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Midwest Medieval History Conference

Twenty-Third Annual


Northern Illinois University


President: John Bell Henneman, Jr., Princeton University
Vice-president: E. Randolph Daniel, University of Kentucky
Secretary-Treasurer: Richard Kay, University of Kansas
Councilors: Gregory G. Guzman, Bradley University; Kathryn L. Reyerson, University of Minnesota
Program Chairman: John F. McGovern, University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee
Local Arrangments: David L. Wagner and Thomas Blomquist, Northern Illinois University


  Friday, October 19, 1984

8:30 p.m.  Informal Reception (cash bar)                          Sky Room

  Saturday, October 20, 1984

8:30 a.m.  Registration                                                      Heritage Room

9:30 a.m.  General Session: The Early Middle Ages        Heritage Room
       Presiding:  Ronald D. Ware, University of Massachusetts
       Welcome:  James D. Norris, Acting Provost

David Pelteret, University of Toronto
   "Slavery in the Domesday Book"
Armand O. Citarella, St. Michael's College, Vermont
   "The Origins of Western Overseas Trade: The Cities of
   Campania in the Ninth Century"
William E. Kapelle, Brandeis University
   "Feudalism and the Conquest of England"

12:00 noon.  Luncheon and Business Meeting                   Pheasant Room
         Presiding: John Bell Henneman, Jr., Princeton University

1:30 p.m.  General Session: The Later Middle Ages        Heritage Room
         Presiding: Lon R. Shelby, Southern Illinois University

Megan McLaughlin, University of Illinois
   "Nothing but the Best: Services for the Dead and Social Status
   in Twelfth-Century France"
Lynn T. Courtenay, Madison, Wisconsin
   "Gothic Roof Construction: The Technology of Stability,
John Muendel, University Wisconsin-Waukesha
   "Medieval Urban Renewal: The Communal Mills of the City
   of Florence, 1351-1382"

4:00 p.m.  Panel and Audience Discussion: "What's Wrong with Medieval
               German History in the United States?"
        Presiding: Boyd H. Hill, Jr., University of Colorado

        Panelists:  John B. Freed, Illinois State University
                         Steven W. Rowan, University of Missouri-St. Louis
                         William L. Urban, Monmouth College, Illinois

5:45 p.m.  Reception                                                       University Suite
        Host: John E. La Tourette, Acting President

7:00 p.m.  Dinner                                                            Sky Room
        Presiding:  John Bell Henneman, Jr., Princeton University
        Address:  Karl F. Morrison, University of Kansas

Meeting Minutes


Magisterwise we talk for fifty minutes
     but are willing to listen only to twenty
     minutes from colleagues or even from linnets.
I know you have had to listen to plenty
     from me--nineteen in fact--so here is the last
     before I claim my dolce far niente.
Dare I invoke the muse of minutes past?
     No! for my farewell I have another ploy
     and will my envoy in terza rima cast.
We met in DeKalb at Northern Illinois
     University, which both Tom Blomquist
     and David Wagner had urged us to enjoy.
Everyone was pressed by Wagner to persist
     in drinking til the cash bar sales surpassed
     the minimum guaranteed by this optimist.
So the first evening's social hour quickly passed
     in the Skyroom high above the urban glare
     of Greater Dekalb, with medievalists massed.
The provost said he was happy we were there,
     so happy he paid for it; and the Early
     Middle Ages began with Ronald Dean Ware
Maintaining order during a hurly-burly
     discussion that was longer than the paper
     on Norman slaves, so David Pelletret surely
Emancipated us from any dark vapor
     left from last night.  Then William Kappele destroyed
     Round's proof that feudalism was a caper
Done in England by the Normans, who employed
     it for a century without leaving a trace.
     Next we heard how tiny Amalfi deployed
Itself with profit as a Byzantine base,
     and after Armand Citarella we went
     to lunch and business (alas without grace).
Eulogies for our hosts and those who ferment
     the program, with Jack McGovern at their head,
     were made by John Henneman, or president.
Verger of CARA, David Wagner, next said
     nothing surprising, except that we might dial
     a Byzantinist this year, and need not dread
A new competitor, founded without guile,
     the Illinois Medieval Association.
     The next year's officers were revealed in style:
Led by President Daniel's due elevation,
     his vice, Tom Blomquist, and councillors two
     (Louise Robbert and Ron Steckling in this station)
Completed the quota, assuming you knew
     who would be secretary.  Next year the meeting
     takes place in Urbana but no rendezvous
Or invitation for eighty-six, completing
     our plans, was forthcoming.  Before we went back
     to work, the minutes were read, not worth repeating.
Next Megan McLaughlin did a kind of black
     history, about funerals as symbols of status;
     Lynn Courtenay with slides showed the carpenters' knack
For building Gothic roofs and such apparatus;
     John Muendel showed slides too, of communal mills
     that crowded the Arno before the hiatus
Effected by urban renewal.  The ills
     of medieval German history were next
     mooted, and Urban and Rowan and Freed and Hill's
Responses only left the question more vexed.
     Some oblations later, after the dinner,
     Karl Morrison's address found us perplexed:
Esau and Isaac and every saint and sinner
     are bonded in sympathy malevolent,
     which somehow makes Newman and Joyce akinner.
Now mightily disposed to be ambivalent
     we flocked to the Lutheran Student Center,
     where by midnight we were again benevolent.
Comes now the time when I, your tormenter,
     must stop and step down, for surely nothing worse
     can happen now, so buy me book--don't rent 'er:
Ever avoid a scribe who writes in verse. 


This was Skip Kay's last year as secretary-treasurer, an office he had held for two decades.

From the Program: The Midwest Medieval Conference, comprised primarily of historians, meets annually in October at different campuses throughout the region.  Membership of the Conference is drawn primarily from Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, and Wisconsin, although medievalists from regions outside the Midwest often attend.

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