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Medieval Studies

Governance Document

  1. Medieval Studies Mission Statement

    1. 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, Spanish and Portuguese, and Religious Studies.

    2. 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.

    3. 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, through the shared effort of graduate student training, and through an undergraduate program offering a minor in Medieval Studies.

    4. Medieval Studies does not currently offer a portfolio program or an undergraduate major. We hope to address both opportunities in the future.

  2. Membership in Medieval Studies

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

    2. Voting privileges are restricted to active faculty including lecturers.

    3. 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.

  3. Medieval Studies in the Center for European Studies

    1. From Spring 2011 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 our deep commitment to a global view of the Middle Ages.

  4. Governance structure and elections

    1. 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 three years; the Advisors for two and Graduate-Student Representative for one. The terms of the advisors will be staggered.  Advisors are eligible to run for Director.  The starting date for these offices shall be September 1.

    2. All offices shall be filled by election, for Director and Advisors with voting privileges restricted as above (section 2.2), and for Graduate-Student Representative among all currently-enrolled graduate students focusing on a medieval topic at UT. By April 15 each year, 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 April.

    3. In May, the name of the newly elected director shall be presented to the relevant dean for approval.

    4. 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.

    5. In the event that an advisor takes a leave of absence or is elected to the position of director, the outgoing director shall appoint a replacement from other centers or departments than his or her own to fill out the original term of the advisor being replaced.

  5. The MDV crosslisting rubric.

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

    2. The Director's home department will provide support staff to manage the MDV crosslisting and undergraduate minor.

    3. As part of the review of CES fellowship, 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

    1. Our small endowment is devoted entirely to graduate students. Funds shall be distributed to support graduate student research or to allow students to enroll in classes essential for training toward the degree (language study or palaeography, for example). Each recipient will submit a report of their use of the fellowship to the Director. Information on the fellowship will be available continuously on the Medieval Studies website.

    2. 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 annual dispersal of the funds.

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

    1. The director and two advisors may propose changes to this document, as may all members of Medieval Studies.

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

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