These Seminars give UCLA students a chance to meet and interact with prominent authorities in the field of Medieval and Renaissance Studies. These classes receive funding from CMRS to bring  distinguished scholars to UCLA to participate in seminars and symposia, to present lectures, and to have informal discussions with students and faculty.

FALL 2021 — Professor Matthew Fisher (Department of English) is teaching the LAMAR Seminar English 257, “Digital/Medieval: Resistant Archives” will focus on the theoretical and practical complexities of contemporary archives, digitization and archival preservation practice, and medieval documents and books. Working hands-on with UCLA’s collections, and also hands-on with some of the interoperable data available from various digital projects from around the world (including but not limited to IIIF, the Digital mappa project, the Mapping Manuscript Migration project, and others), the seminar will offer students an opportunity to both encounter the practical difficulties of archival and digital work on medieval books/texts, and also to situate those difficulties in theoretical discussions about archives, manuscripts, and book history more generally. Visiting speakers will make presentations to the class.

FALL 2020 — Professor Sarah Beckmann (Department of Classics) is teaching the CMRS LAMAR Seminar, Classics 250, “The Late Antique World: Transitions and Transformations between Classical and Medieval.” The seminar is interdisciplinary and focuses on late antiquity as a historical period and scholarly construct.  Using primary evidence (art, artifact, literature), modern scholarship, and varied methodological approaches, this course examines the origins and consequences of late antique transformations in the Mediterranean world, ca. 3rd – 7th c. CE. To synthesize, and problematize, how late antique phenomena respond and react to the classical, and prefigure and provoke the medieval, we will consider late antique texts and material culture in dialogue with earlier and later historical witnesses.Each seminar meeting focuses on a particular late antique theme or problem. Topoi include but are not limited to: the decline of the Roman Empire; the division of East and West; the rise of the Christian church; paideia and the persistence of Greco-Roman intellectual traditions; the advent of new late antique aesthetics; and demographic change precipitated by the arrival of social minorities and ethnic and cultural outsiders in Roman institutions and territories. The course will be taught in English with a selection of texts available in the primary language.

FALL 2019 — Professor Barbara Fuchs is teaching the CMRS LAMAR Seminar. The course is numbered English 246 and titled “Early Modern Empire and the Cultures of Encounter.” This interdisciplinary seminar will consider theoretical, methodological, and disciplinary questions. The class will read together a corpus of historiographic and literary texts (Columbus, More, Ercilla, Garcilaso de la Vega, Poma, Behn) and also host visits from specialists at UCLA and beyond in a range of related disciplines (History/History of Science/History of Art/ Classics). How have various fields negotiatied the specificities of the European encounter with the New Word vs. larger questions of indigeneity and sovereignty around the globe? How has recent work on empire in a global context impacted the various fields? How do scholars in these fields move between the specificities of the local and the broader theorization of culture in imperial contexts? All readings will be available in English.

FALL 2018 — The designated course is Comparative Literature 220, Medieval Studies “Theory, History, and Literature” taught by Professor Zrinka Stahuljak. The special focus of this seminar was the notion of literature as historical archive. History, anthropology, and the arts (visual, musical, performing) are the fields of choice. Organized in modules such as “History and Literature,” “History, Religion, and Literature,” “Culture and Literature,” “Anthropology and Literature,” “Text and Image,” “Music and Literature,” “Performance, Performativity, and Literature,” each session provided a choice of influential texts from theory and historiography of the field and a reading of a medieval text. Aimed as a methodology seminar, this class drew on a wide array of theory and historiography of fields. Taught in English with a choice of bilingual texts, visiting speakers included Ryan Szpiech (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor), Margaret Kim (National Tsing Hua University, Taiwan), Jennifer Bain (Dalhousie University), and Noah Guynn (UC Davis).

California Medieval History Seminar

The California Medieval History Seminar provides peer-review and fosters intellectual exchange, acquainting participants with medieval historical research currently underway in the state. Three times a year, the seminar meets at the Huntington Library to discuss four research papers (two by faculty members, two by graduate students or recent PhD recipients).

The meeting dates for the California Medieval History Seminar during the 2020-21 academic year are:

November 14, 2020
February 20, 2021
April 17, 2021

Due to the pandemic, seminar meetings will be via Zoom until further notice.

The seminar is free to faculty and graduate students of California universities. Independent scholars and those with advanced knowledge in the fields being discussed are welcome as well. Other attendees will be considered at the discretion of CMRS, provided space is available and a $25 fee is paid to cover your catering costs.

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.