Conway Lectures

2017 Conway Poster

In 2002, the Medieval Institute inaugurated a lecture series in honor of Robert M. Conway, a 1966 graduate of Notre Dame, trustee of the University, and long-time friend and supporter of the Medieval Institute. The annual Conway Lectures bring senior scholars of international distinction to Notre Dame each fall to speak on topics across a variety of disciplines. The lectures are then published by the University of Notre Dame Press

The 2017 Conway Lecture series, “Manuscripts for Musicians: 750 to 900,” will be delivered by Susan Rankin, Professor of Medieval Music at the University of Cambridge. Her three lectures are entitled "Carolingian Transformations" (Oct. 5)“Singing the Psalter" (Oct. 10), and “Books for Cantors" (Oct. 11). All will be held at the Eck Visitors' Center starting at 5pm. The first lecture will be followed by a reception, and the second and third lectures will feature performances by Katarina Livljanić, singer and musicologist at the Sorbonne and founder and director of the vocal ensemble Dialogos.

Susan Rankin is Professor of Medieval Music at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of Emmanuel College. A student of Michel Huglo, Rankin studied almost entirely in Paris and writes on medieval manuscripts, musical notations, and on music as an element of ritual. Close work with manuscript books has been the foundation of many of her paleographical studies, the most recent of which is “Notker bibliothecarius” in Medieval Cantors and their Craft: Music, Liturgy, and the Shaping of History, 800-1500 (2017).

Katarina Livljanić is a singer and musicologist specializing in medieval chant performance. She teaches medieval music history and performance at the Sorbonne University in Paris. She has been invited as visiting professor or artist in residence at different universities and festivals worldwide, including Harvard, Wellesley College, the Early Music Festival in Utrecht, and the Flanders Festival in Antwerp. In 2014 she published a volume in the collection Paléographie Musicale. She is the founder and director of the medieval music ensemble Dialogos, with which she has recorded and broadcast extensively and has toured throughout Europe, North and Latin America, and North Africa. 

Future Conway Lectures will be delivered by Niklaus Largier, the Sidney and Margaret Ancker Professor of German and Comparative Literature at the University of Berkeley, in 2018.





William J. Courtenay (U Wisconsin–Madison), "Religious Ritual and Prayers for the Dead in the Medieval University of Paris "



John V. Fleming (Princeton), "Asceticism and Literature in the Middle Ages"



Alice-Mary Talbot (Dumbarton Oaks), "Varieties of Monastic Experience in Byzantium, 9th-15th Centuries"



Anne D. Hedeman (U Kansas), "Visual Translation and the First French Humanists”


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Sylvia Huot (Cambridge), “Giants in Medieval Romance Literature”

Published as Outsiders: The Humanity and Inhumanity of Giants in Medieval French Prose Romance (2016)



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Barbara Newman (Northwestern), “Medieval Crossover: Reading the Secular Against the Sacred”

Published as Medieval Crossover: Reading the Secular Against the Sacred (2013)




Roberta Frank (Yale), “Slip Slidin’ Away: The Nimble Leaps of Early Northern Verse”



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John Marenbon (Cambridge), “Abelard in Four Dimensions”

Published as Abelard in Four Dimensions: A Twelfth-Century Philosopher in His Context and Ours (2013)



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Jonathan Riley-Smith (Cambridge), “The Templars and the Hospitallers as Professed Religious in the Holy Land, 1120-1291”

Published as Templars and Hospitallers as Professed Religious in the Holy Land (2009)



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A. C. Spearing (U Virginia), “Medieval Autographies: The 'I' of the Text”

Published as Medieval Autographies: The "I" of the Text (2012)




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Beat Brenk (University of Basel), “Our Lady: The Apse and the Icon”

Published as The Apse, The Image, and The Icon: An Historical Perspective of the Apse as a Space for Images (Reichert Verlag, 2010)




Calvin Bower (Notre Dame), “Grasping the Wind: Words for Melodies in South-German Liturgical Music, 800-1200”


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Rosamond McKitterick (Cambridge), “Perceptions of the Past in the Early Middle Ages”

Published as Perceptions of the Past in the Early Middle Ages (2006)



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Paul Strohm (Columbia), “English Writing and the Pre-Machiavellian Prince”

Published as Politique: Languages of Statecraft between Chaucer and Shakespeare (2005)



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Fr. Ulrich Horst (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität), “The Teaching Authority of the Pope”

Published as The Dominicans and the Pope: Papal Teaching Authority in the Medieval and Early Modern Thomist Tradition (2006)