Scholars and students will participate in the exchange of ideas and research while networking at the 49th Annual Conference of the Medieval Association of the Pacific beginning Thursday, April 9, at the University of Nevada, Reno.
"We are excited to host the 49th gathering of medievalists, and to hold it in Nevada for the first time," Ned Schoolman, University assistant history professor and local conference coordinator, said.
The MAP conference offers two free public lectures by world-renowned scholars, along with more than 75 presentations during two days of themed panels, which are free of charge to current University students who register beforehand. Some of the most important scholars in medieval studies will be presenting research from more than 50 college and university affiliations representing 16 states as well as Canada, Wales, Germany, France, Spain, Georgia and New Zealand.
This year's theme is "Reform and Resistance," acknowledging the 800-year anniversary of two major medieval events: the signing of the Magna Carta in England on June 15, 1215, and the meeting of the Fourth Lateran Council, which opened on Nov. 11 of the same year.
"These two events had lasting ramifications in the spheres of royal power and church authority," Schoolman said. "And they set the stage for fundamental developments and reforms in the political ordering of Europe and resistance to established social and economic orders, things still very relevant today. Hosting conferences such as this gives the University positive exposure to the wider academic community as well as providing opportunities for the exchange of new ideas and information between participants."
Panels at the conference will focus on a range of subjects within this theme and beyond, including inter-religious dialogue, death, Byzantine art and culture, John Gower, monastic reform, sexual identity, visual image and private devotion.
"Hosting this conference aligns well with the University's vision of engaging an internationally wide, high-quality and accessibility to a community of scholars for the sake of empowering Nevada's citizens," Associate Professor of Spanish at the University Jaime Leaños said. "This is a great opportunity to show the beauty of our top-tier institution to the pacific and to scholars around the world."
The conference offers members of the faculty across a number of disciplines the opportunity to meet colleagues, exchange ideas and forge relationships with scholars from institutions across the West and the Pacific. It allows advanced University graduate students a nurturing environment to present their research, provide undergraduates exposure to cutting-edge scholarships, and is especially relevant for students majoring in history, English, foreign language and literatures or those with the medieval and renaissance minor.
The first free lecture is "Peasant Resistance in Late Medieval Castile," held at 5 p.m., Friday, April 10, by Teo Ruiz, a historian of late medieval and early medieval Spain at the University of California, Los Angeles and recent recipient of the National Humanities Medal for his research and inspired teaching. The second is "By that Fatal Fire: Manuscripts in the Aftermath of Destruction," held at 5 p.m., Saturday, April 11, by Siân Echard, professor of English and Distinguished University Scholar at the University of British Columbia, who works on medieval literature and texts in the post-medieval world.
The Conference of the Medieval Association of the Pacific has received financial support from across the University, including the Hilliard Endowment of the College of Liberal Arts, the Department of History, the Department of English, Department of Foreign Language and Literature, Core Humanities and the Gender, Race and Identity Program.