The Program in Medieval Studies combines the best aspects of an interdisciplinary program with the focused training required for academic careers in a variety of traditional disciplines. The program’s faculty members are drawn from nearly every humanities department at Cornell, offering expertise in disciplines and area studies spanning more than a millennium of languages and cultures—from Old and Middle English literature to Byzantine monuments, from Icelandic sagas to Andalusian architecture, from medieval Latin literature and philosophy to Islamic legal history.
Work in primary archival materials—including Latin and vernacular paleography, textual criticism, and codicology—is well supported by abundant library resources, as well as by faculty dedicated to these fields. Work in gender studies, medieval and modern literary theory, and the post-medieval reception and construction of the “Middle Ages” is also well supported by program faculty and by the full array of other departments and programs at Cornell. Resources for studying Latin and most medieval vernacular languages (including Germanic, Romance, Celtic, Slavonic, Semitic and East Asian languages) are a mainstay of the program. All of these offerings are encompassed within a flexible curriculum tailored to the needs of individual students.
Our diversity of faculty attracts exceptional graduate students from all areas of medieval studies and guides them to dissertations on a broad range of literatures, disciplines, contexts, and approaches. They also enjoy the benefits of carefully mentored training in pedagogical techniques and classroom skills. Students from many other doctoral programs at Cornell are closely involved in the Program in Medieval Studies, and they contribute to a lively and varied community of medievalists that spans Cornell’s College of Arts & Sciences.