The Medieval Studies Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison offers an interdisciplinary environment for the exploration of the cultures of Europe and the Mediterranean basin during the Middle Ages, a period spanning Late Antiquity to roughly 1500. Representing faculty from over 18 departments, we offer courses and certificate programs at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. The Program also sponsors events and conferences on topics of interest both to the university and to the community at large.

Upcoming Events

WORKSHOP: Rethinking Race and Monstrosity in the Middle Ages

Wednesday, October 14, 5:45-7:05; contact Thomas Dale for readings and Zoom link at

Rethinking Race and Monstrosity in the Middle Ages Monster studies has been engaged with issues of race and racism since its inception, but has done so neither consistently nor with support from a robust medieval critical race studies. Fortunately, over the past few years, the larger field medieval studies – in part inspired by the horrifying 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville – has turned considerable attention to racisms medieval and modern medievalist. In this discussion, we will consider how these conversations have changed, what terms might best describe medieval phenomena, and how medievalists might engage with contemporary issues.

A Public Lecture by Asa Mittman: Far from Jerusalem: The Exclusion of Jews on Christian Maps

Thursday, October 15 at 5:00 via Zoom
Meeting ID: 958 5985 2612; Passcode: 655648

Maps are ideological documents. Medieval Christian maps use principles of inclusion and exclusion to generate fictions of collective identity. This talk will examine cartographical images of Jews, thus far understudied but key to the creation of a central myth of the Middle Ages: Christendom.

IRH Seminar: “Slayn in childhood”: Robert of Bury St Edmunds and the Cult of the Holy Family

Monday, October 19 at 3:30-5:00 pm via Zoom

Workshop discussion led by Prof. Thomas Dale: “Medieval Studies Perspectives on Contemporary Racism and Cultural Encounter.” UW-Madison’s Diversity Forum

Wednesday, October 28th, 2020, 10:45 am – 12:00 pm. (Breakout Sessions Block 1 Option)

To register and see the whole program, go to

The session will include brief presentations by Thomas Dale (Professor of Art History), Andie Cade Barrow (Ph.D. Student, English), Ozlem Eren (Ph.D. student, Art History),  Holly McCarthur (Ph.D. Student, Scandinavian Studies), and Tirumular (Drew) Narayanan (Ph.D. Student, Art History), and a discussion of two brief articles which explore medieval and contemporary approaches to race.

Good news: if you have missed the session on Medieval Studies Perspectives on Contemporary Racism and Cultural Encounter, organized by Prof. Dale at the UW – Madison Diversity Forum, you can watch a recording.  Register on the bottom of this page to see the recording:


“Twelfth-century Maps of the Holy Land: Image, Context, Function” with Dr. Pnina Arad

Thursday, October 29, at 12:00 noon via Zoom
(Registration required:

Pnina Arad  (PhD in Visual Studies, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem), “Twelfth-century Maps of the Holy Land: Image, Context, Function” on Thursday, October 29 at 12:00 noon via Zoom. Dr Arad will be the first speaker in the Borghesi-Mellon Workshop on “Jerusalem in the Medieval and Early Modern Imagination.”  

Dr Arad will consider how circular maps of Jerusalem were made on the basis of a new genre of pilgrimage guides that appeared in the West in the first years of the century and will focus on the potential use of these maps as aids for conducting virtual pilgrimages to Jerusalem (when the concept and practice of virtual pilgrimage by means of visual imagery had not yet been developed in the West). She will also present the strategy by which these maps conceptualized the biblical landscape as a physical reflection of Christ’s life (in relation to the devotion to the humanity of Christ at the time).

Dr Arad will also lead a workshop discussion on Friday, October 30 at 11:00 a.m. via Zoom on the broader topic of “Medieval and Early Modern mapping of Jerusalem and the Holy Land” in conversation with other scholars of pre-modern cartography on campus, including LauraLee Brott (Ph.D. candidate, Art History); Matthew Edny (Director, History of Cartography Project), and Martin Foys (Professor of English and Co-editor of the Digital Mappa).    Dr. Arad’s presentation, “What did imagery depicting the Holy Land contribute to the late medieval European culture?” will address her research work on multi-media pilgrimage installations of the Holy Land including maps from the 15th and 16th centuries.  LauraLee Brott will discuss her work in progress on the 12th-century Tournai Maps of Jerusalem and the Holy Land and the “Materiality of Medieval maps.”


Wisconsin Medievalists. Virtual-ice-cream social

Friday, November 6th, at 4 pm via Zoom
Zoom link:

Prof. Samuel England will deliver a short introduction to his Arabic/Medieval/Africa research.


“After the Defense: Post-docs, Visiting, Tenure-Track and Other Positions.” Workshop for UW medievalist graduate students.

Friday, November 6th, at 4 pm via Zoom
Sign up in advance at

With Prof. Keith Busby (UW-Madison) and UW medievalist alumni: Prof. Katherine E. Lynch (SUNY Rockland Community College), Prof. Leah Pope Parker (University of Southern Mississippi) and Prof. David Sheffler (University of North Florida).


Vagantes Conference on Medieval Studies 2021

Thursday-Saturday, March 18th-20th, 2021, at 9 AM – 6 PM