Lomax, Ohio Northern University
All sessions held in the Pere Marquette Gallery located on the second floor of Dubourg Hall.
Friday, October 12, 2007
2:30 - 4:00 Graduate Student Session
4:15 - 5:45 Graduate Student Session
8:00 - 10:00 Cocktail Reception. Drury Inn. Main Lobby.
8:45 a.m. Welcome
9:00 - 10:30 Debating the Early Middle
10:30 - 11:00 Coffee Break.
11:00 - 12:30 Plenary Address
12:45 - 2:15 Business Lunch. College Church Ballroom.
2:30 - 4:00 Religious Culture
4:00 - 4:15 Coffee Break
4:15 - 5:45 Power and Memory
6:00 Cocktails. Cupples House.
7:00 Banquet. The Grand Hall.
9:00 President's Reception.
REPORT OF THE 46TH ANNUAL MEETING OF THE MIDWEST MEDIEVAL HISTORY CONFERENCE AT ST. LOUIS UNIVERSITY 12-13 OCTOBER 2007
PRESENTED TO THE 47TH ANNUAL MEETING OF THE MIDWEST MEDIEVAL HISTORY CONFERENCE AT DENISON UNIVERSITY
Although I am not a bard, a poet, troubadour, lyricist, minstrel, minnesinger, meistersinger, and certainly not illustrated in the Codex Manesse, AKA Die Grosse Heidelberger Liederhandschrift, or even a cantor, I am always Inventing the Middle Ages. To that end, and with the precepts and injunctions of the Societas Fontibus Historiae Medii Aevi Inveniendis, Vulgo Dicta, “The Pseudo Society,” before me I searched long and hard for evidence—any evidence, even if I had to make it up—that would enlighten me about the comings and goings, the ins and outs, and the sayings and doings of the Midwest Medieval History Conference—the subject of my long awaited and long overdue next monograph. My Dean, keeps asking “when will it be written,” and I always respond, “when it is done” (repeat ad infinitum, that will keep him occupied). Compiling historical evidence is exacting and painful and time consuming, but certainly beats working for a living. Imagine my surprise then to see a piece of that evidence last semester when I was teaching my undergraduate course on the Middle Ages. It appeared before me in edited and translated style in Merry Wiesner’s undergraduate documents book, Discovering the Medieval Past: A Look At the Evidence. So, I looked at the evidence—you use what you find and where you find it. It is a will, the will of MMHC, a last testament. Now, I do not have to tell you—but I am going to anyhow—medieval wills are not only legal documents conveying things to others but also documents expressing belief and sentiment from the past.
It begins like many medieval wills, I, MMHC, being of sound mind but frail body, since so many of my august members have passed on and away over the years, in the year of Clio 2007 in the 46th year of my existence recognizing also the tenuous nature of academic tenure and freedom and the fragility of the stock market (wherein resides all my hopes and dreams of retiring, thanks be to TIAA-CREF) record my testament in my own hand in this document. This is my true and valid testament. Because of my devotion to St. Louie, my body should reside with him. However, because of my devotion to Our Lady, I might in two years decide to reside there. We shall see. But I then might change and go back to St. Louie. All life is fickle and transitory—sic simper gloria mundi.
The body of MMHC at the moment I do bequeath to Thomas Madden of Saint Louis University, to host and house and maintain and entertain—perhaps it may even reside under the altar of the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies. I bequeath the program of MMHC to Steve Stofferahn of Indiana State University to organize however he wishes for the benefit of my soul. Pere Marquette to observe.
On Friday 12 October 2007 I bequeath to graduate students a session called “Rediscoveries,” chaired by Cullen Chandler of Lycoming College. There Thomas Farmer of the University of Minnesota presented “From Frontier Fortress to Trading Center: Cologne’s Transformation in the Early Middle Ages” (it became more fragrant); Walker Cosgrove of Saint Louis University presented “The Church in Languedoc prior to the Albigensian Crusade: Less Efficient and Less Zealous” (where we found out that truly God does know his own); and Julia Geiger of The Ohio State University presented “Finding Eleanor Cobham: The Search for Sources on the Life and Trial of a Fifteenth-Century English Witch” (we did not find her, alas, as she was bewitched and melted into the crucible).
Item I also bequeath to graduate students a session called Cross-Currents” chaired by Leah Shopkow of Indiana University. There James Williams of Purdue University presented “Felicians, Paulicians, and Carolingians: The Construction of and Interaction of Borderland Heresies in the Eight and Ninth Centuries” (where we discovered the difficulties and intricacies of adopting adoptionism); Miguel Gomez of the University of Tennessee presented “’Fere impotabiles et onorose’: Financing Reconquest and Crusade in the Thirteenth Century” (where we learned about papal paypal accounts as well as usage of ARMs, Liars Loans, Ninja Loans and how to bundle them into securities, since God willed it); and John Young of the University of Notre Dame presented “Enemies of the Cloister: Ideas about Jews in the Monasteries of Medieval Germany” (where, sadly and showing obvious anti-Semitism, ethnographic misunderstanding, and cultural hegemony, monks did not think it a good idea too have Jews in the monasteries of Germany or the monasteries elsewhere for that matter).
Item I bequeath that for the love of Clio a free cocktail reception should be given to all good and true historians at the Drury Inn Main Lobby.
Item on Saturday 13 October 2007 I bequeath to all good and true historians for the good of my soul (and stomach) that a free breakfast (continental style) be given as well as coffee and various and sundry sumptuous snacks throughout the day in remembrance of me for the love of Clio. Thomas Madden, Director of the Saint Louis University Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, Veteran of the 4th Crusade, Doge of Dandalo, Denizen of Venice, Illustrator of the Crusades (both long and short) will help me, MMHC, into the afterlife in what I trust is a new world, a glorious empire, comprising the best of both Rome and America.
Item, I bequeath to all good historians a session “Debating the Early Middle Ages” (where we found that yes there was an early middle ages but it was earlier—no later—no earlier—than we thought) chaired by David Sefton of Eastern Kentucky University. There Richard Ring presented “The Missing Mancus and the Early Medieval Economy (it actually had just rolled underneath king Arthur’s Round Table, —no problem; found it; heads; case solved); Matthew Ponesse of Ohio Dominican Unversity presented “Rule Collection and Rule Compiling: Methods of Ninth-Century Monastic Reform” (where we found that the golden rule was still the best—do unto others before they do unto you); and John Contreni presented “’Let them Establish Schools”: What did Charlemagne Really Mean by Admonitio Generalis cap. 72 (where we discovered that Charlemagne meant that he favored all day kindergarten—or should I say all day jardin d’enfants—how progressive).
Item for the expiation of my particular mortal sins against Clio I, MMHC, especially bequeath a Plenary Address by Joseph Lynch of The Ohio State University entitled “Is there a Monk in the House? Death-Bed Conversion to Monastic Life in the Twelfth Century” (where we learned not only the values of politeness and observations on shoes but also that knights were just dying to become monks).
Item I bequeath a sumptuous lunch for all good and poor medievalists presided over by President John Lomax of Ohio Northern University. Item I bequeath the 2007 report on CARA by David Wagner our representative to CARA. Item I also bequeath nice tributes for past members of the MMHC, Thomas Blomquist, remembered as a good friend and colleague “who went his own way”; and Louise Robbert, remembered as a proper lady who knew and loved Venice. Item I bequeath Matt Phillips of Concordia University translated to the presidency of the MMHC. Item I bequeath not my best beast but a sore and dilapidated, spavined and insipid, moth-ridden and flea-bitten critter, called Louis Haas of Middle Tennessee State University, to deliver the minutes of the 45th Annual Conference. Item I bequeath an account of all my worldly wealth by the Sacrae Largitatis Comes, Martin Arbagi, quondam of Wright State University, also executor of my estate, vast as it is. Many small bequests to my graduate students both legitimate and otherwise are to be distributed for their attending me in my need. Discussed a possible tax break for the cost of the president’s hosting of the MMHC. Advised that the 2003 amendment to the constitution be put up on the website. Item I bequeath elections of Annette Parks of the University of Evansville as Vice President/President Elect; Steve Stofferahn as Councilor; and Michael Bailey of Iowa State University as program chair for 2008. Adam Davis of Denison University will host the next one-year anniversary of my memorial. Others to continue in office. Item I bequeath other business to be settled, including a promise from Notre Dame to host for 2009; Kazoo panels and reception for 2009; and the newly revamped membership and distribution list provided excellently and creditably by Steve Stofferahn. Lastly I bequeath the promise of a Jazz Band for the presidents reception (on a sad note I do have to mention that obviously some people’s interpretation of both the term “Jazz” and “Band” do differ from other people’s interpretation.)
Next and item I bequeath a session called “Religious Culture,” chaired by Thomas Burman of the Unversity of Tennessee. There Andrew Kurt of Grand Valley State University presented “Capitulation or Capital Punishment: The Dividing Lines in al Andalus in the Ninth and Tenth Centuries” (it was neither); Robert Shaffern of the University of Scranton presented “Scripture, Liturgy, and the Treasury of Merit” (something I, MMHC, may have to draw upon very shortly and deeply); and Michael Bailey of Iowa State University presented “The Devil in the Late Middle Ages” (where we found out that yes, Old Nick, Beelzelbub, Satan was there, a man of wealth and taste. . . .just call him Lucifer it’s the nature of his game).
Item, I bequeath a session called Power and Memory—two things I am sorely lacking at the moment—chaired by Linda Mitchell of Alfred University. There Amy Livingstone of Wittenberg University presented “’Where’s Daddy’? Family Commemoration of Aristocratic Men in the Lands of the Loire, 1050-1200” ( where we found that he was down at the local wineshop guzzling Anjou Blanc, with that cheap blonde. . . .); Cecelia Gaposchkin of Dartmouth College presented “Talking about Kingship when Preaching about Saint Louis” (where we found separation of Church and State is the best policy and that religion and politics really do not mix); and Damian Smith of Saint Louis University presented “The Papacy When Viewed from Spain” (and when the Pope reared his head over Spain, then we knew that the Spanish did have international experience, since they could see the papacy from Spain).
Item, I bequeath to all who stay throughout the ceremony cocktails at Cupples House, which was a singular experience and then for my Heriot a Banquet in a faux Hogwarts tradition including scary Exorcist story (speaking of the devil). And then lastly I bequeath for the love of Clio a president’s reception.
Louis Haas, Secretary