Report of the Executive Director
After a national search, Acting Executive Director Lisa Fagin Davis was hired as Executive Director of the Medieval Academy as of 1 July 2014.
Office and Staff
The administrative and editorial staff are ensconced at 17 Dunster Street, Suite 202, in Harvard Square. The administrative staff continues to include Assistant to the Executive Director Sheryl Mullane-Corvi and Communications and Membership Coordinator Chris Cole. The Speculum staff includes Editor Sarah Spence and Editorial Assistants Erin Pomeroy and Sam Boss, both of whom joined the staff in 2014. Paul Lindholm continued to work for Speculum in a part-time advisory position until mid-November.
The Ninetieth Annual Meeting of the Medieval Academy was held at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana, with nearly five hundred attendees. See previous proceedings for details.
The Academy sponsored a plenary lecture at the Forty-Ninth International Congress on Medieval Studies at Kalamazoo on 9 May 2014. Susan Einbinder, University of Connecticut, spoke on “The Libel of the Lamb: Violence and Medieval Metaphor.” Two Academy-sponsored sessions explored related themes.
The 2014 Medieval Academy Annual Lecture at the International Medieval Congress at the University of Leeds was delivered on 8 July by Rita Copeland, University of Pennsylvania, who spoke on “Emotional Knowledge: Figurative Language in Medieval Rhetoric.”
Annual Meetings. The Medieval Institute at the University of Notre Dame hosted the 2015 meeting on 12–14 March. John Van Engen and Thomas F. X. Noble were the Program Committee chairs. The 2016 meeting will take place in Boston on 25–27 February and will be hosted by several Boston-area institutions. The Program Committee is chaired by Mary Dockray-Miller, Lesley University; and Valerie Ramseyer, Wellesley College. In 2017, the meeting will be hosted by the University of Toronto on 6–8 April. In 2018, the meeting will be hosted by Emory University, and in 2019, by the University of Colorado at Boulder.
Council Meeting. In 2014, the Council met on 10 April in conjunction with the Annual Meeting at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Finance Committee Meetings. In 2014, the Finance Committee met in New York City at the offices of Credit Suisse on 7 March and at the Medieval Academy office in Cambridge on 11 October.
Executive Committee Meetings. In 2014, the Executive Committee met virtually on 19 February; in Los Angeles (in conjunction with the annual meeting) on 9 April; virtually on 19 September; and at the Medieval Academy office in Cambridge on 1 November.
Committee on Centers and Regional Associations (CARA). In 2014, the Annual Meeting of CARA Delegates took place at the University of California, Los Angeles, on 13 April, after the close of the Annual Meeting.
In 2014, appointments were made to the following committees: American Historical Association Program Committee: Sean Field, University of New Hampshire; Birgit Baldwin Fellowship Committee: Gabrielle Spiegel, The Johns Hopkins University; John Nicholas Brown Prize Committee: Meredith Lillich, Syracuse University; Committee for Professional Development: Jessalyn Bird, Independent Scholar; Van Courtlandt Elliott Prize Committee: David Hult, University of California, Berkeley; Finance Committee: Daniel Weiss, The Metropolitan Museum of Art; Graduate Student Committee: Alice Isabella Sullivan, Chair, University of Michigan; Stephanie Chapman, University of Missouri; Vanessa Taylor, Catholic University; Haskins Medal Committee: Annemarie Weyl Carr, Emerita, Southern Methodist University; Leeds Program Committee: Paul Binski, University of Cambridge; Helen Fulton, University of York; Ian Wood, University of Leeds; Publications Advisory Board: M. Cecilia Gaposchkin, Dartmouth College; Suzanne Akbari, University of Toronto; Schallek Committee: Chris Baswell, Barnard College and Columbia University.
In 2014, Academy receipts totaled $816,760 and disbursements totaled $805,329, resulting in a budgetary surplus of $11,431. The draw on the Endowment was 3.63 percent.
The number of members in good standing as of 31 December 2014 was 3,250. As of 15 April 2015, the number of members was 3,617. In 2014, the Academy welcomed 519 new members. Six hundred and thirty members did not renew, resulting in a net loss of 111 members.
Grants and Fellowships
The 2014 Schallek Fellowship ($30,000 grant for dissertation work in any relevant discipline dealing with late-medieval Britain) was awarded to William Rhodes, University of Virginia. Deadline 15 October 2013, eleven applications. 2014 Committee: Nancy Warren, Chair, Texas A&M University; Chris Baswell, Barnard College and Columbia University; Joyce Coleman, University of Oklahoma; Kathryn Kerby-Fulton, University of Notre Dame.
The five 2014 Schallek Awards ($2,000 each, to support dissertation work in any relevant discipline dealing with late-medieval Britain) were awarded to Amy Eberlin, University of St. Andrews; Rebecca Favorito, The Ohio State University; Joanna MacGugan, University of Connecticut; Michelle Seiler, University of Iowa; Carla Maria Thomas, New York University. Deadline 15 February 2014, six applicants. Awarded by the Schallek Committee.
The nine 2014 Dissertation Grants ($2,000 each, to support advanced graduate work) were awarded as follows: Hope Emily Allen Dissertation Grant: Deborah Shulevitz, Columbia University; John Boswell Dissertation Grant: Geoff Martin, University of Tennessee–Knoxville; Helen Maud Cam Dissertation Grant: Andrew Welton, University of Florida; Grace Frank Dissertation Grant: S. C. Kaplan, University of California, Santa Barbara; Etienne Gilson Dissertation Grant: Thomas Lecaque, University of Tennessee–Knoxville; Frederic C. Lane Dissertation Grant: Kristen Streahle, Cornell University; Robert and Janet Lumiansky Grant: Joseph Figliulo-Rosswurm, University of California, Santa Barbara; E. K. Rand Dissertation Grant: Christopher Fletcher, University of Chicago; Charles T. Wood Dissertation Grant: Kathryn Meyers, Michigan State University. Deadline 15 February 2014, twenty-five applications. Awarded by the Committee for Professional Development: Georgiana Donavin, Chair, Westminster College; Jessalyn Bird, Independent Scholar; Laura Light, Les Enluminures.
Five 2014 Travel Grants ($500 for travel to conferences in North America, $750 for travel overseas, for unaffiliated scholars) were awarded, based on available funds, to J. James Lee, Yulia Mikhailova, Kristen Mills, Sean Otto, and Justine Trombley. Deadline 1 May, for meetings to be held between 1 September and 28 February; 1 November, for meetings to be held between 1 March and 31 August, five applications. Awarded by the Committee for Professional Development.
Several new grant programs will be launched in 2015:
The MAA/GSC Grant for Innovation in Community Building and Professionalization will be awarded biennially to an individual or graduate student group from one or more universities. The purpose of this grant is to stimulate new and innovative efforts that support preprofessionalization, encourage communication and collaboration across diverse groups of graduate students, and build communities amongst graduate student medievalists.
The CARA Summer Scholarship program will be expanded in 2015 to allow students from a wider variety of summer programs to apply for tuition assistance.
With the leadership and generosity of Emily Rose and James Marrow, the Academy launched a fundraising campaign in 2014 to endow the Olivia Remie Constable Awards, to be given annually to emerging scholars. In addition to the initial gift, 252 donors gave more than $70,000 to the Olivia Remie Constable Fund in 2014, and the Fund is now permanently endowed. An additional (and anonymous) donation of $50,000 received in 2015 will allow the Academy to endow a total of four annual Constable Awards of $1,500 each.
As the Treasurer will report, our bottom line is excellent and our endowment is healthy. For the last several years we have constrained spending in several areas, which has allowed us to increase spending on grant-making programs and support to volunteers. In addition, we have consistently controlled the endowment draw. This fiscal discipline will allow us to continue to expand programming, publications, and grant offerings in 2016 and beyond. My goal as Executive Director is to continue to reduce overhead on the one hand and to increase membership revenue on the other—not by increasing dues but by increasing the number of members—allowing us to increase expenditures on grants, prizes, and membership support.
Lisa Fagin Davis, Executive Director