Mellon Foundation Supports Seminar in ND's Medieval Institute

Author: Michael O. Garvey


The University of Notre Dame has received a $80,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for a seminar in its Medieval Institute.p. The seminar, on “Medieval Studies, Cultural Interpretation, and Contemporary Theory,” will bring together doctoral candidates in medieval studies from several universities with faculty from Notre Dame to discuss the theoretical, ethical, and cultural implications of their work.p. Seminar participants, who will be provided with stipends to cover partial costs of their travel to Notre Dame, will meet weekly during the fall semesters of 1998 and 1999. According to Patrick J. Geary, professor of history at Notre Dame and director of the Medieval Institute, the seminar will concern “the epistemological issues posed by postmodernist literary theorists, feminist and queer studies and the like, as well as more generally how the scholarly enterprise on which they are embarked connects to the society in which they live.” Geary said that the seminar would raise such questions as “What are the epistemological challenges that contemporary critical theory poses to the study of medieval society and culture? What are the moral, aesthetic, and social implications of research and teaching in medieval studies? What is the public role of a medievalist in the twenty-first century?”p. Notre Dame’s Medieval Institute, founded in 1947, is dedicated to the study of European culture and history between the fifth and the fifteenth centuries. It offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs in medieval studies and maintains several library collections including the Ambrosiana microfilm collection, the Anastos Byzantine Library, and an extensive collection on the history of universities. It also sponsors lectures, seminars, conferences and an extensive summer program in medieval languages, liturgy, and literature.p. The Mellon Foundation makes grants on a selective basis to institutions in higher education; in cultural affairs and the performing arts; in population; in conservation and the environment; and in public affairs.p. The Mellon Foundation grant is a component of the Notre Dame’s $767 million “Generations” campaign. Announced last year, “Generations” is the largest fund-raising campaign in the history of Catholic higher education and the sixth largest capital campaign now in progress in American academe.p.

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