29th International Conference of the Charles Homer Haskins Society takes place next month

29th International Conference of the Charles Homer Haskins Society takes place next month

Boston College will be hosting the annual conference of the Charles Homer Haskins Society next month. The conference will bring together some of the leading medievalists who cover Viking, Anglo-Saxon, Anglo-Norman, and early Angevin history.

The 29th edition of this conference will be taking place from November 5 through November 7 and will feature 28 papers. Robin Fleming, Professor of History at Boston College and one of the organizers of the conference, explains that every year three featured speakers. She said, “This year’s featured speakers will be Paul Fouracre, a leading expert in Merovingian Gaul, Veronique Gazeau, a distinguished Norman historian, and Herbert Kessler, Professor of the History of Art at Johns Hopkins. These papers are each an hour long. The other papers, organized into panels, are twenty minutes apiece, with time for discussion. Everyone attending the conference attends every paper (we have no concurrent sessions), which gives us all a shared set of interesting papers to discuss, not only during question time, but at the drinks party and the dinner sponsored by Boston College Institute for the Liberal Arts, The McMullen Museum of Art, and Wellesley College.

“When we put the program together, we try to strike a balance between advanced graduate students and professors early in the careers, and more senior scholars. We award an annual prize, the Bethell Prize, for the best paper in the field by a scholar before tenure. And through the generosity of the Keefe Fund, named in honor of the late Thomas K. Keefe, the society pays the registration fee of all graduate students attending the conference.”

The wide variety of papers include titles such as ‘Representations of Warfare in the Morgan Picture Bible’; ‘Gerald of Wales and the Episcopal Ideal’; and “Noblewomen and the Writing of History in Picardy and Flanders”. Professor Fleming notes that her paper, ‘Recycling Rome after the Fall’, is “not on the more usual symbolic or ritual recycling, but rather on subsistence recycling, which I argue was a major economic activity in fifth- and sixth-century Britain.”

The Charles Homer Haskins Society was founded in May 1982, mostly at the instigation of graduate students of the late Anglo-Norman historian C. Warren Hollister. Permission was gained from George Haskins of the University of Pennsylvania Law School to name the society in honor of his father, Charles Homer Haskins (1870-1937), a great force in the development of medieval studies in America, whose Renaissance of the Twelfth Century reshaped our conception of high medieval civilization and whose Norman Institutions contributed fundamentally to our understanding of medieval Normandy.

The Haskins Society also organizes and sponsors scholarly sessions each year at the American Historical Association in January, the International Congress of Medieval Studies at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, in early May, and at the Leeds International Medieval Congress in July. They also publish an annual journal, The Haskins Society Journal, through Boydell and Brewer.

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