Loew Lectures

Photo portrait of Cornelius Loew.

Cornelius Loew

The Cornelius Loew Lectures in Medieval Studies were established by the board of the Medieval Institute at Western Michigan University in April 1986 to honor a distinguished colleague on his retirement after 30 years of service to the University. During those years "Cornie," as he was known to his friends, served as founding chair of the Department of Philosophy and Religion (1958-64), as associate dean followed by dean of the College of Arts and Sciences (1964-68, 1968-77), and as vice president for Academic Affairs (1977-79). He returned to the faculty as a Distinguished University Professor in 1980 and taught until his retirement in 1986. He passed away on Oct. 24, 1998 at the age of 82.

Offices and dates do not reveal the crucial role Loew played during his career in the promotion and support of early studies at the University. He was present at the creation of both the Medieval Institute and the Institute of Cistercian Studies. He was a strong supporter of what has become the International Congress on Medieval Studies, and his efforts as dean and as vice president for Academic Affairs enabled Medieval Institute Publications to develop into the vital enterprise it has become.

It is safe to say that were it not for Loew's wisdom and counsel at crucial stages in its growth, medieval studies at WMU would not have become the vital and distinguished academic enterprise that it is. His commitment was unflagging. His enthusiasm was infectious. His guidance was firm, generous and kind. For all his services we thank him, and we remember him by continuing this series of lectures in his name.

Past Loew lectures

"'Not Fable or Allegory but Vision': The Last Judgment in Michelangelo, Milton, and Blake"

Laura L. Knoppers, University of Notre Dame
Nov. 4, 2019
in connection with ENGL 5550: Paradise Lost, taught by Elizabeth Bradburn

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

José Suárez Otero, Universidad de Santiago de Compostela
April 10, 2019
in connection with SPAN 6070, Spanish Language and Its History, taught by Pablo Pastrana-Pérez.

"Hakluyt's Books and Hawkins's Slaves: Early English Slave Voyages, 1562-1570"

Jyotsna G. Singh, Michigan State University
March 16, 2018

"Performing the Past as Evidence and Research Tool? Notes from the Field of Performative Historiography"

Scott Magelssen, University of Washington
Oct. 12, 2017
in connection with HIST 6440, Material Culture, taught by James Palmitessa.

"The Genealogical Imagination in the Old English 'Genesis A'"

Andrew Scheil, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
Oct. 13, 2016

"Metamorphosed Bodies and Dead Letters: Ovid in Chaucer's 'Troilus' and the 'Legend of Good Women'"

Suzanne Conklin Akbari, University of Toronto
March 29, 2016
in connection with English 5550, Chaucer, taught by Eve Salisbury.

"Christmas Revels at Hertford, 1427"

Claire Sponsler, University of Iowa
Dec. 3, 2015
in connection with Theatre 3700, Theatre History I, taught by Lofton L. Durham.

"Illuminare: The Uses and Embellishment of Gold and Other Metallic Leaf and Inks in Medieval and Renaissance Manuscript Painting"

Nancy Turner, J. Paul Getty Museum
March 19, 2015
in connection with Medieval 6000, Codicology and Latin Paleography, taught by E.C. Teviotdale.

"Religious Education and Collaboration at the Beguinage of Paris"

Tanya Stabler Miller, Purdue University, Calumet
Nov. 6, 2014
in connection with Medieval 5300, Introduction to Medieval Studies, taught by James M. Murray.

"Translating Galbert of Bruges"

Jeff Rider, Wesleyan University
Oct. 10, 2013
in connection with Medieval 5300, Introduction to Medieval Studies, taught by James M. Murray.

"Medieval Authors and Their Signatures: Toward a History of the Authorial Colophon"

Daniel Hobbins, University of Notre Dame
Nov. 1, 2012
in connection with Medieval 5300, Introduction to Medieval Studies, taught by James M. Murray.

"Art and Devotion: Looking at the Word"

Jessica Brantley, Yale University
March 15, 2012
in connection with Medieval 6000, Art and Devotion in Medieval England, taught by E.C. Teviotdale.
More about Brantley's lecture.

"Dominican Teaching in Dante's Florence: Fra Remigio de' Girolami and the Schools of Santa Maria Novella"

M. Michèle Mulchahey, Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies
April 12, 2011
in connection with History 6820, Mendicants and Their World, taught by Larry Simon.

"Twist and Shout: Riddles of Monstrosity in Anglo-Saxon England"

Andy Orchard, Trinity College, University of Toronto
March 16, 2009
in connection with English 6100, Monstrosity in Anglo-Saxon Literature, taught by Jana Schulman.

"The Pseudo-Peter of Poitiers Gloss and Early Scholastic Theology"

Marcia L. Colish, Yale University
Oct. 24, 2008
in connection with Medieval 6000, Introduction to Medieval Studies, taught by James M. Murray.

"Sinners, the Moral Body, and the Motif That Dare Not Speak Its Name"

Martha Bayless, University of Oregon
March 19, 2008
in connection with English 5550, Chaucer, taught by Eve Salisbury.

"From Bride of Christ to Devil's Concubine: The Sponsa Christi and Her Fall into the Body"

Dyan Elliott, Vanderbilt University
April 5, 2006
in connection with Comparative Religion 5000, Historical Studies, taught by Kevin Wanner.

"The Theme of Creation in the 'Commedia'"

Piero Boitani, University di Roma "La Sapienza"
Nov. 17, 2005
in connection with English 5550, Dante, taught by Eve Salisbury.

"Food for the Gods in Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages"

Danuta Shanzer, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
April 7, 2005
in connection with Latin 560, Medieval Latin, taught by David Kutzko.

"The Bigger the Book: The Archeology of the Oversize Manuscript"

George D. Greenia, College of William & Mary
Oct. 12, 2004
in connection with Spanish 660, History of the Spanish Language, taught by Pablo Pastrana-Pérez.

"The Mythological Paradigm and the Opening of Plato's 'Phaedrus'"

Francis Newton, Duke University
March 10, 2004
in connection with Medieval 600, Codicology and Latin Paleography, taught by E.C. Teviotdale.

"How Scaldic Verse Works: The Case of the Extended Metaphor"

Roberta Frank, Yale University
Nov. 13, 2003
in connection with English 597, Old Norse, taught by Jana Schulman.

"New Wine in an Old Bottle: Reconceptualizing the Medieval Aristocratic Family"

Amy Livingstone, Wittenberg University
March 12, 2003
in connection with History 612, Medieval France, taught by Robert Berkhofer.

"North and South in the Medieval Mediterranean: The View from the South"

Abraham L. Udovitch, Princeton University
Nov. 21, 2002
in connection with History 550, Medieval Islam, taught by Adam Sabra.

"Which Rome, Which Jerusalem? Apocalyptic Prophecy and Ottoman Imperialism in the Mediterranean, 1453-1550"

Cornell Fleischer, University of Chicago
March 28, 2002
in connection with Religion 500: Shi'a Islam, taught by David Ede.

"Why Do We Have Alcuin's Letters Anyway?"

Donald A. Bullough, University of St. Andrews
Nov. 12, 2001

"The Lovesick Deacon and the Crucified Peasant: Two Cases of Medieval Popular Religion"

John Shinners, St. Mary's College
March 19, 2001
in connection with Religion 500, Christian Theology to 1500, taught by Jaclyn Maxwell.

"'Piers Plowman' and Urban Culture in Medieval England"

Andrew Galloway, Cornell University
Nov. 16, 2000
in connection with English 530, Medieval Literature, taught by Eve Salisbury.

"The Medieval and Renaissance Origins of Civility"

Edward Muir, Northwestern University
April 4, 2000
in connection with History 550, Studies in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe, taught by James Palmitessa.

"Required Opposites: Women and Men in Twelfth-Century Thought"

Constance Bouchard, University of Akron
Nov. 8, 1999
in connection with History 612, Medieval France: 10th-12th Centuries, taught by George Beech.

"The Mint of Venice in the Middle Ages"

Alan Stahl, American Numismatic Society
April 13, 1999
in connection with History 550, Medieval Archaeology, taught by Deborah Deliyannis.

"Dante, Francis, and the Circle of the Sun"

William Cook and Ronald Herzman, State University of New York College at Geneseo
Nov. 11, 1998
in connection with English 555, Dante, taught by Thomas Seiler.

"Confessions of a Committed Translator: The Lost Literature of the Middle Ages"

David Staines, University of Ottawa
March 19, 1998
in connection with Medieval 600, Chrétien de Troyes, taught by Molly Lynde-Recchia.

"On the Road: The Pilgrimage to Compostela"

Linda Davidson, University of Rhode Island
Nov. 6, 1997
in connection with Spanish 600, Don Quixote, taught by Robert Felkel.

"The Medieval Author and His Works"

Richard Sharpe, University of Oxford
March 25, 1997
in connection with Medieval 560, Medieval Latin, taught by Timothy Graham.

"Gerard Horenbout and Associates: Illuminating Activities in Ghent, 1480-1521"

Robert Calkins, Cornell University
Nov. 13, 1996
in connection with Medieval 600, Medieval Manuscript Painting, taught by Joyce Kubiski.

"Augustine in Cyberspace: Confessions of a Global Schoolmaster"

James J. O'Donnell, University of Pennsylvania
March 18, 1996
in connection with Latin 560, Medieval Latin, taught by Rand Johnson.

"Begin the Beguin: Medieval Heresy and Its Significance"

Robert E. Lerner, Northwestern University
Nov. 6, 1995
in connection with History 620, Heresy and Dissent in Early Modern Europe, taught by Larry Simon.