Medieval Studies is not an independent department at the University of Virginia but rather an interdisciplinary community of students and faculty drawn from across the disciplines united by a common interest in diverse aspects of the global ‘medieval’ past. Members of this community formally belong to many different departments: Architectural History, Art History, East Asian Languages, Literatures and Cultures, English, French, Germanic Languages and Literatures, History, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese, and Religious Studies.
Ahmed H. al-Rahim (Religious Studies, Director of the Program in Medieval Studies — firstname.lastname@example.org) studies and teaches the intellectual traditions of Islamic civilization. He specializes in the reception history of Ibn-Sīnā’s philosophy (d. 1037; known as Avicenna in the Latin world) between the eleventh and fifteenth centuries AD; Arabic literary biography as a source for Islamic intellectual history; the medieval ethical traditions of Islam and specifically the genre of manuals of virtue (or practical) ethics (ādāb) and how they defined the scholastic ethos of scholars in the premodern Islamic world; and the modern appropriation of classical Islamic religious traditions, both Sunnī and Shīʿī, in the construction of the ideologies of political Islam, or Islamism, in the Middle East and South Asia.
Peter Baker (English — email@example.com.) has worked extensively on Old English literature, including editions of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle and Byrhtferth’s Enchiridion (for EETS) as well as essays on Abbo of Fleury, Anglo-Latin, and the Anglo-Saxon sense of time. He is also the Prime Mover of The Electronic Introduction to Old English, an on-line resource devoted to instruction in the basics of Old English for beginning students and experts alike.
Cammy Brothers (Architecture — firstname.lastname@example.org) specializes in Italian Renaissance Architecture. Her book, Michelangelo, Drawing, and the Invention of Architecture, is published by Yale University Press (2008). It is the 2010 winner of the Charles Rufus Morey Book Award from the College Art Association and the Alice Davis Hitchcock Award from the Society of Architectural Historians. Her research and publications focus on architectural drawing, artistic exchange around the Mediterranean, Renaissance theories of architecture and literature, and interaction between the practices of painting, architecture and sculpture. She teaches lecture courses on Italian Renaissance Architecture; on Rome, Venice, and Istanbul; and on Mediterranean Architecture. Her seminars have considered topics such as Architecture and Urbanism in Renaissance Rome; Architecture and Painting; Venice; Ruins in the Renaissance; Renaissance Drawing; and Theory and Methods of Architectural History.
Daniel Ehnbom (Art History — email@example.com) is the author of Indian Miniatures: The Ehrenfeld Collection (1985), a monograph on 16th century Indian painting (forthcoming), articles on painting and Indian architecture, and contributions to various exhibition catalogues. He was with The Macmillan/Grove Dictionary of Art (1996) in London as a contributor and consultant from 1984 and as South Asia Area Editor for Painting and Sculpture from 1988. His most recent publications are the articles “Painting”, “Company Painting”, and “Rajasthani Painting” in Frederick M. Asher, ed., Art of India: Prehistory to the Present (Encyclopedia Britannica: Chicago and New Delhi, 2003) and “A Leaf of the Qissa-i Amir Hamza in The University of Virginia Art Museum and Some Thoughts on Early Mughal Painting,” in Rosemary Crill, Susan Stronge, and Andrew Topsfield, eds., Arts of Mughal India: Studies in Honour of Robert Skelton (Ahmadabad: Mapin, Ltd., in association with The Victoria and Albert Museum and Christie’s, Ltd., [London], 2004).
Elizabeth Fowler (English — firstname.lastname@example.org.) works on medieval and Renaissance English literature, from Chaucer and Langland to Shakespeare and Spenser. Her books include Literary Character: The Human Figure in Early English Writing and, with Roland Greene, The Project of Prose in Early Modern Europe and the New World.
E. Michael Gerli’s (Spanish — email@example.com) principal areas of interest are the ethics of reading in the Middle Ages, the social and political history of Iberian minorities in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries (Jews, Moriscos, and Conversos), and fifteenth-century courtly society. He is presently completing a book on emerging modernities in fifteenth-century Castile.
David Germano (Religious Studies — Germano@virginia.edu) works on the Nyingma and Bön lineages of Tibetan Buddhism, tantric traditions, and Tibetan historical literature and concerns, particularly from the eighth to fifteenth centuries; the current renaissance of Tibetan Buddhism; non-monastic yogic communities; methodological issues such as hermeneutics, phenomenology, literary criticism, systems theory, and so forth within the context of Buddhist Studies. He is also deeply involved in humanities computing and the use of computing technologies to faciliate interdisciplinary and collaborative research in Tibetan Studies. He is the co-editor of Embodying the Darma: Buddhist Relic Veneration in Asia.
Gustav Heldt (East Asian Languages, Literatures and Cultures — firstname.lastname@example.org) has written on early and medieval Japanese diaries, fictional prose, and poetry. Publications include The Pursuit of Harmony: Poetry and Power in Early Heian Japan, China and Beyond in the Medieval Period: Cultural Crossings and Interregional Connections (co-edited with Dorothy Wong), and The Kojiki: An Account of Ancient Matters. He is currently completing a study of the Tosa Diary, Japan’s earliest dateable work of vernacular fiction and writing an essay on Heian poetry for the Cambridge History of Japanese Literature.
Bruce Holsinger (English; email@example.com) studies medieval literary-musical relations as well as premodern and modern literary and cultural theory. His book Music, Body, and Desire in Medieval Culture explored the understanding and aesthetic of medieval music as a practice of the flesh, and a current long-term project examines the role of liturgical cultures in the generation of English vernacular writing from the period before the Norman Conquest through the early Reformation. He is also interested in the important role played by medievalism in the shaping of modernity and modern critical thought. His book The Premodern Condition looks at the influence of medieval studies on French theory of the postwar generation (Georges Bataille to Roland Barthes), while Neomedievalism, Neoconservatism, and the War on Terror takes on the discourse of the medieval in public and political rhetoric since 9/11.
Paul J.E. Kershaw (History — firstname.lastname@example.org) specializes in the intersections of intellectual, cultural and political history of early medieval Europe in the period AD 700 to 950, with a particular focus upon the Carolingian and the insular worlds. His publications include: Peaceful Kings. Peace, Power and the Early Medieval Political Imagination (Oxford University Press, 2011); “English History and Irish Readers in the Frankish World,” in D. Ganz and P. Fouracre, eds, Frankland. The Franks and the World of Early Medieval Europe (Manchester University Press, 2008), pp. 126-51; “Eberhard of Friuli, a Carolingian Lay Intellectual,” in P. Wormald and J. L. Nelson, eds, Lay Intellectuals in the Carolingian World (Cambridge University Press, 2007, paperback 2011), pp. 77-105. A fuller bibliography and profile can be found here.
Anne Behnke Kinney (East Asian Languages, Literatures and Cultures — email@example.com) works on early and medieval China. She has written Representations of Children and Youth in Early China, The Art of the Han Essay, co-authored The Establishment of the Han Empire and Imperial China, and edited and contributed to Chinese Views of Childhood. She is currently at work on Traditions of Exemplary Women: Liu Xiang’s Lienü zhuan, a digital resource for the study of women in premodern China sponsored by the Institute for Advanced technology in the Humanities.
Clare Kinney (English — firstname.lastname@example.org) writes on medieval and Renaissance English literature, from Chaucer to Milton. She is the author of Strategies of Poetic Narrative: Chaucer, Spenser, Milton, Eliot as well as articles on Chaucer, Spenser, the Gawain-poet, and others.
Jolanta Komornicka (History) works on late medieval legal and criminal history, with a particular focus on treason in France. She has worked on the labeling language of criminal deeds and of criminals themselves, situated within the contemporary social and political framework of the thirteenth to fifteenth centuries. Her interests also include the history of emotions, the mobility of cultural discourses represented in travel narratives, and the development of the institution of the Parlement of Paris. Her publications include “Contra Signum Nostrum: The Symbolism of Lèse-majesté under Philip VI Valois” and “The Devil on Trial: The Changing Role of the Devil in the Trial by Ordeal.”
M. Jordan Love (Fralin Museum of Art — email@example.com) specializes in medieval art and architecture and the development of thirteenth-century planned towns in southwest France known as bastides. Her study of the bastides and how they relate to medieval mathematics and metrology will appear in an essay in The Cambridge History of Religious Architecture of the World (forthcoming). Her interests also include twelfth-century monastic architecture, Romanesque sculpture of the pilgrimage road, early Renaissance architecture of Italy, and Polynesian and Melanesian art. She has also worked at several museums including the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Worcester Art Museum, and the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. As Academic Curator at the Fralin, she coordinates exhibitions with faculty classes and teaches a seminar-internship program in Museum Studies that involves students directly in museum departments both at the Fralin and the Kluge-Ruhe Museum. She will also be teaching in the McIntire Department of Art and will lead visual analysis workshops in the museum to train the students and residents of the UVA School of Medicine and the Nursing School.
Charles T. Mathewes (Religious Studies — CTMathewes@virginia.edu) specializes in Christian theology and ethics, comparative religious ethics, and religion, politics, and society. His first book, Evil and the Augustinian Tradition, published by Cambridge University Press, explores the challenge of tragedy and the Augustinian tradition. His second book, A Theology of Public Life, also with Cambridge, explores the promise and peril of public engagement for religious believers in modern democracies. He has edited several books, and is Associate Editor of the forthcoming third edition of the Westminster Dictionary of Christian Ethics. Currently he is Editor of The Journal of the American Academy of Religion, the flagship journal in the field of religious studies, and is completing a book on comparative religious ethics and a book about an Augustinian response to 9/11 and everything after.
William McDonald (German — firstname.lastname@example.org) has published numerous articles on the Middle Ages, monographs on Literary Patronage and Michel Beheim. He is the editor of Festschriften and Current State of Research on Fifteenth-Century Literature. He is also coeditor of Fifteenth-Century Studies and Tristania, and his most recent book concerns the intersection of the Arthurian and Tristan cycles in Medieval German literature. Mr. McDonald’s contribution to the undergraduate program is focused on advanced language instruction. His commitment to the perfection of linguistic skills is also reflected by assuming the directorship of the Foreign Language Summer Institute that is held annually at UVA.
Deborah McGrady (French — email@example.com)
specializes in late-medieval francophone literature and culture. Areas of teaching and research interest include book culture, reader reception, authorship, patronage, art and economics, and gender theory. She is the author of Controlling Readers: Guillaume de Machaut and His Late Medieval Audience and co-editor of Christine de Pizan: A Casebook. Her current research projects include a re-examination of patronage dynamics during the Hundred Years War and a co-edited collection of multipdisciplinary essays on Guillaume de Machaut.
Amy Ogden (French — firstname.lastname@example.org) works on medieval French literature, with a current interest in medieval hagiography and new technologies. Her web-based Lives of the Saints: The Medieval French Hagiography Project, at UVA’s Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities, exploits the flexibility of its electronic medium in order to make visible many of the characteristics that escape elegant representation in print, such as the continuing role of the audience in creating the texts and the uniqueness of each manuscript. The project, which is currently under construction, offers employment to both undergraduate and graduate students. She is the author of Hagiography, Romance and the Vie de sainte Eufrosine.
Deborah Parker (Italian — email@example.com) works on artistic and literary interrelations in the Renaissance, Medicean Florence, Petrarchism, Dante studies, and the use of computer technology in the study of film and the humanities. Shas edited two websites–The World of Dante: A Hypermedia Archive for the Study of the Inferno and the Italian Language Resource Site. Her books include Commentary and Ideology: Dante in the Renaissance and Bronzino: Renaissance Painter as Poet, and she has written the entry on Umberto Eco for the new Johns Hopkins Guide to Literary Theory and Criticism. She is currently working on a book on Michelangelo’s letters.
John Parker (English — firstname.lastname@example.org) works on medieval and Renaissance drama, with an eye toward Christian theology and modern theory. He is the author of _The Aesthetics of Antichrist: From Christian Drama to Christopher Marlowe_ (Cornell, 2007), along with several book chapters, articles, and reviews. Other interests include classical drama, the New Testament, Patristics, Luther, and German philosophy after Kant — especially Marx, Nietzsche and Adorno.
Lisa Reilly’s (Architecture — email@example.com) chief research interest is the history of Norman architecture in England, France and Italy and the interrelationships of the varied cultures found in the regions under Norman control. She has published a monograph of Peterborough Cathedral with Oxford University Press in the series Clarendon Studies in the Fine Art and is currently preparing a book on Norman visual culture throughout the Romanesque world. Her interests also include medievalism and the understanding of the Middle Ages by later eras. Recent research and public lectures have also discussed Arthur Kingsley Porter as well as changes in the presentation of art history through museum display in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Together with Karen Van Lengen, Ms. Reilly has recently completed a volume entitled Campus Guide: Vassar College for Princeton Architectural Press.
Eric Ramirez-Weaver (Art History — firstname.lastname@example.org) Eric Ramírez-Weaver studies the theological, philosophical, and scientific ideas that informed the creative decisions of artists living in eastern and western medieval cultures from the fourth to fifteenth centuries. In particular, he likes to explore the complex intersection of religious and scientific traditions, which resulted in luxurious commissions of illuminated astronomical and astrological manuscripts for ninth-century Carolingian prelates, as well as, the fourteenth- and fifteenth-century intellectuals linked to the court of Wenceslas IV in Prague. He is presently at work on a book, addressing the significance of astronomical imagery for Carolingian prelates and their philosophical justifications of early medieval astronomical study.
Kurtis R. Schaeffer (Religious Studies — email@example.com) is associate professor of the history of religions in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Virginia. He specializes in the cultural history of religion in Tibet from the eleventh through the seventeenth centuries. His publications include Himalayan Hermitess: The Life of a Tibetan Buddhist Nun (Oxford University Press, 2004) and Dreaming the Great Brahmin: Tibetan Traditions of the Buddhist Poet-Saint Saraha (Oxford University Press, 2005). He is currently completing a study of the culture of the book in Tibet. Schaeffer is book review editor for both the Journal of the American Academy of Religion and the Journal of the International Association for Tibetan Studies, and is a co-director for several projects within the Tibetan and Himalayan Digital Library.
Karl Shuve (Religious Studies – firstname.lastname@example.org) works on the intersection of biblical interpretation, the development of doctrine, and cultural and intellectual history in late antique and early medieval Christianity. He is particularly interested in the history of interpretation of the Song of Songs, which came to be one of the most frequently commented upon biblical texts in Europe during the Middle Ages. His present book project explores the origins of the Latin tradition of interpretation, in order to uncover the variety of ways in which the Song was read in the Western Roman Empire and to understand how this text came to occupy such a prominent place in the medieval European imagination.
In his published work A. C. Spearing (English — email@example.com) has ranged widely over medieval poetry in English and French, but has taken a special interest in interpreting it for modern readers in relation to current theoretical approaches. His books include Criticism and Medieval Poetry, The Gawain-Poet: A Critical Study, Medieval Dream-Poetry, Medieval to Renaissance in English Poetry, The Medieval Poet as Voyeur, and Textual Subjectivity, in the last of which he questions prevalent assumptions about the need for texts to have “narrators” or “speakers.” In recent years he has also written about late-medieval religious prose, including The Cloud of Unknowing, The Book of Margery Kempe, and Julian of Norwich, Marguerite Porete, and Walter Hilton. His latest book is Medieval Autographies: The “I” of the Text, a sequel to Textual Subjectivity, concerned with writing in the first person. He teaches graduate courses on “Mapping the Middle Ages,” “Medieval to Early Modern,” “Chaucer and his Followers,” and “Narrative and Subjectivity.”
Omar Velázquez-Mendoza (Spanish — firstname.lastname@example.org) specializes in Late Latin and Early Romance (8th-13th centuries). His work encompasses the origins and historical development of object marking in Spanish and the sociolinguistic milieu that surrounds the writing practices of the Spanish notaries of the High Middle Ages. He is particularly interested in the influence of Carolingian literacy on High Medieval Spain, namely, the relation between the Carolingian Reforms and the emergence of phonetically-based Castilian writing in the late Medieval period.
Alison Weber (Spanish — email@example.com) is the author of Teresa of Avila and the Rhetoric of Femininity as well as the editor of Feminist Topics in Spanish Golden Age Literature (special edition of the Journal of Hispanic Philology, 1989), and she prepared the introduction and notes for the edition of For the Hour of Recreation by María de San José Salazar (University of Chicago Press, 2002). She has also published articles on heresy and the Spanish Inquisition, female monasticism, and Spanish Golden Age literature. Her current research projects include a study of attitudes toward religious ecstasy in early modern Spain, the religious conversion of Lope de Vega, and a collection of essays on the Spanish mystics for the Modern Language Association “Approaches to Teaching” series.
Joshua M. White (History – firstname.lastname@example.org) studies and teaches the history of the medieval and early modern Mediterranean and Middle East, with a particular focus on the social, legal, and diplomatic history of the early modern Ottoman Empire. His current book project is a study of the Ottoman legal and administrative response to rising piracy and amphibious slave-raiding in the eastern half of the Mediterranean basin in the late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.
Dorothy Wong (Art History — email@example.com) Specializing in Buddhist art of mediaeval China, Dorothy Wong’s research addresses topics of art in relation to religion and society, and of the relationship between religious texts/doctrine and visual representations. Her publications include Chinese Steles: Pre-Buddhist and Buddhist Use of a Symbolic Form (2004; Chinese edition 2011), Hōryūji Reconsidered (editor and contributing author, 2008) and China and Beyond in the Mediaeval Period: Cultural Crossings and Inter-regional Connections (co-editor with Gustav Heldt, and contributing author, 2014), and many articles on a wide range of topics in relation to Buddhist art. She is currently completing a book-length manuscript on the formation of the Tang International Buddhist Art Style in East Asia during the seventh and eighth centuries. As a fellow at the Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities at the University of Virginia, she is working on a digital project entitled: “Power of Compassion: Paths of Transmission of Avalokitesvara” (http://www.iath.virginia.edu/silkroad/). Dorothy Wong previously has taught at Florida State University from 1995 to 1997. As Visiting Professor, she has also taught at The Chinese University of Hong Kong, the Eötövs Loránd University, Budapest, and the Centre of Buddhist Studies at the University of Hong Kong. A former editor of the Asian art magazine Orientations, she currently serves on the editorial boards ofEarly Medieval China and Buddhist Art of China. She has received fellowships from the American Association of University Women, Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts at the National Gallery of Art, the Whiting Foundation, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, and the National Humanities Center. She is also affiliated with the Hong Kong Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences of the University of Hong Kong.
Cong Ellen Zhang (History — firstname.lastname@example.org) writes on early to mid-period Imperial China. She is the author of “Sites, Places, and the Empire: Lu You’s Travel on the Yangzi River in 1170,” published in Medieval Travel and Travelogue; as well as “Communication, Collaboration, and Community: Inn-wall Writing during the Song (960-1279),” which appeared in the Journal of Sung Yuan Studies. Her current research on Song travel deals with elite culture, local and regional identity, material culture, and the political and cultural integration of China.
Everett Crosby (History — email@example.com) writes on the religious history of medieval England and France. His books include Bishop and Chapter in Twelfth-Century England and The Seventeenth-Century Restoration.
Hoyt Duggan (English — firstname.lastname@example.org) taught mainly courses with materials situated in late medieval literature, especially the poems of the Alliterative Revival, but also courses in textual criticism, history of the English language, research methods, and metrical form. He directs the Society for Early English and Norse Electronic Texts (SEENET) which in partnership with the Medieval Academy of America publishes electronic scholarly editions of medieval English and Norse literary works. He is Director of the Piers Plowman Electronic Archive, a multivolume electronic edition with color facsimile of all of the manuscripts and early printed books that witness to the text of Piers Plowman.
Paul Groner (Religious Studies — Groner@virginia.edu) works on Japanese Buddhism from the eighth through the seventeenth centuries. His work concerns several themes: changes in the interpretation of monastic discipline, institutional history, doctrinal interpretations of the Buddhist path, the use of icons, and the history of nuns. Most of his work focuses on the Tendai School of Buddhism. Representative works include Saicho: The Establishment of the Japanese Tendai School and Ryogen and Mount Hiei: Japanese Tendai in the Tenth Century (both published by University of Hawaii Press).
Judith Kovacs (Religious Studies — JKovacs@virginia.edu) writes on patristic exegesis (especially interpretation of Paul and debates between Gnostic and catholic exegetes), Clement of Alexandria, the New Testament (particularly the Gospel of John), and early interpretations of the death of Christ. She is the author of Revelation: The Apocalypse of Jesus Christ as well as a book-length study of 1 Corinthians and its interpretation by early Christian commentators.
Mary McKinley (French — email@example.com) is a closet medievalist in the French Department whose cover is sixteenth-century French literature and civilization. In that role she writes on Montaigne, Marguerite de Navarre, and early modern urban culture, especially in Lyon. From time to time she gets a medieval fix from teaching FREN 341, Introduction to Medieval and Renaissance French literature. Her ongoing interest in sibyls may morph from a hobby into a research project; it sends her back through the Middle Ages to Lactantius and beyond.
H.C. Erik Midelfort (Religious Studies and History — firstname.lastname@example.org) writes on the cultural, intellectual, and social history of the Reformation. His award-winning books include A History of Madness in Sixteenth-Century Germany and Witch Hunting in Southwestern Germany, 1562-1684: The Social and Intellectual Foundations. His current work includes a study of religion and superstition in early modern Germany.
James Nohrnberg (English — email@example.com) was educated at Kenyon College, Harvard College, Univ. of Toronto, and Harvard Univ. He has taught in the English Departments at Toronto, Harvard, Yale, and the Univ. of Virginia (this last from 1975), and given lectures on the Bible for the Gauss Seminars in Criticism at Princeton and the Indiana Institute for Advanced Studies. His research interests include the Bible, Dante, Spenser, Shakespeare, and Milton. His publications include The Analogy of ‘The Faerie Queene’ and Like unto Moses: The Constituting of an Interruption. Besides the authors and texts named, he has published on myth, allegory, Homer, Boiardo, Tennyson, Raleigh, and Northrop Frye.
Duane Osheim (History — firstname.lastname@example.org) writes on the social and institutional history of Europe in the late Middle Ages and early Renaissance. He is presently studying the response to epidemic disease in Renaissance Europe and the rural institutions of late Medieval Italy. His books include A Tuscan Monastery and Its Social World: San Michele of Guarno (1156-1348) and An Italian Lordship: the Bishopric of Lucca in the Late Middle Ages.
Robert Wilken (Religious Studies — Wilken@virginia.edu) works on early and medieval Christian history and thought, Byzantine Christianity, the history of biblical interpretation and early Christian ethics, the relations between Christianity and Islam. His many books include The Spirit of Early Christian Thought and The Land Called Holy: Palestine in Christian History and Thought.
In addition to full-time faculty the University of Virginia also hosts visiting scholars of the Middle Ages. Recent visitors have included Professor Roger Wright of the University of Liverpool (Fall 2008) and Professor Constant Mews of Monash University (Fall 2007).