Major new Mediaeval Institute opens

Tuesday 12 February 2008

One of the largest centres for the study of Mediaeval Studies in the world will open at the University of St Andrews today (Wednesday 13 February).

The Institute of Mediaeval Studies, which brings together over thirty staff from across the University, is a multidisciplinary centre which combines a wide range of approaches to the study of the Mediaeval period.  Staff and students from the fields of English, History, History of Art, Modern Languages, Philosophy, Divinity and Classics, have come together to engage in research and teaching spanning the Mediaeval world, from the Middle East and the Mediterranean, to the British Isles and Scandinavia, and from late antiquity to the fifteenth century.

The Institute incorporates the well-established Department of Mediaeval History, the largest of its kind in the world, and home to a series of extensive and long-term research projects on material ranging from Baghdad to Scotland and from St Bonaventure to the Italian cities of the late middle ages.  One of the longest-running projects involves the digitization of the records of the Parliaments of Scotland.  Running for almost ten years, the project will culminate this year with the most comprehensive record of Scottish Parliament proceedings ever made available.

In addition to capitalising on St Andrews’ strong roots in Mediaeval History (encompassing political, religious, social, cultural and legal history), the new Institute will benefit from related areas of expertise across the University, including Art History, Theology, and Languages and literatures (Arabic, French, Old and Middle English, German, Greek, Italian, Latin, Old Norse and Welsh).

Insitute Director Dr Frances Andrews said, “We currently have one of the largest centres for the study of Mediaeval History in the Anglophone world, but there has been an increasing trend in recent years to develop interdisciplinary studies in this area.  Our new institute builds on the work undertaken over the years but presents new opportunities for cross-disciplinary research. The teaching will include an extraordinary chronological range and by combining Byzantine and Middle East Studies with study of the medieval west, make us unique in the UK.

“The development will not only bring world class researchers to St Andrews but will encourage creative collaboration between colleagues in different schools across the University,” she said.

Today’s official opening will be marked by a public lecture by Professor Gerd Althoff, a world renowned expert on the middle ages and head of a major German centre for the study of the Middle Ages at the University of Münster.

Professor Gerd Althoff (University of Münster) will deliver the lecture `Forms and Functions of Irony in Medieval Politics¿ at 5.15pm on Wednesday 13 February in School III, St Salvator’s Quadrangle, St Andrews.



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Issued by the Press Office, University of St Andrews
Contact Gayle Cook, Press Officer on 01334 467227 / 462529, mobile 07900 050 103, or email [email protected]
Ref:  med inst 120208
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