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

PDF icon2017-18 Research Workshops

2018-19 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. Additional Information
Constructing the Enemy
Selim Rauer
A November workshop hosting an multidiscipinary exploration of the biopolitical need to create a repulsive and cleaving adversary that both fascinates and worries the cultural and political imagination of western societies. Additional Information 
The CSPW Writing Hunker
Emmie Miller
This series of writing workshops serves the CSPW community by creating a supportive, productive, and intellectually-stimulating space for writing. Additional Information
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. Fall Schedule for the Atlantic Workshop
Empire and Imperialism Reading Group      
Loren Cowdery and Andrew Schumacher Bethke
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. Additional Information
Exploring Material Exchange Between the Muslim World and Elizabethan and Early Stuart England
Katie Sisneros and Nabil Matar
A research workshop led by collaborators at the Minneapolis Insitute of Art (Mia) culminating in a reinstallation of their Tudor-era Period Room which will highlight the complex relationship between England and the Muslim world via an exploration of the exchange of material goods. Additional Information
Festivals, Rituals, and Celebrations in the Premodern World
Francesca Bortoletti and Marguerite Ragnow 
A workshop exploring the role festivals and traditional ceremonies played in everyday life, religion, local culture, politics, and court life in a global framework. Collaborations include an exhibit at the James Ford Bell Library. The workshop will also include references to puppet theater performances curated by Bortoletti and organized by the Italian Cultural Center. Additional Information
The First Millennium: Religion in Late Antiquity
Ben Hansen, Lorenzo Schiavetta, and Anthony Thomas
A workshop devoted to the study of Late Antiquity, an age of transition form the classical world to the cutlures of early medieval Europe, Byzantium, and the Near East. This was also the period when the three major monotheistic religions took shape, and religious developlments across Afro-Eurasia will be a central theme of the workshop. Additional Information
Full Spectrum: Color and Materialism in the Premodern World
Colleen Stockmann & Hannah Wiepke
Full Spectrum examines color in the premodern 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. Through hands-on field trips at local studios we expand our relationship to historical material by reconstructing premodern epistemologies of making and knowing. Find us on instagram @colorworkshop.umn or on our website Additional Information

Historical Legacies of Christianity in East Asia: Bridging a New Generation of Scholars and Scholarship
Ann Waltner and Marguerite Ragnow
This October workshop will host a series of lectures and events on Christianity in East Asia in conjunction with a publishing workshop for young post-doctoral scholars hosted by the James Ford Bell Library, the Ricci Institute, and Brill Academic Publishers with support from the Luce Foundation. Additional Information 
Making and Knowing: Histories of Premodern Books and Print
Emily Beck, Lois Hendrickson, Ashley Patton, and Hannah Wiepke
This workshop employs an integrated approach to studying the materiality of prints and texts. Participatns will learn the fundamentals of codicology, analyzing the materiality of books in order to fully explore these complex and multifaceted resources. This workshop will also engage the mediational qualities of print including the ways in which printed images circulate, request viewer interaction, and translate visual information. Additional Information
Manuscripts in the Global Middle Ages
Andrea Waldrep and Maggie Heeschen
A multidisciplinary workshop designed to train participants in the basic principle of paleography and manuscript study including workshops at the James Ford Bell Library and a trip to the Hill Museum and Manuscript Library. Additional Information
Mediterranean Workshop
Giancarlo Casale and Michael Lower
The Mediterranean Workshop is a working group for faculty, graduate students, and visiting scholars carrying out reserach in the empirical, potitical, and cultural factors underlying claims to a distinct Mediterranean regional identity. Additional Information
Natures' Empires
Joshua Eichen and Timothy Frye
This workshop explores symbolic-material practices of natures in the construction of resistance to empires from 1450-1900, along with continuities and discontinuities into the present. Additional Information 
Ovid and his Premodern Afterlife
James Parente
This workshop explores examines the afterlife of Ovid in the premodern era, and in our own time, and the ways his writings continue to challenge audiences interested in Greco-Roman mythology, Roman religion, and the nexus between gender, sexuality, and political power. Additional Information
Politics and Poetics
Amit Yahav
This research workshop explores how elements of form--rhythm, soundscape, point of view, and other elements of compositional structure--have been imagind to mobilize thinking and feeling, and as such contribute to, and sometimes potentially change, public reason. Additional Information
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. Additional Information
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. Additional Information
Premodern Political Economy
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. Additional Information
Reception of Classical Texts in the Medieval and Early Modern World
Jennifer Easler and Sam Crain
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. Additional Information
Reimagining the Humanities
Juliette Cherbuliez and Lydia Garver
Reimagining the Humanities is a workshop to build community within CSPW and foster change across the University to support multidisciplinary humanities initiatives. Additional Information
Religion in the World
Jan Volek and Luke Freeman
A workshop to build multidisciplinary exchange on the complex nature and history of religion across time and space in the premodern world. Additional Information
Teaching the Global Premodern
Loren Cowdery, Gabriale Payne, Kate Tuley, and Jan Volek  
The Teaching the Global Premodern Workshop is an interdisciplinary space for conversations about ancient, medieval, and early modern course design. Sessions include learning workshops on digital tools, discussion of applying pedagogical theory to the premodern, and workshopping individual syllabi and assignments for the classroom. Faculty and graduate students from all disciplines are welcome. Additional Information
Understanding Nostalgia: Past and Present
Patricia Lorcin
A workshop to explore the differences, similarities, and uses of nostalgia and memory in relation to trauma, political instrumentalization, and social construction in the premodern and modern periods. Additional Information