California Medieval Seminar

Steering Committee
Tom Barton, UC San Diego
Heather Blurton, UC Santa Barbara
Rowan Dorin, Stanford University
Alison Perchuk, California State University, Channel Islands


Founded in 1995, the California Medieval Seminar is a venue for the presentation and discussion of work in progress about the medieval past by faculty, graduate students, and scholars in California and beyond. While originally focused on medieval European history, the Seminar has developed over the years into an interdisciplinary medieval studies seminar encompassing a wide range of historical practices (social, political, cultural, economic, etc.) and cognate fields, including art and architectural history, archaeology, linguistics and literary studies, musicology, and religion. The Seminar today offers a vibrant intellectual environment in which emerging and established scholars share written work, build inter- and cross-disciplinary networks, and engage with an ever-wider range of topics, fields, geographical regions, and methods. We extend our fullest welcome to all scholars who share these interests.

The Seminar is held once a quarter during the academic year, on Saturdays, from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., at UCLA’s CMRS Center for Early Global Studies (306 Royce Hall on Main Campus). The dates of the Seminar are set at the start of each academic year; for AY 2024–25, meetings will be held on October 5, 2024, February 22, 2025, and May 3, 2025. We meet simultaneously at UCLA and on Zoom; presenters are strongly encouraged to attend the seminar in person. Breakfast and lunch are catered on site and offer ample time for socializing and further discussion.

Participation in the Seminar consists of group discussion of pre-circulated papers, typically drafts of articles, book chapters, or dissertation chapters (with complete apparatus). Two of the papers are ordinarily by emerging scholars (including PhD students) and the other two are by established scholars. We allocate one hour per paper and presenters should anticipate substantial, and substantive, feedback. Calls for presenters are circulated via e-mail from the Center approximately two months prior to each meeting and papers are accepted on a first-come basis. We encourage prospective presenters to attend the seminar prior to proposing a paper for discussion.  Funding may be available to reimburse some travel expenses for in-person participation by California-based faculty and graduate student (MA, PhD) attendees from outside of greater Los Angeles.

Throughout its existence, the Seminar has assembled a rich community of colleagues who combine excellence, rigor, collegiality, inclusiveness, and constructiveness in their research, presentations, commentary, and critique. We invite you to join us.

Advance registration is required. To register or inquire, write to Speakers and paper topics are announced by email. Please let us know if you want to be added to the announcement list.

Papers for the Seminar are downloaded from the file-sharing website The link to the papers is sent by email upon registration for the seminar. Papers are available to registrants before the meeting so they may read them in advance and discuss them at the seminar.

If you are interested in a discussion and review of your research at one of the upcoming seminars, please write to us with your request.

Previous session papers are listed in the Archives here.