Graduate students Rebecca Bartels, Toby Hrynick, and Thomas Schellhammer and Professor Rosemary Wakeman spent 3 days in June in the French town of Domfront in Lower Normandy. The stay was organized by Mayor Bernard Soul of Domfront and Eric Fauconnier of the Pays du Bocage Region. Domfront is a picturesque medieval town that played an important role in the wars against the English and the French Wars of Religion. Domfront’s well-known chateau was used by Henry, the youngest son of William the Conqueror to rally the local lords. He eventually became Duke of Normandy and Henry I of England. Domfront’s “Medieval Fair,” held each August, is among the most well-known in France and attracts thousands. Continue reading
Tag Archives: Medieval Studies
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.
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!
From July 8th to 11th Fordham Professor Maryanne Kowaleski and graduate student Louisa Foroughi attended the XIIth Annual Anglo-American Seminar on the Medieval Economy and Society, held this year in Stirling, Scotland. The Anglo-American Seminar is a long-standing gathering of some of the most distinguished economic and social historians in England and America. This year’s presentations drew attention to new directions in research, while its panel discussion featured lively debate about the relationship between government policy and England’s economy in the late middle ages. Professor Kowaleski closed the conference with a fascinating paper on the political participation and consciousness of mariners in late medieval England, part of her larger work on England’s seamen and coastal communities. A highlight of this year’s Seminar was a (rainy!) walking tour of the town of Stirling, all the way from the castle at the top of the hill to the fish stews at its base, led by Professor Richard Oram, who also opened the conference with an excellent talk on the environmental history of Scotland and its neglected relationship to political history. Louisa especially benefited from the opportunity to meet and talk over her thesis with experts in their field, such as Prof. Bruce Campbell, who was also honored with the presentation of a festschrift at the conference.
“Passover and Easter: A Polemical Encounter” is an exhibit currently open at Walsh Library in the O’Hare Special Collection room, mounted by Dr. Magda Teter Shvidler Chair in Judaic Studies and Professor of History. This exhibit explores the history of Easter and Passover through manuscripts, books, and ephemera, with a particular emphasis on the biblical texts related to the holidays and several Haggadot, the sacred text read during the Passover Seder. Among the items on display are engravings from two editions of the famous 15th century world chronicle that portray the bleeding of a child, with images of Jews as grotesque characters, the Easter issue of an Italian magazine, La difesa della razza (The Defense of Race), from 1940 that once again return to the theme of blood libel; German currency from 1922 that celebrates burning Jews, and an 1884 parody of the Haggadah by German artist Carl Maria Seyppel. Tom Stoelker wrote an in depth article about the exhibit which can be read by following this link to the Center of Medieval Studies Venerable Blog.
A Dramatic Reading of Burning Words: A History Play by Peter Wortsman
Dr. Magda Teter will be involved in Burning Words: A History Play, offering scholarly commentary during the multimedia reading. The play is about about zealotry, censorship, and religious tolerance, and recounts the moment in history when “Johannes Reuchlin, a humanist Christian jurist, clashed with Johannes Pfefferkorn, a Jewish butcher converted to Christianity and a willing tool of the Dominican Order in their quest to burn Jewish books. ” Dr. Teter recently gave a lecture entitled “From Friendship to Hatred: The Catholic Church and the Jews” at the University of New Mexico as part of the AJS Distinguished Lecture Series.
The play will take place on April 3, 2016 at 2:30 pm at The Center for Jewish History (15 West 16th Street New York, New York 10011)
Ticket Info: $15 general; $10 Leo Baeck Institute / Center for Jewish History members
We encourage members of the Fordham community to attend and support Dr. Teter during this exciting innovative performance. More information about The Center for Jewish History and the play can be found on the center’s website.
Considering our many undergraduate and graduate courses related to pilgrimage (including our current team-taught course “Medieval Pilgrimage” and the annual study tour of the Camino de Santiago in Spain) Fordham is a great place to study pilgrimage. We are particularly excited, therefore, to announce this upcoming lecture by Dr. Dee Dyas director of the Center for the Study of Christian Culture at the University of York.
About the presenter: Dee Dyas obtained her BA in literature from the University of London, and completed her PhD, as well as an MA in theology, at the University of Nottingham. She has written several books including Pilgrimage in Medieval English Literature, 700-1500 which was published in 2001.
Fordham Undergraduates Attend Undergraduate Conference in Medieval and Early Modern Studies at Moravian College
Fordham History Department’s own Esther Liberman Cuenca was recently awarded the Schallek Fellowship, a one-year grant of $30,000 to support Ph.D. dissertation research in any relevant discipline (art history, literature, history, etc.) dealing with late medieval Britain (ca. 1350-1500). Not only is this a prestigious honor but it will allow Esther to conduct research critical to the completion of her dissertation.
Esther’s research focuses on the development and evolution of borough customary law in medieval Britain. Borough customs were practices or traditions that over time acquired the force of law within the town. Her analytical goals are twofold: to contribute to a deeper understanding of the place of urban customary law within the British legal system, and to reveal custom’s role in the emergence of a distinct bourgeois identity in medieval Britain. Borough customary law has received little scholarly attention because of its scattered distribution in many local and county archives; the need for multi-lingual expertise in Latin, Anglo-Norman French, and Middle English; and the difficulty of dating customary clauses and ordinances from multiple iterative copies.
Since she reached ABD status at Fordham in 2012, Esther has been teaching multiple courses at Marymount California University and this fellowship will give her the opportunity to focus fully on completing her dissertation. She plans to spend the 2016-2017 year living in England where she can complete her research at the Bristol Record Office and London Metropolitan Archives. In 2013, Esther was also the recipient of the Schallek Award, which is a small grant of $2,000 to help students cover research expenses. “The Medieval Academy/Richard III Society have been very kind to me! And I’m very grateful that they’re supporting my research,” says Esther. The History Department is grateful as well, and very excited for Esther to seize this opportunity!
Graduate students and fellows from the History Department and the Center for Medieval Studies at Fordham, under the direction of Dr. Nicholas Paul and Dr. Laura Morreale from each department respectively, are collaborating in an effort to open up the conversation and further understand a 13th century map which has not previously been studied in depth. Their project is called The Oxford Outremer Map and it is their goal to “use digital tools and the open global forum of the internet to bring to light a neglected medieval intellectual and cultural artifact.” Through the creation of their website, these collaborators not only hope to provide someone with a foundation of understanding of the map but also encourage other scholars to analyze it and contribute to the unfolding discussion.
Toby Hrynick, a first year PhD student in the History Department who received his MA in Medieval Studies, has been working on the project since its inception in the summer of 2014. On November 6, Toby will be taking the map project on the road, giving a conference paper about the map and participating in a digital workshop at the Haskins Society‘s Conference at Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota.
We talked to Toby to get some more details on the project and his experience working on the map… Continue reading
At the annual Spring Party hosted by the Center for Medieval Studies, prizes were announced for the best essays written by graduate students in the past year. The judges of this year’s competition were visiting fellows David Wrisley, PhD of the American University in Beirut and Helen Birkett, PhD of the University of Exeter. They awarded the O’Callahan prize to Tobias Hrynick–his paper was detailed in an earlier post on this blog when it won the Loomie Prize from the History Department– and they awarded the First Year Essay Prize to Ruth Whaley. Ruth completed her MA in History at Fordham in August 2014, concentrating in Medieval History. The award winning essay “Story-Telling at Sea: Changes in the Crusade Chronicle”, compared two crusade chronicles written by crusaders who traveled by sea. These sea-borne narratives are, compared with what Whaley calls “terra-narratives”, little studied, and have notably evaded the attention of the recent literary-critical and narratologically-inflected studies of crusade chronicles. Whaley’s paper also introduced a novel methodology for reading and comparing the two texts- one based on the unique challenges and perspectives associated with the experiences of travelling by sea. This experiential approach highlights the unfamiliarity of most medieval Europeans with the sea and the extreme and transformative effect of sea travel among those unaccustomed to it.
Whaley currently lives in New York where she enjoys being a member of NYC Museum Educators Roundtable (NYCMER) and meeting lots of current educators and museum professionals. Since graduating in August 2o14 she has attended numerous events and conferences hosted by various NYC institutions as she pursues museum education and informal learning in cultural institutions more broadly. Congratulations Ruth!