2011–2012 News in Medieval and Early Modern Studies

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Chris Clemens Honored at Hooding

hooding_ceremony_2012J. Christopher Clemens (Physics and Astronomy) (pictured left) received the 2012 Faculty Award for Excellence in Doctoral Mentoring from Steve Matson, dean of the Graduate School during the Doctoral Hooding ceremony. One nominator said: “Of the more than 100 K–12 teachers, undergraduate lecturers and graduate professors that have taught me in the past 23 years, Chris is, without hesitation, the most effective, compassionate, intelligent and entertaining educator I have had the privilege of learning from.” Last year’s honoree was Alan Nelson (Philosophy), also a member of UNC’s MEMS community.

Eight Complete MEMS Minor in Spring 2012

Congratulations to

  • Ryan Arnold
  • Gwen Bellinger
  • Rachel Davis
  • Jessica Hiltabidle
  • Jessica Kiernan
  • Hannah McGee
  • Stephen Wiley
  • Bennett Williams

Richard Pfaff Named Haskins Medal Winner

pfaff bookRichard Pfaff (History, emeritus) was awarded the Medieval Academy of America’s highest honor, the Haskins Medal, for his book, The Liturgy in Medieval England: A History (Cambridge University Press, 2009) at the Academy’s meeting in St. Louis.The citation that accompanied Professor Pfaff’s gold medal called it “the sum of a life’s work dedicated to the recovery and analysis of the sources for the first comprehensive account of the liturgy in medieval England,” and, echoing a review, “the crowning achievement of a long and influential career.”


Between Experience and Narrative: Conversion as Self-description in the Middle Ages and the Early Modern Period

conversion conference

This interdisciplinary symposium of the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin’s Transformationen der Antike research cluster (SFB 644) and the UNC Program in Medieval and Early Modern Studies took place in Berlin on May 10 and 11, 2012. MEMS faculty participants included organizer Ruth von Bernuth (Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures), keynote lecturer Jonathan Boyarin (Religious Studies), Darryl J. Gless (English and Comparative Literature), and Carmen Y. Hsu (Romance Languages and Literatures). 




Tania String Tapped for Prestigious Lecture

stringTania String (Art and History) delivered Fordham University’s St. Robert Southwell, S.J. Lecture, “The Masculine Ideal and Renaissance Portraits,” on Wednesday, October 19, 2011. Professor String is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London and was the Kress Doctoral Fellow at the Warburg Institute in London. She has been a historical consultant for the BBC and for Historic Royal Palaces at Hampton Court. Before leaving England she was involved in curating two exhibitions with the National Portrait Gallery in London: “‘On the Nature of Women’: Tudor and Jacobean Portraits of Women, 1535–1620” and “Imagined Lives: Mystery Portraits from the National Gallery, 1520–1640.”

The Works of Lucy Hutchinson, volume I: The Translation of Lucretius

(Oxford University Press, 2012)

Lucy HutchinsonReid Barbour (English and Comparative Literature) and his co-editor David Norbrook have just published the first volume in the four-volume edition of The Works of Lucy Hutchinson, the first-ever collected edition of the writings of the pioneering author and translator. Hutchinson (1620–1681) had a remarkable range of her interests, from Latin poetry to Civil War politics and theology. This edition of her translation of Lucretius’s De rerum natura offers new biographical material, demonstrating the changes and unexpected continuities in Hutchinson’s life between the work’s composition in the 1650s and its dedication in 1675. Hers is the first complete surviving English translation of one of the great classical epics, a challenging text at the borderlines of poetry and philosophy.

Watch Carl Ernst’s Panels at the Jaipur Literature Festival

Carl Ernst (Religious Studies) participated in two panels at the Jaipur Literature Festival. Videos of his January 24 panels are available at http://jaipurliteraturefestival.org/program-2011/24-jan-2012-program/

Tudorism: Historical Imagination and the Appropriation of the Sixteenth Century

(Oxford University Press, 2012)

TudorismTania String (Art and History) and Marcus Bull (History) have produced the first in-depth and wide-ranging academic exploration of the reception of the Tudor period in the modern world. It includes studies by many of the leading scholars in their fields, and considers the modern appropriation of the Tudors and their era in art, music, architecture, design, religion, public history, social history, print, film and television, and internet networking sites. The fourteen papers cumulatively map out the ways in which modern society has utilized the sixteenth-century past as a cultural resource, as a repertoire of quotable designs and styles, as a vantage point from which to frame political and social critiques, as a source of identities, and as a refuge from modern-day anxieties. The volume appears in the prestigious Proceedings of the British Academy series, which since 1905 has been the premier vehicle for British scholarship in the humanities and social sciences.

MEMS Welcomes a New Faculty Member

Emma FlattEmma Jane FlattAssistant Professor, will expand the History Department’s offerings in pre-modern cultures and politics of South Asia. This semester she is teaching “History and Culture of Hindus and Muslims: South Asia to 1750” and “Gender and South Asia.”




“The End of the World”

Hear Brett Whalen (History) and other scholars discuss “The End of the World” and why people embrace apocalyptic predictions with Frank Stasio on WUNC’s The Story. (1/27/2012)

A Taste for the Foreign: Worldly Knowledge and Literary Pleasure in Early Modern French Fiction

(University of Delaware Press, 2011)

A Taste for the ForeignEllen Welch (Romance Languages) examines foreignness as a crucial aesthetic category for the development of prose fiction from Jacques Amyot’s 1547 translation of The Ethiopian Story to Antoine Galland’s early eighteenth-century version of The Thousand and One Nights. Concentrating on the most successful examples of some of the most important sub-genres of prose fiction in the long seventeenth century—heroic romances, shorter urban novels, fictional memoirs, and extraordinary voyages—her book examines how these types of fiction creatively appropriate the scientific or documentary forms of writing that claimed to inform the French public about exotic places.

International Arthurian Society Honors Edward Donald Kennedy

At its triennial meeting in Bristol, England in July 2011 the International Arthurian Society sponsored a session of papers and an evening reception in honor of approaching retirement of Edward Donald Kennedy (English and Comparative Literature) and in recognition of his contributions to the scholarship of Arthurian literature. The journal Arthuriana will be publishing a collection of essays in his honor in the near future.

Read 2010–2011 News in Medieval and Early Modern Studies