Each year, MEMGS (The Medieval and Early Modern German Studies Network) organizes panels and seminars at the annual conference of the German Studies Association. The current network coordinators are:

  • Christopher Hutchinson, University of Mississippi (
  • Frances Kneupper, University of Mississippi (
  • James Parente, University of Minnesota (
  • Marcela Perett, North Dakota State University (

The GSA's 2023 annual conference will be held in Montreal, Canada, on October 5-8. For general information about the conference and applications for participation, please visit the GSA's website

MEMGS is sponsoring two panels at the GSA in 2023.

1. Certainty and Uncertainty in Medieval and Early Modern Central Europe

How does one tell truth from fiction? Legitimate prophecy from demonic illusion? Valid scientific discovery from superstition? What constituted proof and how would it be communicated to others? Who could speak with authority and why? How was the topic of certainty treated in different media, including literature, art, music, and scientific treatises? What strategies were developed to deal with uncertainty? Who or what served as the arbiter of certainty and why?
  • Helmut Puff (University of Michigan): "Pocketing Time, Navigating Uncertainties: How to Act Prudently at the Early Modern Court"
  • Philip Liston-Kraft (Harvard University): "What is it about Wounds? In Praise of the Wundarzet"
  • Marcela Perett (North Dakota State University): "Title TBA"
2. Describing the Visual in the German Lands before 1700

An interest in the relationship between the textual and the visual characterizes many medieval and early modern works. Manuscripts and printed books are often liberally illustrated, and the text may support, or indeed contradict, the pictures that accompany it. This panel explores how texts engage with the visual.
  • Evelyn Meyer (Saint Louis University): "How to Choose What to Depict When Given Too Much Instruction: The Case of the Fifteenth-Century Bern Parzival Manuscript"
  • Frances Kneupper (University of Mississippi): "Visualizing Deception: Women in The Life of Antichrist (15th century)"
  • Alison L. Beringer (Montclair State University): "Art and Its Maker in Two Early Modern German Meisterlieder"


In 2023, MEMGS is sponsoring one three-day seminar:

"Premodern Representations of Race (800-1700) and their Reception in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries."

The seminar is convened by Tina Boyer, Wake Forest University ( and Annegret Oehme, University of Washington-Seattle ( 

Seminar description: The past decade has seen an expanding turn to Critical Race Studies within medieval studies, highlighting the importance of the concept through the context of what has been traditionally considered a time “before race.” While German Studies has not produced a similarly broad body of scholarship as French and English Studies, there has been sustained interest in critical race studies. This interest has led to a more prominent positioning of applying and revising the findings of CRS to our field (see the recent special issue of the German Quarterly on Black German Studies). It is essential to examine this discourse's long history and roots. In the seminar, we will look at representations of race in premodern primary sources. Of further importance are the reception of this material and its impact on the formation of German studies in the 18th and 19th centuries. We hope this seminar can foster a dialogue beyond the GSA by bringing together scholars working on the topic in various disciplines to establish an interdisciplinary network spanning literature, history, religion, art history, and more.
Format: Each participant will draft a 1000–1200-word discussion paper focusing on a specific case /question (papers due August 15th), which will then be pre-circulated together with two scholarly articles.

The deadline to present in this seminar has passed, but applications to audit will open in late spring or summer.