Medieval Studies

Governance Document

1.) Medieval Studies Mission Statement

a.) Medieval Studies is made up of UT Austin scholars who specialize in the culture and society of Europe, the Mediterranean, and the neighboring world from about 400CE to about 1500CE. Interdisciplinarity is our greatest strength and the greatest gift we offer the university. We represent departments and centers: Art History, Architecture, Classics, English, French and Italian, Germanic Studies, History, Middle Eastern Studies, Music History, Slavic and Eurasian Studies, and Spanish and Portuguese.

b.) Concerned by recent university-wide privileging of contemporary studies based on criteria of relevance narrowly defined, we represent the late antique and medieval world in all its diversity, aiming to renew at UT Austin an appreciation of the more distant past.

c.) We cultivate our diverse community and maintain a public presence through regular conversation, through projects such as speakers and lecture series, through graduate courses offered under the MDV rubric, and through the shared effort of graduate student training.

d.) Medieval Studies does not currently offer a portfolio program or an undergraduate program. We hope to address both opportunities over the next two years.

2.) Membership in Medieval Studies

a.) We welcome graduate students, lecturers, and professors at all ranks, including emeriti.

b.) Voting privileges are restricted to faculty including lecturers who have in the past decade crosslisted graduate courses under the MDV rubric, or who will in the next two years so crosslist.

c.) Active faculty who regularly teach medieval topics, but to whom graduate teaching is denied (because they are lecturers or because their departments or centers cannot support graduate courses in their field), may petition for voting privileges.

d.) Members are enrolled on the listserv, which entails invitation to talks and other get-togethers. Graduate student members are eligible to apply for research funding (see # below).

3.) Medieval Studies in the Center for European Studies

a.) From Spring 2011 through Spring 2013 we are housed as an Interest Group in the Center for European Studies (CES), run by Professor Douglas Biow (French and Italian). This non-departmental home allows us to showcase our interdisciplinarity. Our majority focus is on Western Europe and the Mediterranean, but we affirm strongly our deep committment to a global view of the Middle Ages.

b.) In Spring 2013 a meeting open to all Medieval Studies affiliates will review our affiliation with CES. Voting members will decide whether to continue or change it.

4.) Governance structure and elections

a.) Medieval Studies shall be run by a Director, two Advisors, representing at least two different departments or centers, and a currently enrolled graduate student. The Director shall serve for two years; the Advisors and Graduate-Student Representative for one. The starting date for these offices shall be January 1, 2011.
b.) All offices shall be filled by election, for Director and Advisors with voting privileges restricted as above (#2), and for Graduate-Student Representative among all currently-enrolled graduate students focusing on a medieval topic at UT. By the last week of November 2010, nominations shall be solicited by email and a ballot prepared. The ballot shall be distributed by email. Voters shall print and mark their ballots, then return them to Medieval Studies at CES (Mez 3.126 Mailcode A1800) by the last day of November.

c.) In December 2010, the name of the newly elected director shall be presented to the dean of Liberal Arts for approval.

d.) In the event that the director takes a leave of absence, a new director shall be chosen by election to fill out the original term.

e.) In the event that assistants take leaves of absence, the director shall appoint replacements from other centers or departments than his or her own.

f.) During the two year span from Spring 2011 through Spring 2013 only, the director shall not come from the English Department.

5.) The MDV crosslisting rubric.

a.) All faculty who teach graduate courses with a majority of medieval content may crosslist under the MDV rubric.

b.) From Spring 2011 through Spring 2013, Art History will provide funds to support office staff competent to manage the MDV crosslisting. This office staff shall also be responsible for confirming voting eligibility and for tabulating votes in governance elections.

c.) As part of the review of CES fellowship in Spring 2013, the director will present a written report detailing disbursement of funds for the two-year CES period.

6.) Medieval Studies endowment: fellowship funding for graduate students
a.) Our small endowment is devoted entirely to graduate students. Funds shall be distributed to support graduate student research, to allow students to enroll in classes essential for training (language study, for example) and to travel to conferences. Each recipient will submit a report of their use of the fellowship to the Director.

b.) The Director (ex officio), two Advisors, and a member elected from the MDV faculty shall constitute the Fellowship Committee with the power to award fellowships. Nominations for this Committee member will be solicited among the voting members (#2 above), an election will be held, and the Committee member will serve for one year in this capacity. The Committee shall draw up and distribute by email a plan for twice-annual dispersal of the funds. The plan shall include directions for applicants and a spring/fall schedule for applications and disbursements.

c.) As part of the review of CES fellowship in Spring 2013, the director will present a written report detailing disbursement of funds for the two-year CES period.

7.) Corrections, additions, and updates to the governance document

a.) The director and two assistants may propose changes to this document, as may all members of Medieval Studies.

b.) At the discretion of the director and assistants, these changes shall be discussed online or at a meeting of Medieval Studies.

c.) If in the opinion of the director and two assistants, voting is required, then ballots shall be circulated via email and submitted via campus mail.