Tag Archives: medieval history

Grad Student Publications, A Summer Series: Pt. 4 Jeff Doolittle

Jeff Doolittle

Students in Fordham’s MA and PhD programs produce original research of the highest quality, and are encouraged to publish this work when and where it is appropriate during their time in the program. The academic year 2016-2017 saw the appearance of articles by a number of our students in different peer-reviewed volumes and journals. We asked our students who published their work to tell us a little bit about the articles and the writing process and we’ll feature these students and their publications in a short blog series.

This week we report on an article published this past year by History PhD student Jeffrey Doolittle. We recently heard about Jeff Doolittle’s adventures in the archives at the abbey of Montecassino in Italy, where he has been researching medical manuscripts on the earlier middle ages. His article, however, tackles a very different question in a much later period. Entitled “Charlemagne in Girona: Liturgy, Legend and the Memory of Siege” it addresses a liturgy composed for the emperor Charlemagne that was written in a fourteenth-century manuscript. The article was published in The Charlemagne Legend in Medieval Latin Texts, ed. William J. Purkis and Matthew Gabriele, pp. 115-47. Cambridge: D.S. Brewer, 2016.

Jeff wrote to us to describe the process of writing and revising the article:

This article has certainly changed a lot since it began as a seminar paper in Dr. Nicholas Paul’s graduate course on the crusades some six long years ago! In its published form, part of an edited volume by William Purkis and Matthew Gabriele on the Latin legends of Charlemagne, my article provides a brief overview of the cult of St. Charlemagne in Girona, Spain, which was celebrated in the cathedral of the city from the middle of the fourteenth century up until its suppression in the late fifteenth century. Central to Girona’s unique liturgical office was a narrative of Charlemagne’s role as a liberator of the city from the Muslims in the context of a dramatic siege, ultimately aided by the miraculous intercession of Mary. To make matters more interesting, there were no indications from other sources that Charlemagne himself had ever stepped foot in Girona nor had directed any attack against the city; the tradition seems to have been a later medieval development. I focus on the narrative of siege in the article, and argue that the fourteenth-century liturgy’s emphasis on Charlemagne’s imaginary siege of Girona and his triumph should be read against the much more recent and traumatic siege, also at the hands of a French crusading king from the north during the Crusade against Aragon (1284-5), where Girona was also the victim. This project has taken a long journey as it has transformed with Dr. Paul’s help from an inchoate seminar paper to a more focused conference paper given at the International Medieval Conference at a session organized by Drs. Purkis and Gabriele, and finally to a published contribution in their volume. Above all, I am grateful for the guidance and constructive comments at each juncture from many people, all of which helped effect this transformation.

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Grad Student Publications, A Summer Series: Pt. 3 Louisa Foroughi

Students in Fordham’s MA and PhD programs produce original research of the highest quality, and are encouraged to publish this work when and where it is appropriate during their time in the program. The academic year 2016-2017 saw the appearance of articles by a number of our students in different peer-reviewed volumes and journals. We asked our students who published their work to tell us a little bit about the articles and the writing process and we’ll feature these students and their publications in a short blog series.

Doctoral candidate Louisa Foroughi

This week we highlight the work of Louisa Foroughi, a PhD candidate mentored by Dr. Maryanne Kowaleski. Louisa recently published a book chapter entitled “‘If yt be a nacion’: Vernacular Scripture and English Nationhood in Columbia University Library, Plimpton MS 259.” The chapter was published in the collection Europe After Wyclif, edited by  J. Patrick Hornbeck II and Michael van Dussen (New York: Fordham University Press, 2017), pp. 265-287. .

Louisa’s work puts two heretical tracts from fifteenth-century England into their social and religious context. These two tracts were likely written as part of a series of debates over bible translation that took place at Oxford in the late fourteenth century, sparked by the reformer John Wyclif. His ideas and the English bible produced by his followers were both condemned as heretical by Archbishop Arundel in 1407, but, as Louisa’s work shows, interest in and desire for an English bible continued through the end of the fifteenth century.

The story of how Louisa came to write this piece is a tale of true interdisciplinarity, and it underscores the dynamic nature of medieval studies at Fordham. Louisa found these tracts, one of them previously unknown to scholars, during a manuscript studies class led by Dr. Susanne Hafner that she took in the first semester of her master’s degree at Fordham’s Center for Medieval Studies. She subsequently presented a talk about the tracts at a conference organized at Fordham by J. Patrick Hornbeck II of Fordham’s Department of Theology and Michael van Dussen of McGill University, and her work was published in the peer-reviewed edited collection of papers that developed out of that conference. Louisa’s archival research on the owners of the tracts during summer 2014 led her to develop a dissertation project that explores the tastes and self-construction of yeomen in late medieval England, a project that has been generously funded by Fordham’s History Department and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

Congrats, Louisa! We look forward to reading about more exciting discoveries from the archives.

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Grad Student Publications, A Summer Series: Pt 2: Elizabeth Kuhl

Students in Fordham’s MA and PhD programs produce original research of the highest quality, and are encouraged to publish this work when and where it is appropriate during their time in the program. The academic year 2016-2017 saw the appearance of articles by a number of our students in different peer-reviewed volumes and journals. We asked our students who published their work to tell us a little bit about the articles and the writing process and we’ll feature these students and their publications in a short blog series.

This week we feature the work of Elizabeth Kuhl. Elizabeth is a medievalist in the final stages of her PhD at Fordham. Publishing is nothing new for Elizabeth: the first fruits of her dissertation were published in the Journal of Medieval History in 2014. She recently published her second article: a contribution to the volume A Companion to the Abbey of Le Bec in the Central Middle Ages (11th-13th Centuries), edited by Benjamin Pohl and Laura Gathagan. We reached out to Elizabeth to ask her a bit about the article and how it relates to the work she’s done for her dissertation.

My article focuses on education at the monastery of Bec in the central Middle Ages. Evidence for how schooling worked in this period is limited, so I used books the monks produced to get at their topics and methods of study. The monks combined excerpts from classical texts on the trivium with patristics and with their own works in many genres. It seems that creating this kind of personal florilegium was a common part of intellectual life at Bec. The books show that the monks were in touch with methods of education at the nascent universities, but that they also had their own emphasis on integrating literary and logical skill into a total way of life centered around study and prayer. While doing archival research for my dissertation, I looked at as many surviving manuscripts from Bec as possible, and noticed that a number of them shared these characteristics; my preliminary conference paper on the manuscripts eventually turned into this chapter.

Thanks Elizabeth, and keep up the great work!

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Postcard from the Archives: Jeffrey Doolittle

We received a postcard from PhD student Jeffrey Doolittle updating us on his year as a Fordham University GSAS Research Fellow:

A medievalist at work: Jeff’s workplace in the reading room at the abbey of Montecassino

Throughout this past spring, I have been happily ensconced in Italy conducting research for my dissertation. I am currently exploring the medical culture of the Benedictine abbey of Montecassino in the ninth-century through a study of one of its products, Archivio dell’Abbazia, Codex 69, a project that requires an extensive codicological and paleographical analysis of a small corpus of manuscripts written in the Beneventan script. Thanks to a GSAS Research Fellowship, I was able to visit a number of archives in Northern Europe last fall; this spring and summer, I spent most of my time in Cassino researching at the Archivio dell’Abbazia of Montecassino under the patient guidance of the archivist, Don Mariano Dell’Omo. St. Benedict’s famous monastery, of course, is located at the top of a mountain, and the archive is also only open in the morning when buses do not run. So I woke up especially early and hiked up every day, a trip that ordinarily took about 1.5 hours. Fortunately, and in the spirit of Benedictine moderation, I did not have to walk both ways; there was a bus to come back down.

The “Chiostro del Bramante”- one of the two cloisters of the abbey of Montecassino

When not at the Archive, I was able to make use of the resources of the “Laboratorio per lo studio del libro antico” at Università degli Studi di Cassino e del Lazio Meridionale and its incredible digital library of medieval manuscripts, and I remain especially thankful for the expertise and kind assistance of the curators of the laboratory, Drs. Lidia Buono, Eugenia Russo and Stella Migliorino. Using Cassino as a base, I have also been able to visit the Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana (Florence), the Biblioteca Casanatense (Rome), the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (Vatican City) and the Biblioteca Nazionale in Naples.

Since July 1, I have moved on to the United Kingdom where I will deliver a paper at the International Medieval Congress at Leeds. I will also visit a few additional archives in the UK and Ireland including the Hunter Library in Glasgow, before returning home by the end of July.

 

Thanks for the postcard, Jeff. We look forward to seeing you when you’re back and hearing more about your research and archival discoveries.

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Medieval Political Cultures Conference: Friday May 5, 9:30AM-2PM Campbell Multipurpose Room

Each year the Seminar course in Medieval History holds a mini-conference to exhibit the works of our medieval history students. This year’s conference will take place on Friday, May from 9:30AM until 2PM in the Campbell Multipurpose Room, Campbell Hall on the Rose Hill Campus. Snacks and refreshments will be served. Come along, all are welcome!

Sessions and papers are as follows:

Panel I: From East to West 9:30-10:30

Meghan KaseConditrix Augusta: The Architectural Patronage of the Empress Theophano

Hannah Graham – Space and Demonstrations of Power in the Architecture of the Principality of Achaia

Andrew Kayaian – “Fullness of Power”: The Ecclesiology of Innocent III and Papal Relations with the Armenian Church and State

Panel II: Locality and the Sacred 10:30-11:30

Michael Lipari – “Where the Word of God Does Not Have Root”: The Archbishop of Reims and the Nobility of Champagne in the 13th Century

Jake Prescott – Neither North nor South: The Limousin as a Distinct Cultural Space c. 1220

Martin Nelson – “Such a Splendor of Brightness:” The Establishment of Knud Lavard’s Cult at Ringsted in Religious Narrative

Panel III: Locality and the Secular 12:00-1:00

Stephen Powell – The Pen is Mightier than the Earl’s Sword: The De Laude Cestrie and the Formation of an Independent Cestrian Political Identity

Andrew Thornbrooke – “A Power Above You”: Concepts of Autonomy in the Letters of Pope Innocent III and Guilhem VIII of Montpellier

Sally Gordon – Win the War – Buy Bonds! City-States, Princes, and Sovereign Debt in the Age of Edward I

Panel IV: Borders and Frontiers 1:00-2:00

Michael J. Sanders – Forgotten Roads to Jerusalem: The Iter per Hispaniam According to Ramon Llull and Garcías de Ayerbe

Joseph McKenna – On the Stage of Acre: The Players and Their Roles during the Siege

Rebecca Katharine-Fionna Bartels – Remembering the Truth: The Political Sacrality of Aleppo in 12th Century Islamic Historiography

 

 

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Upcoming Digital Humanities Workshop with Alisa Beer

Last week was NYCDH Week 2017 — the week each year when the NYC Digital Humanities (DH) community gets together to discuss their projects, run workshops, and bring the NYC DH community together.

One feature of the kick-off meeting on Monday was a series of Lightning Talks: five minute mini-presentations about DH projects in the works. Presentations ranged from personal research to new departmental makerspaces and showed the breadth of DH projects and interests in the greater NYC area!

Fordham History Department Ph.D. student Alisa Beer gave a lightning talk about a DH project she is running at Columbia University as part of her spring 2017 internship with the Rare Books and Manuscripts Library at Columbia.

The workshop, called “Digital Editing and the Medieval Manuscript Roll” will take place on March 24-25 for Columbia University graduate students. Participants will learn the fundamentals of digital editing while tackling the codicological challenges posed by medieval manuscripts. Practical sessions will inform collective editorial decision-making: participants will undertake the work of transcription and commentary, and tag (according to TEI 5 protocols) the text and images of one medieval manuscript roll from the Columbia collection. The workshop will result in a collaborative digital edition of Plimpton Add. Ms. 04, a roll of the Fifteen Oes of Saint Bridget.

Plimpton Add. Ms. 04

Click here for more information on the workshop and its goals, structure, and outcomes.

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The Professor and the Process: Dr. Richard Gyug and The Bishop’s Book of Kotor

Liturgy and Law in a Dalmatian City
The Bishop’s Book of Kotor (Sankt-Peterburg, BRAN, F. no. 200).
ISBN: 978-0-88844-204-8

The History Department was lucky enough to catch up with its very own Prof. Richard Gyug to discuss his newest book, Liturgy and Law in a Dalmatian City: The Bishop’s Book of Kotor (Sankt-Peterburg, BRAN, F. no. 200). Prof. Gyug has recently returned to campus after a semester’s leave. He has been research fellow at the Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies (PIMS) where he continued work on his long-running funded project the Monumenta Liturgica Beneventana. Our interview with Prof. Gyug will hopefully give hope and insight to many scholars, especially those starting out like the Fordham MA students now beginning their spring projects, as we discussed the process: how does a project move from an idea to a finished product like a book?

History Department: First thing’s first I suppose, how did the project begin?

Dr. Richard Gyug: The present volume is a study and edition of a medieval manuscript. A much shorter version of the study and two of the four parts of the edition were my doctoral dissertation at the University of Toronto (1984). The manuscript on which the edition is based is cited several times before 1800 when it was still in Kotor in Montenegro, where it was written and used in the middle ages. After that it disappeared until being noted again by Ljudmila Kisseleva of the Academy of Science in St. Petersburg (then Leningrad). Because the manuscript is written in Beneventan script, which was used in southern Italy and Dalmatia from 800 to 1300 or so, after Kisseleva’s note Virginia Brown listed the manuscript in her 1980 revised edition of E.A. Lowe’s The Benventan Script (original edition 1914). I was then at the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies in Toronto, where Brown was, and her colleague, Roger Reynolds, introduced the manuscript to me in a seminar. I continued to work on it, and made it my dissertation.

Plate 4 from Gyug, Liturgy and Law. This is fol. 70v in the Pontifical of Kotor (St. Petersburg, RASL, F. 200) and is part of the dedication of a church with notated antiphons and an added communal document. The photograph is by Alexander Karnachov © Sankt-Peterburg, BRAN.

HD: After finally being introduced to the manuscript, how long was the process and its different stages?

RG: Very long! In preparing that dissertation, I noted which parts of the manuscript had music, but did not study them, an omission typical of liturgical editions then and now. At the defense, Andrew Hughes, a distinguished musicologist, noted this lack and stressed how important the music was for understanding the composition and use of the book. Of course, he was correct, so before continuing work on the present book, I edited a missal from Dubrovnik in which music was a major component. After that book came out, I worked on other similar manuscripts associated with a long-term grant-funded project, the Monumenta Liturgica Beneventana, of which I was a member with the late Virginia Brown and Roger Reynolds. I picked up the present manuscript again in the mid-1990s and have been working on it off and on since over several research leaves.

 

HD: This manuscript seems like a regular in your research. Where does the book and this research fit in to your broader research questions?

RG: It’s a liturgical manuscript in Beneventan script. Such manuscripts are the principal topic of the Monumenta Liturgica Beneventan project, so it’s been a key part of the team project.

 

HD: Did your research on this book lead you into any immediate upcoming projects? If so, would you care to share what those are?

RG: I have continued to work on Beneventan manuscripts from Italy and Dalmatia, and thanks to the comparisons needed for the edition, also on liturgical manuscripts in other scripts from the region. So, it has led to several projects:

(1) a partial edition and study of a Beneventan manuscript containing Breviary and Ritual, which is priest’s manual. This manuscript is extraordinary because it was written in the fourteenth century, late for Beneventan, for use in Albania, which was outside the Beneventan zone, and the manuscript contains a Franciscan liturgy, rare in Beneventan, which is usually Benedictine and monastic. This study was begun and almost completed by my late colleague Virginia Brown, and I am finishing it at her request.

(2) a study of the relationships between Benevetan manuscripts with similar contents (i.e., the services proper to a bishop) and several related non-Beneventan manuscripts from Norman-Sicily, Bari in southern Italy, and Dubrovnik and Trogir in Dalmatia.

(3) the cataloguing of liturgical and other fragments at Montecassino

 

Thanks to Professor Gyug for taking the time to talk with us, and congratulations on this handsome book!

 

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Six Weeks, Four Countries, Five Libraries: The Research Adventures of Jeffrey Doolittle

dscn0559

Jeffrey taking a break from measuring rulings outside of the Staatsbibliothek Bamberg.

With funding provided by a GSAS Research Fellowship, graduate student Jeffrey Doolittle has been able to spend six and a half weeks this autumn at five research libraries in Europe working with several Beneventan manuscripts that will be integral to his dissertation.

Jeffrey’s project explores the medical monastic culture of the early medieval Benedictine abbey of Montecassino through a study of one of its products, Archivio dell’Abbazia, cod. 69, a compendious manuscript produced in the late ninth century. Part of his project entails an extensive codicological and paleographical analysis of Montecassino 69 in comparison with other early medieval manuscripts written in the Beneventan script. So, in order to collect the data for this portion of his dissertation, Jeffrey has traveled to study manuscripts in the collections of the Universiteitsbibliotheek Leiden (the Netherlands), Det Kongelige Bibliotek (Copenhagen, Denmark), and the Staatsbibliothek Bamberg (Bamberg, Germany). And over the next few weeks, he will make two more stops at the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek in Munich and finally the Österreichische Nationalbibliothek in Vienna, all before the holiday break! Through the course of this journey, he will study a total of eleven manuscripts. So far, the trip has been extraordinarily productive and rewarding, and Jeffrey has enjoyed conversations with the wonderfully friendly librarians and specialists, including Erik Petersen in Copenhagen and Stefan Knoch in Bamberg. Still, he looks forward to returning home to his family for the holidays, and preparing for another research trip to Italy in the spring!

bamberger-dom

The view of the Bamberger Dom from the entrance to the archives where Jeffrey is standing in the picture above.

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Maryanne Kowaleski to Discuss Criminalizing Women’s Gossip in Late Medieval England (11/14 3:30 PM)

kowaleski-gossip-talk-2

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The Dead Come Alive: Ghost Stories at the Rose Hill Jesuit Graveyard October 13 at 6:15PM

screenshot-2016-10-06-18-35-43On Thursday, October 13 at 6:15 a chill will fall over the Fordham Rose Hill campus. Scott G. Bruce, professor of medieval history at the University of Colorado at Boulder will bring us into the shadows with his collection of historical ghost stories. The stories, published in the prestigious Penguin Classics series as The Penguin Book of the Undead: Fifteen Hundred Years of Supernatural Encounters. Bruce will read selections from his spooky collection at 6:15PM between the cemetery and the the university church. A reception at Rodrigue’s Coffee House will follow, where signed copies of the book will be available for purchase. In the case of inclement weather, the event will take place at Rodrigue’s Coffee House.

Ring in the Halloween season with the scariest event ever held at Fordham… Continue reading

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