Music, art, drama and military technology.
On Friday, April 5 and Saturday, April 6, medieval magic will run amok at this year’s Seventh Annual Meeting in the Middle Undergraduate Conference in Medieval Studies.
The conference will begin Friday from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m. and end Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Featured speakers for the event include Dr. Lorraine Stock, associate professor of English and noted at the University of Houston, and Dr. Luc Bourgeois, from the Centre d'Études Supérieures de Civilisation Médiévale (Université de Poitiers).
Bourgeois is a specialist in medieval architecture and archaeology. Stock is a noted feminist medievalist and expert on Wildmen, Robin Hood and King Arthur, according to the Medieval Studies Conference page on the Longwood website.
The conference will also include a historical fencing demonstration with Tom Leoni, a PhD student from Catholic University and director of the Order of the Seven Hearts Fencing School, alongside his students.
The conference will include seven student sessions over the course of the two days, while including a production of the play, “The Slaughter of the Innocents,” by students from Murray State.
Dr. Larissa Tracy, associate professor of English, said, “We are delighted to be working with the Longwood Theatre department, which has offered not only its space, but its students to provide technical support.”
She stated that more than 25 students submitted abstracts for the conference. Students who submitted their papers for the Undergraduate Conference in Medieval Studies had to write according to this year’s theme, being “Where the Wild Things Are?”
“The conference gives students a chance to experience the professional atmosphere of an academic conference, and to share their talents and ideas with students and faculty from some of the top universities in the country,” Tracy said in an email interview.
Tracy noted that alongside students from Longwood University, the conference will welcome students from Fordham University, Notre Dame University, University of Virginia, Wofford
College, Flager College, Radford University, Murray State University and Molloy College.”
This will be the first year that the conference will award the Abels- Johnson Award for Academic Excellence (AJAX). AJAX is a monetary award that is given to the best paper or presentation, judged byeachyear’splenaryspeakers.
This year, AJAX will be awarded in honor of the conference’s first plenary speakers from 2007: Dr. Richard Abels, professor of History at the United States Naval Academy, and Dr. David Johnson, professor of English at Florida State University.
“They were the first to support our conference, and gave our very first endeavor their best performance to start us off on the right footing,” said Tracy.
In last year’s Meeting in the Middle Undergraduate Conference in Medieval Studies, there was a military siege weapon demonstration where Longwood students built and fired a ballista. Additionally, students from the Shenandoah Conservatory at Shenandoah University and Murray State performed Middle English plays.
Tracy said, “A lot goes into a conference like this, and we've been very lucky to work closely with Conferences and Scheduling and Aramark to make sure everything runs smoothly.”
“I'm excited about the conference this year, and I'm proud of the students who continue to make it a success year after year,” Tracy said, further adding, “Our students do anexcellentjob,andarewonderful ambassadors for the humanities here at Longwood.”
There are already plans in the making for next year’s Meeting in the Middle Undergraduate Conference in Medieval Studies.
The Annual Meeting in the Middle Undergraduate Conference in Medieval Studies is a joint venture by English and Modern Languages Department as well as the History, Political Science and Philosophy Department. Support was given by the Cook-Cole College of Arts and Sciences and Dr. Kenneth Perkins, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs
Tracy also noted that Design Lab has contributed to the design of the conference’s posters and the graphics for the program for the past three years.
To learn more, go online to www. longwood.edu/medieval.