We acknowledge with deep sadness the death of Professor A.G. Rigg on Monday, 7 January 2019. We are all of us the poorer for the loss of this kind, good, and brilliant man.
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 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.
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.
Simona Vucu (CMS 2017), who is now a PIMS-Mellon fellow, has been awarded an Essay Award by the Canadian Philosophical Association:
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.
A prize ceremony will take place at the University of British Columbia (Vancouver, BC) during the 2019 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
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”
Centre for Medieval Studies
Lilliam Massey Bldg, Room 310
125 Queen’s Park Crescent
Reception to follow
Regarding 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.
Congratulations to our recent PhD students who recently defended their thesis:
Annika Ekman: “Anselm of Laon, the Glossa Ordinaria, and the Tangled Web of Twelfth-Century Psalms-Exegesis”.
This thesis studies the textual relationships between a group of related early scholastic commentaries on the Psalms. At the centre of the discussion stands the commentary which is often said to epitomize the developments in teaching which emerged within the cathedral schools in the twelfth century, namely the so-called Glossa ordinaria on the Bible, and its association with Anselm of Laon, one of the most celebrated theologians of the period. Despite its central place in twelfth-century intellectual culture, relatively little has been able to be conclusively established regarding the origins of the Gloss. Likewise, the authorship of many of the early scholastic Psalms-commentaries related in some way to the Gloss remains uncertain. A great many suggestions have been put forward by modern scholars, but rather than looking only at one or two of the attributions, this thesis broadens the scope of the question and takes a comprehensive view of a larger group of these commentaries, showing that this is necessary if we want to be able to say anything conclusive about their authorship.
The first chapter examines the latest scholarship on the Gloss on some other books of the Bible, showing how this bears on the question of Anselm’s authorship of the Gloss on the Psalms. The second chapter analyses the relationship of the Gloss on the Psalms to its two closest relatives and attempts to settle conclusively the question of the direction of influence. The third chapter examines the evidence and arguments for the attribution of one of the other Psalms-commentaries to Anselm, arguing, on the basis of the expanded scope of the examination, against the attribution. It also begins to examine the relationships that exist within the larger group, and introduces a new hypothesis for the place of the Gloss in the family tree and for Anselm’s involvement its creation. The fourth chapter analyses the relationships of the group as a whole, demonstrating how they are all related to one another but that none can be the sole source of the rest of the group, and arguing further for the hypotheses introduced in Chapter Three.
Kirsten Schut: “A Dominican Master of Theology in Context: John of Naples and Intellectual Life Beyond Paris, ca. 1300-1350”.
This dissertation provides the first comprehensive biography of the Dominican scholar John of Naples (Giovanni Regina di Napoli), who flourished during the first half of the fourteenth century. John studied and taught at the Dominican schools in Naples and Bologna, and at the University of Paris, where he was made a master of theology in 1315. He spent most of the rest of his life in Naples, where he was closely associated with the Angevin court. Chapter 1 surveys John’s life and works, setting his career in its Neapolitan context. Chapters 2-4 deal with different aspects of his teaching. Chapter 2 contrasts his contributions to debates about the nature of theology at Paris with the way he introduced this subject to his Dominican students in Naples. Chapter 3 examines the role of medicine in his theological teaching, where it served as a tool for interpreting core texts as well as a source of material for preaching. Chapter 4 analyzes the symbiotic relationship between his quodlibets and the literature of pastoral care. Chapter 5 looks at John as a Dominican friar and preacher, turning to his sermon collection as a source of information about Dominican life in southern Italy, and Chapter 6 investigates his relationship with the Angevin rulers of Naples and the role of politics and political theory in his works. Appendices to chapters 2-6 provide transcriptions of unpublished quodlibetal questions, sermons, and other texts used as the basis for this study. Two additional appendices provide descriptions of the main manuscripts and discuss the dating and placing of John’s works. This study considers John from a variety of angles – teacher, preacher, friar, courtier, Neapolitan – and suggests that these overlapping identities cannot be productively separated from one another. It highlights the vibrancy of intellectual life in early-fourteenth-century Naples, and the strong cultural ties between Naples, Paris, and Avignon, as well as other regions such as the Kingdom of Hungary. Furthermore, it illustrates how mendicant convents could help to disseminate theological teachings from the University of Paris to the provinces, while also serving as sites of innovation in their own right.
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).
Suzanne Conklin Akbari
Director, Centre for Medieval Studies (on leave, 2018-19)
Professor, English and Medieval Studies
University of Toronto”
You may consult the conference’s website here.
Saturday, May 4
8:30am – 9:00am Continental breakfast
9:00am – 10:00am 137th Annual Meeting of the Dante Society of America (open to DSA members only)
- Albert R. Ascoli (University of California, Berkeley), President, Dante Society of America
10:00am – 10:30am Greetings and Welcome
- S. Bancheri (University of Toronto)
- A. Ruggera (Istituto Italiano di Cultura)
- E. Brilli (University of Toronto)
10:30am – 11:30am Keynote Lecture on Plurilingualism
- Manuele Gragnolati (Paris IV – La Sorbonne), Dante’s Plurilngualism and the Complexity of Literature
- Introduced by Suzanne Akbari (University of Toronto)
11:30am – 12:00am Coffee Break
12:00am – 1:30pm Roundtable on Plurilingualism
- Chair: William Robins (University of Toronto)
- Ambrogio Camozzi Pistoja (Harvard University), Plurilingualism and Readership
- Gary Cestaro (DePaul University), Plurilingualism and Gender, Body and lingua materna
- Francesca Southerden (Oxford University), Plurilingualism and Particularity
1:30pm – 2:30pm Buffet Lunch
2:30pm – 3:30pm Keynote Lecture
- Marcello Ciccuto (Università di Pisa & Società Dantesca Italiana), Giotto, Dante, Francesco da Barberino: alle fonti del ‘visibile parlare’
- Introduced by Albert R. Ascoli (University of California, Berkeley)
3:30pm – 4:00pm Coffee Break
4:00pm – 6:00pm Roundtable on Visibile Parlare
- Chair: Elisa Brilli (University of Toronto)
- Suzanne Akbari (University of Toronto), Visibile Parlare and Ekphrasis
- Aida Audeh (Hamline University), Visibile Parlare and Visual Arts
- Luca Fiorentini (Accademia dei Lincei), Visibile Parlare and the Secolare commento
- Eloisa Morra (University of Toronto), Visibile Parlare and Twentieth Century Italian Visual Culture
- Arielle Saiber (Bowdoin College), Visibile Parlare and the Invisible
Please refer to the ISCAD website for information on travel, lodging, parking, and meeting venues.
- Elisa Brilli, University of Toronto
- William Robins, University of Toronto
- Justin Steinberg, University of Chicago
ISCAD research assistants
- Kelsey Cunningham, University of Toronto
- Sara Galli, University of Toronto
This is a joint event organized by the Dante Society of America and the International Seminar on Critical Approaches to Dante (ISCAD), which has been based at the University of Toronto since 2015 and supported by a wide network both within and outside this institution:
- Department of Italian Studies
- E. Goggio Chair for Italian Studies
- Centre for Comparative Literature
- Centre for Medieval Studies
- Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies
- Department of History of Art
- Faculty of Music
- Istituto Italiano di Cultura di Toronto
- Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies
- Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council
- University of Saint Michael’s College
- UTM Department of Language Studies
- Victoria University
Congratulations to Bogdan Smarandache, a doctoral candidate at CMS, for his publication of Conceptualizing Frankish-Muslim Partition Truces in the Coastal Plain and Greater Syria, vol. 16 of the Ulrich Haarmann Memorial Lecture (Berlin: EB-Verlag, 2019).
“This paper is an attempt to clarify the development, function, and conceptualization of shared‐revenue arrangements between Franks and Muslims in the Coastal Plain (al-Sāḥil) and Greater Syria (Bilād al-Shām) in the medieval period. I first catalogue truces that established partitions while assessing their defining characteristics. I then analyze how Frankish and Muslim conceptualizations of property and territory may have informed two slightly different notions of partitioning. Based on an analysis of these conceptualizations of ownership and territory, I argue that the only basis for partition truces in the Frankish‐Muslim context was a division of revenue that resembled tributary status.”
For more information, you may consult the publisher’s webpage here.