Special Events

The special events of the 53rd International Congress on Medieval Studies (May 10-13, 2018) at Western Michigan University include two plenary lectures, the inaugural annual lecture on the reception of the classics, and a dance.

Plenary lectures

Portrait of Sara Ritchey.

Sara Ritchey

“Salvation is Medicine”: The Medieval Production and Gendered Erasures of Therapeutic Knowledge

Sara Ritchey

University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Friday, May 11, 8:30 a.m.
Bernhard Ballroom
Sponsored by the Medieval Academy of America







Potrait of William Chester Jordan.

William Chester Jordan

Saint Louis’s Other Converts

William Chester Jordan

Princeton University

Saturday, May 12, 8:30 a.m.
Bernhard Ballroom
Sponsored by Cornell University Press







Lecture on the Reception of the Classics in the Middle Ages

Potrait photograph of Majorie Curry Woods.

Marjorie Curry Woods
(photo: Annette Hornischer)

The Classics and After: What’s Still To Be Revealed?

Marjorie Curry Woods

University of Texas–Austin

Thursday, May 10, 7:30 p.m.
Fetzer 1005
Endowed in memory of Archibald Cason Edwards, Senior, and Sarah Stanley Gordon Edwards

The exponential growth of digital resources for manuscript research, recent and on-going large-scale statistical studies of manuscript production and survival, and forthcoming articles on major authors in the Catalogus Translationum et Commentariorum series will provide more and more resources to medievalists working on the Classical Tradition in all its forms. Scholars will be able to examine in greater detail the manuscript evidence directly related to issues of special concern in modern academic disciplines, such as the significance of Latin texts and commentaries for contemporary vernacular writings; the gender and/or geographical origin of author, scribe, illuminator, or audience; the effect on manuscript production of external political and societal pressures, and the hierarchy of studies within modern as well as medieval academic life. Such approaches, however, can illuminate only a very small part of the overall picture of the knowledge and use of the classics during the Middle Ages: the great mass of extant medieval manuscripts of classical texts and commentaries, especially those produced for teaching purposes, are not accessed through such lenses. Very few medieval commentaries on classical texts have been edited in full, let alone translated.


Portrait of Michael Wood.

Michael Wood

Michael Wood’s BBC Trilogy: King Alfred and the Anglo-Saxons

Sponsored by the Richard Rawlinson Center for Anglo-Saxon Studies and Manuscript Research

The Lady of the Mercians

Wednesday, May 9
5:30 p.m.
Bernhard East Ballroom
(take the Western Heights shuttle from Congress registration)

Alfred of Wessex

Thursday, May 10
5:30 p.m.
Fetzer 1005

The Lady of the Mercians

Friday, May 11
5:30 p.m.
Fetzer 1005

Aethelstan: The First King of England

Saturday, May 12
5:30 p.m.
Fetzer 1010

PLUS: Don’t miss the session “Commemorating Æthelflæd, Lady of the Mercians (d. 918),” featuring papers by Stacy S. Klein and Michael Wood (the Richard Rawlinson Center Congress speaker) on Thursday, May 10, 10:00 a.m., in Sangren 1910.

Saturday night dance

The Saturday Night Dance takes place in the East Ballroom of the Bernhard Center from 10 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. You should be ready to prove that you are 21 before you approach the cash bar. You must have a photo ID with you. You may not bring your own drinks to the dance. All other beverages and snacks are free. The Dance is a social occasion for registered attendees of the Congress only. Please bring your registration badge to the Bernhard Center: it is your ticket of entry.

Worship services

Daily Vespers

Thursday-Saturday: 5:15 p.m., Fetzer 1040

Roman Catholic

Daily Mass

Thursday-Saturday: 7 a.m., Fetzer 1040

Sunday Mass

Saturday: 7 p.m., Fetzer 1040
Sunday: 7 a.m., Fetzer 1040

Anglican (Episcopal)-Lutheran

Sunday Eucharist

Sunday: 7 a.m., Fetzer 1045