Remembering and Reimagining in the Middle Ages

March 3-4, 2022, Washington, D.C.

In association with The Center for Medieval & Byzantine Studies

Organized by the MBS Graduate Students of The Catholic University of America

Late Byzantine icon (c. AD 1400) remembering the procession of AD 843, which reinstated icons.

Late Byzantine icon (c. AD 1400) remembering the procession of AD 843, which reinstated icons.


The remembered afterlife of past events, distinct from the strictly historical particulars of the events themselves, represents a richly varied point of departure for understanding the cultures and history of the Middle Ages. We are taking a deeper look into this and other aspects as they relate to Memory at the upcoming graduate conference. The Center for Medieval and Byzantine Studies at CUA is hosting an interdisciplinary graduate student conference that will examine the theme of 'Medieval Memory' in the form of 15-minute conference presentations (followed by 5 minutes of discussion).  

The opening day of the conference will feature a keynote address by CUA Alum Dr. Carolyn Twomey, Visiting Assistant Professor of History at St. Lawrence University. The second day of the conference will be comprised of presentations followed by a banquet dinner. 

We intend to hold this conference in person, in order to facilitate fruitful and collegial interaction. However, virtual presentations may also be accommodated.  Please note that as February 1, 2022, the District of Columbia has implemented a city-wide vaccination entry requirement, which calls for indoor public venues and establishments to verify that patrons are vaccinated against COVID-19 prior to entry. This mandate will apply to this event. Attendees who are not able to show CUA ID will have to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19, as well as photo ID. Alternatively, attendees without CUA ID who cannot prove vaccination against COVID-19 may provide documentation of a medical or religious exemption, along with proof of a negative PCR or antigen test that was taken within the last 24 hours. 

For the latest and most up-to-date safety protocols, please review CUA's COVID Safety Information website regularly. If you would like more information, please contact Casey Knott (


To register, please click here

To register, please click here


Past Conferences


2015 Graduate Conference: Call for Papers

Picturing Mary: Woman, Mother, Idea

March 20-21, 2015, Washington, D.C.

Organized by The Catholic University of America and the National Museum of Women in the Arts in connection with the NMWA exhibit Picturing Mary: Women, Mother, Idea.

Honoring Mary image
Graduate Conference | Exhibit
Gallery | CUA Programming

Associated with National Museum of Women in the Arts exhibit: Picturing Mary: Woman, Mother, Idea

The Catholic University of America's School of Arts and Sciences, School of Theology and Religious Studies, and the University Honors Program invites paper proposals for an interdisciplinary graduate student conference to explore the influence of the Virgin Mary and her image through time. The conference seeks to attract papers that draw on various approaches to the subject, including art history, history, music, literature, theater, and theology. Advanced undergraduate students are also encouraged to apply. Participants will be asked to limit their presentations to a maximum of 20 minutes, so as to leave ample time for discussion.

A limited number of competitive travel grants will be available to successful applicants, and registration for the conference is free of charge.

The opening day of the conference will be held at the National Museum of Women in the Arts, and will feature a keynote address by Dr. Miri Rubin, Professor of Medieval and Early Modern History at the University of London. The second day of the conference will be held on the campus of The Catholic University of America.

Paper proposals should include an abstract of no more than 300 words, your name, email address, institutional affiliation, and academic standing. Completed proposals should be emailed to no later than October 31, 2014. Successful applicants will be notified by November 26, 2014.

For further information, please contact: Vanessa Corcoran at


8th Annual Graduate Student Conference on Medieval Studies: Medieval Objects (April 3-4, 2014)

Thursday, April 3, 2014, 5:15 pm Keynote lecture by Prof. Thomas J. Finan (Saint Louis University), "Gaelic Objects: The Missing Irish Thirteenth Century." Friday, April 04, 2014 9:45 - 10:00 Welcome & Remarks 10:00 - 11:00 Session I: Theological Debates of the Later Medieval Period

  • Luke DeWeese (CUA), "Wyclif and the Beatific Vision."
  • Kim Lungociu (CUA), "Debating Clerical Celibacy from Augustine to Luther,"
  • Zachary Porcu (Trinity Western University), "Unpacking the Object of God: Nothingness and Apophatic Theology in Meister Eckhart"

11:30 - 12:30 Session II: Composing Cultural Identity

  • Carol Anderson (CUA), "Reaching Back to the Past: Pisan Civic Identity in Early Christian Saints' Legends from the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Centuries."
  • Eric Nemarich (Georgetown University), "Notes and Notations: The Musical Interests of Pierre de Limoges."
  • Katya Mouris (CUA), "'What then would you have us wear?' Arguments over the clothing of nuns in the Lutheran Reformation."

1:30 - 2:30 Session III: Uses of Law in Medieval Texts

  • Paul Evans (CUA), "Medieval Text as Computational Object: Macroanalysis of Gratian's Decretum."
  • Wes Bush (CUA), "Changing Allegiances: An Analysis of Charles the Bald's Diploma to St-Arnulf, 842."
  • Brett Smith (CUA), "Hugh of St. Victor's Natural Law Reading of Genesis."

3:00 - 4:20 Session IV: Objects & Authority in Medieval Literature

  • Kate Koppy (Purdue University), "Errant Maidens and Severed Heads in Le Haut Livre du Graal: Perlesvaus."
  • Beth Newman Ooi (CUA) "Ælfred mec heht gewyrcan": The Value of Making in the Old English Prose Consolation of Philosophy."
  • M Bychowski (George Washington University), "The Mantle of Merlin: Quantum Medievalism and the Super-Position of Objects."
  • Chris Pipkin (CUA), "Saint Grendel? "Monster Relics" in Beowulf."

Sunday, April 6, 2014, 1:00-6:00 pm Medieval Day. An all-day celebration of all things medieval, in the center of CUA's campus.

7th Annual Graduate Student Conference on Medieval Studies: Medieval Bodies (April 18-19, 2013)

Thursday, April 18, 2013, 5:00 pm

Keynote lecture by Dean L.R. Poos, Catholic University of America

"The Population of Europe 1300-1600: A Big-Picture View, and Some New Data for Life Expectancy."

Friday, April 19, 2013

9:30 - 9:45 Conference Opening Remarks

9:45 - 11:15 Session 1: The Body in Northern Legendary Narrative

  • Sr. Angela Marie Russell (Aquinas College), "The Radiant Beauty of Sir Gawain's Inner Character in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight."
  • Chris Pipkin (CUA), "How to Dress a Giant in Human Clothes: The Alliterative Morte Arthure and the Kings-Beard Kirtle.'
  • Sarah O'Brien (Fordham University), "Performing Madness in the Roman de Silence."
  • Rachel Scoggins (Georgia State University), "Ond grimhelmas: Reflected Ambivalence in Beowulf's Body Armor."

11:30 - 1:00 Session 2: Bodily Absence, Bodily Presence

  • M. Bychowski (George Washington University), "Embodying an Eunuch, or Absence as a Positive Being."
  • Zachary Porcu (UCLA), "Inappropriate Touching: The Relationship of Monks and Demons in the 6th and 7th Century Fathers."
  • Gina Dominick (Georgetown University), "'Though it was the hollow of my own womb that howled': Prophecy and Animated Fetuses in The Táin and Its Remscéla."
  • Jonathan Bryan (Loyola Marymount) "The Subtle Doctor Meets Descartes-minus."

2:00 - 3:30 Session 3: Human Bodies

  • Jon Paul Heyne (CUA), "Instilling a Desire Demanding Prayer: The Role of History in St. Erkenwald."
  • Timothy Jacobs (The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary), "Consent Measures Teleology: Peter Abelard on Assessing Bodily Acts."
  • Angela Geosits (CUA), "Feeding Spiritual and Physical Bodies: Models for Eating Practices in Bede's Historical Narratives."
  • Tom Leoni (CUA), "Dueling for Honor's Sake: Putting the Body at Risk for the Greatest Good."

4:00 - 5:30 Session 4: Textual Bodies

  • Alexandra V. Lund, (Radford University), "Exemplum, Obscurity, and Chaotic Traditions: Defining the Chaucerian Fabliau."
  • Paul A. Brazinski (CUA), "Bernard of Clairvaux & the Medieval Senses: How Did the Cistercians Explain Love?."
  • Paul Evans (CUA), "A Previously Unidentified Text in Beinecke MS 413."
  • Charles A. Delgado (CUA), "The English Episcopal Body and Its Decisions during the Reign of King Stephen."

6th Annual Graduate Student Conference on Medieval Studies: Cross-Cultural Encounters in the Middle Ages (April 19-20, 2012)

Thursday, April 19, 2012, 5:15 pm
Opening of the conference by Kevin White, Professor of Philosophy (CUA). Keynote lecture by Thérèse-Anne Druart, Professor of Philosophy (CUA),
"Moses and the Magicians: Prophecy or Magic? Or, al-Ghazali on Certitude." Followed by reception. Friday, April 20, 2012
9:30-9:45 Welcome 9:45-10:45 Session I: Crossing Cultural Borders. Chair: Prof. Philip Rousseau (CUA)

  • Brandon Tino Parlopiano (CUA), "Useful Marginalities: Rethinking Marginal Identities on the Fringes of Heaven and Earth."
  • Merle Eisenberg (King's College London), "Romans or Isaurians: Internal Encounters in the Late Roman Empire."
  • Andrew Cuff (CUA), "The Anonymous Hierosolimitanus: Reading the Gesta Francorum as Pilgrim Narrative."

11:00-12:00 Session II: Gender and/in Transition. Chair: Dr. Jennifer Paxton (CUA)

  • Jacob Doss (Boston College), "Man! I Feel Like a Woman!: Gender and the Origins of Ælred of Rievaulx's Rule of Life for a Recluse."
  • Sarah O'Brien (CUA), "Griselda and the Misogynistic Tradition: Examining Christine de Pizan's Inclusion of Patient Griselda in Her Book of the City of Ladies."
  • Jeff Everhart (Longwood University), "Shifting the Norse Masculine Center: Njal's Saga, Conversion, and the Unstable Comitatus."

12:30-1:30 Session III: Learning Across the Mediterranean. Chair: Dr. Jonathan Hsy (GWU)

  • Tim Kearns (CUA), "Christian Learning as a Way of Life: Augustine, Cross-Cultural Comparison, and the De doctrina christiana."
  • M Bychowski (George Washington University), "Dancing Cross Roads: Queer Motions of Ontology in the Travels of Thomas Coryate."
  • Kristen Wright (CUA), "Making Monsters: Depictions of African Sexuality in Medieval and Early Modern Texts."

2:30-4:00 Session IV: Markers of Monstrosity. Chair: Dr. Larissa Kat Tracy (Longwood U.)

  • Nancy Furey (CUA), "The Mouth of Hell: A Monstrosity of Space."
  • Angela Geosits (CUA), "Feeding the Monster: Representations of Monstrous Meals in Medieval Literature."
  • Christopher Pipkin (CUA), "The Devourer's New Clothes: The Riddle of Grendel's Glof."

4:30-5:30 Session V: Textual Encounters. Chair: Dr. Tobias Hoffmann (CUA)

  • Maureen Russo (Georgetown University), "Word for Word, Wit for Guilt: The Comic Power of Substitution in 14th Century Frame Narratives."
  • Shyama Rajendran (George Washington University), "Translation and the Production of Textual Monsters."
  • Heather Judd (CUA), "Talking with Monsters: Monstrous Discourse in Medieval Texts."

Saturday, April 21, 2012, 1:00-6:00 pm Medieval Day: A public celebration of all things medieval. Organized by CUA's Medieval Society.

5th Annual Graduate Student Conference on Medieval Studies: Identity in the Middle Ages (April 14-15, 2011)

Thursday, April 14, 2011, 5:15 pm Opening of the conference by Prof. L.R. Poos, Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, CUA. Keynote lecture: Prof. Daniel Lord Smail (Harvard University), "Deep History. What's in it for Medievalists?" Friday, April 15, 2011 11:00-11:15 Words of Welcome. 11:15-12:15 Separating Cultures: What Distinguishes One Group from Another?

  • Josh Abbotoy (CUA), "Being Roman in a Turkish World: Markers of Identity in Michael Doukas' Historia Turko-Byzantina."
  • Nate Aschenbrenner (Georgetown U), "Representations of Steppe Nomads in Byzantine Historiography."
  • Daniela Enriquez (U of Palermo), "Jewish Identity in Medieval Sicily: Status and Cultural Similarities of the Jewish Community in Sicily."

12:30-1:30 Assessing Cultural Values: What Does Literature Tell Us About the Ideas and Values of a Community?

  • Rose O'Malley (American U), "Age after Beauty: Old Women in Late Medieval Literature."
  • Beth Newman Ooi (CUA), "Images of Wideness in Old English Poetry."
  • Pablo A. Martinez (CUA), "Rodrigo's Transformation: From Loyal Vassal to Haughty Hero."

2:30-4:00 Defining 'Christian': What Does it Mean to Be a Christian in a Certain Place and Time?

  • Christina J. Allen (U of Nebraska, Omaha), "To Defy the Papacy: English Resistance to the Use of Torture in the Trial of the Templars."
  • Nancy M. Furey (CUA), "The Secular and the Sacred Hero in Old English Poetry."
  • Aia Hussein (American U), "'We Shall Find Our Own True Race': The Figure of the Saracen in Christian Medieval Literature."
  • Nicholas Prokup (CUA), "War (and Peace?) in Anglo-Saxon Literature."

4:30-5:30 Public Life and Performance: What is the Function of Art in Establishing Identities?

  • Sarah Biernacki (CUA), "Musical Awakenings in Chaucer's The Book of the Duchess."
  • Bridget Walsh (CUA), "The Art of Feasting: Medieval Cookery and the Question of Intentions."
  • Judy Spence (U of Maryland), "The Chester Mystery Cycle: What the Late Banns Suggest about Chester's Resistance to Political and Religious Conversion."

4th Annual Graduate Student Conference on Medieval Studies (April 23, 2010)

11:00-11:15 Opening 11:15-12:15 Session I-Rulers and Madmen

  • David H. Kelley, "Islamic Rulers, Arabic Tribes, and the Hajj during the 11th and 12th Centuries."
  • Joshua Abbotoy, "Manuel II's Funeral Oration as a Reconstruction of Byzantine Rulership."
  • Brandon T. Parlopiano, "Diligenter inquirere veritatem: Proving Insanity in Medieval Law."

12:30-1:30 Session II-The Pursuit of Virtue

  • Nicholas Kahm, "Aquinas on the Prime Analogate of Human Goodness."
  • Sara Erickson, "'Death Comes for Beowulf': The Conversion of Edwin, the Funeral of Scyld Scefing, and Anglo-Saxon Ideas about the Soul."
  • James Estes, "Pagan Heroes on a Christian Stage: Religious Interlace in the Beowulf Poem."

2:30-4:00 Session III-Literature, Society, and the Self

  • Erin Webb, "Arthuriana as Genre."
  • Usha Vishnuvajjala, "Madness and Persecution in The Book of Margery Kempe."
  • Lindsay L. Rerecich, "The Other Side of Marital Exchange: Fathers and Daughters in The Canterbury Tales."
  • Nancy M. Furey, "The Fiction of The Pardoner: Tale and Teller in The Canterbury Tales."

4:30-5:30 Session IV-Unlocking the Word-hoard: Heart and Song in Old English Literature

  • Beth Newman, "Translating the Word 'mod' in Beowulf."
  • Veronica Cowan, "The Seven Songs in Beowulf."
  • Sarah Biernacki, "The Speciousness of Song in Robert Zemeckis' Beowulf."