TEAMS Sponsored Sessions for the 2020 International Congress on Medieval Studies

TEAMS invites you to submit an abstract for one of their five sponsored sessions. The deadline to submit an abstract and Participant Information Form is September 1st.

I. Teaching Medieval Jerusalem: The City of Seventy Names and Even More Approaches (A Panel Discussion); Organized by Deborah M. Sinnreich-Levi, Stevens Institute of Technology

“Jerusalem was … as much an idea as a locale.”1 Medieval Jerusalem was the locus of pilgrimages (real and imagined), crusades, and commerce. Already considered holy by the world’s 3 major religions, it was the center of medieval Christian cosmography, the 12-gated city also having its celestial counterpart. Jews prayed to return there. Moslems controlled it for long periods. The multiple rulers of the actual city presided over ebbs and flows of political, religious, and secular dominance; tolerance and diversity; and bigotry and violence. The city was part of the Roman Empire, the Byzantine Empire and various Caliphates, and Jews were resident on and off under varying degrees of subjugation. Jerusalem was unsurprisingly the object of religious and secular literature and art. Its architecture showed the influence of its various residents and rulers. It was mapped, charted, memorialized, reimagined and reinvented. And for faculty, it is a huge presence even more interesting now as medievalists widen our focus to include areas outside of Europe and people who were not white.

This proposal seeks papers on all aspects of teaching about Jerusalem in the Middle Ages for an interdisciplinary panel discussion. Cartographers, archeologists, literati, musicologists, numismatists, art historians, military historians, historians of science or religion, and anyone else interested in this fascinating city are welcome to submit. The organizers hope for informative cross-disciplinary conversation and perhaps an interdisciplinary issue of The Once and Future Classroom, TEAMS’ on-line, peer-reviewed journal.

Please send abstracts by September 1st, 2019 to

II. Back to the Books: Teaching Medieval Studies with Librarians in Libraries (A Roundtable) [co-sponsored with the International Society of Medievalist Librarians]

Today, as in the Middle Ages, librarians and libraries are of central importance in teaching subjects that range from grammar to astronomy and from poetry to philosophy. As classroom strategies and library technologies evolve, how can these two complementary arenas continue to generate exciting opportunities for undergraduate and graduate teaching and research? This round-table session seeks short papers (5-7 minutes) that explore strategies for collaboration between librarians and instructors, that propose instructional ideas and design, or that consider how to dovetail rare materials with databases and digital humanities work. What are some of the opportunities and problems that arise from merging desks and chairs with stacks and books?

Please send abstracts by September 1st, 2019 to Danielle Joyner (

III. Collegiate Responses to Medieval Humor: A Conversation Surrounding Best Practices for Teaching Medieval Texts (A Roundtable) [co-sponsored with the Medieval Association of the Midwest (MAM)]

From Hrotsvitha’s plays to Virgilian legends to The Canterbury Tales, medieval texts often present humorous, satirical stories. How do collegiate audiences today react to and interact with these varied narratives? Are students especially drawn to chivalry and love or to biting social commentary? Does the sexual and comical nature of the texts resonate with their own lives? This panel seeks papers that share creative strategies for teaching these tales. What texts work well? What other materials complement them? How can we elicit interest in medieval topics while still accomplishing course objectives?

Please send abstracts by September 1st, 2019 to Danielle Joyner (

IV. Gender, Race, and Violence in the Middle English Roland Romances (A Panel Discussion)

The 2019 publication of the TEAMS volume The Roland and Otuel Romances and the Anglo-Norman Otinel makes newly available for teaching the English romance retellings of a French chanson de geste about Roland (Charlemagne’s nephew) and Otuel/Otinel (a Saracen knight). Its narrative about conversion and interracial marriage, amid a religious war fought on a global scale, raises matters of contemporary import to scholars and students. Papers are invited on the intertwined subjects of gender, race, and violence in any or all of these romances.

Please send abstracts by September 1st, 2019 to Danielle Joyner (

V. The Digby Mary Magdalene Play (A Panel Discussion)

The 2018 TEAMS edition of the Mary Magdalene play, newly edited by Theresa Coletti from the unique copy in Bodleian Library MS Digby 133, presents one of the surviving hallmarks of medieval drama from East Anglia, the single most important region for the drama. The session will inquire into the play’s place in the corpus, and the place of East Anglia as the prolific site for medieval drama.

Please send abstracts by September 1st, 2019 to Danielle Joyner (