Consortium for the Study of the Premodern World


In 2014, the Mellon Foundation awarded the University of Minnesota a $600,000 start-up grant to develop the conceptual and programmatic foundations for a Consortium for the Study of the Premodern World (CSPW).

The Consortium created a new confederation of the extant premodern studies constituencies at the University of Minnesota, including the three core collaborators—the Center for Early Modern History, the Center for Medieval Studies, and the James Ford Bell Library. CSPW established a synergistic mission to promote integrated, multidisciplinary research and teaching in global premodern studies. It pioneered a new approach to graduate education by combining graduate training in established humanities and social sciences disciplines with an integrated, multidisciplinary graduate program in Global Premodern Studies.

A second Mellon grant of $900,000 was awarded to the University of Minnesota to support phase two of the CSPW, 2017-2021 (extended through 2022 due to the coronavirus pandemic). This second grant provided for an expansion of successful programs and the institutionalization of the Consortium’s work which was realized through the creation of the Center for Premodern Studies in 2021.

Key Programs of the Consortium for the Study of the Premodern World

  • Talking Terms Series: Conversations around conceptual categories defining the consortium and its mission and a collective project to develop the terms which define and organize our work.
  • Research Workshops: Collective research projects and working groups annually put forth by the CSPW community.
  • Dissertation Fellows Workshop: Competitive and funded semester workshop for recently ABD graduate students to gain interdisciplinary skills and shape their dissertation projects in a cohort of students from diverse fields.
  • Saltus Grants: Professional development support for activities not typically covered by dissertation project fellowships.
  • Regional Scholars Network: Outreach to a broader network of local premodern scholars to engage them in CSPW events and activities.
  • Premodern Regional Colloquium: Annual “unconference” event to bring regional premodern faculty and graduate students together to network and discuss key issues in premodern studies. Hosted by CSPW and graduate student leaders of the Premodern Workshop.
  • Global Premodern Studies Seminars: Support for team teaching and/or guest lecturers for graduate seminars addressing premodern topics
  • Teaching the Global Premodern: Workshops and training focused on teaching premodern studies

CSPW Leadership

  • Juliette Cherbuliez, Department of French and Italian, CSPW Regent (2014-2022), CSPW Director (2018-2022)
  • Michelle Hamilton, Department of Spanish and Portuguese, CSPW Regent (2015-2022)
  • Marguerite Ragnow, James Ford Bell Library, CSPW PI (2014-2022), CSPW Regent (2015-2022)
  • JB Shank, Department of History, CSPW Lead PI (2014-2022), CSPW Director (2014-2018)
  • Andrew Scheil, Department of English, CSPW PI (2014-2017), CSPW Regent (2014-2017)
  • Lydia Brosnahan, Program Coordinator (2014-2017)
  • Lydia Garver, Program Coordinator (2017-2022)

Key Collaborators

Many faculty and graduate students contributed to the Consortium for the Study of the Premodern World. Please see the People and the Research Workshop section for the Center for Premodern Studies website to learn more about the many faculty and students who were also involved with CSPW.