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Medievalists to meet at Illinois for symposium honoring distinguished scholar

Andrea Lynn, Humanities Editor


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Medievalists from all over North America will gather Sept. 16 and 17 at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for a symposium on “Making Thoughts, Making Pictures, Making Memories in Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages.”

The event, to be held in the auditorium of Temple Hoyne Buell Hall, 611 E. Loredo Taft Drive, Champaign, honors Mary Carruthers, Erich Maria Professor of Literature and dean of the humanities at New York University. Last spring, Carruthers was a Mellon Distinguished Fellow in medieval studies at Illinois.

The symposium will include papers by Carruthers and by Albrecht Classen, University of Arizona; Adam Cohen, University of Toronto; Georgia Frank, Colgate University; Herbert Kessler, Johns Hopkins University; and Anne D. Hedeman, director of the Program in Medieval Studies at the U. of I. and co-organizer of the symposium with Carruthers.

According to Hedeman, Carruthers’ “research covers a period spanning more than 1,000 years and encompasses texts ranging from masterpieces of vernacular literature to highly technical scholastic treatises in Latin.”

Early in her career, Carruthers did important work on William Langland and Geoffrey Chaucer, “the canonical authors of 14th-century English literature,” Hedeman said.

“Subsequently, her reputation has been extended well beyond the confines of Middle English literary studies by her two ground-breaking books on medieval memory, “The Book of Memory” and “The Craft of Thought” (both published by Cambridge University Press).

Carruthers’ visit is sponsored by Illinois’ Program in Medieval Studies.
Symposium details are online.