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

2018-19 Research Workshops

2019-2020 Research Workshops

Research Workshop Title, Leader(s) Focus
Art and Science in the Time of the Scientific Revolution
JB Shank and Michael Gaudio
A cross-institutional graduate seminar with Brown University exploring the relationships between art and science in the Early Modern world. Additional Information
The CSPW Writing Hunker
Jen Hughes and Colleen Stockmann
This series of writing workshops serves the CSPW community by creating a supportive, productive, and intellectually-stimulating space for writing. Additional Information
Cutting Edge: Making and Modeling Early Modern Edged Weapons from the Oakeshott Collection
Amanda Taylor and Alexander Greff
Cutting Edge uses historical edged weapons in the collection of the Oakeshott Institute to create 3D models, videos, and images for use in research and the classroom. We will share the models, videos, and swords in a fall presentation to students and faculty.
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. Fall Schedule for the Atlantic Workshop
Escaping Conceptual Binaries: Sex and Gender in Mia's Collection      
Alex Bortolot
This group will critically consider approaches to the study of pre- and early modern gender and sexual identities in relation to Mia's encyclopedic collection of visual culture. Participants will have the opportunity to survey the current literature and to workshop strategies to identify, interpret, and present relevant objects to the general public, within the setting of a municipal art museum.
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 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 our website   Additional Information
History of the Book in East Asia
Lois Hendrickson and Emily Beck
A workshop engaging scholarly work about the history of the premodern book in East Asia. We will draw upon seminal readings from the reading lists of Rare Book School (UVA) courses and contemporary scholarship that addresses topics of interest to participants and relevant to collections on campus and around the Twin Cities. Each meeting will include a discussion of one or two short readings and opportunities to examine materials from the University’s special collections libraries. 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
Mediterranean Workshop
Sultan Toprak, Daniel Schroeter, 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
Midwestern Migrations
Joseph Beaver and Emily Bruce
A reading and research workshop based on the Morris campus that takes multidisciplinary approaches to observing and understanding mobility in what is now the midwestern United States.
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. They are hosting a conference with the Center for Medieval Studies and the James Ford Bell Library October 17-19.
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
Teaching the Global Premodern
Gabriale Payne and Kate Tuley
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
Telling Lives: Workshop on Critical Biography
Jennifer Marshall
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
Theorizing Nostalgia
Patricia Lorcin, MJ Maynes, and Yagmur Karakaya
Nostalgia, as a scholarly concept, has traditionally been pigeonholed as a literary phenomenon. Historians, in particular, overlooked its importance, considering it as an inferior substitute for the concept of memory or, to paraphrase Charles Maier, nostalgia is to memory what kitsch is to art. During the 2019 fall semester we will continue a monthly reading group. A capstone event will take place in December with invited scholars.
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.
Violence, War, Technology, and Media
Juliette Cherbuliez
This workshop considers the diverse and specific forms of mediation which comprise historical archives (15th through the early 20th centuries). This is a mutually informing process, whereby we confront the false divide between form and matter by both contextualizing violence within representation of its materials and considering how war/violence determines the materials of representation. Through this work we hope to contribute to a much more complicated history of cultural violence by exploring how better to understand the experience of violence in history.