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.

2016-17 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, and history in the context of Africa.
Creating God: Issues in the Construction and Normative Use of the Category of Monotheism
Jeanne Kilde
Together with the Religious Studies Program, this workshop hosts a one-day interdisciplinary colloquium for faculty, graduate students, and other regional scholars, addressing the political ramifications of the category of monotheism.
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.
Early Modern Portuguese Literature
Kevin Huselid
A graduate student-led reading group that aims to develop concepts of language and meaning through close readings of literary works of the Portuguese-speaking world.
Global Folklore
Andrew Scheil
This research workshop provides a forum for the reading, research, and analysis of folklore from a global, multicultural, comparative perspective.
Grasping Water: Rivers and Human Systems in China, Africa, and North America
Ann Waltner (with the Institute for Advanced Study)
This research workshop supported the first annual Summer Institute in Chinese Studies and Global Humanities, “Grasping Water: Rivers and Human Systems in China, Africa, and North America,” held June 13-17, 2016.
Ice Worlds
Emmie Miller and Lois Hendrickson
The goal of this workshop is to center Polar Regions in global history prior to 1800 by examining and engaging with earlier visions and interpretations of Ice Worlds that breach the boundary between the modern world and the premodern.
Matter and Making, Artifice and Knowledge
Dustin Studelska
A graduate student-led workshop that aims to explore questions of the materiality, corporeality, reality, artificiality, and epistemology of the making and the made.
Medical Materialities: Teaching, Feeding, and Healing the Body through Medical Humanities
Amanda Taylor
This research workshop will host a medical humanities symposium at the Wangensteen Library that will bring together local faculty and graduate students with researchers from a Medical Humanities Center at the University of Bologna.
Mia Living Rooms Project
Nicole LaBouff
This initiative focuses on the Mia’s eighteenth-century English period rooms, specifically exploring the domestic practice of science by non-professionals in the second half of the eighteenth century.
Raynal and the Histoire des Deux Indes
Andrew Billing
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.
Premodern Temporalities
Jennifer Row
This research workshop is committed to investigating temporalities in the plural.
Readings on Sense, Sound, and Space
Joe Nelson
A graduate student-led research workshop which explores how harmony and rationality emerge as fundamental to concepts of space, the microcosm/macrocosm, and the mind.
Reception of Classical Texts in the Medieval and Early Modern World
Andrew Scheil
This research workshop will provide 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 images and print.
Research Collaborative on the Mediterranean, North Africa, and the Middle East
John Watkins
This workshop is a continuation of the University’s existing Mediterranean Collaborative, which works on a broad spectrum of Mediterranean issues that reflect the new emphases in the field of Mediterranean Studies.
Spinoza Scholarship Group
Anjali Ganapathy and Cesare Casarino
A faculty and graduate student-led initiative that aims to support and explore both established and emerging Spinoza scholarship at the University of Minnesota.
Teaching the Premodern
Loren Cowdery
This workshop helps graduate students prepare to offer and teach innovative courses on the premodern world.
The Graduate Research Workshop for the Study of Premodern Archaeology
Erin Crowley and Brooke Creager
This workshop brings together students from the Anthropology, History, Art History, and Classical & Near Eastern Studies Departments to explore themes in archaeology of the ancient world.
Theory/Critique Reading Group
Andrew Schumacher Bethke
This group creates an interdisciplinary space where students and faculty can read critical texts and work through disciplinary and critical logics to facilitate meaningful dialogue.
Tolerance and Polemics in Medieval Iberia
Mario Cossio Olavide and Robert Hultgren
This research workshop explores how premodern Iberia and the Mediterranean can (and cannot) serve as a model of tolerance and conflict among groups of different confessional, ethnic, and linguistic identities.
Visual Culture of the Persianate World
Catherine Asher, Matt Canepa, and Sugata Ray
This workshop aims to think collectively about the visual, material and discursive means of the expansion, development and circulation of Persianate culture.
Words and Music Across Time and Space: Interdisciplinary Collaboration & Performance
Marguerite Ragnow
In conjunction with early music group ¡Sacabuche!, this workshop will discuss “Venetia 1500,” a multimedia piece inspired by 16th- and 17th-century scholarship, music, and visual art.