Research & Engagement

Medieval Classroom

Working Groups

Each year the Medieval Institute sponsors Working Groups, an opportunity for faculty fellows and graduate students to investigate a topic relating to shared research interests.

2017-18 Working Groups

The Transformation of Classical Texts in the Middle Ages
Faculty: W. Martin Bloomer, David Gura, Hildegund Müller, Julia Schneider
Graduate Students: Erik Ellis, Kelsi Ray

This MI working group, led by Professor Martin Bloomer, studies how the texts of pagan sapientia are accommodated to, become vehicles for, help articulate, and modify Christian ideas, institutions, and doctrine­. We are working on both the practical level of the individual text and manuscript and at a more theoretical level. We focus mainly on the commentary tradition of the Disticha Catonis, a very important text with a long and varied history in the Middle Ages, with the hope of understanding not simply allegorizing practices but, more deeply, how sapientia is reframed in a Christianizing mode. We are also considering the theoretical and methodological issues involved in recuperating modes of reading and recomposition and in determining how an object or idea from a foreign religion is accommodated to the mainstream religion.

Byzantine Asceticism and Spirituality

Religion and Pluralism in the Mediterranean Region
Faculty: Thomas Burman, Gabriel Reynolds
Graduate Student: Andrea Castonguay

The primary purpose of this group is to consider the ways in which the medieval Mediterranean world was shaped by religious and intellectual pluralism and the interaction of religions, sects an intellectual movements, and  to do so in a way as to break out of the various boundaries imposed by one’s area of specialization and training.  

For the purpose of this group, "Mediterranean" is broadly defined to include the geographical regions of southern Europe, northern Africa into the Sahara, and western Asia out to the Iranian plateau. "Religion" can refer to Judaism, Christianity, Islam or one of the other faiths that existed in the region c. 500 -1550 CE. "Pluralism" can refer to interfaith interactions and experiences (e.g. a Christian's interpretation of another religion) or intra-faith interactions and experiences (e.g. the relationships between different sects of the same faith).

Submitting a Proposal

Proposals for 2018-19 Working Groups are now being accepted! The deadline is April 18, 2018. Please see the Proposal Instructions for full details and application instructions. 

Approved groups will want to review the Guidelines for Working Groups so they are familiar with the necessary administrative procedures.

London, British Library, Add MS 24189, f.4rLondon, British Library, Add MS 24189, f.4r

Research Blogs

The Medieval Institute sponsors two research blogs: the Medieval Studies Research Blog, featuring the work of Notre Dame graduate students together with faculty contributors, and the Medieval Undergraduate Research Blog, with contributions from outstanding Notre Dame undergraduates. 

Want to contribute an entry? We would be glad to have you. Please contact the blog administrator Dr. Karrie Fuller