50 Kalamazoos


Only 13 more days until Kalamazoo’s 50th birthday bash, and the MC has a lot planned! We’re hoping that you’ll join us for as many of the events as you can, so here’s what’s happening:

Our sessions:

We start things off with a bang first thing on Thursday morning. Our session, Medieval Art: From Romanesque to Gothic (Thursday, 10:00 AM, Brown & Gold Room, Bernhard Center) is one of a thread of roundtables that re-imagine the original panels from the very first Kalamazoo in 1962. Working with the Medieval Institute and several other organizations, we’ve borrowed the titles from that first conference and re-invented the content. Join us for an exciting line-up of speakers, including Sonja Drimmer, “Invisible Objects,” Maile Hutterer, “Romanesque, Gothic, and the Classification of Medieval Architecture,” Sarah Thompson, “ ‘From Romanesque to Gothic’: Difference and Change in Medieval Architecture,” Luke Fidler, “The Chapped Lips of Meyer Shapiro, or, the Romanesque Struggle is Real,” Marian Bleeke, “From…To…? (Interrogating the Prepositional Structure of Medieval Art History) and a response by Madeline Caviness, Professor Emerita of Tufts University. The discussion should be robust!

We encourage you to attend as many of the other revival sessions as you can, too. They meet all day Thursday and Friday in the Brown & Gold Room, Bernhard Center, and you can see the full list here.

We’re also really excited and proud to be co-hosting a panel discussion with the Medieval Institute in honor of the 50th. Taking its title from the name of the first Kalamazoo conference, Medieval Originality: Looking Back, Looking Forward (A Panel Discussion) brings together speakers from all of the organizations who are doing special revival sessions this year. We’ve been thinking of it as the “Meta” session, and we’re structuring it around big questions in the field of Medieval Studies. We’ve been collecting questions from the invited organizations, but now we also want to open that conversation up to interested parties across the digiverse. You can suggest questions on our Facebook page, in the comments section below this post, or you can tweet them to us @materialcoll. Please use the hashtag #metakzoo so that we can keep them all organized!

Medieval Originality (the “Meta” session) will be Friday evening with accompanying WINE HOUR (5:30pm, East Ballroom, Bernhard Center)

In addition to the sessions that are specific to the 50th Kalamazoo, we’re also anticipating great things from our sponsored panel Transgressive Materiality (Friday 1:30pm in Schneider 1355). The panel was organized from the ground up by MC members Heather Coffey and Holly R. Silvers, and it includes Amy Gillette, “Depicting the Sound of Silence in Spinello Aretino’s Magdalene Banner,” Beate Fricke, “Making Marvels—Faking Matter,” and Genevra Kornbluth, “Transgressive Materials? An Eight-Century Reliquary of Bone and Lead.” We’re stoked to have new faces and voices working with us, and we’re thrilled to see the great session they’ve put together!

Aside from sessions, we will also be co-hosting a reception with the BABEL Working Group on Thursday evening at 5:15 in Fetzer 1035 (Open Bar!).

Many of us are also presenting, organizing, responding, or presiding in sessions that have been put together by some other great organizations that we work with, so check out their blogs and websites for more: BABEL Working Group (and their affiliated blog ITM), MEARCSTAPA, GW-MEMSI, and the ICMA. In some cases, specific times and locations may only be in the Congress Program.

And, last but definitely not least, we’ll be holding our annual Business Meeting on Friday at 12:00 in Fetzer 2030. We will be planning the MC sessions for next year and looking for members (current and new!) to organize those as well as collaborate on other projects. Please join us to contribute to the discussion!

PHEW! I’m tired already!!



  1. Grammar Rabble at Kalamazoo | The Grammar Rabble - May 11, 2015

    […] Only a few more days until the 50th International Congress on Medieval Studies at Kalamazoo! Check out the sessions that have been recommended by In The Middle and the Material Collective. […]

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