About the Symposium
The North Texas Medieval Graduate Student Symposium began in 2005. It is an annual two-day event comprised of a professional Keynote Address followed by a day-long presentation of medieval graduate student research papers. These papers are professionally reviewed and are chosen on the merit of the originality of their thesis, validity of their argument, and relevancy to the year's theme. In addition to this year's theme: "To Move and Be Moved: Physical and Psychological Transportation and Transformation in the Middle Ages, the symposium has address themes such as “Nature and the Natural in the Middle Ages," "East meets West," "Literacy and Language," “The Medieval Manuscript,” “Saints in the Middle Ages,” and “Geography and the Medieval World.” Keynote addresses have been delivered by professors Corine Schleif and Volker Schier form Arizona State University, professor Joan Holladay of the University of Texas, Austin, professor Jan Marquardt of Eastern Illinois University, and Dr. D. Fairchild Ruggles, Dr. Anne D. Hedeman from The University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and Dr. Jean Givens, University of Connecticut. This year we welcome Dr. Janet Snyder an Art Historian from West Virginia University and Dr. Susan Boynton a musicologist from Columbia University. (Lecture Titles TBA)
The primary directive of the Medieval Symposium is to bring together medieval graduate students from the various disciplines under the umbrella of Medieval Studies - art history, literature, history, music, foriegn languages, and philosophy-- for collegial exchange within a professional-style venue. With the invitation of these student's advisors, the secondary objective of the Symposium is to facilitate a pedagogically rich atmosphere where the students have access to a broader range of medieval professors than is present at any one of their home universities. The more comprehensive role of the Medieval Symposium is to create an avenue for interaction between the larger university community, Medieval Studies, and the general public. This interaction is initiated on several levels. The community surrounding the University of North Texas, including the greater Dallas Metroplex, is invited via media releases, newsletters, and email lists to attend both the Keynote Address and the student presentations. Community members are also encouraged to meet the student speakers and their professors during the mid-day break over a light lunch. Select individuals of the community who have expressed a vested interest in the visual arts and medieval studies at the University of North Texas are also invited to a more intimate formal dinner with the keynote speaker. Our hope is to expand the scope of the Symposium. We would like to attract more students from outside the state of Texas in order to raise the caliber of intellectual exchange. To this end, in 2009 we have added a fourth session to the symposium and initiated the symposium website. .Funding was also sucured to sponsor an annual $300.00 Travel Subvention to be awarded to the author of the best student paper.
Importantly, we would also like to reach a broader segment of the general public of North Texas. While there is a plethora of museum facilities in the Dallas-Fort-Worth Metroplex, featuring an abundance of modern art, there have been very few opportunities for the public to be exposed to the culture of the Middle Ages. The North Texas Medieval Graduate Student Symposium seeks to engage the public in the more historical aspects of the arts. The event is free and open to the general public.