The Medieval Institute at Western Michigan University highlights here events of interest to the local medievalist community.

Monday, April 1

Photo Portrait of Ronald Herzman

Ronald Herzman

Public lecture
sponsored by the Goliardic Society

Dante without the Footnotes: Why Dante is for Everyone

Ronald Herzman

State University of New York at Geneseo

Monday, April 1
5:50 p.m.
Brown 1028

From Geneseo to Georgetown to the Attica Correctional Facility and Regis High School (Manhattan), Dr. Ronald Herzman has spent half a century exploring the works of Dante in the classroom (including directing fifteen summer seminars on Dante for high school educators through the National Endowment for the Humanities), an exploration that has convinced him that the "Commedia" should be a must-read for everyone. This lecture will explore his experiences teaching Dante as well as his relationship to Western Michigan University, where he presented his first academic papers, a Loew Lecture, and continues to influence the work of students and faculty, alike.

Wednesday, April 10

The tomb of Saint James the Apostle in the cathedral at Saintiago.

Tomb of Saint James, Santiago Cathedral

Loew Lecture in Medieval Studies
sponsored by the Medieval Institute
co-sponsored by the Department of History, the Department of Spanish, the Institute for Intercultural and Anthropological Studies, and the University Center for the Humanities

Scars of Silence: The Tomb of Saint James the Apostle and the Origins of Christian Spain

José Suárez Otero

Universidad de Santiago de Compostela

Wednesday, April 10
5:30 p.m.
Brown 1028

Dr. Suárez Otero has been working on some exciting new research on the Suevians. His archival research in Berlin last year opens the door to questioning some widely accepted “truths” about the role of the Visigoths in early medieval Iberia. His research reveals the important role of the Suevians, vis-a-vis the Visigoths, exposing, in the process, the manipulation of the historical narrative of Visigothic Iberia since Isidore of Seville.


Thursday, June 13

Image of a thirteenth-century Bible leaf in the collection of WMU's University Libraries.

WMU, MS 159, verso (detail)

Public lecture
co-sponsored by University Libraries and the Medieval Institute

The Paris Bible: What's in a Name (and Why It Matters)

Laura Light

Les Enluminures

Thursday, June 13
4 p.m.

Meader Room
3rd Floor
Waldo Library

reception to follow

The roots of the modern Bible rest solidly in the thirteenth century. The Bible that most of us are familiar with today—one, usually fairly compact, volume, including the entire scriptural Canon from Genesis to the Apocalypse, with the text arranged for easy reading and reference (presented in two columns, with visual cues indicating the beginning of each book of the Bible, running titles, and clearly indicated numbered chapters)—dates back to Bibles copied in the thirteenth century. Modern scholars talking about the history of the Vulgate in this important period use a number of different, and sometimes confusing terms, mentioning; the Paris Bible, the University Bible, the pocket Bible, and the portable Bible. Nomenclature does matter, and in this talk, we will define what the Paris Bible was, why the University Bible is a misnomer (and a term that should be retired), and how the Paris Bible relates to pocket or portable Bibles.

Laura Light is Director and Senior Specialist, Text Manuscripts at Les Enluminures. Previously she worked as a cataloger at the Houghton Library, Harvard University, and is the author of "Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the Houghton Library, Harvard University, Volume 1, MSS Lat 3-179," Binghamton, New York, 1995. She has published numerous books and articles on the medieval Bible, in particular on the Bible in the thirteenth century, including the volume edited with Eyal Poleg, "Form and Function in the Late Medieval Bible," Leiden, 2013.