History of Medieval Studies at Loyola
Medieval Studies is an interdisciplinary exploration of the history and culture of the Middle Ages, ca. 500 AD to ca. 1550 (including Late Antiquity, the Renaissance and the Reformation). It includes parts of three continents (Europe, western Asia and northern Africa) and can even touch on Central and South America.
Medieval Studies has long been one of the outstanding strengths of Loyola University Chicago. The Medieval Studies Committee was formed in 1991 to promote contact among medievalists in several departments. The key to the envisioned community of scholarship was an interdisciplinary lecture series which would bring specialists in the year's chosen theme to Loyola.
The lecture series was so successful in building community among Loyola's medievalist faculty and graduate students that it led to the creation of the Medieval Studies minor in 1995-1996; the committee was renamed the Medieval Studies Program to acknowledge its academic status. Recently, it was again renamed the Medieval Studies Center (MSC) to indicate its more wide-ranging activities. Plans to expand both the academic side and the activities side of the program are in progress. While the MSC does not yet offer graduate degrees in Medieval Studies, our graduate students in various departments benefit from the close interaction among the departments and the stimulation of a wide medievalist community.
The original goal of of the series was to bring together faculty and students from departments across the campus. It also has succeeded as a networking opportunity for our graduate students and undergraduates, who meet and exchange views with our guest speakers in informal settings before and after the lectures. Our lecture series is well attended by welcome visitors from other esteemed local institutions, providing a regular meeting place for Chicago area medievalists.
The Medieval Studies Center also maintains close connections with the Newberry Library and its Center for Renaissance Studies; our faculty regularly offer graduate consortium seminars in the CRS, and our students avail themselves of courses offered there as well as the depth of the Library’s manuscript and scholarly holdings.