Tag Archives: medieval history

Dr. Bruce and PhD Student Ben Bertrand publish their article entitled “Ex sanctorum patrum certissimis testimoniis: Reading the Greek Fathers in Latin in Early Medieval Monasteries” in the Journal of Medieval Monastic Studies

Dr. Scott G. Bruce, Professor of History, and Benjamin A. Bertrand, PhD Student in History, co-authored their article “Ex sanctorum patrum certissimis testimoniis: Reading the Greek Fathers in Latin in Early Medieval Monasteries” which was published in the Journal of Medieval Monastic Studies. Congratulations Dr. Bruce and Ben!

You can access their article here. Below is the abstract:

Monastic reading communities in early medieval Europe had a voracious appetite for the works of the Greek church fathers in Latin translation. This article examines the evidence for the availability of translated Greek patristics in western abbeys from the fifth to the ninth centuries through a survey of surviving manuscripts and monastic library inventories. While there was not yet a canon of officially recognized ‘fathers of the eastern church’ in early medieval Europe, this article shows how western monks favoured five of the six Greek patriarchs singled out as authoritative in the sixth-century Decretum Gelasianum. In terms of genre, they strongly preferred the homiletical writings of eastern Christian authors over their polemical works, because sermons and biblical homilies had greater utility as tools for teaching and preaching. Lastly, this article highlights the fact that the most widely copied Greek church father in early medieval Europe was also the most notorious and suspect thinker in the eastern church: Origen of Alexandria, whose skill as an author of biblical commentaries outweighed his notoriety as a condemned theologian in the eyes of western monks.

Cover of the Journal of Medieval Monastic Studies

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Dr. Comuzzi publishes an article entitled “Guild formation and the artisanal labour market: the example of Castelló d’Empúries, 1260–1310” in the Journal of Medieval History

Dr. Elizabeth Comuzzi, Assistant Professor of History, published her article entitled “Guild formation and the artisanal labour market: the example of Castelló d’Empúries, 1260–1310” in the Journal of Medieval History. Congratulations Dr. Comuzzi!

Below is the abstract:

This article examines artisanal employment agreements from the Catalan town of Castelló d’Empúries from 1260–1310, the period before and just after the formation of the first craft guild in that town. It addresses why craft guilds formed and what advantage guilds offered medieval artisans in contrast to pre-guild systems, with a focus on the market for artisanal training. The pre-guild artisanal labour market in late thirteenth-century Castelló was highly flexible, with a variety of terms and contract types under which craft training could be acquired. Artisans were free to make any agreement they found mutually satisfactory, but they were also at the mercy of the market. Trained artisans were not always the ones with higher resources and power compared to prospective learners. The cloth-finishers’ guild of Castelló closely monitored the market for training in their craft, and standardised the terms and contract formats under which training was offered.

Front Cover of the Journal of Medieval History

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Esther Liberman Cuenca (History Ph.D., 2019) awarded three fellowships

Esther Liberman Cuenca (Ph.D., 2019)

Esther Liberman Cuenca (PhD History, 2019), now an assistant professor at the University of Houston-Victoria (UHV), has recently been awarded three fellowships. They include a UHV Junior Faculty Grant for summer 2021, a Franklin Research Grant from the American Philosophical Society 2022-23, and a Junior Mellon Membership at the School of Historical Studies at the Institute for Advanced Studies for 2022-23. She will spend her time in Princeton revising her Fordham doctoral dissertation into a monograph entitled “The Making of Urban Customary Law in Medieval Britain.” Dr Cuenca has also recently published “Led Zeppelin— ‘Immigrant Song’: Viking Medievalisms and the Afterlife of Classic Rock,” in One-Track Mind: Capitalism and the Art of the Pop Song (London: Routledge, 2022). In 2023, she has an essay forthcoming in Continuity and Change and is serving as guest editor of “Representations of the Medieval in Popular Culture: Remembering the Angevins,” a special collection for Open Library of Humanities.

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Prof. Magda Teter wins 2 book prizes for book: “Blood Libel: On the Trail of an Antisemitic Myth”

Professor Magda Teter won two book prizes for her recent publication: Blood Libel: On the Trail of an Antisemitic Myth (Harvard University Press, 2020). Prize descriptions below:

American Historical Association: George L. Mosse Prize
“The American Historical Association awards the George L. Mosse Prize annually for an outstanding major work of extraordinary scholarly distinction, creativity, and originality in the intellectual and cultural history of Europe since 1500.” (https://www.historians.org/awards-and-grants/awards-and-prizes/george-l-mosse-prize)

Sixteenth Century Society and Conference: 2021 Bainton Prize for History and Theology
“The Roland H. Bainton Book Prizes are named in honor of one of the most irenic church historians of the twentieth century. Roland H. Bainton was professor of church history at the seminary of Yale University for many years, the advisor of many Ph.D. students, the author of over a dozen important books, and an ardent supporter of early modern studies. 

Four prizes are awarded yearly for the best books written in English dealing with four categories within the time frame of 1450-1660: Art and Music History, History and Theology, Literature, and Reference Works. The prize-winning book in each category is chosen by a committee of three SCSC members appointed by the president of the SCSC who shall also designate one of the three to serve as chair.” (https://sixteenthcentury.org/roland-h-bainton-prizes/)

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Prof. Magda Teter wrote “When Poverty Became Profane” in the April 29th issue of the New York Review of Books.

On April 29, 2021, Prof. Magda Teter published, “When Poverty Became Profane” in the April 29th issue of the New York Review Books. Below is an excerpt of Teter’s debut NYRB piece.

“The questions about poverty and charity we are facing now, in the middle of a major economic and public health crisis, are not new. They reflect our moral values as well as our social, legal, and political structures. (Tellingly, in the US, charitable giving is intertwined with tax codes.) To be sure, these values do change over time and vary across regions and cultures. In Judaism, tzedakah—roughly, charity—is a moral obligation, a mitzvah. (Although a mitzvah is also considered a good deed, in Hebrew it means a religious precept or commandment.) “Formal institutions for poor relief,” not just individual almsgiving, Kaplan writes, were already

“prescribed” in the Mishnah and the Tosefta—ancient Jewish texts from the second and third centuries CE. Zakat, or almsgiving, is one of the Five Pillars of Islam.

In Christianity, by contrast, charity is not a commandment or a pillar of religious practice, though Jesus’ teachings about poverty and wealth have played an important part in the development of Christian views on charity and on the role of the poor within society. In Christian medieval communities, for example, poverty was not considered shameful. Quite the opposite: poverty as a voluntary way of life was seen as a manifestation of piety, embodied most famously by Saint Francis of Assisi and the members of mendicant orders. In the seventh century Saint Eligius reportedly said, “God could have made all men rich, but He wanted there to be poor people in this world, that the rich might be able to redeem their sins.” The poor begging at church entrances were a common sight, offering the wealthy an opportunity to give alms. Even the word for “hospice” suggested an aura of holiness. In Paris, it was Hôtel-Dieu, and among Jews of Northern Europe it was called a hekdesh, related to the Hebrew root for “holy,” k-d-sh.

Then, Kaplan notes, echoing the historian Thomas Max Safley, “something happened to charity in early modern Europe.” In the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries, crop failures led many of the rural poor to move to cities. Frequent epidemics overwhelmed local hospices, and religious individuals and institutions alike were unable to provide adequate support to the sick and the poor. More formal solutions were needed, and almsgiving and poor relief became increasingly regulated. Now the poor were no longer seen as a means of redemption for the rich but as a public nuisance and a social burden, and perhaps as a vector of disease.

The cities began to define who was deserving and undeserving of aid. Public begging was increasingly banned, poverty was gradually criminalized, and residency was required to qualify for poor relief. In 1516, for example, Paris banished “vagabonds.””

You can follow Prof. Magda Teter on Twitter @MagdaTeter.

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“Retracing Power: Authority, Conflict, and Resistance in History,” Fordham History Graduate Student Workshop on Friday, March 5, 2021.

Register here for Zoom link

“Retracing Power:Authority, Conflict, and Resistance in History”

Graduate Student Workshop

Sponsored by the O’Connell Initiative for Global Capitalism

Fordham University, Department of History

Friday, March 5, 2021

Zoom

9:00am Welcome and Opening Remarks

David Hamlin (Fordham University)

Panel 1 Authority and Conflict in Law and Medicine

9:30 – 11:00am Grace Shen (Fordham University) – Commentator

“She Behaved as a Doctor”: Empirics and 

Enforcement in the Pastoral Visitations of 

Late Medieval Catalonia

Rachel Podd (Fordham University)

Orientations: Re-Defining the Direction of 

Heterosexual Desire

Sean Cosgrove (Cornell University)

Chemical Conversations: Scientific Investigations

and Medical Punishments in the Soviet Union’s 

Special Hospitals

Garret McDonald (Fordham University)

11:00 – 11:15am Break

Panel 2 Power Struggles of Governance and Citizenship

11:15am-12:45pm Nana Osei-Opare (Fordham University) – Commentator

The Nahaman River Milling Dispute, and the Thirteenth-Century Energy Crisis of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem

Tobias Hyrnick (Fordham University)

Asantean noumena: The politics and 

imaginary reconstruction of the Asante Palace

Tony Yeboah (Yale University)

12:45 – 2:00pm Lunch Break

Panel 3  Unfree Labor 

2:00-3:30pm Samantha Iyer (Fordham University) – Commentator 

Corvée Labor and the Politics of Popular 

Insurrection in Trois-Rivières, 1760-1776

Richard Tomczak (Stony Brook University)

Choose Your Human Rights Battles Wisely: 

The Kennedy Administration, the United Nations, 

and the Saudi Arabian Slave Trade

Nicholas DeAntonis (Fordham University)

Commerce, Identity, and Mobility in the Dangme 

Littoral of the Eastern Gold Coast, 1850s—1870s 

Ishmael Annang (Georgetown University)

3:30 – 3:45pm Break

Panel 4 Political Cultures

3:45-5:00pm              Amanda Armstrong-Price (Fordham University) – Commentator

Culture Wars: Arnoldian Culture in Late Nineteenth 

and Early Twentieth Century Britain

Jarrett Moran (Graduate Center, City University of New York)

Structuring spontaneity: The twilight of anarchist 

organization in Spain and Italy, c. 1917-1923

William Whitham (Princeton University)

5:00 – 5:15pm Break

5:15-6:15pm Retracing Power, Refiguring History: Haunted Bauhaus

and a New History of Modernism

Dr. Elizabeth Otto (SUNY Buffalo)

6:15-6:30pm Closing Remarks

Asif Siddiqi (Fordham University)

6:30pm Cocktails and Celebration

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Dr. Esther Liberman Cuenca, who earned her Ph.D. in medieval history at Fordham in 2019, has been awarded the 2021 Van Courtlandt Elliott Prize from the Medieval Academy of America, which recognizes a first article in the field of medieval studies of outstanding quality.

Dr. Esther Liberman Cuenca, who earned her Ph.D. in medieval history at Fordham in 2019, has been awarded the 2021 Van Courtlandt Elliott Prize from the Medieval Academy of America, which recognizes a first article in the field of medieval studies of outstanding quality. The prize, for her article, “Town clerks and the authorship of custumals in medieval England,” Urban History 46:2 (2019): 180-201, was established by the Medieval Academy of America in 1971 and consists of a certificate and a monetary award of $500. It will be presented at the Academy’s 2021 Annual Meeting, hosted online by Indiana University, Bloomington. She is one of two winners of the award this year. The prize committee submitted the following citation.

In her perceptive and finely-crafted essay Esther Liberman Cuenca examines the expertise and duties of clerks in medieval English towns, and particularly their roles in creating custumals, or collections of written customs. She highlights and traces two fundamental aspects of clerks’ authorship, their legal and administrative expertise, and their roles in transmitting urban laws to posterity. Urban historians of the Middle Ages are familiar with custumals, documents found in almost every medieval towns that regulated the lives of their citizens, from markets and commerce to administration, social mores and hygiene. While historians usually locate and frame analyses of the documents within the history of urban politics and “normalization”, they rarely study who actually drafted them. Cuenca’s innovative article engages the historiography of urban literacy, and of the anonymous professionals who supported literacy within an urban institutional framework. Her careful analysis of their oaths and administrative practices, which often adapted older materials, reveals that town clerks played critical roles in transmitting customary law to future generations of administrators. Clerks were usually left in the shadow of their superior, and the vital contribution of Cuenca’s work is to bring these individuals to light by focusing on the creation, organization, and preservation of urban custumals, and most of all on their authorship. Were these clerks scriptores, compilatores, or commentators? By showing that they fulfilled all of these roles, Cuenca reaffirms their existence in urban memory.

Esther Liberman Cuenca

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Graduate Student Amanda Racine receives the prestigious Fulbright Fellowship.

Amanda Racine (PhD student, Medieval History) has received a Fulbright Fellowship to France for 2020/21. She will be affiliated with Centre d’études supérieueres de civilization médiévale (CESCM) at the Université de Poitiers working with Professor Martin Aurell. Over the course of the year she plans to study extant oaths and customs  spread across several archives in France: the Société Archéologique de Montpellier in Montpellier; the Archives départementales des Bouches-du-Rhône, the Archives municipales de Marseille, and the Bibliothèque municipale d’Arles, all in and around Marseille; and the Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF) in Paris. Amanda has also been awarded a grant from the American Numismatic Society for the 66th Annual Eric P. Newman Graduate Summer Seminar in 2020 (delayed due to COVID-19). She plans to study the text and iconography of Frankish, Fatimid, Ayybuid, and Mamluk coins from the twelfth and thirteenth centuries.

You can follow Amanda on Twitter @AMNerbo.

Amanda Racine

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Graduate Student Rachel Podd receives the NACBS-Huntington Library Fellowship for British Studies.

Rachel Podd  (PhD candidate, Medieval History) received the NACBS-Huntington Library Fellowship for British Studies to conduct research at the Henry Huntington Library in San Marino, California. During her time there she plans to photograph and transcribe a variety of medieval medical manuscripts, including regimens for health, medical recipes and charms, as part of her larger research project focused on medieval ideas about health management.  She will draw on these materials for her Ph.D. thesis on “Health in Late Medieval England: The Impact of Age, Sex, and Income on the Lived Experience.”

Rachel Podd

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Graduate Student Douglass Hamilton awarded Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to participate in a three-week Mellon Summer Institute in French Paleography

Douglass Hamilton is one of fifteen faculty and advanced graduate students at U.S. and Canadian colleges awarded a grant by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to participate in a three-week Mellon Summer Institute in French Paleography program at the Newberry Library in Chicago. The course covers the history of French handwriting and will emphasize hands-on training with facsimiles and manuscripts of the late medieval and early modern periods. This training will allow Douglass to gain critical experience with archival material and manuscripts written in the French language, which will be essential for my research on Old French literature of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. Because of the coronavirus, the seminar has been moved to the summer of 2021.

You can follow Douglass Hamilton on Twitter at @SacreDoog.

Douglass Hamilton

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