Yale Medieval Lunch Series

The Yale Medieval Lunch Series is an interdisciplinary colloquium that meets regularly throughout the academic year.  It is the program’s primary forum for exchanging ideas, sharing research findings, and presenting work-in-progress within Yale’s broad and diverse Medieval Studies community.

The colloquium draws on the skills and expertise of departmental faculty members, graduate students, research scholars, postdoctoral fellows, librarians, curators, and occasional visitors from outside Yale.  In the past few years, presentations have included new research from the fields of English; linguistics; history of art; religious studies; history; Judaic studies; numismatics; legal studies; economic history; paleography and manuscript studies; textual criticism; and Italian, Spanish, French, Slavic and Near Eastern languages.

Medieval Lunch takes place on Tuesdays from noon to 1:00 in HQ 276 (320 York St). 


September 13

Meet & Greet

September 27

Áine Palmer (Music) – “Human Voices, Animal Eyes, Divine Ears: Understanding the Experience of Medieval Devotion through a Thirteenth-Century Lyric”

October 11

Stephan Sveshnikov (History) – “Heresy, Fantasy, and Black Humor in the Old Russian ‘Dracula’ Tale”

October 18

Hannah Lloyd (History) – “The Influence of Prestige and Dietetics in Medieval Recipes for Lamprey”

January 24

Marcia Colish – Anselm’s Boethius: the View from De concordia 1

February 7

Alexander D’Alisera – (TBD)

February 14

Ahuva Liberles – Can we talk about diversity in the Middle Ages?

February 21

visit from Volker Drecoll (Universität Tübingen)

February 28

visit from Bruce Holsinger (UVa)

April 11

Kevin Kiernan - A Preview of the Fifth Edition of Electronic Beowulf

April 25

Megan Perry – Tangles with Gnomes in the OE Pastoral Care


October 5

Nicholas Aubin (University of Warwick) – “Medieval Arabic Medical Summaries and their Role in the Transmission of Medical Knowledge”

October 19

Howard Bloch (French) – “John the Baptist Heads to Amiens”

November 2

Kristen Herdman (Medieval Studies) – “Wisdom in Warp and Weft: the Sages of the Past Tapestry at the Metropolitan Museum of Art”

November 9

Carla Neuss (Institute for Sacred Music) – “Theorizing the ‘Mystery’: Transnational Medievalist Performance in the 20th Century and Beyond”

November 16

Carson Koepke (Medieval Studies) – “E-ustace: Using GIS mapping and network analysis to study the Latin manuscript tradition of St. Eustace”

November 30

Noel Lenski (Classics and History) – “Slavery and Violence in Visigothic Society, c. 500-700 CE”

December 7

Frank Griffel (Religious Studies) – “’…true according to philosophy but not true according to the Catholic faith.’ A New Explanation of the Double Truth Theory and Its Roots in Arabic-Islamic Philosophy”

December 14

Ahuva Liberles (Judaic Studies) – “Jewish Adolescents and their Religious Choices in Late Medieval Christian Europe” 

February 15

Marie-Ange Rakotoniaina (Institute for Sacred Music) – “The Geopolitics of Liturgy: The Baptism of Clovis and the Genesis of French Royalty”

March 1

Kristen Herdman (Medieval Studies) – “Sisters Stitching Stories: Narrative and Exegesis in the Embroideries of the Lüneburg Heath”

March 8

Camila Marcone (Medieval Studies) – “Open Season: local knowledge and recreational hunting in Alfonso XI’s Libro de la monteria“ 

March 15

Jacqueline Jung (History of Art) – “The HU: Mongols, Medievalism, and Metal Music” 

April 5

Ephraim Shoham-Steiner (Ben-Gurion University of the Negev) – “Jewish Life in Medieval Cologne: A Fresh Look”

April 12

Sophia Schmitt (Center for Jewish Studies, Harvard University) – “Fire and Brimstone: Navigating Disasters in Late Medieval Germany”

April 26

Megan Perry (Medieval Studies) – “Whose Hierdeboc? Building a Politics of Consent in the Old English Pastoral Care

May 3

Tamar Rotman (Classics, Columbia University) – “Contextualizing the Martyrologium Hieronymianum


October 6

“Johannes Vetulus de Anangia’s Celestia Hierarchy of Music”

October 20

“Before barcodes there were…bookworms! Reconstructing a manuscript codex from the collection of Thommaso Spinelli”

November 3

Image, Text, & Control: Articulating Tensions in Medingen Prayer Books”

November 10

“Riccoldo of Montecroce and the Construction of Islamic Temporalities in Medieval Latin Christendom”

November 17

“The Hohenburg Liturgical Fan as a Ritual Object in Parchment”

December 1

“Reading Seneca with Walahfrid, Abbot of Reichenau”

December 8

“Social Identity and Emotional Community in Ephrem the Syrian’s Necrosima”

February 23

“Making Things, Making Up For Things, Making Things Up: Female Creativity in a Middle English Romance”

March 16

Kristen Herdman (Medieval Studies) – “Medieval Embroidery Mini-Workshop”

March 23

Phoenix Gonzalex (Yale Divinity School) – “Yett Wee Wyll Drinke Atyte”: Queering Time and Order with Chester’s Uxor Noe

March 30

Larissa Tsukamoto (Medieval Studies) – “Heimdallr: Not the Whitest of the Gods”

April 6

Burt Westermeier (History) – “The Anti-Episcopal Uprising at Toledo and its Aftermath, 1313-4”

April 13

Jacqueline Jung (History of Art) – “All the Single Ladies: The Pleasures and Perils of Female Autonomy in Konrad’s Büchlein von der geistlichen Gemahelschaft

April 20

Sebastian Rider-Bezerra (History and Medieval Studies) – “To Pay the Price of His Tongue: Judicial Appeals and Audience in Medieval Welsh Law”

May 4

Travis Zadeh (Religious Studies) – “The Best of All Divisions: Cartographies of Race and Monstrosity in Islamic Natural Philosophy”

May 11

Trisha Gupta (NYU) – “An Excess of the Repressed: Medieval Monsters as Expressions of Excess Human Sensation in the Beowulf Manuscript”


September 10

Phoenix Gonzales (Yale Divinity School) – “Thoughts on the ecology and cosmos of the Chester and Wakefield Noah plays”

September 17

Sophie Quander (University of Bonn) – “Language and Power Dynamics in the Reformatio Sigismundi, 1439 (Marston MS 273)”

September 24

Claire Bowern (Linguistics) – “Linguistic Structure in the Voynich Manuscript”

October 1

Amelia Kennedy (English) – “ ‘Do Not Relinquish Your Offspring’: Abbatial Retirement in Twelfth-Century Europe”


September 11

Lunch and lecture with medievalists

September 18 

Lunch and lecture with medievalists

September 25

Lunch and lecture with medievalists


September 19

Welcome back and Introductions

September 26

Ardis Butterfield (English, French, Music) – “Passion, exegesis and song in John Grimestone’s notebook”

October 3

Chris Forney (History) – “Imaginary Jewish Kingdoms in the Itinerary of Benjamin of Tudela.

October 10

Alexander Peña (Medieval Studies) – “Fortune-tellers, Deviant Abbots, and Mutinous Monks: the Carta Caritatis Prior and Early Cistercian Normativity”

October 17

Gina Hurley (Medieval Studies) – ” ‘Over thine eyes pull they hood’: The Case of the Innocent Penitent and the False Confessor”

October 24

Meredith Ringel-Ensley (Southern Connecticut State University) – “John of Plano Carpini Learns Sign Language at the Court of Güyük Khan”

October 31

Howard Bloch (French) – “The Miracle of Theophilus”

November 7

John Burden (History) – “A Bishop and His Law Book”

November 14

Annie Killian (English) – “Preacher, Poet, Venerabilis Vir”

November 28

Rebecca Hill (UCLA) – “ ‘Don’t be fooled by the rocks that I got’: Appraising the art of embedded gemology in vernacular poetry”

December 5

David Murray (University of Oxford) – “Looking and Listening through the Virgin and Child in Central Europe circa 1400”

January 23

Carson Koepke (Medieval Studies) – “The Legacy of Vergil’s Dido in the Waltharius”

January 30

Chihiro Tsukamoto (Medieval Studies) – “Reconstructing Norse music of the Viking Age”

February 6

Will Watson (Music) – “Toward New Histories of Fifteenth-Century Polyphonic Song”

February 13

sigridur.sigurdardottir@yale.edu">Sigridur Sirry Sigurdardottir (Linguistics) – “Some notes on weather expression in Old and Modern Icelandic”

February 20

Kristen Herdman (Medieval Studies) – “Reordering the Psalms: Beinecke MS 1171”

February 27

Sara McDougall (CUNY) – “Illegitimacy and Infanticide in Late Medieval France”

April 2

Kyle Conrau-Lewis (Classics) – “The Muses and Redacted Antiquity: Rodulfus Totarius’ Versification of Valerius Maximus”

April 9

“Death by Gospel”


September 13

Welcome back and Introductions

September 20

Shu-Han Luo (Medieval Studies MPhil, and English PhD) – “Tears for Abraham”

October 4

Marcia Colish (History and Medieval Studies) – “John Cassian’s ‘Semi-Pelagianism’ Reconsidered”

October 11

Alexander D’Alisera (Yale Divinity School) – “An Ethical Breaking of the Ranks:Thomas Aquinas’ Fraternal Correction and the Soldier’s Doctrine of Disobedience”

October 18

Mireille Pardon (History) – “Fear and Fascination: the Perception of Criminal Organizations in Late Medieval Flanders”

October 25

John Burden (History) – “Penitential or Canon Law Code?

November 1

Sebastian Bezerra (History) – “Gascon Monasteries and Medieval Metadata”

November 8

Sarah Ifft Decker (History) – “Credit and Crisis after the Black Death”

November 15

Katherine Hindley (English) – “How to Win Friends and Influence People Using Only the Alphabet”

December 6

Kevin Lord (History) – “Revisiting Lay Piety in the Late Middle Ages”

January 24 

Sara Torres (Medieval Academy) – “Swords of Peace: Hoccleve, Lydgate, and Sovereign Desire in Lancastrian Verse”

January 31

Constantin Cless (History) – “The Poore- Treasurers, Dynastic Policy of a 12th and 13th century Family of English Clerics”

February 7 

Jackie Jung (Art History) – “The Work of Gothic Sculpture in the Age of its Photographic Reproduction”

February 14

Brianne Dolce (Music) – “Realizing Repetition in the Later Cambridge Songs: Song Structure and Layout in a Twelfth-Century British Songbook”

February 21

Clara Wild (Medieval Studies) – “Bryngyth to hym a chalys with an host þerin:” N-Town’s Agony in the Garden

February 28

Darcy Kern (Southern Connecticut State University) – “Jean Gerson’s Conciliarism and Fifteenth-Century Spain”

April 4

Anna Marra (Italian) – “The River and the Bread. Boccaccio’s Notes on Meditation

April 11

Maria Doerfler (Religious Studies) – “Children and the Sword: The Holy Innocents and the Death of Children in Late Antiquity”

April 18

“Handling Knowledge: Drama and Authority in Late Medieval England”

April 25

“How a Demon’s Son Became a Saint”


September 15

Welcome back and Introductions

September 22

Marcia Colish (History) – “End Time at Hand: Innocent III as Apocalyptic Joachite?”

October 6 

Ray Clemens (Beinecke Library) – “New collections, new directions”

October 13

Anna Zayaruznaya (Music) – “A bossy tenor”

October 20

Sara McDougall (History) – “John Jay College. Bastards and their mothers in medieval Europe”

October 27

Eleonora Buonocore (Italian) – “The Paradox of Paradise: Dante’s Memory Loss in Paradiso I”

November 17

Sarah Ifft Decker (History) – “Men’s Dowries: Flexibility in the Dotal Regime”

December 1

Howard Bloch (French) – “Legal Proceedings in the Old French Fabliaux”

December 8

Giuseppe Mazzotta (Italian) – “Emperor Frederick II’s Castle in Castel del Monte”

December 15

Harvey Goldblatt (Slavic S&L) – “Imitating the Two fold Nature of Scripture: On the Expositional and Compositional Use of Biblical Elements as Literary Strategies in Old Rus ́(XI-XIII centuries)”

January 26

Anya Adair (English) – “The Trouble with Technology; or, What Puts William Caxton Out of Sorts?”

February 2

Liran Yadgar (Judaic Studies) – “A Fourteenth-Century Polemic against non-Muslim Physicians from Mamluk Egypt”

February 9

Justin Park (English) – “Vercelli VII and Making Room for Disgust at the Daily Feast”

February 23

Paul Freedman (History) “The Royal Academy of Belles-Lettres of Barcelona and the Catalan Middle Ages”

March 8

Annie Killian (English) – “The Riddle and the Refrain”

March 29

Carol Chiodo (Italian) – “The Italian Lesson”

April 5

Alex Reider (English) – “Charles d’Orleans and his English books”

April 12

Sarah Ifft Decker (History) – “Over Land and Sea: Gender in Commenda Contract”

April 19

Eleonora Buonocore (Italian) – The Poet’s Forgotten Dream: Dante’s Oblivious Memory in Paradiso XXIII

April 26

Taylor Cowdery (English, Harvard University) – “Critical Terms in Middle English Poetic Theory”


September 9

Jackie Jung (Art History) – “ ‘The Boots of Saint Hedwig’ or ‘the Fascinating Presence of Absences in Medieval Art’ ”

September 23

Emily Ulrich (Medieval Studies) – “A Scribal Scop: The Textual Trappings of Beowulf

October 7

Alexandra Reider (English) – “The Beauty of Medicine: Takamiya MS 33”

October 14

Jonathan Morton (French, Columbia University; Juliana Cuyler Matthews Junior Research Fellow in Modern Languages, New College, Oxford) – “The Fiction of Genius in the High Middle Ages”

October 21

Scott Davis (Religious Studies) – “The Buddha:  Canoni. “Historiography and Political Culture in Early Fourteenth-Century England”

November 4

Barbara Shailor (Classics) – “Shedding Light on Medieval Manuscripts”

November 11

Henry Parkes (Institute of Sacred Music) – “Musical Portraits of St. Guthlac”

December 2

Eleonora Buonocore (Italian) – “The Ethics and Politics of Time in Dante’s Ante-Purgatory”

February 3

Daniel McCann (Leverhulme Fellow at Oxford) – “Words of Fire and Fruit:  Grammar and Affect in the Cloud of Unknowing”

February 10

Anders Winroth (History) – “Is Global Medieval History Possible?”

February 17

Thomas Schmidt (Religious Studies) – “Medieval Sources as a Window to the Ancient Past:  Agapius and Michael the Syrian on the Life of Jesus”

February 24

Clio Doyle (Renaissance Studies) – “Names and Naming in 15th -Century Commentaries on Virgil”

March 3

Kevin Poole (Spanish and Portugese) – “Seeking Wisdom, Seeking Sin in the Libro de buen amor

March 31

Joseph Stadolnik (English) – “Who’s That ‘Philosofre’?”

April 7

Sarah Spence (Medieval Academy, editor Speculum) – ”Poetic Negotiation:  Sicily and the Myths of Empire from Cicero to Dante”

April 14

Eleonora Buonocore (Italian) – “From the Solidity of Memory to the Fluidity of Forgetting:  The New Liquidity of Consciousness in Dante’s Earthly Paradise”

April 21

Elizabeth Hebberd (French) – “A New French Romance of Alexander…Sort of.”

April 28

Brianne Dolce and William Watson (Music) – “Ten Things Your Didn’t Know About Medieval Music Writing (Number 4 Will Shock You!)”


September 10

Liza Anderson (Religious Studies) – “The Saint, the Heretic and the Naked Prostitute:  Re-imagining the Nestorian Controversy in a Medieval Syriac Narrative”

September 17

Anya Adair (English) – “Shedding Light on William Darker:  A Solution to the Problem of Otiose Strokes in 15th Century “

October 1

Marcia Colish (History and Medieval Studies) – “Self-Baptism in the Middle Ages?”

October 8

Caroline Hughes (Art History) – “Another Murderous Foundress:  The Medieval Figure of Albina as a Classical Heroine”

October 15

Jackie Jung (Art History) – “Painted Churches in South Tyrol”

October 29

Eleonora Buonocuore (Italian) – “The Trap of Infernal Memory:  The Dangers of Remembrance in Inferno XIII”

November 5

Kevin Poole (Spanish and Portugese) – “Aristotle Made Me Do It:  Looking for Love in the 14th Century”

November 12

Colleen Farrell (Medieval Studies) – “The Long Shadow of the Gelasian Decretum:  St. Anne in the West”

December 3

Clare Monagle, (History, Monash University, Melbourne) – “Poor Maternity:  Clare of Assisi’s Letters to Agnes of Prague”

January 28

Ann Killian (English) – “What is a Wycliffe Book?”

February 4

Katherine Hindley (Medieval Studies) – “Re-Writing Religion:  Superstition, Indulgences, and the ‘Arma Christi’ Poem”

February 18

Stacie Vos (Yale Divinity School) – “Miraculous Milk:  Bodies of Women in Medieval and Early Modern Exempla

February 25

Carol Chiodo (Italian) – “Come da corda cocca - The Flotsam and Jetsam of Metaphor in Inferno 16”

March 4

Sarah Ifft (History) – “Translating Divorce:  Jews and Christian Notaries in Medieval Iberia”

April 1

Agnes Rec (History) – “April Fool’s Gold”

April 15

Andrew Kraebel (History) – “Wyclif ordinator

April 22

Johanna Fridriksdottir (Germanic Languages and Lit, Harvard) – “Heroes and Humour”

April 29

Alexander C. Loney (Classics, American Council of Learned Societies New Faculty Fellow) – “Blood Vengeance from Hesiod’s Ouranos to Shakespeares’s Lady Macbeth”


September 11 

Marita von Weissenberg (History) – “What man are you?” ‘Artisan and nobleman’

September 18

Ray Clemens (Beinecke Library) – “Manuscripts for Fun and Profit”

October 2

Greg Roberts (History) – “Policing and the public interest in communal Bologna”

October 9

Madeleine Saraceni (English) – “The Poetics and Cultural Politics of Bocaccio’s On Famous Women”

October 23

Susan Gibbons (University Librarian) – “What’s the Future of Data Curation in Medieval Studies?”

November 6

Carol Chiodo (Italian) – “When Wayland’s Work is Worn Away. Technology and Transcendence”

November 13

Jonathan Cayer (French) – “My Dad’s Your Mom”

December 4

Sarah Ifft (History) – “Women Lending to Women? An Aspect of Medieval Credit”

January 22 

Cherie Woodworth (History) – “What is Wood Worth?”

January 29

Arvind Thomas (English) – “ ‘Of Whom has Thou Thy Cunning?’ - The Practice of Canon Law in the Book of Margery Kempe

February 5

Elizabeth L. Anderson (Religious Studies) – “Repentant Demons, Contrite Cannibals, and Vengeful Crocodiles: Sin and Salvation in Medieval Arabic Christian Narratives”

February 19

Junius Johnson (Yale Divinity School) – “The Theology of the Eucharist in Bonaventure’s Sentence Commentary“ 

February 26

Madeleine Saraceni (English) – “Excluding the Female Audience: Boccaccio’s Corbaccio and the Poetics of Exclusion”

March 5

Mike Widener (Yale Law School Law Library) – ”Marketing and Medieval Manuscripts”    

March 26

Lauren Mancia (History) – “Reading John of Fécamp in an Eleventh-Century Monastery”

April 2

Ana del Campo (History) – “Physician and Priest at the Bedside”

April 9

Shannon Beddingfield (English) – ”Parhomoeon in Ælfric’s Prose”

April 16

Harald Buchinger (Institute of Sacred Music) – “Easter in the Middle Ages: Historical Phases and Hermeneutical Layers” 

April 23

Hadi Jorati (Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations) – “Penny Politics and Presumed Piety”