In this issue: Kasaxkuna, Latinos in Toronto, Fifth Undergraduate Research Day and more...
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Medieval Studies
YOUR ALUMNI NEWS
May 2017 — Issue 9
 
It’s been a busy spring at CMS, with an inspiring colloquium on “Medieval Ethiopia” in early March, the Canada Chaucer Seminar in April, and the Toronto Old English Colloquium in May — but above all, the Annual Meeting of the Medieval Academy of America, which we hosted in early April. Toronto has now hosted MAA nine times, beginning with the Pontifical Institute for Mediaeval Studies in 1949 and jointly sponsored by PIMS and CMS every decade (on the '7' year) since 1967. We’re looking forward to meeting up with alumni and friends of CMS at the upcoming Congress at Kalamazoo (11-14 May) — if you’re there, please be sure to come to the Toronto reception, co-hosted by CMS and the University of Toronto Press, and meet medievalist friends old and new!
–– Suzanne Conklin Akbari, Director
 
 
Medieval Academy of America — Toronto 2017

Medieval Academy of America Toronto 2017
Thanks to the efforts of the Program Committee, the graduate student volunteers, the University of Toronto, and the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, the 2017 meeting was a great success, with 468 attendees, three plenaries, fifty-one concurrent sessions, receptions in art-filled venues, and, after several days of rain and snow, two final days in the sun. You can consult the full summary of the event on the MAA blog. Toronto looks forward to hosting it again in 2027!
 
 
Old English Updates

Upon the completion of the letter H, Robert Getz and Stephen Pelle, Assistant Professors in Medieval Studies and drafting editors at the Dictionary of Old English, were interviewed by the University of Toronto magazine and featured in a CBC article. Don’t miss the video in which Robert and Stephen regale their audience with excerpts from Old English texts!

Haruko Momma, the new Cameron Professor of Old English Language and Literature, who will serve as Chief Editor of the Dictionary of Old English, is taking up her position starting from 1 May 2017. The Anglo-Saxonist as well as the entire academic community is excited for this renewal in a field which has been a staple of medieval studies in Toronto.

Finally, you are cordially invited to attend the Toronto Old English Colloquium, which will take place on Tuesday, 9 May 2017, in Room 310 of the Lillian Massey Building (125 Queen’s Park). The speakers will include Alexandra Bauer, Deanna Brook’s, Una Creedon-Carey, Robert Getz, Antonette diPaolo Healey, Michael Herren, Ryan Hall, Katherine Menendez, and Audrey Walton. This year's colloquium features a plenary talk entitled "Imagination and Authority: Early Medieval Exercises in Reading the Text," by Dr. Rosalind Love, the head of Cambridge University's Department of Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic. The colloquium will be followed by a reception.
 
 
Ethiopic Studies at Toronto

Ethiopic Studies at Toronto - The Virgin and Child with Archangels Gabriel and Michael, late 15th - early 16th century.
Ethiopic Studies has been flowering at the University of Toronto this spring. The programme was inaugurated in the academic year 2016-17, due to a generous gift in the Fall of 2015, enlarged by a matching grant from the Faculty of Arts and Science and supplemented by contributions from the local Ethiopian community, and a collaboration between CMS and the Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations.

The ancient Ethiopian and Eritrean language of Ge’ez is being taught at the graduate level since January 2017. To learn more about this, listen to CBC Metro Morning on Friday 6 January 2017 and read the great article “The Weeknd helps bring an ancient language to life at U of T” on CBC News website and the one in The Bulletin, “The university is now one of the only places in the world where students can learn Ge’ez”.

The Medieval Ethiopia Colloquium also took place on 10-11 March 2017. The distinguished presenters included Columba Stewart, OSB (Hill Museum and Manuscript Library), Wendy Belcher (Princeton University), Gianfrancesco Lusini (University of Naples), Samantha Kelly (Rutgers University), and Habtamu Tegegne (Rutgers University).
 
 
Bennett Distinguished Visitor Charles Burnett

Charles Burnett
The whole medievalist community at Toronto has been delighted to welcome Professor Charles Burnett who spent the spring term with us as the W. John Bennett Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the Centre for Medieval Studies and the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies. Charles Burnett, MA, PhD, LGSM is Professor of the History of Arabic/Islamic Influences in Europe at the Warburg Institute, University of London, and Co-Director of the Centre for the History of Arabic Studies in Europe. His research centres on the transmission of texts, techniques and artefacts from the Arab world to the West, especially in the Middle Ages. Throughout his research and his publications he has aimed to document the extent to which Arabic authorities and texts translated from Arabic have shaped European learning, in the universities, in medical schools and in esoteric circles.

During his time as the Bennett Distinguished Visitor, Charles Burnett has participated enthusiastically in the life of both PIMS and CMS. He gave a lecture on 10 February 2017, entitled “Arabica Veritas. Europeans’ Search for ‘Truth’ in Arabic Scientific and Philosophical Literature of the Middle Ages,” and another one, as part of the “History of Pre-Modern Medicine Seminars,” on the “Contribution of the Phoenicians to Medieval and Renaissance Medicine,” on 16 March 2017. He also played the viola and the recorder in a recital along with other amateur musicians he gathered together, on 12 April 2017.
 
 
J.R. O’Donnell Memorial Lecture and The George Rigg Visitorship in Medieval Latin Studies

In the line of CMS’ tradition in Latin literature, the Toronto medievalist community was happy to receive Professor Monika Otter from the Department of English at Dartmouth College in March 2017. Monika Otter led the George Rigg seminar in Medieval Latin Studies, on the topic of “Theatricalities: Voicing, Embodiment, and the Ecbasis Captivi” on 2 March 2017, and delivered the J.R. O’Donnell Memorial Lecture in Medieval Studies, entitled “Magnum iocum dare: Literature as Play in the Eleventh Century” on 3 March 2017.
 
 
TRaCE Report on Experience of Graduates

In 2016, the Centre of Medieval Studies was chosen as one of three University of Toronto humanities departments to become part of the TRaCE project, a Canada-wide collaborative project involving twenty-five universities. The aim of the project was to collect data on the careers of PhD students in the humanities who graduated between 2004 and 2014, interview them about their past and present professional experiences. This research was conducted by Lochin Brouillard, a PhD candidate at the Centre, who compiled the trends emerging from the interviews in this TRaCE Report. The Centre’s active role in the TRaCE project provides us with the means to pursue our ongoing effort to foster links among all members of our community – graduates, students, faculty members, and research associates.
 
 
Alumni News

We are proud to highlight the scholarly achievements of our alumnae and alumni in this publication. This list is however far from exhaustive, and we would welcome all contributions to the newsletter from our graduates.

Congratulations to Catherine Conybeare (Ph.D. 1997), Professor and Chair of the Department of Greek, Latin, and Classical Studies at Bryn Mawr College, for her publication of The Routledge Guidebook to Augustine's Confessions. Prof. Conybeare will also deliver the St. Augustine Lecture at Villanova University in November 2017. Toronto students will remember her wonderful visit to CMS and PIMS as the Bennett Distinguished Visitor in 2014.

Congratulations to Mary Dzon (Ph.D. 2004), Associate Professor of English at the University of Knoxville-Tennessee, for the publication of her monograph, The Quest for the Christ Child in the Later Middle Ages at the University of Pennsylvania Press. Consult the book description on the publisher’s website.

Congratulations to Tom Klein (Ph.D. 1998) who has had the pleasure to serve as the Director of English Undergraduate Studies, Idaho State University, since January 2016. Tom has been working at Idaho State University since 2000, where he regularly teaches Old English and medieval literature courses, and directs medieval thesis and dissertation projects.

Congratulations to Edward Macierowski (Ph.D. 1979), professor of philosophy at Benedictine College, for one of his latest publications, “Which Sciences Does Political Science Direct and Use and How Does It Do So?” The St. John’s Review, Volume 57, Number 2 (Spring 2016): 70-78. This article illustrates the doctrinal importance of Bywater’s suppression of a manuscript reading in his Oxford edition of Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics. You can learn more about Prof. Macierowski’s most recent research projects here.

Congratulations to Lisa Chen Obrist (Ph.D. 2015), who has been appointed as a Senior Evaluation Officer at the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI). Her responsibilities include research and analysis related to CFI funding mechanisms, policies, and funded infrastructure as well as providing leadership, support, and project management on matters relating to outcome assessment, corporate performance measurement, data management, and science-technology-innovation policy analysis.

Congratulations to Russell Poole (Ph.D. 1975), who continues to serve as editor of Viking and Medieval Scandinavia and Manawatu Journal of History, devoted to the Manawatu region of Dr. Poole’s native New Zealand. In the last two years, he published the collective volume Egil, the Viking Poet. New approaches to Egil’s Saga (Toronto: University of Toronto Press) as well as two essays, “Identity Poetics among the Icelandic Skalds” in New Norse Studies. Essays on the Literature and Culture of Medieval Scandinavia, ed. J. Turco (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 143-84), and also “Pleasure in the gold cup: a skaldic affirmation?” in Frederic Amory in Memoriam: Old Norse-Icelandic Studies, ed. by J. Lindow and G. Clark (Berkeley: Wildcat Canyon Advanced Seminars, pp. 44-68).
 
 
In memoriam

We are very sad to share the news that Georges Whalen has passed away. Many of you may have known Georges during his years as an MA and doctoral student at the Centre for Medieval Studies (1983 – 1991), or perhaps encountered him at one of his favourite places to spend time, the Common Room of the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies. More information on Georges’ life, including details about the family’s wishes concerning ways that Georges might be remembered, can be found here.
 
 
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