Research Workshops

Each academic year, the Consortium for the Study of the Premodern World funds approximately twenty research workshops. These faculty- and graduate student-led initiatives involve scholars at the University of Minnesota as well as partners at local, national, and international institutions.

Research workshops address intellectual questions in global premodern studies and vary greatly in their topics of inquiry and workshop activities—ranging from small reading groups focused on a diverse global literature to workshops linked to graduate seminars, conferences, and major research initiatives. Consortium research workshops model collaboration across disciplines, chronologies, and geographies. The research workshops have become the core of the consortium in terms of scope and level of participation.

PDF icon2014-15 Research Workshops

PDF icon2015-16 Research Workshops

PDF icon2016-17 Research Workshops

2017-18 Research Workshops

Research Workshop Title, Leader(s) Focus
African History Graduate Student Collaborative
Jess Farrell
A graduate-student-led workshop that explores the politics of time, memory, history, and the production of knowledge in the context of Africa.
Early Modern Atlantic Workshop
Katharine Gerbner and Joanne Jahnke-Wegner
A research workshop devoted to the Atlantic world in the early modern period and the transatlantic networks linking Europe and Africa with the Americas.
Empire and Imperialism Reading Group
Loren Cowdery
This workshop creates a forum to engage with theoretical and historical scholarship on empires and imperialism from the ancient world through the early modern period.
Full Spectrum: Color and Materialism in the Premodern World
Colleen Stockmann
This group will examine color in the pre- and early modern world with attention to materialisms, practices, and conceptualizations, engaging across time periods and places in order to investigate the possibilities and problems of writing global histories.
Globalizing the Sciences
JB Shank
This research workshop seeks to problematize current narratives of premodern science with the goal of globalizing the study of the history of science.
Hybrid Languages of the Iberian Minorities
Veronica Menaldi
This initiative examines medieval and early modern Iberian minorities and their surviving corpus, each using their own alphabet (Arabic and Hebrew) to represent the Castilian language. This workshop will manifest itself in a co-sponsored lecture, with the help of the Spanish and Portuguese Research Group (SPRG), in March 2018.
Mapping Laboratory: Connectivity and Circulation in Pre-Modern Societies
Mario Cossio Olavide and Robert Hultgren
To better understand the dynamics involved in the movement of goods, individuals and ideas in the premodern world, we will reconstruct the cartographies of the premodern world using modern mapping tools.
Mediterranean Collaborative
Kathryn Reyerson
The Research Collaborative on the Mediterranean, the Middle East, and North Africa is a multiyear investigation of the empirical, political, and cultural factors underlying claims to a distinct Mediterranean regional identity.
Nature's Empires
Joshua Eichen and Timothy Frye
Through interdisciplinary discussions on the conjoined histories of empires and natures beginning in the Early Modern period, this workshop seeks to trouble the idea of a clear division between the premodern and the modern
Premodern Archaeology Group
Erin Crowley and Brooke Creager
The Premodern Archaeology Group brings together graduate students from multiple departments to explore themes in the archaeology of the premodern world.
Premodern Food Laboratory
Michelle Hamilton, Emily Beck, and Marguerite Ragnow
In advance of the Medieval Studies “Food in the Premodern World” conference in fall 2019, this workshop creates a “dry lab” in which we theorize, experiment with and work through ideas related to food culture in the premodern world.
Premodern Graduate Student Writing Workshop Series
Lauren Klaffke, Emmie Miller, and Emily Beck
This Writing Workshop Series serves the premodern graduate student population by creating a supportive, productive, community-oriented, and intellectually-stimulating space for writing.
Raynal and the Histoire des Deux Indes
Andrew Billing and Daniel Brewer
This workshop investigates the development of the intertwined ideas of commerce, history, and cultural encounter in the early modern period, with particular emphasis on Raynal’s l’Histoire des deux Indes.
Reception of Classical Texts in the Medieval and Early Modern World
Asa Olson and Jennifer Easler
This research workshop provides a reading, discussion, and research forum for the reception of Greek and Roman texts in medieval and early modern western Europe to 1800. 
Religion During the Enlightenment
Luke Freeman
This research workshop explores the premodern development of the study of religion, with a focus on Bernard and Picart's Religious Ceremonies and Customs of All the Peoples of the World (1723-1743).​
Remembering the Reformation
James Parente and Howard Louthan
On the occasion of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, this workshop will create a library exhibit, a lecture series on late medieval and Reformation astrology and prophecy, a one-day conference on Emperor Maximilian I and the German Empire in the early 1500s, and a lecture series on religious reform, Judaism, and the Arab world. 
Underwater: Artist Workshops & Premodern Print
Emily Beck and Lois Hendrickson
This workshop will host four artist workshops in conjunction with the Wangensteen Historical Library of Biology and Medicine’s (WHL) 2017-18 exhibit, Underwater.
Vagantes Conference
Matt King and Geneviève Young
Vagantes is North America’s largest medieval studies conference run by and for graduate students.