the most important German centres for the study of the Middle Ages and shares many ties with the CMS. Participants in past colloquia have benefited from the commentaries of scholars from different academic cultures and from the opportunity to build academic networks in Europe.


2:00 pm  Welcome – Opening

2:30-3:45 pm  Section 1

Chair: Sabine von Heusinger

Adrian Kammerer: Gender and the Spread of the Dominican Third Order

Commentator: Alison More

4:00-5:15 pm  Section 2

Chair: Alison More

Sister Parousia: Female Monks or Brides of Christ? Monastic Profession for Women in Medieval German Rituales

Commentator: Sabine von Heusinger

5:30-6:45 pm  Section 3

Chair: Markus Stock

Florian Müller: Old Tales in a New Medium: On the Prefaces of Printed Books of Heroes (1479-1590 CE)

Commentator: Andreas Hammer


9:00-10:15 am  Section 4

Chair: Susanne Wittekind

Irina Dudar: Medieval Archer Guild Collars as Storehouses of Collective Memory

Commentator: Suzanne Akbari

10:30-11:45 am  Section 5

Chair: Shami Ghosh

Graham Johnson: Liutprand’s of Cremona ‘Antapodosis’ – A “retributive” history of Late-Ninth and Early-Tenth Century European Politics

Commentator: Peter Orth / Dominik Waßenhoven

12:00-1:15 pm  Section 6

Chair: Monika Schausten / Andreas Hammer Alisa Hajdarpašić: Contingency and the Ambivalence of Poetic Justice in ‘Fortunatus’

Commentator: Shami Ghosh

2:15-3:30 pm  Section 7

Chair: Martin Pickavé

Lucas Marincak: Microtonalism and the Middle Ages: Exploring the 17-Tone Hypothesis of George Secor

Commentator: Frank Hentschel


9:15-10:30 am  Section 8

Chair: Suzanne Akbari

Matthew Orsag: ‘Advocati’ in the Lombard Legal Glosses

Commentator: Fiorella Retucci

10:45-12:00 am  Section 9

Chair: Udo Friedrich

Julius Herr: Complex Legendary Narration and the Thematics of Sleep in Heinrich von Veldeke’s ‘Sente Servas’

Commentator: Markus Stock

12:15-1:30 pm  Section 10

Chair: Shami Ghosh

Mary Maschio: The Paradox of Beauty and the Body in Velthandros & Chrysandza, Livistros & Rodamni, and Kallimachos & Chrysorroi

Commentator: Irina Dumitrescu

2:30-3:45 pm  Section 11

Chair: Fiorella Retucci

Francesco de Benedittis: The Commentary by John Pecham on the I Book of the Sentences by Peter Lombard. Critical Edition and Analysis. Prooemium, Prologue and dist. 1-3

Commentator: Martin Pickavé

4:00-5:15 pm  Section 12

Chair: Andreas Speer

Margarete Neuhaus: What is Matter? Three Answers using the Concept of ‘Undetermined Dimensions’

Commentator: Martin Pickavé


Toronto Old English Colloquium Graduate Student CFP 2020

CALL FOR PAPERS – Graduate students


We are pleased to announce the 2020 Toronto Old English Colloquium hosted by the Centre for Medieval Studies and the Department of English at the University of Toronto. Each year, the colloquium brings together graduate students and seasoned scholars for a day dedicated to Old English scholarship. We invite proposals from graduate students for papers on any area of interest related to Old English, and are seeking a broad range of topics including – but not limited to – literature, law, history, art history, medicine, science, lexicography, palaeography, and any other relevant areas. The length of a paper presentation should be 20 minutes. We may be able to provide some funding to support accommodation and/or student travel.

Deadline: January 6th, 2020
Proposals should include a 300-word abstract, a one-page CV, and full contact information.

Please submit queries or proposals for papers to Professor Fabienne Michelet (email hidden; JavaScript is required) and Shirley Kinney (email hidden; JavaScript is required).

Lecture by François-Xavier Fauvelle, February 20, 4:10 pm

The African Studies Program, the Centre for Medieval Studies, the

Department of History, the Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations and the Institute of Islamic Studies cordially invite you to a lecture by

François-Xavier Fauvelle Professor, Collège de France (Paris) 

Africa and the Global Middle Ages:

Broker States, Articulated Cities, Ecological Thresholds”

Fauvelle lecture image
Map of the Oekumene drawn by the twelfth-century Arab geographer al-Idrîsî (copy by ‘Alî ibn-Hasan al Hûfî al-Qâsimî, Cairo, 1456; Oxford, Bodleian Library, Ms Pococke 375, fol. 3v-4)

Thursday, 20 February 2020, 4:10 p.m.

Centre for Medieval Studies, Room 301
Lillian Massey Building
125 Queen’s Park

Reception to follow

Lecture by Isabel Harvey, January 10, 3:10 pm

CMS “Other Sister” Research Group cordially invites you to a lecture by

Isabel Harvey

SSHRC Postdoctoral fellow
Institut für Geschichtswissenschaften, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Dipartimento di Studi Umanistici, Università Ca’ Foscari, Venezia


Tertiary Sisters and Revolted Friars: San Domenico Maggiore of Naples and the Tridentine Reform of Regular Orders”

Image Isabel Harvey lecture

Friday, 10 January 2020, 3:10 p.m.

Centre for Medieval Studies, Room 301
Lillian Massey Building
125 Queen’s Park


Lecture by Paul Saenger, March 12, 4:10 pm

The Anne Tanenbaum Centre for Jewish Studies, the Centre for Comparative Literature,
the Centre for Medieval Studies,
& the Department for the Study of Religion cordially invite you to a lecture by

Paul Saenger
Curator of Rare Books Emeritus The Newberry Library, Chicago

“Jewish Confrontations with Christianity in the Middle Ages and the Origin of the Modern Mode of citing Sacred Scripture”

Paris Bibliothèque Saint-Geneviève ms 1405 f.205r

Paris Bibliothèque Saint-Geneviève ms 1405 f.205r

Thursday, 12 March 2020, 4:10 p.m.

Centre for Medieval Studies, Room 310 Lillian Massey Building

125 Queen’s Park

Small reception to follow

Congratulations to Brian Merrilees (†), William Edwards, and Anne Grondeux for the publication of their new book!

Le dictionnaire Aalma – Les versions Saint-Omer, BM 644, Exeter, Cath. Libr. 3517 et Paris, BnF lat. 13032, edited by B. Merrilees (†), W. Edwards, and A. Grondeux

Aalma is a bilingual Latin-French epitome of the Catholicon of Johannes Balbus of Genoa, published as part of Corpus Christianorum Medieval Latin Series – Lexica Latina Medii Aevi.

For the In memoriam of Brian Merrilees, click here.

Le dictionnaire Aalma – Corpus Christianorum Lexica Latina Medii

Le dictionnaire Aalma – Corpus Christianorum Lexica Latina Medii

Lecture by Prof. Robin Norris, “The Litany of the Saints”, Nov. 22nd

The 2019 W. John Bennett Distinguished Visiting Scholar

Robin Norris (Dept of English Language and Literature, Carleton University)

“The Litany of the Saints and the Taxonomy of Sanctity in Early Medieval England”


4:10 p.m.

Room 100, Alumni Hall

121 St. Joseph Street

 Reception to follow

London, British Library MS Cotton Galba A XVIII, f.21r

London, British Library MS Cotton Galba A XVIII, f.21r