Reading & Research Groups

The Premodern Workshop

The Premodern Workshop is a graduate student-led research collaborative formed through the merger of Ye Olde Workshoppe and Medieval and the Early Modern Research Group (MEMRG) under the co-direction of Loren T. Cowdery (History), Clara Biesel (English), Chris Saladin (History), Katherine Pierpont (History), and Ben Obernolte (French & Italian). This newly established workshop series hosts a number of events, including lectures, workshops, and conferences including the 2020 Regional Colloquium to be held February 6-8. Our meetings are typically on Fridays at 10:00AM in 1210 Heller Hall and employ an innovative "hands behind your back" method for workshopping papers and presentations. We encourage graduate students and faculty who are interested in workshopping their papers, proposals, and project ideas to contact one of the co-directors listed for more information.

Medieval Latin Reading Group

The Medieval Latin Reading Group is made up of graduate students and faculty from multiple departments.

  • Our readings are drawn from medieval Latin texts rather than classical ones and are selected on a rotating basis by different group members depending on their research interests.
  • Past readings have included excerpts of the Vulgate Bible, hagiographies, vivid descriptions of the visions of Saint Hildegard, and pastourelle poetry.

We always welcome new members and new reading suggestions! Texts are distributed in advance so that there is time for those who prefer to prepare translations, but the group is also open to those who wish to practice their sight-reading skills. Come join us for medieval Latin, pizza, and conversation! For more information, please contact Ben Obernolte at

The Old Norse Reading Group

We currently have a group of students reading through Hervarar saga ok Heiðreks on a bi-weekly basis on Thursdays. If you are interested in participating please contact

Classical Arabic Reading Group

The Arabic Reading Group is an interdisciplinary reading circle of graduate students and faculty who are interested in reading classical Arabic and other Arabic texts that pertain to the Middle Ages.

  • In years past, the Arabic Reading Group has read a variety of documents to accommodate the diverse specialties of its members: selections from the Qur'an, Abbasid short stories, letters from the Crusader states, medieval discourses on political theory, Arabic translations of Shakespeare, and speeches from Sadaam Hussein that hearken back to the medieval past of Iraq.

Elementary knowledge of Arabic is preferred for this group but anyone with an interest in reciting and reading the language is welcome to join! Fluency is absolutely NOT required. We are currently looking for an organizer for this reading group, if you would be interested in taking this up, please email us at