Who We Are

The Standing Committee on Medieval Studies promotes and coordinates work on medieval subjects throughout the University, including at Dumbarton Oaks in Washington, D.C. and Villa i Tatti in Florence, Italy. Its members are drawn from Harvard's extensive medievalist faculty, ranging across a large number of departments and schools. As a program committee within the Faculty of Arts and Science, it offers a number of undergraduate and graduate courses each year, coordinates a Secondary Field in Medieval Studies for Ph.D. students and a Secondary Field in Medieval Studies for undergraduates, and collaborates with the Program in History and Literature to offer a concentration field in "The Medieval World". Although Harvard has no Ph.D. program specifically in Medieval Studies, the Committee does offer a special Ph.D. Program in Byzantine Studies; it also can administer interdisciplinary ("ad hoc") Ph.Ds in liaison with a departmental program.

Working in collaboration with many departments and centers at Harvard--including the Houghton Library, the Aga Khan Program in Islamic Architecture, the Harvard Art Museums, the Center for the Study of World Religions, the Center for Jewish Studies, the Center for Middle Eastern Studies—a number of Graduate School of Arts and Sciences workshops, as well as the Mary Jaharis Center for Byzantine Art and Culture at Hellenic College Holy Cross, the Committee on Medieval Studies sponsors frequent events and activities of interest to medievalists. Among these are the meetings of the Mahindra Humanities Center's Medieval Studies Seminar, an occasional series of special seminars and conferences in Medieval Studies, twice-yearly receptions for medievalists throughout the Boston area, and an interdisciplinary graduate student workshop in Medieval Studies. The committee also maintains the Medieval Studies Library on the third floor of Widener Library.

The Standing Committee's curricular, research, and programming work is managed by three subcommittees: Strategy and Planning, Events and Reseach, and Curriculum and Student Affairs. In 2022-2023, the members of these committees are:

Strategy and Planning: Nicholas Watson (English; chair); Dimiter Angelov (History), Suzannah Clark (Music), Sean Gilsdorf (Medieval Studies, ex officio), Luis Girón Negrón (Romance Languages and Comparative Literature), Elizabeth Papp Kamali (Harvard Law School), Catherine McKenna (Celtic Languages and Literatures), and David Stern (Near Eastern Languages and Literatures and Comparative Literature)

Events and Research: Daniel Lord Smail (History; chair);  Ambrogio Camozzi Pistoja (Romance Languages and Literatures; on leave Fall 2022), Suzanne Preston Blier (History of Art and Architecture and African & African American Studies), Sean Gilsdorf (Medieval Studies, ex officio), Christina Maranci (Near Eastern Languages and Literatures and History of Art and Architecture), Alexander Riehle (Classics), Nicholas Watson (English, ex officio), and Lydia Shahan (graduate student in the Committee on the Study of Religion and Program Assistant, ex officio).

Curriculum and Student Affairs: Sean Gilsdorf (Medieval Studies; chair); Daniel Donoghue (English), Eurydice Georganteli (History of Art and Architecture), Ioli Kalavrezou (History of Art and Architecture, ex officio; on leave Fall 2022), Stephen Mitchell (Germanic Languages and Literatures and Folklore), Shady Nasser (Near Eastern Languages and Literatures), Anna Wilson (English), and Jonas Hermann (graduate student in Germanic Languages and Literatures and coordinator of the GSAS Medieval Studies Interdisciplinary Workshop, ex officio).