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.

2020-2021 Research Workshops

Research Workshop Title, Leader(s) Focus
CCR Early Career Research Workshop
Luke Freeman
A workshop for early career scholars interested in engaging Jean Frederic Bernard and Bernard Picart’s Cérémonies et coutumes religieuses de tous les peuples du monde and the University of Minnesota’s project to create a digital portal to study this work in new and collaborative ways Additional Information on the CCR Early Career Research Workshop
Collaborative Research on Early Modern France
Juliette Cherbuliez
Workshop Description. Additional Information on Collaborative Research on Early Modern France
Critical Biography Studies
Jennifer Marshal
This workshop explores the intellectual history of life-writing and mytho-poetic biography in the humanities. Considering its foundational role across multiple disciplines, the archival challenges posed to its production, and the hermeneutic difficulties encountered in its analysis , the group especially seeks to find new political opportunities for the practice today—in a critical era so thoroughly engaged with questions of agency, actants, personal narratives, and liveness. Additional information about Critical Biography Studies
Crossing Performance
Maki Isaka 
"Crossing Performance" is an intellectual platform for critical discussions on the theme of what the action of "crossing" can theoretically generate, epistemologically signify, and practically operate. The workshop will not focus on a single case of "crossing" but seek a broader theoretical conceptualization applicable to a wide range of topics relevant to its members' respective research projects. For that reason, both "Cross" and "Performance" are intentionally left ambiguous. Crossing any border in any performance/activities is our collective interest. Additional Information about "Crossing Performance"
CSPW Writing Hunker
Samira Musleh and Moinak Choudhury
This series of writing workshops serves the CSPW community by creating a supportive, productive, and intellectually stimulating space for writing. Additional Information on the CSPW Writing Hunker
Early Modern Atlantic Workshop   
Katharine Gerbner and Hannah Smith 
A research workshop devoted to the Atlantic world in the early modern period and the transatlantic networks linking Europe and Africa with the Americas. Additional Information on the Early Modern Atlantic Workshop
Engaging the Scholar Katie Scott
JB Shank and Laura Kalba
A reading group devoted to work of Katie Scott (Courtauld Institute of Art), especially her 2018 book Becoming Property: Art, Theory and Law in Early Modern France (Yale University Press).  The group will meet over Fall Semester to read and discuss Scott’s work and will engage Scott in conversation about it in January 2021. Additional Information about "Engaging the Scholar Katie Scott"
The First Millennium: Religion in Late Antiquity
Ben Hansen, Alex Magnolia, and Anthony Thomas 
A workshop devoted to the study of Late Antiquity, an age of transition form the classical world to the cultures of early medieval Europe, Byzantium, and the Near East. This was also the period when the three major monotheistic religions took shape, and religious developments across Afro-Eurasia will be a central theme of the workshop. Additional Information about "The First Millenium: Religion in Late Antiquity"
Full Spectrum: Color and Materialism in the Premodern World
Colleen Stockmann & Aliesha Barton

Full Spectrum is a multidisciplinary project dedicated to studying color in the global premodern world with attention to materialism, practice, and conceptualization. As a site of inquiry, color offers a flexible framework that invites connections to be made across time and geographies. Find us on instagram @colorworkshop.umn or on Full Spectrum's website.  

Additional Information about "Full Spectrum: Color and Materialism in the Premodern World"

Interdisciplinary Writing Workshop
Travis Wilds
This works-in-progress workshop supports faculty and ABD students from across disciplines by providing accountability and feedback on writing projects. Additional Information about the Interdisciplinary Writing Workshop
Making and Knowing: Histories of Premodern Books and Print
Emily Beck, Lois Hendrickson, and Hannah Wiepke
This workshop employs an integrated approach to studying the materiality of prints and texts. Participants 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 about "Making and Knowing: Histories of Premodern Books and Print"
Oakeshott Projects: Treatise Dedicated to the Holy Warriors & 3D Modeling 101
Amanda Taylor
In late March 2021, CEMH and Oakeshott will host a virtual lecture and showcase several pieces from the Oakeshott collection. We will also host a workshop on how to create 3D models led by photogrammetry expert Dale Utt that will include opportunities for graduate student engagement. Additional Information about "Oakeshott Projects: Treatise Dedicated to the Holy Warriors & 3D Modeling 101"
Panic and the Plague in 1720
JB Shank
Panic & the Plague in 1720 is an experiment in creating timely undergraduate curriculum integrated with programming in the Center for Early Modern History and the James Ford Bell Library in the Fall of 2020. Panic & the Plague Lecture Series
Premodern Food Cultures
Michelle Hamilton, Emily Beck, and Marguerite Ragnow
Premodern Food Cultures explores primary texts and secondary scholarship on premodern food and foodways and works with local food producers. Additional Information about "Premodern Food Cultures"
Premodern Translation Forum and Workshop
James Parente Jr. and Emily Groepper
This workshop investigates translation from both a theoretical and empirical perspective. Interests include: early modern concepts of translation; differences between translations and adaptations; the role of translated texts in national literary canons; multilingual translations; translations and the transmission of ancient and medieval texts; the circulation of translated texts; the relationship between translators, printers, and the market. The workshop also aims to produce translations of premodern texts for publication, especially from literatures relatively under-represented in English. Additional Information about "Premodern Translation Forum and Workshop"
Public Facing Medieval Studies
Ben Obernolte
This workshop develops premodern-themed programming with a focus on the general public as the audience. We host trivia nights, lectures, and other events in the evening throughout the academic year. We are also developing online content for the Center for Medieval Studies’ Medieval Books in the Schools program. Additional Information about "Public Facing Medieval Studies"
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 about "Reception of Texts in the Medieval and Early Modern Wolrd"
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 about "Reimagining the Humanities"
Religion, Theology, & the Enlightenment
JB Shank & Rachel Trocchio
Characterizations of the eighteenth century as the “Age of Enlightenment” presume a move to Enlightenment that is defined as a move away from, or at least a marginalization of, matters religious and especially theological. This workshop brings together faculty and graduate students interested in the Enlightenment, Religion, Theology entanglement to share research, read scholarship of common interest, and generally dialogue about this modern problematic. Additional Information about "Religion, Theology, & Enlightenment"
Serving the Qing Court
Daniel Greenberg
This workshop explores the relationship between foodways, ritual, and statecraft in the eighteenth-century Qing Chinese court.  Over the course of a year of remote meetings, participants will utilize both Qing and European primary sources to research food, drink, and recipes used in state banquets.  The project will culminate in a practical workshop with the Premodern Food Cultures workshop, where some of these historical recipes will be recreated and eaten. Additional Information about "Serving the Qing Court"
Uncommon Bodies
Jennifer Row and Penelope Geng
This workshop will explore art and literature, theories, and scholarship connected to embodiment, disability, corporeality, the allure of the flesh, and issues of physical and virtual embodiment. We will engage readings and research-in-progress on abjection, empathy and virtual reality, genetic mutations/metamorphosis, legal and medical constructions of the body (including trans bodies), cultures of disability, body horror in film, seeing bodies in media, etc. These topics will be considered both as they operate in the early modern and contemporary context. You can follow us on Twitter at @uncommonbodies. Additional information is available at the Uncommon Bodies website.