GW MEMSI Events Announced for 2016-2017

As our GW English blog gets rolling again for the semester, don’t forget that you can also keep an eye on the GW Medieval and Early Modern Studies Institute (GW MEMSI) at this link.  Our calendar (to the right) will always be updated with MEMSI events, and all the events connected to GW English for the year.  GW MEMSI has recently announced its 2016-2017 calendar!  We reproduce it here, but click through to the MEMSI website itself for all the live links here:

The GW Medieval and Early Modern Studies Institute (GW MEMSI) was founded in 2008 by faculty and students in the departments of English, History, Political Science, Spanish, Italian and French. We have quickly grown to include twenty-three professors and numerous students in seven departments, making us the largest humanities initiative at GW. Our mission is to bring fresh critical perspectives to the study of the literature and culture of early Europe within a global perspective, connecting the past to the present.

The following is our calendar for the next academic year.
Please save the days and join us in Foggy Bottom. All events are free and welcome anyone who would like to attend.

September 9 2016
Dean’s Scholars in Shakespeare Lecture: Katherine Rowe
Katherine Rowe (Provost and Dean of Faculty, Smith College) delivers the annual Dean’s Scholars in Shakespeare Lecture. Complete information coming soon.

From Patience Agbabi, “The Refugee Tales Walk”

October 28 2016
REFUGE: A Symposium
International Brotherhood of Teamsters Room [Gelman Library 702, GW Foggy Bottom Campus]
3 PM
A wide-ranging conversation on global migration, refugees, crisis, pedagogy, performance, and home — medieval to early modern to contemporary. Featuring:

Pamela L. Troyer
Steve Mentz
Jonathan Hsy
DJ Spooky (Paul Miller)
Patience Agbabi

November 10 2016
Perspectives on European Migration: England’s Medieval Immigrants
National Churchill Library and Center, Gelman Library 1st Floor
4 PM
W. Mark Ormrod and Sarah Rees Jones (History, University of York)

Between 1330 and 1550 the record-keeping habits of English royal government preserved the names, nationalities and other personal information about over 65,000 aliens living with the kingdom. Those people came from all parts of Europe, and occasionally from beyond. They were received with varying degrees of warmth, appreciation, suspicion and hostility. Sometimes they were given special rights; other times, they were subjection to close regulation. Throughout, they fulfilled a very wide range of functions in the economy and society. You were probably never more than ten miles from an alien in late medieval England. In this presentation and discussion, Mark Ormrod and Sarah Rees Jones will share the capabilities of a new database,, as well as exploring some of the wider research that has been enabled by the new resource. The implications are never more timely than now, with ‘Brexit’ dominating the political agenda in the United Kingdom and debates about immigration raging in many countries across the western world. Participants are actively encouraged to bring other time periods, and their own perspectives, to this debate, and thus to appreciate the deep and multiple historical reverberations of a ‘problem’ too often assumed to be only a contemporary phenomenon.

February 17 2017
Futures of the Past
International Brotherhood of Teamsters Room [Gelman Library 702, GW Foggy Bottom Campus]
10 AM – 5 PM (includes lunch and a reception)
An all day symposium featuring important new books (some in progress, some just published) in medieval and early modern studies. Please join us for some energetic conversation!
Kathy Lavezzo (Associate Professor of English, University of Iowa)
Surekha Davies (Department of History and Non-Western Cultures, Western Connecticut State University)
Pablo Gómez (Assistant Professor of Medical History and History of Science, University of Wisconsin, Madison)
Allison Bigelow (Professor Spanish, University of Virginia)
Tom Prendergast (Professor of English and Chair of Comparative Literature, College of Wooster)
Lowell Duckert (Assistant Professor of English, University of West Virginia)

We also hope to offer a spring workshop on manuscript transcription and digital encoding for graduate students. Please check back for details.

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