Fall 2022 Events


11 am on Zoom: Public lecture: “Destruction and Preservation of Ukrainian Culture Heritage in Time of War” with Professor Ihor Lyman (Department of History and Philosophy, Berdyansk State Pedagogical University) and Professor Oksana Dovgopolova (Department of Philosophy and Methodology of Knowledge, Odessa National University)

This event was co-sponsored by the Center for European Studies (CES) and the Center for Russia, East Europe, and Central Asia (CREECA).

1 pm-5 pm, Memorial Union: Eunuch Workshop: Gender and Power in 10th Century Eastern Roman Court Culture. 

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 15: PROFESSOR WAN-CHUAN KAO (English, Washington & Lee University)

9 am, 7191 Helen C. White Hall. Workshop for graduate students and faculty on Professor Kao’s recently published article, “In the Lap of Whiteness.”

4 pm, 7191 Helen C. White Hall. Public lecture : “White Dorsality”

In this talk, Kao examined the imbrication of race and religion in the medieval romance The King of Tars, arguing that racialization and conversion interpellate the white Christian subject through a double inscription of violence on the material surface. But the forward trajectory towards white embodiment, Kao argued, is impossible without a backward turn to white enfleshment: the dorsality of whiteness is the structure of the flesh behind the contours of the body. The drive to fabricate and possess whiteness is what Kao terms the compulsion of habeas album: the production of the white melancholic body as flesh, thing, and property.

These two events were co-sponsored by the Department of English.

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 7: Dr. Randall Todd Pippinger and Dr. Nicole Pulichene, 2022-23 Solmsen and Kingdon Fellows.

4:00 pm, University Club Room 212: Research presentation

Co-sponsored by the Institute for Research in the Humanities. 

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 21: For Undergraduates!
Interested in Medieval Studies spring 2023 undergraduate courses?
A one-hour virtual event to learn more about the exciting offerings in the departments of English, History, Art History, Scandinavian Studies, Italian, and more. Program faculty spoke about their courses and shared a bit about their ongoing research projects.
When: October 21st, 11:00 am
Where: Zoom

Click here to view the event poster.

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 28: Professor Gregory Bryda (Art History, Barnard College)

2:30 pm, Hagen Room (Elvehjem 150): Workshop for graduate students and faculty. The workshop explored the role of folklore studies in the modern writing of Germany’s medieval history—why postwar historians have shied away from it, and why we might want to reconsider its value. 

5 pm, Elvehjem L150: Public lecture: “Painting the Plasticity of the Virgin’s Healing Plants: Grünewald’s Heller Altarpiece in Frankfurt’s Dominican Church”

In Matthias Grünewald’s altarpiece for Jakob Heller in Frankfurt’s Dominican Church, a patron motivated by care for the sick and the medicinal qualities of plants commissioned an altarpiece with a ritual function particular to a specific time of year. During the so-called Virgin Thirty (Frauendreißiger), the approximately thirty days between Mary’s Assumption (15 August) and Birth (8 September), plants came to be laid at the altar to be blessed and thus rendered sanctified. Drawing on intersections of a sanctioned religious tradition and folk practice, this talk unveils a layer of meaning to the altarpiece that has thus far been missed, and a sensitivity on the part of patron, artist, and viewers to the seasonal relationship of plants to the ritual calendar both within and beyond the walls of the church.

Click here to view the event poster.

Co-sponsored by the Anonymous Fund, the Department of Art History, the Religious Studies Program, and the Center for European Studies (CES).

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 11: Professor Sara Ritchey (History, University of Tennessee-Knoxville)

2:30 pm, Hagen Room (Elvehjem 150): Workshop for graduate students and faculty.

5 pm, Elvejhem L150: Public lecture. “From Archive to Repertoire in Late Medieval Women’s Caregiving Communities.”

Drawing on a range of thirteenth- and fourteenth-century French and Latin sources, including saints’ lives, charters, psalters, devotional miscellanies, drama, and poetry, this talk surveyed the performance of healthcare that religious women (primarily beguines and Cistercians) provided in hospitals, leprosaria, infirmaries, and bedsides. Dr. Ritchey speculated on how textual knowledge in these communities was augmented through oral elaboration and suggested ways that medievalists can recuperate submerged healthcare knowledge and practices from manuscript vestiges.

Click here to view the event poster.

Co-sponsored by the Anonymous Fund and the Department of History.


FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 18: Professor Arthur Bahr (Literature, MIT)

2 pm, 7191 Helen C. White: Workshop for graduate students and faculty.

5 pm, 7191 Helen C. White: Public lecture, “Speculative Geometry and the Opening Page of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.”

Weapons and wounds feature prominently in the first illustration of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, which depicts the Green Knight’s entry, challenge, and beheading in a single tableau. As this talk showed, these weapons are more than thematic; they also help create a complex set of embedded triangles whose angles and sight-lines preview the poem to come.  This is significant because the first page of the poem, which appears opposite this illustration on folio 91/95r, is like none other in the manuscript—especially its large, eleven-line gap at the top of the page. Although not representationally illustrative like its facing page, the anomalous text-block of 91/95r nevertheless illustrates the perceptual challenges posed by Sir Gawain’s literary and numerical structures. The 90/94v+91/95r opening thus previews and enacts, in miniature, the challenges and delights of the poem it introduces. Read closely, and speculatively, it offers additional interpretive tools with which to chase the endless, gordian knot of Sir Gawain.

Click here to view the event poster.

Co-sponsored by the Anonymous Fund and the Department of English.