We are thrilled to welcome to the 2022 Colloquium three exciting plenary speakers. The conference will offer attendees two plenary lectures, as well as a plenary reading and discussion. 



Dr. Hussein Fancy, Yale University (as of Jan. 2022)

Dr. Fancy is an historian of medieval Europe and the Islamic world.  His research and writing focus on the social, cultural, and intellectual history of religious interaction in the medieval Mediterranean.  In particular, he is interested in projects that combine the use of Latin, Arabic, and Romance archival sources.  And in 2009, he was named a Carnegie Scholar as part of the Carnegie Corporation's effort to promote original scholarship on Muslim societies.  

Dr. Fancy's first book, The Mercenary Mediterranean,  examined the service of Muslim soldiers from North Africa to the Christian kings of the Crown of Aragon in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries.  It received the Herbert Baxter Adams Prize from the American Historical Association for the best first book in European history, the L. Carl Brown Prize from the American Institute of Maghreb Studies for the best book in North African studies, and the Jans F. Verbruggen Prize from De Re Militari for the best book in medieval military history. 

His current work includes two new projects. The first, entitled The Impostor Sea: The Making of the Medieval Mediterranean, follows the activities of criminal merchants—pirates and smugglers—in order to rethink the relationship between religion and trade.  The second, entitled The Eastern Question, examines western views of Islam from the seventh century to the present, arguing that both positive and negative images of Islam across history share the same polemical genealogy.

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Dr. Elina Gertsman, Case Western Reserve University

Professor Gertsman specializes in medieval art. Her research interests include issues of memory, perception, and multi-sensory reception; medium, play, and animation; medieval image theory; semiotics of media and polyfunctionality of objects; performance/performativity; late medieval macabre; materiality and somaticism; and medieval concepts of emotion and affectivity. 

In addition to numerous articles, she has authored The Dance of Death in the Middle Ages: Image, Text, Performance (2010), which won the John Nicholas Brown Prize from the Medieval Academy of America for the best first book in medieval studies, as well as Worlds Within: Opening the Medieval Shrine Madonna (2015), the winner of the inaugural Karen Gould Prize in Art History from the Medieval Academy, awarded to a book in medieval art history, judged by the selection committee to be of outstanding quality. In 2018, she co-authored The Middle Ages in 50 Objects with Barbara H. Rosenwein. Prof. Gertsman’s most recent book is The Absent Image: Lacunae in Medieval Books (2021). She is the editor of several books, including Visualizing Medieval Performance: Perspectives, Histories, Contexts (2008), Crying in the Middle Ages: Tears of History (2011), and Abstraction and Medieval Art: Beyond the Ornament (2021); and co-editor of Thresholds of Medieval Visual Culture Liminal Spaces (2012), Myth and Mystique: Cleveland's Gothic Table Fountain (2016), and Tributes in Honor of Richard K. Emmerson: Crossing Medieval Disciplines (2021). 

Her work has been supported by the Guggenheim, Kress, Mellon, and Franco-American Cultural Exchange Foundations as well as by the American Council for Learned Societies. In addition to working on the Festschrift in honor of Stephen N. Fliegel (for De Gruyter), she is co-writing two books, one on abstraction in medieval art and another on hybrid imagery in Hebrew manuscripts.

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Jos Charles, UC Irvine

Jos Charles is author of feeld, a Pulitzer-finalist and winner of the 2017 National Poetry Series selected by Fady Joudah (Milkweed Editions), and Safe Space (Ahsahta Press). 

Charles has poetry published with POETRY, Poem-a-Day, PEN, Washington Square Review, Denver Quarterly, Action Yes, The Feminist Wire, and elsewhere. In 2016 she received the Ruth Lilly & Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellowship through the Poetry Foundation. In 2015 she received the Monique Wittig Writer's Scholarship.

She has an MFA from the University of Arizona,  and is currently pursuing a Ph.D at UC Irvine

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