Research Workshops

13th-century book Historia de España on display at the Biblioteca Nacional, Madrid
Historia de España, Alfonso X (c. 13th century)

About our workshops

Each academic year, the Center for Premodern Studies 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. CPS 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.

Contacts: Ben Hansen, Alex Magnolia, and Jeffery Cross

Contacts: Dr. Katharine Gerbner and Hannah Smith, PhD Candidate

Contact: Rachel Trocchio

Contacts: Dr. Michelle Hamilton, Dr. Lydia Garver, and Alex Korte, PhD Candidate


Complete list of 2021-2022 Research Workshops

Title, Leader(s) Focus
CCR/ASECS Webinar Project
JB Shank
A series of monthly Zoom-accessible seminars to build a collaborative research community around digital humanities with the Cérémonies et coutumes religieuses (CCR) as an axis point for myriad different humanities concerns (world religion, art history, visual studies, history of the book, travel, politics, etc) that is intrinsically multi-disciplinary.  Seminars will be held in-person at the University of Minnesota, and to be posted through the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies (ASECS) YouTube Channel. Additional Information on the CCR/ASECS Webinar Series
CPS Writing Hunker
Samira Musleh
This series of writing workshops serves the CPS community by creating a supportive, productive, and intellectually stimulating space for writing. Additional Information on the CPS Writing Hunker
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
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
History of the Book in East Asia
Emily Beck & Lois Hendrickson
A workshop engaging scholarly work about the history of the premodern book in East Asia. We will draw upon seminal readings from Rare Book School course reading lists and contemporary scholarship that addresses topics of interest to participants and are relevant to local collections. Meeting will include a discussion of  readings and opportunities to examine materials from the University’s special collections libraries. Additional Information about History of the Book in East Asia
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
Podcasting the Premodern
Jonas Gardsby, Juliette Cherbuliez & Lydia Garver
This workshop explores the medium of podcasts as a pedagogical and scholarly engagement tool. Participants will also explore the possibility of making a podcast to share the scholarship and community of CPS to a broader audience. Additional Information about Podcasting the Premodern
Premodern Food Lab
Michelle Hamilton, Emily Beck, Marguerite Ragnow & Ann Good
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 Lab
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
Reception of Classical Texts in the Medieval and Early Modern World
Jennifer Easler & 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 World
Reimagining the Humanities
Juliette Cherbuliez & 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
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 & 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.