About

The Medieval Studies Program at Georgetown University offers an interdisciplinary undergraduate minor, major and certificate focused on the period from roughly the official Christianization of the Roman Empire (4thcentury C. E.) and major advances of Buddhism in China during the Six Dynasties period (3rd-6th centuries C.E.) to the year 1500. The Program's faculty and courses are drawn from sixteen different disciplines within the University, with predominant emphasis on the interrelations among art, history, philosophy, theology, and literature. Though the focus of the course offerings is predominantly on the Western Middle Ages, there is increasing representation in comparable periods in non-Western cultures.

Georgetown's location offers students a rich field of opportunity for exploration of medieval art, music, and literature beyond the University: at the National Gallery of Art, the Freer and Sackler Galleries of Asian art, Dumbarton Oaks, the Library of Congress exhibits, the Folger Shakespeare Library, Baltimore's Walters Art Gallery and, within reach, the major museums and collections of New York, especially the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Cloisters, and the Pierpont Morgan Library.

The students in the program sometimes attend academic conferences on the Middle Ages as far away as New York and Boston; they serve as indispensable assistants at the medieval conferences that the program has sponsored at Georgetown; and the Medieval Club organizes an annual visit to the Maryland Renaissance Fair and other activities. In the past, the Medieval Club organized an annual Medieval Banquet for over 100 participants, with dishes prepared from authentic medieval recipes, and with medieval entertainments.

The Medieval Studies Program is the sponsor of the first and still one of the best humanities Internet gateways, the Labyrinth, which organizes links to material of use and interest to students and researchers of the Middle Ages. 

From 2004 to 2008, the Medieval Studies Program hosted the Annual Conference of the Charles Homer Haskins Society for Viking, Anglo-Saxon, Anglo-Norman and Angevin History. In spring 2012, under Medieval Studies’ sponsorship, the renowned Benjamin Bagby visited Georgetown, met with students, and performed his creative recitation of Beowulf accompanied by a medieval lyre. In spring 2013 the celebrated Indian painter and critic Gulammohammed Sheikh came to Georgetown under Medieval Studies’ auspices and presented his globalized adaptations of the medieval mappa mundi motif. For the fall of 2013, one of our faculty has organized a Boccaccio Symposium. In 2014-2015, two of our faculty will host a series of Critical Silk Road Studies seminars.