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Release: Immediate

UI hosts conference for Medieval scholars

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa will host a group of about 80 scholars who study Medieval literature and history on Sept. 19-20 for the 13th annual conference of the Medieval Association of the Midwest.

The conference draws participants from all over the region, including several recent UI Ph.D. graduates, who are now teaching on campuses in Illinois, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, and Puerto Rico.

Kathleen Ashley, of the University of Southern Maine, will give the keynote address Friday, Sept. 19. A leading cultural critic of medieval literature, Ashley will discuss a medieval French conduct book for women. Her lecture, "The Miroir des bonnes femmes -- Not for Women Only?" is free and open to the public.

All UI faculty and graduate students are welcome to attend sessions of the conference, which include such topics as "Monsters, Saints, and Leaders in Old English," "French Queens and French Literature," and "Anglo-Saxon Humor."

A few high-profile Medieval scholars will be on hand for the weekend, including Rice University's Jane Chance, a major feminist critic of medieval literature, and St. Louis University's Tom Shippey, a leading Anglo-Saxon critic.

UI English professor Jonathan Wilcox, who organized this year's conference, says the conference will bring together a stimulating mix of Anglo-Saxonists and experts in Medieval cultural studies. "Part of the charm of the conference is that it pulls a few big names as well as professors and graduate students from colleges and universities all over this region," Wilcox says.