Justine Andrews
Associate Professor of Art History, 
University of New Mexico

Field(s): Medieval, Byzantine, and Islamic Art History with an emphasis on the cross-cultural issues between each of these subfields. My research focuses primarily on the Eastern Mediterranean and the art produced within areas affected by the Crusades (ie: Southern Greece, Cyprus, the Holy Land).

Current Projects: Book Project: Gothic Architecture in Cyprus: French, Byzantine, and Crusader influence in Nicosia and Famagusta; Future Project: The Visual Culture of the Genoese in the Eastern Mediterranean and Byzantine Region.

Selected Publications:
"Gothic and Byzantine in the Monumental Arts of Famagusta: diversity, permeability and power." In Medieval and Renaissance Famagusta: Studies in Architecture, Art and History, edited by Nicholas Coureas, Peter Edbury and Michael J.K. Walsh. Farnham etc., Ashgate, 2012.
"Crossing Boundaries: Byzantine and Western Influence in a 14th century Illustrated Commentary on Job." In Under the Influence. The Concept of Influence and the Study of Illuminated Manuscripts, edited by Alixe Bovey and John Lowden. Turnhout: Brepols, 2007, 111-119.
"The Cathedral of Nicosia: The Sculpture of the Western Portals and its Reception." Parartema [Annex] to Epeterida [Annual Review] of the Cyprus Research Centre, 31 (2005): 1-76.
"Familiar Foreigners: Artistic Innovations in a Fourteenth-Century Illustrated Commentary on Job" Arte Medievale, Series II, 14 no. 1-2 (2000), 113-121.

Extracurricular Interests: Yoga, swimming, boxing, hiking; movies, theater, books; cafés, pubs, beaches.

Institute Project & Plans: I hope to find information and discussion regarding the complexity of the tension between Crusade and convivencia in the Mediterranean. I would like to craft an introduction to my book project, Gothic Architecture in Cyprus: French, Byzantine, and Crusader influence in Nicosia and Famagusta, which is cognizant of and incorporates issues central to the field of Mediterranean Studies. I also hope to develop a syllabus for a future course on Medieval Mediterranean Art.


Nicole Archambeau
Transitioning from the California Institute of Technology (post-doc) to the University of California, Santa Barbara. 

Field(s): I explore the social and cultural history of healing and medicine in the later Middle Ages. This has led me in several directions. In terms of cultural history, I am interested in studying emotional distress as a moral and physical health problem. In terms of social history, I am interested in how people learned about and made decisions among multiple kinds of health care, including medicine, magic, and miracle. My research so far has focused on hagiographical sources, especially canonization inquest records, and, to a lesser extent, on regimens of health.

Current Projects:
Research Projects
Body and Soul Under Siege: Surviving Plague, War, and Anxiety in Fourteenth-Century Provence. Book manuscript in progress. Complete draft by Fall 2012.

Care of the Mentally Afflicted in the Later Middle Ages, co-authored article with Heidi Marx-Wolf, University of Manitoba Teaching Projects Responses to Epidemic in the Mediterranean Hospitals in Mediterranean Port Cities

Teaching Projects
Responses to Epidemic in the Mediterranean
Hospitals in Mediterranean Port Cities

Selected Publications:
"Tempted to Kill: A Miraculous Cure of a Mother's Homicidal Temptation after the Death of Her Daughter," in Emotions and Health, 1200-1700, edited by Elena Carrera, Leiden/Boston: Brill 2012, forthcoming.
"Healing Options during the Plague: Survivor Stories from a Fourteenth-Century Canonization Inquest." The Bulletin of the History of Medicine, Winter 2011.
"His Whole Heart Changed": Political Uses of a Mercenary's Emotional Transformation" in Les politiques des émotions du Moyen Âge, edited by Piroska Nagy and Damien Boquet, Sismel: Micrologus, November, 2010.

Extracurricular Interests: I'm planning to visit the Shrine of Our Lady of Montserrat and am always interested in touring sacred sites and observing/participating in public rituals of all kinds. Gardens, plants, and water conservation techniques are of interest to me. I'm excited to be visiting a region known for its sparking wines and chocolate.

Institute Project and Plans: I want to expand my understanding of the networks that shaped the Mediterranean, particularly in terms of illness and healing. For both my teaching and research, I want to learn more about how people and disease traveled as well as how healing methods traveled and changed over time and place. Just as important to me, however, is developing a new network of colleagues interested in this region and knowledgeable about its politics, religions, and culture.


Lisette Balabarca
Assistant Professor of Spanish,
Siena College

Languages Spoken: Spanish (Native Speaker), English & French

Field(s): My main areas of interest are Aljamiado and Moorish Literature, Travel Books and the Picaresque Genre in Sixteenth and Seventeenth Century. I am also interested in issues regarding memory and violence through the narratives of Moriscos and Indians in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth centuries.

Current Projects: I am currently working on a research, whose tentative title is “Aspects of Identity in Spanish Muslims from Medieval to Early Modern Times” whose goal is to analyze the problem of the identity of the Spanish Muslims in terms of how they considered themselves during the Middle Ages and the Sixteenth century, being at the same time Muslims and Spanish, and how they were seen by the others (the Christian population). I am planning to work with two fundamental texts: Francisco Núñez Muley’s Memorial and Mancebo de Arévalo’s Tafsira.

Selected Publications:
Viaje de Turquía: la representación de los turcos en un diálogo del siglo XVI” in Hispania Félix: A Hispanic-Romanian Review on Culture and Civilization of the Golden Age. Vol. II. (2011): 67-84

Extracurricular Interests:Traveling, cooking, learning languages, reading, dancing.

Institute Project and Pan: Academically speaking, my goal while attending the Summer Institute is to deepen in my study of the identity of Spanish Muslims from Medieval to Early Modern Spain.

As a result of this project, I would like to eventually publish an article in a peer-reviewed journal. In terms of my teaching duties at Siena College, I would like to design a Special Topics course that deals with the relationship between Islam and Christianity in Medieval and Early Modern Spain. Finally, as I will be living in Barcelona, one of my favorite Spanish cities, I am planning to take advantage of the many cultural and artistic resources that the Catalan city has to offer and visit as many places, museums, bars and restaurants as I am able to.

Completed Project


Julia Banzi
Professor of Guitar, Ethnomusicology.  Adjunct
Reed College, Lewis & Clark College

Languages Spoken: English (Fluent), Spanish (Fluent), Dareja [collequial Moroccan] (Conversational), French (Conversational).

Field(s):I am an ethnomusicologist (University of California, Santa Barbara) especially interested in constructing historical ethnographies—that is, seeking ways of understanding how the past influences and shapes present musical changes. 

The two main geographic areas I explore are North Africa and Spain.  My special interest is in the melding of varied cultures and religions converging in Al-Andalus (711-1492).  In Morocco, my focus is on women’s Andalusian ensembles.  In Spain, I focus on the flamenco guitar tradition and the processes of when, why, and how performance traditions become obsolete. 

As co-artistic director of the international Al-Andalus Ensemble (www.Andalus.com), artist, composer and one of a very few female flamenco guitarists worldwide, my work reflects over twenty years of living, studying and performing in North Africa and Spain. I am a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar who teaches at Reed College and Lewis & Clark College. I am passionate about my work and honored and excited to learn more about you!

Current Projects: Women's Andalusian Music and Musicians

Extracurricular Interests: Horses, art, music, science fiction, green building, straw bale.

Institute Project and Plans: The NEH summer Institute will enable me to pose and answer certain questions and fill important gaps in my research regarding gender-separated women's Andalusian events involving music. The classical Andalusian musical repertoire is thought to have descended directly from the courtly music of Islamic Spain (711-1492 AD). It is considered by many scholars to be one of the longest continuous traditions of art music in the world. With few exceptions scholarly literature on Andalusian music focuses exclusively on the male version of the tradition.


Brian N. Becker
Assistant Professor of History, 
Delta State University

Languages Spoken: English, Italian

Field(s): Medieval Italy; cultural contact/colonization in the medieval Mediterranean.

Current Projects: "Negotiating Religious Harmony in the Late Medieval Eastern Mediterranean: The Greek Orthodox Church's Reaction to Genoese Rule on Chios"; "Cohabitation and Competition in the Early Fifteenth-Century Eastern Mediterranean: The Strange Case of Benedetto de Ologar"; "The Genoese Experience as Representative of the 'Long Fifteenth Century'"; "Piracy, Policy, and Public Perception: Genoa's Evolving Relationship with Maritime Violence in the High and Late Middle Ages"

Selected Publications:
"New Evidence for Genoese Cryptography in the Late Fifteenth Century: Antonio De Montaldo's Cifrario of 1477 and the Defense of Chios against the Ottomans," in Erken Klasik Dönemden XVIII. Yüzyıl Sonuna Kadar Osmanlılar ve Avrupa: Seyahat, Kars¸ılas¸ma ve Etkiles¸im/The Ottomans and Europe: Travel, Encounter and Interaction from the Early Classical Period until the End of the 18th Century, edited by Seyfi Kenan, 481-94. Istanbul: ISAM Yayınları, 2010.

Also, I am currently revising of my dissertation, "Life and Local Administration on Fifteenth Century Genoese Chios," for publication.

Extracurricular Interests: Sports of any kind, sightseeing, home brewing, cooking.

Institute Project and Plans: The research I perform in Barcelona will be instrumental in the revision of my dissertation, "Life and Local Administration on Fifteenth Century Genoese Chios," into a book, but the benefits I will derive from participating in this Institute extend well beyond this end alone. My education and experience gained during the Institute will also make me a better scholar of the medieval Mediterranean by imparting to me a more detailed and nuanced understanding of the most recent trends in the field. The Institute furthermore will present me with a golden opportunity to read, think, and interact with medieval Mediterranean colleagues in a way one does not usually get to do with departmental colleagues, or oftentimes even with colleagues at conferences. Lastly, the Institute will also make me a better teacher, not only of the medieval Mediterranean, but also of successive historical periods, by improving my ability to express to students the latter ages' debt(s) to the former. This Institute is thus an opportunity for me to improve my performance in several fundamental charges of the professional historian.

Completed Project


Joshua Birk
Assistant Professor, History
Smith College

Languages Spoken: French, Italian

Field(s): Medieval Mediterranean, Medieval Sicily, Encoutners between Christianity and Islam.

Current Projects: Baptized Sultans: The Norman Kings of Sicily and the Birth of the Anti-Islamic Critique

Selected Publications: 
“Imagining the Enemy: Southern Italian Perception of Muslims in the Wake of the First Crusade” in Just Wars, Holy Wars, and Jihads: Christian, Jewish, Muslim Encounters and Exchanges, edited by Sohail H. Hasmi. Oxford University Press, 2012.
“The Betrayal of Antioch: Narratives of Conversion and Conquest during the First Crusade” in Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies. Vol 41, No. 3, Fall 2011.
“Ibn Jubayr” and “Ibn Al-Athi¯r” in Medieval Italy: Texts in Translation, edited by Katherine Jansen, Joanna Drell, and Frances Andrews. University of Pennsylvania Press, 2009. 
“Borderlands and Borderlines: Narrating the Past in Twelfth Century Sicily” in Multicultural Europe and Cultural Exchange in the Middle Ages and Renaissance, edited by James P. Helfers.  Brepols, 2005.

Institute Project and Plans: 
The Summer will allow me to conduct the research necessary to situate Christian/Muslim relations in medieval Sicily in a broader context of European attitudes towards Islam in the late twelfth and early thirteenth centuries. During this period the first anti-Islamic critique of Sicilian rulers emerges, particularly in the propaganda of Innocent III. This criticism would culminate in the widely circulated attacks on Fredrick II's fondness for Muslims and Islamic culture. I want to use the summer NEH program to explore the reasons why the critique on anti-Islamic, absent for most of the twelfth century, began to resonate in the thirteenth century. I plan to examine connections between contemporary events within Sicily, primarily dynastic struggles and the repression of the ever shrinking Muslim, with the changing views on the relationship between Christianity and Islam throughout Europe in order to explain how the relationship of Sicilian rulers with Muslim subjects began to be seen as a weakness and vulnerability. I hope for the opportunity to further examine how changes throughout the Mediterranean help inform developments within Sicily, and to make the case that transformation of the way in which Latin Christians understood the Muslim population of Sicily hardening of boundaries between Muslim and Christian that takes place in Sicily comprises a crucial component of the solidification of attitudes towards Islam in medieval Christian communities across the western Mediterranean.

Completed Project


Judith Bishop
Assistant Professor, Religious Studies
Mills College

Languages Spoken:


Current Projects: 

Selected Publications:

Institute Project & Plans:


Jonathan Brockopp
Associate Professor, Religious Studies,
Penn State University

Languages Spoken: English, German, Egyptian Arabic, rusty French.

Field(s): Early Islamic Law, Arabic legal manuscripts, Comparative ethics.

Relevant Current Projects: Muhammad's Heirs: How Scholars Shape the Muslim World. (Book manuscript in preparation).

Selected Publications
Contradictory Evidence and the Exemplary Scholar: The Lives of Sahnun b. Sa`id (d. 854)” International Journal of Middle East Studies 43.1 (2011): 115-132.
The Cambridge Companion to Muhammad.  Editor and contributor.  Cambridge University Press, 2010.
Muslim Medical Ethics: From Theory to Practice.  Co-editor and contributor with Thomas Eich. Studies in Comparative Religion. Columbia:  University of South Carolina Press, 2008.
“Theorizing Charismatic Authority in Early Islamic Law” Comparative Islamic Studies 1.2 (2005): 129-58.
“The Minor Compendium of Ibn cAbd al-Hakam (d. 214/829) and its reception in the early Ma¯liki¯ school.” Islamic Law and Society 12.2 (2005): 149-81.
Islamic Ethics of Life: Abortion, War and Euthanasia. Editor and contributor.  Studies in Comparative Religion. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 2003 (reprint, 2005).
Early Ma¯liki¯ Law: Ibn cAbd al-Hakam and his Major Compendium of Jurisprudence.  Studies in Islamic Law and Society 14. Leiden: E.J. Brill, 2000.
Judaism and Islam in Practice: A Sourcebook.  Co-author with Jacob Neusner and Tamara Sonn.  London: Routledge, 2000.

Extracurricular Interests: Tennis, cycling, choral music, crosswords, food.

Institute Project and Plans:
I’ve become increasingly interested in scholarly connections across geographic and cultural boundaries. My work on authority structures among Muslim legal scholars was inspired by research on Jewish sages, and I’ve recently argued that early Muslim scholars in Egypt may have been inspired by Christian scriptoria in Alexandria and elsewhere. I hope to learn more about the intersections of commerce, travel, and knowledge around the Mediterranean in general, and perhaps also about specific Jewish or Christian scholarly communities.

Completed Project


Thomas M. Capuano
Professor, Classical and Modern Languages, 
Truman State University

Languages Spoken: Spanish, Portuguese

Field(s): Spanish language and literature

Relevant Current Projects:Lexicography of medieval Spanish agriculture and herbalism, edition of medieval Spanish and Catalan texts on medicine and agriculture.

Selected Publications: 
Nine Technical Treatises for the Practical Professions in Spain:Electronic Texts and Concordances of Selected Treatises on Agriculture, Commerce, and Medicine, 1300-1777 (New York: Hispanic Seminary of Medieval Studies, forthcoming); “Las huellas de otro texto médico en Don Quijote: Las Virtudes del romero” Romance Notes 45:3 (2005): 303-310.

Extracurricular Interests: Visiting art museums, gardens and gardening, jogging, prog-rock.

Institute Project and Plans:
My work with medieval Spanish technical texts has given me an incipient idea of the complexity of relationships among the peoples and places of the Mediterranean. By participating in "Networks and Knowledge…” I hope to expose myself to the rich variety of interdisciplinary approaches by which scholars in fields distinct from my own are mapping out this complexity. In particular, I expect that a greater understanding of the networks of exchange in the medieval Mediterranean will enhance my work on the medieval Spanish herbal lexicon by introducing me to the geographical, maritime and intercultural pathways by which plants, plant knowledge and plant products circulated. My goal is to apply these perspectives to the plant terminology appearing in the minor works appended to the Libro de Palladio in MS 10.211 (210r-245r) of the Biblioteca Nacional de Madrid (all of which were copied from Catalan originals) and incorporate this botanical lexicon into my Diccionario herbario medieval.

Completed Project


Lucia Finotto
Ph.D. Candidate in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies,
Brandeis University

Languages Spoken: Italian (native), English, French, Hebrew; I understand Spanish well, but will respond in Italian (which usually works just fine).

Field(s): Medieval Sephardic Judaism; Medieval Islam; Sicily in the Middle Ages; Mediterranean and North Africa; Italian Jewish History; Translation History; Medieval Sciences.

Current Projects: I am currently writing my dissertation titled “Between Arabic, Hebrew and Latin. Jewish Translators of Islamic Sciences in the Medieval Kingdom of Sicily.”

Selected Publications: 
“The Jews in Sicily” Review of The Jews in Sicily Vol. 15 Notaries of Trapani, Brill 2009 by Shlomo Simonsohn, in Jewish History (2010) 24: 213:16 )
“Jewish Exegetical Works and the Construction of Kingship in Medieval Naples” in Jonathan Decter and Esperanza Alfonso (editors), Jewish Sacred Books in the Medieval and Early Modern Mediterranean, Brepols, Turnhout (Submitted)

Extracurricular Interests: Arts and Architecture (especially contemporary); Cuisine and Oenology; Good music of (almost) all kinds; Independent Cinema.

Institute Project and Plans:
My goal for the NEH Summer Institute is twofold: Firstly, to expand my present dissertation work on Jews as translators and intellectuals in the 13th and 14th-century kingdom of Sicily by adopting a more focused comparative perspective. I would like to start considering other translation sites of the Mediterranean that the limits of my present project have so far not allowed – I am particularly interested in exploring the Jewish participation in the translation movement of medieval Barcelona and the Aragonese territories. My intent in completing this research project is also to discover a pattern in the relationship between minorities’ mobility and cultural production. The native Jewish translators of medieval Sicily or Iberia were joined by colleagues and coreligionists from other Mediterranean locations. What is the relation between these travelling intellectuals and the ideas traveling with them? Are frontier lands richer sources or loci for minorities’ creativity? Secondly, I would like to design a syllabus for an upper-level undergraduate course on the History of Translation and Cultural Transmission in the Medieval Mediterranean with particular emphasis on communication networks and the transmission of philosophical and scientific texts.


David M. Freidenreich
Pulver Family Assistant Professor of Jewish Studies, 
Colby College

Languages Spoken: English, Hebrew.

Field(s): Jewish, Christian, and Islamic law; food and religious identity; the history of the Jews of Maine.

Current Projects: A study of the attitudes about identity and otherness that underlie medieval religious laws related to adherents of foreign religions; examination of the ways in which medieval laws about religious foreigners did and did not shape social interaction, especially with respect to food

Selected Publications:
Foreigners and Their Food: Constructing Otherness in Jewish, Christian, and Islamic Law (Berkeley, 2011); survey essays on Christians in medieval Islamic law and Muslims in medieval canon law in Christian–Muslim Relations: A Bibliographic History (Leiden, 2009-2012)

Extracurricular Interests: Cooking, sharing, and enjoying good food; hiking and walking; music

Institute Project and Plans:
I’m looking forward to gaining a deeper understanding of the Mediterranean Studies paradigm while exploring new ways of thinking about the nature of interreligious interaction in the Middle Ages.  In particular, I hope to develop new insights into the ideas about religious foreigners and relations with such foreigners attested within the Jewish communities of Christian Spain.  With luck, I will come away from the Institute with a clearer idea about how to begin drafting my next book, on conceptions of self and other within medieval laws about religious foreigners.  I’m also excited by the opportunity to get to know other scholars working in related fields and to explore Barcelona.

Completed Project


Valentina Izmirlieva
Associate Professor of Slavic Literature and Culture,
Columbia University

Languages Spoken: English, Bulgarian/Macedonian, Russian

Field(s): Medieval Literature of the Orthodox Slavs; History of Eastern Orthodox Religious Culture; Christian Pilgrimage to the Holy Land; Judeo-Christian-Muslim Cultural Encounters.

Current Projects: The Christian Hajjis: Mobility and Status in the Late Ottoman Empire (monograph).

Selected Publications:

[books] All the Names of the Lord: Lists, Mysticism, and Magic. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2008; (co-ed. with Boris Gasparov) Translation and Tradition in Slavia Orthodoxa. Vienna, Austria: Lit Verlag. Series Slavische Sprachgeschichte [forthcoming].
[recent articles]  “The Peculiar Codex Jerusalem 22: Tracing the Slavic Kabbalah.” In Jews and Slavs. Vol. 20. The Holy Land and the Manuscript Legacy of the Slavs. Jerusalem and Sofia: The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and The Cyrillo-Methodian Research Center, 2008, 87-108; “Orthodox Widows: The Burden and Power of Charisma.” In Women and the Orthodox Church: Past Roles, Future Paradigms. Ed. Justin Marc Lasser. The Sophia Institute. Studies of Orthodox Theology, vol. 1, New York: Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York, 2009, 65-81; “Typography and Magic on the Threshold of Modern Europe: Printed Amulets between the Apennines and the Balkans,” Starobulgarska literatura, 41/42 (2009): 453-65 (in Bulgarian); “Christian Hajjisin Nineteenth-Century Jerusalem, Or a Tradition Divided,” NCEEER Working Papers, 2010, 1-38, www.ucis.pitt.edu/nceeer/2010_825-08g_Izmirlieva.pdf; “The 72 Names of The Lord: Translation, Transliteration, and Religious Hybridization.” In Translation and Tradition in Slavia Orthodoxa, Valentina Izmirlieva and Boris Gasparov, eds. Vienna, Austria: Series Slavische Sprachgeschichte [forthcoming], (in Russian)

Extracurricular Interests: music, religious art, walking/hiking, Mediterranean cuisine

Institute Project and Plans:
I am working on a book about Christian pilgrims to Jerusalem who took as their model the Muslim Hajj to Mecca. My protagonists are men and women from the European part of the Ottoman Empire who creatively grafted Islamic ideals onto their Eastern Orthodox tradition to transcend their status as a religious minority. By comparing them with both Muslim hajjis and other Christian pilgrims, I aim to identify major distinctions between Orthodox practices within and outside the Islamic world and thus enrich our understanding of Muslim-Christian interaction in the late medieval and the early modern periods. 
At the seminar, I plan to write a chapter of thebook that seeks to present an overview of medieval Orthodox theories and practices of Holy Land pilgrimage and compare the pilgrim experiences of Eastern and Western Christianity in the aftermath of the Crusades and the Great Schism.

On a more personal note, I look forward to finally encountering Spain, which remains the most conspicuous white spot on my private map of the Mediterranean.

Completed Project


Marie Kelleher
Associate Professor, History,
Cal State University, Long Beach

Languages Spoken: English, Spanish, Catalan, German

Field(s): Medieval History; Law; Gender; History of Spain, esp. Barcelona.

Current Projects: 
Book project: "The First Bad Year" (A Biography of Barcelona seen through the famine of 1333) 
Article Project on Piracy and Urban Sovereignty

Selected Publications: 
The Measure of Woman: Law and Female Identity in the Crown of Aragon.  Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2010.
“Hers by Right: Gendered Legal Assumptions and Women's Property in the Medieval Crown of Aragon." Journal of Women's History 22:2 (Summer 2010): 34-55.
“Law and the Maiden: Inquisitio, Fama, and the Testimony of Children in Medieval Catalonia.”  Viator 37 (2006): 351-367.
“‘Like Man and Wife’: Clerics’ Concubines in the Diocese of Barcelona.”  Journal of Medieval History 28 (2002): 349-60.

Extracurricular Interests: photography, cycling, yoga

Institute Project and Plans: 
At CSULB, I am the member of the ad hoc teaching field on World History responsible for teaching the course on the ancient and medieval Mediterranean. This course aims to use the Mediterranean as an example of the connectivities inherent in the approaches of World History. The NEH seminar will offer me a unique opportunity to go back to school, to learn to be a Mediterranean historian, and to bring that knowledge back to my students.

The theme of the seminar will facilitate my research as well as my teaching, as I begin a new book project – a biography of the city of Barcelona as seen through the lens of the catastrophic famine of 1333 – that is more firmly tied to the study of the Mediterranean per se than my previous work has been. I recently presented my first conference paper on a part of this new project, focusing on Barcelona's involvement in Mediterranean grain piracy. During the course of the seminar, I plan to deepen the paper's argument in more explicitly Mediterranean directions and expand it into an article-length piece that would form the foundation for the book chapter on Barcelona's Mediterranean identity.

Completed Project


Brian Long
Graduate Student, Medieval Institute
University of Notre Dame

Languages Spoken:
English, German

Field(s): Intellectual and cultural history of the High Middle Ages.

Current Projects:Greek-Latin and Arabic-Latin scientific and medical translations; Arabic influences on Byzantine science and the works of Symeon Seth in particular.

Extracurricular Interests: Hiking, music, reading.

Institute Project and Plans:
My central goal in attending the Summer Institute is to interact with and learn from other scholars working on the medieval Mediterranean, both those working on the history of science and in other fields. In particular, I am interested in hearing how others think about interaction and intellectual exchange across cultural boundaries, and resistance to or ambivalence about influence.

Completed Project


 Courtney Luckhardt
Instructor of History, 
University of Memphis

Languages Spoken: English and French

Field(s): Early medieval history; religious travel (particularly in hagiography) in Francia and its connections with the Mediterranean.

Current Projects:
I am currently working on an article focused on the accounts of early medieval pilgrims to Jerusalem, which will also incorporate material on unsuccessful pilgrimages, where travelers were waylaid by disease, bandits, etc. I am also working on revising my dissertation into a book.

Selected Publications:
“Connectivity and Gender: Facilitating Religious Travel in the Sixth and Seventh Centuries,”  (under review).
“Wandering Saints: Religious Travels in Ireland and Northern Europe in the ninth century.” Beyond Saints and Scholars: Irish Medieval Studies in the 21st century, Conference Proceedings from Saint Louis University, October 26 – 29, 2008. (forthcoming)

Extracurricular Interests: I'm a bit of a foodie – I love to cook and visit farmer's markets, as well as eat out, which I'm really looking forward to in Barcelona. Also love the outdoors, from hiking to laying on the beach.

Institute Project and Plans:
My personal goal for this seminar focuses primarily on planning on how to revise my dissertation, completed last year, into a book. The dissertation, Connecting Saints: Travel and Hagiography in the Atlantic, 500 – 800, focused on religious travel by using hagiographical source material.  My project put the stories about these saints into the historical and cultural context in which they were produced, both geographically and temporally.  I argued that these hagiographical sources, when combined with an understanding of landscape and material culture, showed the connectivity of the post-Roman world, as well as the diversity and variety of monastic life and religious travel.  My analysis pulled together Latin hagiography from Frankish, Anglo-Saxon, and Irish sources.  While saints’ lives have limitations as historical sources, they are particularly valuable for studying the social and cultural history of the Middle Ages.

As for the book project, I’m interested in incorporating the theoretical framework of “connectivity” (a là Horden/Purcell) into the concrete historical source studies of saints and religious travelers that were the major focus of the dissertation.

Completed Project


Suzanne Miller
Assistant Professor, 
The George Washington University

Languages Spoken: Italian and English

Field(s):The intersection of institutional and cultural history during the Middle Ages, with a particular focus on cross-cultural encounter and colonialism.

Current Projects: I'm completing a book manuscript entitled "The Far Shore: Venice and its East Adriatic subjects: 1000-1358."

Selected Publications:
“Letters from the Front(ier): Venetian Rectors in Dalmatia On the Brink of War (1355),” Medioevo Adriatico 1 (2007)

Extracurricular Interests: I regularly engage in hiking, running, cooking and travel. I would also love the opportunity to explore the art, theater and music of Spain. I really enjoy trying new foods, both to try in restaurants and to cook on my own. I'd also be happy to learn more about Spanish wine, although since I am currently pregnant, it will be more of an academic interest on this trip (I will still probably have an occasional glass of wine).

Institute Project and Plans:
I look forward to conversing with and learning from the distinguished faculty and participants invited to the institute. I hope my own research in Venetian colonialism will contribute an interesting point of comparison to the Muslim-Christian-Jewish interactions we'll examine. Through these conversations and the programs, I plan to construct an undergraduate seminar-style course on Muslims, Christians and Jews in the Middle Ages. I'd like to expose my undergraduates to cutting-edge, yet accessible scholarship and exciting primary sources on the subject, and I'd love to discuss ideas for creative assignments to engage undergraduate learning. In addition, I'd like start preliminary research for my second project, on the invitation of foreigners to govern during the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries; I am particularly interested in the invitation of Peter III of Aragon to rule in Sicily. I will utilize the Archivo de la Corona de Aragón as well as published sources to create an annotated inventory of Italian-Catalan relations in this period. Lastly, I'd just love to know Barcelona, a city that was so influential in Mediterranean politics, economy and culture during the Middle Ages and beyond.

Completed Project


Gregory Milton
Assistant Professor, History
University of South Florida

Languages Spoken: Spanish (Castilian), which I hope comes back to me.

Field(s): Social and economic history, Crown of Aragon, 12th-14th centuries.

Current Projects:
I have two goals for the Institute: the first, larger project, is to develop a monograph exploring networks of trade and people around the Western Mediterranean during the 13th-14th centuries; the second, is to create an undergraduate course, "Trade, Travel and Intellectual Exchange in the Medieval World."

Selected Publications:
Market Power: Lordship, Economy and Society in Medieval Catalonia (1276-1313). Palgrave-Macmillan, 2012.
“Jews and Finance in Medieval Iberia” in The Jew in Medieval Iberia, Jonathan Ray, ed., pp. 223-252.  Academic Studies Press, 2011.

“Christian and Jewish Lenders: Religious Identity and the Extension of Credit,” Viator: Medieval and Renaissance Studies 37 (2006): 301-318.

Extracurricular Interests: Books and movies, always. I am always interested in visiting historical sites in Barcelona and the region, having lived for over a year in Tarragona and in Barcelona on shorter stays. I look forward to revisit previously known places and finding new ones.

Institute Project and Plans:
I am hoping that my participation in the Institute this summer will help develop research tracing the networks of trade, politics, and culture formed in the Western Mediterranean as part of the expansion of the Crown of Aragon in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. I am particularly interested in the interplay of economic activity, cultural and political interests, and social realities of everyday life throughout the communities of the Western Mediterranean. I wish to examine the personal movements within cultural and commercial networks which underlay the elite political and economic competition of Western Mediterranean states. I have worked with commercial records from a small Catalan market town (found in the Arxiu Històric de Tarragona and in the Arxiu de la Corona d'Aragó) in the past and hope now to identify the published and archival sources - of trade, of travel , of Christians, Muslims and Jews, and from areas across the Western Mediterranean - which will help illuminate my topic from a wider perspective than my earlier research.


Roberta Morosini
Associate Professor, Italian
Wake Forest University

Languages Spoken: Italian, English, French, Spanish (conversational).

Fields: My research is centered around Medieval Italy in and of the Mediterranean and mainly enquiries into storytelling, reception and modalities of narration with a constant attention to the relation between text and image as in my  studies on  Boccaccio the politician, namely his contribution to the theory of communal rule  and reconstruction of Florence. I am fascinated by visual and textual narration of legends and I like to investigate on their “representative spaces”. My volume  Boccaccio Geografo focuses on fantastic and literary geography and the representation ofthe city in space and time as a  “topography of memory”, while with Penelopi (s) traveling the Medieval Mediterranean I try to offer avisual readingof gender, rape, identity, fake departures, displacementand impossible returns through 14th- and 15th-century illuminations from the De Casibus,  De Mulieribus and the DecameronMy further interest in Mediterranean studies looks at the dialogue between faiths in literary representations and mis-representations of Muhammad from Byzantium to Western Europe.

Current Projects:

Boccaccio and Christian-Muslim Relations. In Christian-Muslim Relations. A Bibliographical History

Tra Oriente e Occidente. In viaggio con Sindbad tra spazio e tempo nel Mediterraneo  (Lecce, PensaMultimedia, co-edited with Charmaine Lee).

Whispers of the Dove. Echoes of Byzantium. FromDante’s Canto XXVIII and Boccaccio’s Life of Muhammad to Filippino Lippi

Selected Publications:
Boccaccio Geografo  Firenze: Polistampa, 2010. Selected to compete for the Giusti Prize; Coming of Age on Film: Stories of Transformations in World Cinema. Edited by R. Morosini, A. Hardcastle, and K. Tarte.Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Scholar Publishing, 2009.
Mediterranoesis. Medieval and Renaissance voices of Mediterranean Italy. Edited by R. Morosini and C. Perissinotto. Roma: Salerno Editrice, 2007.
Maria di Francia. Favole. An Italian translation from Anglo-Normand. Roma: Carocci, Biblioteca Medievale, 2006.
“Perché Alexandro cercò molti istrani paesi’: Il viaggiosottomarino e celeste di Alessandro tra grifoni, gatti e ‘fuoco di galla’. Dall’Alexandreis di Quilichino di Spoleto (1236) al Triompho Magno di Domenico Falugio (1521).” In Tra Oriente e Occidente: In viaggio con Sindibad tra spazio e tempo nel Mediterraneo. Edited by C. Lee and R. Morosini. Lecce: Pensa Multimedia, forthcoming.
“The ‘In-between Representational Spaces’ ofMedievalMediterranean Legends: Arthur, Alexander, Muhammad.’ In Mediterranean Literatures and Languages: Literary Imaginations and the Fantastic, of Mapping the Medieval Mediterranean, c. 300-1550: An Encyclopedia of Perspectives in Research.Edited by A. Law and J. Deahl. Leiden: Brill).
“La ‘bona sonoritas’ diCalliopo: Boccaccio a Napoli, la polifonia di Partenope e i silenzi dell’Acciaiuoli.” In Boccaccio Angioino, eds.A. Periccioli Saggese and G. Alfano. New York: Peter Lang, 2012.
“‘E lavorando semini ciascuno’: An interdisciplinary reading of Decameron III, 4.” In Festschrift: Renaissance Studies in Honor of Joseph Connors, eds. L. Waldman and M. Israels. Florence: Olschki, 2012.
“L’arcangelo Michele ‘messo celeste’ nel  De Maumeth propheta Saracenorum. Boccaccio ‘riscrittore’ della Satirica ystoria di Paolino Veneto e ‘lettore’ delleExpositiones di Guido da Pisa nello Zibaldone Magliabechiano,  Studi sul Boccaccio, 40 (2012) forthcoming.
“Boccaccio and Christian-Muslim Relations.” In Christian-Muslim Relations. A Bibliographical History, 1200-1350, eds. John Tolan and Alex Mallett. Leiden: Brill. 2012.
“Legends of Alexander in Italy.” In Companion to Legends of Alexander. Edited by D. Zuwyya,  Leiden: Brill, 2011; .

Extracurricular Interests: Cooking, photography, hiking, walking, dance.

Institute Project and Plans: I am most interested in attending the Summer Institute, Networks and Knowledge, in beautiful Barcelona, a city where past dialogues still echo. My personal and intellectual interests converge on the voices and memories of the Mediterranean. I am fascinated by the topography of memory: how people and stories travel through time and space; specifically, the Mediterranean as an hybrid and mobile space. I am particularly fascinated by legends traveling through the Mediterranean and how through philological comparative study of re-writings, as I recently did with legends of Alexander the Great, is possible to map 'the voices' and their encounter of and in the Mediterranean. Thanks to the seminar, I aim to feed my mind and my soul and be ready to complete my book, Whispers of the Dove and Echoes of Byzantium.The Bull and the Holy Book. It focuses on modes of representation—or misrepresentation—of the prophet Muhammad in 14th- and 15th-century culture from Inferno XXVIII to XV Century painter Filippino Lippi.

Completed Project


Alex Novikoff
Assistant Professor, History
Rhodes College

Languages Spoken: French, Italian, Spanish

Field(s): Medieval intellectual and cultural history, historiography, Christian-Muslim-Jewish relations.

Current Projects: The Culture of Disputation in Medieval Europe (University of   Pennsylvania Press, forthcoming); A Short History of Muslim Spain (I. B. Tauris Press, under contract)

Selected Publications: 
“Toward a Cultural History of Scholastic Disputation,” American Historical Review, 117, no. 2 (April, 2012): 331-364.
“From Dialogue to Disputation in the Age of Rodrigo Jimènez de Rada,” Journal of Medieval Iberian Studies, in press.
“Anselm, Dialogue, and the Rise of Scholastic Disputation,” Speculum, 86, 2 (April, 2011): 387-418.

“Between Tolerance and Intolerance in Medieval Spain: An Historiographic Enigma,” Medieval Encounters, 11, 2 (2005): 6-36.

Extracurricular Interests: Violin, chamber and orchestral music, tennis, hiking, traveling, Mediterranean culture…tapas!

Institute Project and Plans: I wish to examine the role of disputation in the Crown of Aragon during the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. This includes, but is not limited to, the famed Barcelona Disputation of 1263 about which much analysis of the Christian and Hebrew accounts has already been given. My contribution to this topic will be to situate the disputation in a larger “cultural” context and to consider literary disputations alongside staged public debates organized by kings, Dominicans, and other ecclesiastical officials both before and after that event. This project constitutes a natural extension of my current book project, The Culture of Disputation in Medieval Europe, which deals with the origins of scholastic disputation and its diffusion as a vehicle of interfaith polemic in the thirteenth century but which, for practical reasons, does not deal with Spain in any systematic fashion. I am also developing a “Maymester” course for my college that will include travel to Spain and an up-close encounter with the medieval history of the three religions in Spain, and I therefore plan to use the opportunity afforded by this seminar to learn from the organizers and other participants about the logistics of leading travel programs in Spain and about features of medieval interfaith relations that I have not yet considered. 

Completed Project


A. David K. Owen
PhD Candidate, Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations
Harvard University

Languages Spoken: Spanish, English

Field(s): Logic and law, Islamic intellectual history, Greco-Arabica, history of philosophy.

Current Projects:Practical reasoning in the Islamic West, 10th to 13th centuries.

Extracurricular Interests: Hiking, Family, Rugby, Cooking, Soccer, Yoga.

Institute Project and Plans: I’m really looking forward to learning from an amazing group of scholars, and feel incredibly privileged to have this opportunity. My soft quixotic goals for July are as foilows: 1) Give a reasonable account of practical reasoning in al-Andalus from Ibn Hazm (d. 1064) to Ibn Rushd (d. 1198). 2) Discuss Ramón Llull in Catalán. 3) Hike to mss on Montserrat. 4) Be persuaded to change how I think about one important issue. 5) Collaborate. 6) Find a bicycle, ride to Girona. 7) Write. 8) Meet with Spanish scholars of philosophy and history of science. 9) Swim away.

Completed Project


Emily Rose

Languages Spoken: Latin, French and German.

Field(s): History of Christian-Jewish relations in northern Europe.

Relevant Current Projects: A book, The Monk, the Knight, the Bishop and the Banker: Murder and Sanctity in Medieval Europe (forthcoming) concerns the origin of the ritual murder accusation in 12th century England and France. An essay on ritual murder and royal power is in press and I have published on the portrayal of Jewish mass conversion in the work of Gregory of Tours. I also write on the early 17th century Atlantic world and colonial investment.

Extracurricular Interests: I'm on a health kick now, so open to all forms of interesting exercise and exploration– especially water sports and hiking on the weekends (although I've been warned about the summer heat in Spain). I'm married to a medieval art historian (who will visit Barcelona on his way to check out medieval manuscripts in obscure monasteries) and we have four teenage children (two of whom study Arabic). Last month I hiked the Camino Santiago from Oviedo to Compostella.

Institute Project and Plans:
As I work primarily from a northern perspective, my goal at the Institute is to expand my knowledge of the Mediterranean world and to design a syllabus for an undergraduate (sophomore honors) course at City University that would be of interest to the diverse student body we teach, many of whom are not planning to major in the humanities. I also hope to design a two-term course that covers the medieval Mediterranean and the early modern Atlantic world (the other focus of my scholarly research). Such a course would be of particular interest, I believe, to college freshmen and sophomores who have taken the European history AP as well as Classicists, American historians, environmental historians and others.


Brian Sandberg
Associate Professor, History
Northern Illinois University

Languages Spoken: English, French, Italian (some Spanish)

Field(s): Early Modern French History, Mediterranean History, European Wars of Religion, Comparative Religious Violence.

Current Projects: Religion, Violence, and Imperialism in the Early Modern French Mediterranean.

Selected Publications:
Warrior Pursuits: Noble Culture and Civil Conflict in Early Modern France (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2010)
“‘Through Naval Practice and the Association with Foreigners’: French Nobles’ Participation in Mediterranean Religious Struggles, 1598-1635,” Journal of Mediterranean Studies 16 (2006): 219-227.
“Beyond Encounters: Religion, Ethnicity, and Violence in the Early Modern Atlantic World, 1450-1700,” Journal of World History 17 (March 2006): 1-25.
“‘Re-establishing the True Worship of God’: Divinity and Religious Violence in France after the Edict of Nantes,” Renaissance & Reformation / Renaissance et Réforme 29 (2005): 139-182.

Extracurricular Interests: Sailing, biking, live music, cooking, reading.

Institute Project and Plans:
I am excited to participate in the NEH Summer Institute on “Networks and Knowledge in the Medieval Muslim-Christian-Jewish Mediterranean.” My primary goal is to conduct intensive reading, discussion, and research on medieval and early modern Mediterranean history. In-depth discussions with specialists in medieval Mediterranean history should improve my teaching of History 458 Mediterranean World, 1450-1750, an upper-division undergraduate/ graduate course that I offer at Northern Illinois University. My students read works on Mediterranean history by Braudel, Horden and Purcell, Abulafia, García-Arenal and Wiegers, Dursteler, and Rothman. Discussions consider relations between Muslims, Christians, and Jews through a series of Mediterranean crossings, exchanges, and conflicts that problematize conceptions of cultural divisions and religious boundaries in the early modern Mediterranean world.

Intensive study of the medieval and early modern Mediterranean would also lay the groundwork for a new book project concerning Religion, Violence, and Imperialism in the Early Modern French Mediterranean. The resulting book will consider how French experiences of domestic religious violence during the French Wars of Religion (1562-1629) and contemporaneous involvement in Mediterranean conflict contributed to the formation of French imperialism and early notions of globalization, which arguably redefined French relationships with the rest of the Mediterranean world in lasting ways.

Completed Project


Marina Tolmacheva
Professor of History
Washington State University

Languages Spoken: Some French, a little Spanish

Teaching: Middle East History, Islamic Civilization.
Research: Medieval Culture of the Islamic Periphery; Arabic Geography, Cartography & Travel Literature.

Current Projects: Exploration of medieval Arabic texts dealing with the Islamic frontier regions.

Selected Publications:

Books: L.E. Kubbel, V.V. Matveev, M.A. Tolmacheva. Arabic Sources of the 13-14th Centuries for the Ethnography and History of Africa South of the Sahara(Moscow, Nauka, 2002; in Russian and Arabic).
Marina Tolmacheva, The Pate Chronicle, xvi + 607 pp. (East Lansing: Michigan State University Press, 1993).

“From Ptolemy to al-Idrisi to Ibn Sa`id al-Maghribi: a double puzzle in the Islamic cartography of Africa and the Indian Ocean.” Orientalia (Sofia, Bulgaria: New Bulgarian University, 2006) 2:29-42.
"Female Piety and Patronage in the Medieval Hajj," in Women in the Medieval Islamic World: Power, Patronage, and Piety, edited by Gavin R.G. Hambly (New York: St.Martin's Press, 1998), pp. 161-178.
"Intercultural Transmission and Selection:  Greek Toponyms in Arab Geography," in Tradition, Transmission, Transformation, edited by F. Jamil Ragep & Sally P. Ragep with Steven Livesey (Leiden:  Brill, 1996), pp. 419-440.
"Ibn Battuta on Women's Travel in the Dar al-Islam" in Women and the Journey: The Female Travel Experience, edited by Bonnie Frederick and Susan N. McLeod (Pullman, WA: Washington State University Press, 1993): 119-140.

Extracurricular Interests: Dance, opera, travel.

Institute Project and Plans:
There are two parts to what I hope to accomplish during the Institute: research and teaching. The research part will be focused on a small selection of medieval Arabic travelers who interacted with members of other religious communities in the Mediterranean region. I am interested in how these travelers perceived the boundaries between the Dar al-Islam and non-Muslim areas. The Institute will strength my ability to interpret their writings and to seek out nuanced evidence of not only inter-cultural, but also inter-religious aspects in the records of their own travels and of their perceptions of communal attitudes. Some of these authors may be more familiar to me than others, but reading their works now in a different frame of mind will help me determine the more productive approaches to the exploration of "convivencia" from their perspective. For the teaching part, I anticipate being able to infuse the themes and materials of the Institute into two of my courses: the sophomore-level introductory course on Islamic Civilization and the senior-level thematic course "The Middle East and the West." A practical goal for July 2012 is to visit sites and photograph Moorish architecture and to seek out visual evidence of synthesis of Arab-Islamic and non-Islamic elements in "built" environment.

Completed Project


Theodore Van Loan
Ph.D. Candidate
University of Pennsylvania

Languages Spoken: English, Arabic, some Spanish.

Field(s): Islamic art history, literary theory, and aesthetic philosophy.

Current Projects: Dissertation tentatively titled, "Bargaining with Likenesses: Image-makers and Image-beholders in Early Islam"

Selected Publications:
“Review of ““The Umayyads: History, Art and Culture in the First Century of Islam.” University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh UK. June 2425, 2011 in caa.reviews (forthcoming)

Entry for “Dome of the Rock and Haram al-Sharif” in the Cambridge History of Religious Architecture of the World, ed. Richard Etlin (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming)

Extracurricular Interests: Writing poetry, making collages, riding bikes.

Institute Project and Plans:
What happens to an intellectual discourse as it moves from one medium of expression to another? How are we to understand the impact of built visual environments upon those producing tracts on the science and philosophy of sight? Does 'Mediterranean hermeneutics,' as a mosaic of interpretive practices uniquely suited to the region, hold weight?

This summer I hope to pursue these questions, among others, in both the workshop sessions and with my own project. For this, I have chosen to focus on a work of the 10th-11th century polymath Ibn al-Haytham entitled "The Book of Optics." Based in Fatimid Cairo, Ibn al-Haytham synthesized knowledge gained from first-hand observation with the Greek intellectual tradition. He is one of the few optic scientists who not only considers the physiological and geometric aspects of sight, but also discusses its relevance to the mental faculties of cognition and recognition of visual forms. As a quintessential pan-Mediterranean figure, with the geographical provenance of his intellectual milieu spanning the basin, and having an acute sensitivity to the visual world, makes an investigation of his work highly germane to the questions delineated above.

Completed Project