Our vision is to engage a cohort of graduate students working on the medieval and early modern periods. To that end we sponsor an ongoing workshop, with presentations of work-in-progress by graduate students as well as faculty at Stanford and other institutions. The CMEMS group was founded with the purpose of promoting an intellectual community at Stanford by bridging disciplinary boundaries; this remains its core function.

The Latin Reading Group is a student-organized initiative devoted to the study of Medieval and Humanist Latin works. The group meets six times for  one hour and focuses on one text per quarter. In Spring 2012, the group will be translating and discussing a quite interesting text by Erasmus. His letter n°296, written to Servatius Rogerus, the prior of the abbey where Erasmus got his start, is an “apologia pro vita sua,” notably why Erasmus felt that he could make a greater impact in the world free of the strictures of monastic life.

For undergraduates, the program in Medieval Studies will offer an interdisciplinary core course and options for students to minor in Medieval Studies from 2014. For graduate students, the program sponsors a team-taught seminar in medieval methodologies, together with a wide range of courses in medieval subjects from Palaeography to Medieval German Narrative, Medieval Mysticism, Art History, Music, and Eastern and Western languages and literary cultures.

The Renaissances Focal Group brings together faculty members and Ph.D. students from several departments to consider the present and future of early modern studies—a period spanning the fourteenth through the seventeenth centuries—in literature. Taking seriously the plural form of the group’s name, we seek to explore the early modern period from a range of cultural, linguistic, and geographical perspectives.

Stanford is an internationally recognized center for the cross-disciplinary study of the Republic of Letters, the community of learned men and women that spanned Europe, the Americas, and parts of Asia from roughly 1400 to 1800 and who set knowledge in motion through the continuous exchange of ideas, information, and opinions in letters.

Gathering scholars from different disciplines and area studies, this workshop looks at various representations and theories of the global medieval past, and seeks to define their current relevance. In its discussions of such topics as crusade literature, phenomenology and the digitalization of archives, or revisiting the Annales School's interdisciplinarism, the group advances new research methods that, rather than preserve old paradigms of disciplines, envision novel ways of doing medieval studies from a practical and theoretical perspective.