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MAA Dissertation Grant Honorees

Medieval Academy Dissertation Grant Honorees

Hope Emily Allen (1883-1960) was born in Oneida, N.Y., where her parents had been members of the millenarian Oneida Community. She obtained her bachelor's and master's degrees at Bryn Mawr College and there, under the teaching of Carleton Brown, developed her life-long interest in religious and mystical literature. Although Allen went on to study at Radcliffe College and at Newnham College, Cambridge, she never obtained a doctorate, nor did she ever hold a professorial post. Nonetheless, as an independent scholar she was recognized in both Britain and in North America as a leading expert in her field, particularly on the Ancrene Riwle, the subject of many of her articles, and on Richard Rolle; her Writings Ascribed to Richard Rolle, Hermit of Hampole, and Materials for His Biography (1927) and English Writings of Richard Rolle, Hermit of Hampole (1931) remain starting points of Rolle research. In 1934 Allen's opinion was sought about a manuscript that had been owned for generations by a Norfolk family. She quickly identified the contents as the complete text of a work previously known only through a 1501 excerpt, The Book of Margery Kempe; in 1940 Allen and Sanford Meech published a scholarly edition of the work, which is regarded as the first autobiography in English.

John Boswell (1947–94) was born in Boston and earned his undergraduate degree from the College of William and Mary and his doctorate form Harvard University. A medieval historian, he who taught at Yale University from 1975 until his death at age 47. He was a pioneer in two fields that have developed significantly over the past two decades: the study of Christian-Muslim-Jewish relations, especially in the Iberian peninsula, and GLBT studies. His scholarly legacy is found not only in his four monographs, but in the many students, both undergraduate and graduate, who followed him into the profession. His books include The Royal Treasure (1977), Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality (1980), Rediscovering Gay History: Archetypes of Gay Love in Christian History (1982), The Kindness of Strangers: Child Abandonment in Western Europe from Late Antiquity to the Renaissance (1988), and The Marriage of Likeness: Same-Sex Unions in Pre-Modern Europe (1994).

Helen Maud Cam (1885-1968), one of nine children, was educated at home by her parents before attending Royal Holloway College in London. After receiving first-class honors in history in 1907, she studied for a year at Bryn Mawr College. Cam's first teaching position was at Royal Holloway; in 1921 she moved to Girton College, Cambridge, and in 1930 was made a University Lecturer. Cam's research interests were in English history, especially legal and constitutional history; she was a prolific writer of articles and books, including Studies in the Hundred Rolls: Some Aspects of Thirteenth-Century Administration (1921); The Hundred and the Hundred Rolls: An Outline of Local Government in Medieval England (1930); and England before Elizabeth (1950). Cam's interests were not purely academic: she was active in the Cambridge Labour Party and in youth organizations, and she encouraged her students to take an interest in local government. In 1948 Cam moved across the Atlantic, becoming the first woman professor in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University.

Grace Frank (1886-1978), a founding member of the Medieval Academy, grew up in Chicago and received her bachelor's degree from the University of Chicago in 1907. After graduate study and research at Bryn Mawr, Göttingen, Berlin, and the Vatican Library-and a stint as a Red Cross nurse in an Army hospital in Italy during World War I-Frank began her teaching career at Bryn Mawr. As part of a "two-career couple" (her husband was a professor of classics at Johns Hopkins), Frank lived in Baltimore and commuted weekly to Bryn Mawr, a routine that she maintained for a quarter of a century, before retiring in 1952. In spite of the heavy demands imposed by this schedule, Frank was an active teacher, supervising numerous doctoral dissertations at Bryn Mawr. She was also an active participant in the intellectual and cultural life of both Bryn Mawr and Baltimore and served the Academy as Third Vice-President from 1948 to 1951. Frank's first book (1922) was an edition of the recently discovered Passion du Palatinus; this was followed by editions of Le miracle de Théophile by Rutebeuf (1925), Le livre de la Passion (1930), and La Passion d'Autun (1934) and over forty articles on Villon, Marie de France, Jean Bodel, and others. Her best-known book, reprinted several times, is The Medieval French Drama (1954), a comprehensive survey of the topic.

Etienne Gilson (1884-1978) was born in Paris, the third son of a shopkeeper. After attending Catholic schools, he studied at the Sorbonne under Emile Durkheim, Lucien Lévy-Bruhl, and others; he also attended Henri Bergson's lectures at the Collège de France. Gilson's teaching career was interrupted by World War I, during which he became a prisoner of war; he put his time in various German camps to good use by perfecting his English and German and learning Russian. After the war Gilson took a teaching position at the University of Strasbourg, where his colleagues included Marc Bloch and Lucien Febvre; from 1921 to 1932 he held appointments at the Sorbonne and the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes. While at Strasbourg Gilson had become convinced of the necessity of an interdisciplinary approach to medieval philosophy and to medieval culture in general; in 1929 he was able to put his beliefs into practice as one of the founders of the Institute of Mediaeval Studies at Toronto, and he continued his active association with Toronto even after his election to the Collège de France in 1932. In the dozens of books he wrote during his long career Gilson tackled large issues-the relation of reason and revelation, aesthetics, linguistics, among others; he also produced studies of individual thinkers, including Descartes, Bonaventure, Augustine, Bernard of Clairvaux, Dante, and, especially, Thomas Aquinas.

Frederic C. Lane (1900-1984) was born in Lansing, Michigan, and was raised in Cambridge, where his father was a professor of geology at Tufts University. Lane received his bachelor's degree at Cornell and a master's at Tufts before completing his Ph.D. at Harvard under the supervision of A. P. Usher. His first and only teaching position was at Johns Hopkins University, where - with the exception of a two-year stint as Historian of the U.S. Maritime Commission (1947-48) and four years as an executive officer at the Rockefeller Foundation (1951-54) - he remained for thirty-eight years. He earned international renown as a scholar of medieval and Renaissance economic history, publishing numerous works including Venetian Ships and Shipbuilders in the Renaissance (1934), Andrea Barbarigo, Merchant of Venice, 1418-1449 (1944), Venice, a Maritime Republic (1978), and Money and Banking in Medieval and Renaissance Venice: Coins and Monies of Accounts (published posthumously in 1985). He also served as editor of the Journal of Economic History from 1943 to 1951. In addition to his pioneering work on medieval and Renaissance economics, of Venice in particular, he was known for the application of historical theory to the modern era, lecturing the AHA on the transmission of republican institutions from Antiquity to the American Revolution and publishing Ships for Victory: A History of Shipbuilding under the U.S. Maritime Commission of World War II (1951). Lane was received into the American Philosophical Society and the American Academy of the Arts, and served as president of the American Economic History Association, the Society of Italian Historical Studies, and the American Historical Association (1965). He was elected a Fellow of the Medieval Academy in 1964.

Robert and Janet Lumiansky. Robert Lumiansky (1913–1987) born was in Darlington, North Carolina. He received a bachelor’s degree from The Citadel, a master's degree from the University of South Carolina and a doctorate from the University of North Carolina. He was principally responsible for the creation of the National Endowment for the Humanities and for securing a congressional charter for the American Council of Learned Societies. He played a major role in establishing the National Humanities Center and was the leading figure in the publication of The Dictionary of the Middle Ages. He served as Provost of Tulane University, Professor of English at Duke, Chair of English at Tulane and Pennsylvania, and from 1972 until 1984, and again in 1985, President of the ACLS. He was elected a Fellow of the Medieval Academy in 1968. His chief contributions to medieval studies are his translations of the Canterbury Tales (1948) and Troilus and Criseyde (1952); his monograph Of Sondry Folk: The Dramatic Principle in the Canterbury Tales (1955); and the anthology of essays Malory's Originality: A Critical Study of Le Morte D'Arthur (1964). Janet Clara Lumiansky, (née Schneider, 1922–2009), married to Robert Lumiansky, was a graduate of Newcomb College and received a Master of Science in Psychology from the University of Chicago. She was an active member of the Women's City Club of New York.

E. K. Rand (1871-1945) was born in Boston and graduated from Harvard in 1894. After completing his doctoral work on Boethius at Munich, he returned to Harvard, which remained his academic home for the rest of his career. Rand's publications display a remarkable flexibility in scholarly temperament. His two-volume Studies in the Script of Tours (1929 and 1934), a book by a specialist for other specialists, was based on years of painstaking, folio-by-folio examination of the manuscripts; and his nearly six-hundred-page concordance of the Latin works of Dante (1912), compiled with E. H. Wilkins, must, in a pre-computer era, have required an equal tenacity and dedication to the production of sound scholarship. But Rand was also a gifted teacher and advocate for the classics, as shown by his Founders of the Middle Ages (1st ed. 1928), read by generations of undergraduates, and his travelogues, In Quest of Virgil's Birthplace and A Walk to Horace's Farm (both 1930). Rand was a leader in the discussions that led to the founding of the Medieval Academy in 1925; he was the Academy's first president and also the first editor of Speculum.

Charles Tuttle Wood (1933- 2004) was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, and graduated from Harvard University in 1955. After a brief stint as an investment banker with his father's firm in St. Paul, he returned to Harvard in 1956 and received his Ph.D. in 1962, having developed what would become a life-long interest in the history of medieval France and England. He taught at Harvard for two more years before moving to Dartmouth College, where he remained until his retirement in 1996. He was an exceptional educator, inspiring generations of students to consider not just the events and facts of medieval history but the personalities and decision-making processes behind them. His publications, all of which found well-deserved places in undergraduate and graduate reading lists, include The French Apanages and the Capetian Monarchy, 1224-1328 (1966), Philip the Fair and Boniface VIII: State vs. Papacy (1967), The Age of Chivalry: Manners and Morals, 1000-1450 (1970), The Trial of Charles I: A Documentary History (1989), and Joan of Arc and Richard III: Sex, Saints, and Government in the Middle Ages (1988). Elected a Fellow of the Medieval Academy in 1984, Wood served on the Academy's Council from 1984 to 1987 and as its Treasurer from 1990 to 2001. In 1991, Dartmouth College presented him with the Robert A. Fish 1918 Memorial Prize for Outstanding Teaching, and the Medieval Academy's CARA Award for Excellence in Teaching Medieval Studies was bestowed on him posthumously in April 2004.

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