Fall 2017 Newsletter and Message from the Director

Author: Megan J. Hall

Thomas E. Burman, MI DirectorThomas E. Burman, Robert M. Conway Director of the Medieval Institute

This message from our director is part of our Fall 2017 Newsletter, which you can read in full online.

"JOIN THE FELLOWSHIP." You'll see that phrase on a poster this week in the Medieval Institute library announcing a great new initiative of Maj-Britt Frenze, one of our terrific Ph.D. students. Our graduate and undergraduate Medieval Studies students, she observed, have almost no meaningful interaction, something that is a shame for a half dozen reasons. Why not, she suggested, create graduate-undergraduate reading groups in which community can arise out of sharing a text. Linda Major, the Institute’s Director of Undergraduate Studies, and I unhesitatingly supported the idea, and so it is that Maj-Britt is leading the “Join the Fellowship” reading group, which is exploring the medieval roots of Tolkein’s universe and its stories.

But there are other new medieval fellowships around here too. Three new MI-funded working groups will begin collaborating this term, one on Byzantine Asceticism and Spirituality, one on the Transformation of Classical Texts in the Middle Ages, and another on Pluralism and Religion in the Medieval Mediterranean. Proposed by groups of faculty and graduate students, these working groups will meet regularly during the term to present their own work in progress, read the latest relevant scholarship, and hear from outside speakers as they work collaboratively to generate ground-breaking research.

I hope you’ll all—faculty and students alike—consider joining (or even founding) some scholarly fellowship or other this academic year, and I would welcome the chance to talk with you about how the MI can help make that happen. There is no better use of our resources.

In the meantime, all best wishes for the coming academic year!


For more about our director, read the announcement of his appointment, an interview with him upon the start of his position at the MI, his History Department research profile, and view his c.v.