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Unfortunately, the two talks below have had to be canceled, as has Prof. Holt's Medieval Fair talk on April 17. We hope to be able to schedule them again next academic year. Stay safe and well, everyone!



Dr. Thomas Carlson's Medieval Fair talk: "How Not to Think Like a Crusader: The Medieval Middle East beyond Binaries"

Friday, March 6, 6.15-7.30 pm
Norman Public Library West

Crusaders went to the Middle East expecting to confront Muslims ("Saracens"), but in fact they confronted a society more diverse than they could imagine. 

This talk discusses how today we continue trying to understand the medieval Middle East in terms of dichotomies favored by Crusaders, erasing the distinctiveness and richness of the most diverse premodern society.

Dr. Marlene Hennessy, of Hunter College, New York, will speak on "Book Miracles in the Middle Ages"

Thursday, April 2, 4.30-6.30 pm
Bizzell Library LL118

OU's Arts and Humanities Forum will present a guest lecture by Dr. Marlene Hennessy, of Hunter College's English Department. Dr. Hennessy received her Ph.D. in English and Comparative Literature from Columbia University in 2001.

Her interest in the history of the book has led her to explore how devotional images and image-making intersect with religious practice in medieval English literature and manuscript art. She is currently working on a book-length project on this topic, entitled Blood Writing: Manuscripts and Metaphors in the Late Middle Ages.


Sept. 6, 2019: “Seed to Cloth: Linen Production in Medieval Europe”
Cynthia Teague, SCA Laurel

Oct. 4, 2019: “Medieval Life and Monsters in the Margins of the Luttrell Psalter”
Prof. Joyce Coleman, Bambas Professor of Medieval English Literature and Culture, English Department, and Director of the Center for Medieval & Renaissance Studies, University of Oklahoma           

Nov. 1, 2019: “Power in the Pulpit: Preaching Authority in the Late Middle Ages”
Prof. Reid Weber, Department of Humanities and Philosophy, University of Central Oklahoma

Dec. 6, 2019: “The Art and Science of Renaissance Herbals”
Prof. Sarah Kyle, Department of Humanities and Philosophy, University of Central Oklahoma

Feb. 7, 2020: "From Combat to Torture: Pain and Proof in the Middle Ages"
Prof. Jane Wickersham, History Department, University of Oklahoma

March 6, 2020: "How Not to Think Like a Crusader: The Medieval Middle East beyond Binaries"
Prof. Thomas Carlson, History Department, Oklahoma State University

April 17, 2020: Inspired by the Rose: Turning a Medieval Romance into a Modern Opera
Prof. Annie Holt, Department of Humanities and Philosophy, University of Central Oklahoma

About the CMRS

Joyce Coleman, Director

The Center for Medieval & Renaissance Studies, a division of the College of Arts & Sciences at the University of Oklahoma, promotes the study of the period in Western history that saw the development of such major components of modern life as parliamentary democracy, the nation-state, English and other modern languages, printing, Islam, global exploration, heliocentric astronomy, romantic love--and the universities in which we research and teach all these subjects.Some thirty-five faculty at OU contribute to the study of these and many other facets of the Middle Ages and Renaissance.

Our newly revived Medieval & Renaissance Studies minor allows students to pursue an interdisciplinary study of literature, language, history, history of science, art, architecture, and religion, supported by visits to OU's Special Collections.

By supporting our faculty and students, sponsoring brown-bag talks, and cosponsoring a free public lecture series with the Medieval Fair of Norman, OU’s Center for Medieval & Renaissance Studies seeks to enrich the intellectual environment for medievalists and early modernists on campus and across the region. Other opportunities are in the works. Come join us!

OU's CMRS was founded by Keith Busby, then of the university's Modern Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics Department. Prof. Busby was succeeded by Luis Cortest, of the same department. Since 2013 the director has been Joyce Coleman (, Bambas Professor of Medieval English Literature & Culture, English Department.