75th Anniversary

75 Collage

Started in 1946 by Fr. Philip Moore, CSC (pictured above, bottom left), the Medieval Institute has been the leading institution in the United States for the study of medieval Catholic culture and history. Beyond that, it has grown as well into a pre-eminent center for research and education on Greek Byzantium, Arab Islam, and the Jewish diaspora — and especially on a millennium of interactions among them. This is the Middle Ages you’ll meet here.

To mark our 75th anniversary in 2021, we've planned a robust slate of activities for our community. Join us in celebrating all year long! 


Kickoff: The First 75 Years

Premiered on August 26th, 2021 at our opening reception.

"Father Philip Moore: A Founder's Tale"

"Rev. Gerald Phelan: First Director of the Medieval Institute"

MI Holiday Card: Celebrating 75 Years

That's A Wrap: Celebrating Our 75th Year

Premiered on April 26th, 2022, at our end-of-year reception.


"Medieval Institute partners with Adams High School for hands-on course in medieval history," written by Erin Blasko and published on news.nd.edu on February 28, 2022.

"The Crossroads of Everything: The Medieval Institute celebrates 75th anniversary," written by Carrie Gates and published on the Notre Dame home page on November 17, 2021; republished on Medievalists.net

ABC57 covered our Halloween tailgate in their Saturday morning broadcast on October 30, 2021, in "University of Notre Dame's Medieval Institute hosts new gameday tradition."

All IN broadcast our October 1st roundtable on Post-Pandemic Labor Markets, hosted by Justin Hicks of Indiana Public Broadcasting, on October 6, 2021.

"Notre Dame's Medieval Institute Celebrates 75th Anniversary", written by Marcelle Couto and published by the Notre Dame Observer on September 24, 2021.


Gameday Festivities

Medieval Combat 

"Medieval Combat Lecture and Demonstration Thrill and Delight"


"Falcons and Hawks Visit Notre Dame for Medieval Institute Tailgate"

Featured in Notre Dame Magazine's "Held Aloft: The noble medieval discipline of falconry still thrives, but the modern world threatens the regal birds"

Medieval Swordsmithing

Read: "Thor's Swordsmith Brings Forge and Fire to MI Tailgate"


"Persian Rock-Crystal Vase, German Prayer Book, and Italian Devotional House: what do these objects tell us about the Middle Ages?"

"Boo! Ghost Stories and Pumpkin Decorating Bring Seasonal Fun to MI Tailgate"

"The Common Good and the Creation of the Cosmos: MI Home Game Activities Provoke Discussion on Big Ideas"

"Gold-Covered Boarshead and Meat Paste Castles: Final Tailgate of the Semester Offers a Taste of Medieval Feasts"

Roundtable Discussions

"Post-Pandemic Labor Markets": Read About | Watch

"The Common Good": Read About | Watch

Alumni Lectures

Leslie Lockett (Ph.D. '04), Early Medieval Readers in Dialogue with Augustine's Soliloquia": Read About | Watch

Andrew Irving (Ph.D. '12), "Reconsidering Uta: On the Affordances of a Liturgical Book": Read About | Watch

Rachel Koopmans (Ph.D. '01), "Reading, Restoring, and Rearranging a ‘Miracle Window’ of Canterbury Cathedral": Read About | Watch

Conway Lectures

This year's Robert M. and Ricki Conway Lectures celebrated two important anniversaries: the 700th anniversary of the death of Dante Alighieri and the 75th anniversary of the Medieval Institute. The speakers were Carol Lansing (UC, Santa Barbara), Areli Marina (Kansas), and Simon Gilson (Oxford).

2021 Conway Lectures poster

VIDEO: Areli Marina, "Battering Ram and Fire: Civic Glory and Devastation in Dante's Age"

VIDEO: Carol Lansing, "The Power to Choose? Piccarda Donati in the Paradiso and Girls in Bologna's Criminal Court"

VIDEO: Simon Gilson, "Dante's Philosophers"

VIDEO: "An Interview with the Conway Speakers"

Why the Middle Ages Matter

"Why the Middle Ages Matter" is a collaboration between the Medieval Institute and South Bend Community School Corporation (SBCSC). Rotating guest teachers from the Institute taught a high-school course about the Middle Ages, covering a range of topics, including empires, religions, cultural encounters, education, governance, literature, and culture. 

Collaborations with the Public Library

Dr. Annie Killian, the Public Humanities Postdoctoral Fellow at the Institute, collaborated with St. Joseph County Public Libraries (SJCPL) to bring John Farrell, writer of a popular book on medieval technologies, to speak both at the public library and on campus. Read all about it.

In addition, Killian co-taught a teen poetry workshop with local poet Brandon Menke. After learning about the history and composition of love songs by looking at the lyrics of twelfth-century troubadours, teens participated in a medieval song-writing competition.

75th Anniversary Medieval Film Series

In honor of Notre Dame’s Medieval Institute’s 75th Anniversary, this Learning Beyond the Classics course focuses on historical and fictional tales set during the medieval period with different centuries, nations, and film traditions appearing on screen.

Each screening was followed by a discussion led by Professor Daniel Hobbins, a historian of high and late medieval Europe, with a particular interest in the cultural and intellectual history of the period from 1300 to 1500. 

  • The Lion in Winter (1968)
  • The Seventh Seal (1957)
  • The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928)
  • Vision — from the Life of Hildegard von Bingen (2009)
  • Excalibur (1981)
  • Robin and Marian (1976)




Catherine A. Brown Tkacz (Ph.D. '83), the first woman to earn a doctorate from the Medieval Institute | Read the full spotlight

Robert Schneider (Ph.D. '65), one of the Medieval Institute’s earliest doctoral graduates | Read the full spotlight

Garry Nokes (B.A., '91), an institute undergraduate who dedicated his life to teaching and writing | Read the full spotlight


Rare Books and Special Collections

"The Word throughout Time: The Bible in the Middle Ages and Beyond," constituted in celebration of the institute's 75th anniversary, brings some of the University’s finest medieval manuscripts and early imprints to the fore, drawn from the Hesburgh Library, Snite Museum of Art, and the McGrath Institute for Church Life.

Spring 2022 Medieval Bibles Exhibit