American Academy of
Research Historians of
Medieval Spain


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  • 16 Nov 2023 9:17 AM | Kyle C Lincoln (Administrator)


    Eleventh Annual Symposium on Medieval and Renaissance Studies

    June 10-12, 2024

    Saint Louis University

    St. Louis, Missouri

    The Eleventh Annual Symposium on Medieval and Renaissance Studies (June 10-12, 2024) is a convenient summer venue in North America for scholars to present papers, organize sessions, participate in roundtables, and engage in interdisciplinary discussion. The goal of the Symposium is to promote serious scholarly investigation into all topics and in all disciplines of medieval and Renaissance studies.

    The plenary speakers for this year will be Cynthia J. Hahn, of Hunter College and the City University of New York, and John Witte, Jr., of the Center for the Study of Law and Religion at Emory University.

    The Symposium is held annually on the beautiful midtown St. Louis campus of Saint Louis University. On campus housing options include affordable, air-conditioned apartments as well as a more luxurious hotel. Inexpensive meal plans are also available, and there is a wealth of restaurants, bars, and cultural venues within easy walking distance of campus.

    While attending the Symposium, participants are free to use the Vatican Film Library, the Rare Books Division, and the general collection at Saint Louis University's Pius XII Memorial Library. These collections offer access to tens of thousands of medieval and early modern manuscripts on microfilm as well as strong holdings in medieval and Renaissance history, literature, languages, manuscript studies, theology, philosophy, and canon law. The Jesuit Archives & Research Center is adjacent to the university and also accessible to Symposium attendees.

    We invite proposals for papers, complete sessions, and roundtables. Any topics regarding the scholarly investigation of the medieval and early modern world are welcome. Papers are normally twenty minutes each and sessions are scheduled for ninety minutes. Scholarly organizations are especially encouraged to sponsor proposals for complete sessions, and organizing at least two sessions in coordination with each other is highly recommended. All sessions are in-person. Mini-conferences hosted by societies or organized around a theme occur in the context of the SMRS.

    Paper submitters are welcome to submit their paper for general consideration at the Symposium or for one of the mini-conferences. This year’s mini-conferences are:

    ● 49th Annual St. Louis Conference on Manuscript Studies

    ● Boethius 2024: The 1500-Year Memorial Conference 

    ● The 2024 Conference on John Milton 

    The submission portal will open on November 1. The portal has buttons for submission to the main SMRS and for each of the mini-conferences. The deadline for all submissions is December 31, 2023.

    Decisions will be made by the end of January and the final program will be published in March.

    For more information or to submit your proposal online go to:

    Members of  AARHMS can also consult the pdf version of this Call for Papers here.

  • 07 Aug 2023 12:33 AM | Thomas Barton (Administrator)




    Fall 2023 Schedule

    Friday, August 18 at 12pm EST

    Dr. Mohamad Ballan, Assistant Professor of History

    Stonybrook University

    A Discussion of his recent Speculum article “Borderland Anxieties: Lisān al-Dīn ibn al-Khatị̄b (d. 1374) and the Politics of Genealogy in Late Medieval Granada.”

    Abstract: This article seeks to contribute to larger scholarly conversations about the construction and deployment of difference in medieval borderland societies. It examines the ways in which genealogical notions of “Arabness” [ʿurūbiyyah], which expressed Islamic identity in terms of Arab lineage, structured the process of identity formation in Nasrid Granada (1232–1492). Through a close reading of the works of the Nasrid scholar-statesman Lisān al-Dīn ibn al-Khatị̄b (d. 1374) and his intellectual-political network, the article explores how Nasrid elites incorporated “Arabness” into the articulation of a local identity rooted in ethnic cohesion, religious exclusivity, and genealogical continuity. It argues that this constituted a particular strategy of identification that sought to differentiate Nasrid Granada from its neighbors and demarcate the boundaries between al-Andalus, Christian Iberia, and the Maghrib, even as these regions came to be tied even more closely together through political, intellectual, social, and mercantile networks between the thirteenth and fifteenth centuries. The article concludes with a consideration of the “racialization of religion” and the manner in which Ibn al-Khatị̄b integrated ideas about environmental determinism and physiognomy, alongside genealogy, to represent the religious and cultural traits of the inhabitants of Granada as fixed, immutable, and heritable characteristics, the product of both lineage and environment. Through an examination of the racialized production of difference within the dynamic borderland context of late medieval Iberia, this article seeks to invite broader comparative approaches that integrate the medieval Islamic world into discussions about race, racialization, and ethnicity in the Middle Ages.

    Friday, September 22 at 12pm EST

    Craig Perry, Assistant Professor of Middle Eastern Studies and Jewish Studies

    Emory University

    "Everyday Human Trafficking: Hemispheric Reach, Local Intensity"

    Abstract: This chapter mines the geniza corpus to make two arguments about the medieval slave trade. First, the trade in slaves was decentralized: individual buyers organized the transregional trafficking of individuals as one part of a larger mixed cargo of commodities, and traded within their own personal mercantile and family networks. I contend that this decentralized trade was a primary method of human trafficking that historians have overlooked. A medieval Middle Passage never existed; rather, epochal warfare and famine caused temporary pulses in the supply of slaves.  Second, the center of gravity of the slave trade in Egypt was local, not transregional. Geniza and other contemporaneous sources show that many enslaved people changed owners several times during their lives and that sale was only one method by which Jews transferred enslaved property. Wedding dowries, gifts, and bequests were primary methods that households used to transfer enslaved people as both laborers and inter-generational wealth. Two additional claims emerge from these arguments. Though the slave trade to Egypt was transregional and included enslaved people from as far afield as India and Byzantium, the most intensively exploited regions for slave imports were Nubia and greater northeast Africa. A close reading of geniza documents alongside rabbinic writings also demonstrates the contingencies and ambiguities of racialization in the Middle Ages. All non-Muslim people outside Islamic territories were legally enslaveable. But Jewish sources reveal how Egyptians began to code “Black”-skinned people as “slaves” in their epistolary exchanges even though “Black” was not yet used as one of the many long-standing ethnic categories that scribes were required to note in bills of sale, such as Nubian, Byzantine, Indian, and Abyssinian.

    Friday, October 20 at 12pm EST


    Felege-Selam Solomon Yirga, Assistant Professor of History

    University of Tennessee, Knoxville

    "A Roman in Islamic Egypt: Memory and Identity in the Chronicle of John of Nikiu"

    The Chronicle of John of Nikiu, written in Coptic in the 7th century but surviving only in the form of a 17th-century Ge’ez translation of an Arabic intermediary, is often treated as an expression of an Egyptian identity rooted in miaphysite Christianity and some degree of antipathy towards and alienation from the Roman state. These readings are informed by a preconceived notion that there was a great degree of continuity between the Coptic church of the Early Islamic period and the Alexandrian church of the Roman empire, and a tacit belief that the Council of Chalcedon created an ideological rift between Alexandria and Constantinople. In this chapter, which will appear in my forthcoming book on the Chronicle, I argue that John of Nikiu’s text in fact reveals a historian who seemed to conceive of the historical Egypt as a core territory of the Roman empire by virtue of the province’s role in Christian history. Furthermore, he seems to view himself, and the Christians of Egypt, as in some way inextricably linked, even tacitly hinting that, should the government and church in Constantinople adopt an anti-Chalcedonian position, the Arab invasion of Egypt could be undone. The implication of this conclusion not only effects our understanding of the emergence of a distinct Coptic identity, but also challenges teleological notions of the inevitability of the long-term presence of Islamic hegemony over formerly Roman lands, which often pervade Islamic narrative sources, and which tend to inform modern scholarship on the subject.

    Friday, November 17 at 12pm EST

    Stacey Murrell, Ph.D. Candidate

    Brown University

    “Birthing Dynasties: Concubinage, Status, and Race in the Western Islamicate World, c.700-1000 CE.”

    Friday, December 8 at 12pm EST

    Denva Gallant, Assistant Professor of Art History

    Rice University

    “The Black Body as Site of Conversion: Race and Ethnicity in Late Medieval Italy."

  • 02 Aug 2023 3:48 PM | Thomas Barton (Administrator)


    59th International Congress on Medieval Studies at Kalamazoo, May 9-11, 2024

    Visigothic Legacies: New Ways of Bridging Pre- and Post-711

    (In person session; ID 5006)

    Sponsoring Organization: American Academy of Research Historians of Medieval Spain


    Organizer: Damián Fernández (

    This session will explore long-term continuities between Late Antiquity and the Early Middle

    Ages within the Iberian Peninsula. In what ways did Visigothic practices, institutions, and other

    legacies survive the Arab conquest and influence the mixed societies that took shape under

    both Muslim and Chris-an rule? We are especially interested in the appropriation and

    resignification of the past and the transmission of ancient texts and ideas and welcome

    proposals on papers dealing with any population(s) within the peninsula and any aspect(s) of

    this transition. We encourage work that crosses traditional disciplinary boundaries, handles

    non-traditional evidence, or employs novel methodologies.

    Please submit your name, affiliation and contact information; a 300-word abstract; and a

    short description (50 words) that may be made public through the Confex Proposal Portal

    ( The deadline for submission is September 15.

  • 13 Jul 2023 12:08 PM | Kyle C Lincoln (Administrator)

    CFP: Kalamazoo 2024

    Holy Iberians: Holy People and Hagiography in Medieval Iberia

    "As a major intellectual crossroads in the Medieval Latin West, the Iberian Peninsula has been recognized by scholars as a laboratory and marketplace for a comprehensive array of historical developments. This co-sponsored panel, offered by The American Academy of Research Historians of Medieval Spain and the Hagiography Society, is designed to offer new contributions and perspectives about Hagiography from the Iberian Peninsula in order to help continue both organizations' efforts to add greater nuance to their respective interests and build lasting multidisciplinary relationships between scholars."

    Contact with a proposed abstract and author identifiers.

  • 09 May 2023 5:02 PM | Thomas Barton (Administrator)

    Call For Proposals:

    AARHMS-inspired panels on Western-Mediterranean Communities of Knowledge and Bodies in Motion at the MAA Meeting at Notre Dame (March 14-16, 2024).

    DUE DATE: 22 May 2023.

    AARHMS is interested in promoting two Western-Mediterranean sessions of three 20-minute papers each co-organized by Mohamad Ballan and Tom Barton for the upcoming Medieval Academy of America Meeting, which will be held at the University of Notre Dame’s Medieval Institute on March 14-16, 2024. 

    • The first session plans to engage with the theme of Communities of Knowledge by exploring how interfaith interaction both shaped and was conditioned by evolving, co-produced conceptions of sovereignty within the contexts of the later medieval Iberian Peninsula and North Africa. 

    • The second aims to investigate the theme of Bodies in Motion through the lens of the intersecting quotidian lives and rhythms of Christians, Jews, and Muslims cohabiting cities, towns, and their associated suburban districts within the later medieval Iberian Peninsula. 

    Proposals should include a title, 150-250-word abstract, and one-page CV and need to be received no later than 22 May 2023. Please send to Mohamad Ballan ( and Tom Barton (

    Please distribute widely.

  • 18 Feb 2023 9:50 AM | Thomas Barton (Administrator)

    There's still time to submit individual or panel proposals for the ASPHS annual meeting, to be held in Boulder, Colorado, May 19-21 2023.  We’re looking forward to being back in person, and we’ve extended the CFP deadline until Monday, March 6; please send your proposals and/or questions to


    The ASPHS Board is also working on making travel grants available to graduate students who present their work at the conference.  Stay tuned for more details.


    Registration will open soon.  Keep an eye on the ASPHS page for more information and updates!


    ASPHS 2023 Annual Conference

    Call for Papers

    The Association for Spanish and Portuguese Historical Studies is pleased to invite paper and panel proposals for the Annual Meeting, to be held in Boulder on May 19-21, 2023 at the UMC (University Memorial Center) of the University of Colorado Boulder. Sessions will run on Saturday and Sunday.

    All presentations dealing with any aspect of Spanish and Portuguese historical studies are welcome. These include, but are not limited to, Spanish and Portuguese history and culture, philosophy, literature, language, archeology, the classical past, film, music, theatre, architecture, religion, art, and art history. In the interest of promoting cross-fertilization within the field of Iberian history, panels that bring together papers from multiple historical eras (ancient, medieval, early modern, modern) are especially encouraged. Where possible, the association will organize panels according to themes rather than to time periods.

    We are considering only fully in-person panels and individual papers. We apologize for not being able to accommodate proposals for panels or individual papers presented in entirely remote or hybrid formats. Projectors and Wi-Fi internet will be available in the conference rooms. Presenters should bring their own computers to project their PowerPoints.

    Proposals should include a 250-word abstract for each paper and a one-page curriculum vitae for each participant, including chairs and discussants. Please include each participant’s name, e-mail address, and university affiliation, along with any special requirements.

    Proposals should be submitted by email to by Monday, March 6, 2023 (note the extended deadline).


    The conference registration fee will be $150 for full-time faculty and $75 for graduate students. This fee includes the reception dinner as well as a light lunch on Friday and Saturday.  Registration will be available shortly on this page. Conference participants will need to be active ASPHS members. Click here for membership information; if you are already a member, click on the “Member Login” link at the top right corner of the page to see your membership status.

    Please note that the ASPHS will make available some travel awards for graduate students presenting at the conference. We’ll post more information shortly.


    Our invited keynote speaker for this year is Prof. Richard Kagan from Johns Hopkins University.

    The reception dinner will take place on Friday May 19, 2023. Prof. Kagan will address the association members on Saturday evening May 20, 2023. Both events will take place in the Glenn Miller Ballroom (UMC).

    A Sunday reception in honor of Prof. Kagan at the Homewood Suites including charcuterie and cheese boards is scheduled for $10/participant with a cash bar. Due to hotel “flow” limitation, only the first 75 registered members will be allowed to participate. Please indicate via this link if you would like to attend the Sunday reception.


    The ASPHS has secured early bird specials at the Homewood Suites by Hilton in Boulder. The rooms are guest suites which include a kitchenette, living room, and private room. The hotel has a swimming pool, bar, and all other Hilton amenities. A shuttle will run at the times of the conference and is free of charge for all hotel guests.

    The rate for the suite rooms at the early bird price is $179 + tax until January 31st 2023:

    The rate for registering between February 1st and April 17th 2023 is $199 + tax:

    Other nearby hotels in downtown Boulder include:

    Affordable: Boulder University Inn and Basecamp Boulder

    Higher end: Marriott Residence Inn and The Boulderado

  • 15 Aug 2022 10:49 PM | Thomas Barton (Administrator)

    Assistant Professor, History Department

    College of Arts & Sciences

    Seattle University

    The History Department at Seattle University invites applications for a tenure-track Assistant Professor in the Medieval and Early Modern Mediterranean World starting September 2023.

    The successful candidate will be responsible for teaching, maintaining an active program of scholarship, and performing university and college service. The ideal candidate will have a primary teaching and research field in the Medieval and Early Modern Mediterranean World (ca. 500-1600) broadly defined. There will be opportunities to teach in a variety of programs, including History, the University Core Curriculum, the Honors Program, and in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies or other interdisciplinary programs. A specialist in the Medieval and Early Modern Mediterranean World will support the department’s curriculum emphasizing social justice issues such as the historical roots of inequality and marginalization, and interpreting the diversity of human experience across world regions. The specialist would also help contribute to the vision of both College and University for equity, justice, and centering the margins.

    The preferred candidate must have a Ph.D. in History at time of appointment. ABDs will be considered.

    Founded in 1891, Seattle University is a Jesuit Catholic university located on a beautiful campus of more than 50 acres in the dynamic heart of Seattle. Our diverse and driven population is made up of more than 7,200 students enrolled in undergraduate and graduate programs within eight schools and colleges. Seattle University is an equal opportunity employer.

    In support of its pursuit of academic and scholarly excellence, Seattle University is committed to creating a diverse community of students, faculty, and staff that is dedicated to the fundamental principles of equal opportunity and treatment in education and employment regardless of age, color, disability, gender identity, national origin, political ideology, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status. The university encourages applications from, and nominations of, individuals whose differing backgrounds, beliefs, ideas, and life experiences will further enrich the diversity of its educational community.

    Applicants should submit applications online at

    including a cover letter, Curriculum Vitae, statement of teaching philosophy, evidence of teaching effectiveness, writing sample of scholarship, and contact information for three references (letters may be solicited upon submission of application).  

    Application deadline is October 1, 2022.  For further information please email the History Department Chair, Dr. Haejeong Hazel Hahn (

  • 04 Mar 2022 1:42 PM | Miguel Gomez (Administrator)

    We are pleased to announce the three winners of the 2022 Simon Barton Travel Grant. 

    Frank Espinosa, a PhD student at the University of Michigan, will be using his grant to support a research trip to Valencia. Nina Gonzalbez, a PhD student at Florida State University, will be using her grant to support a research trip to Sevilla in April.  Jillian Bjerke, a visiting lecturer in history at McDaniel College, will be using her grant to support travel to the International Medieval Congress in Leeds this summer.

    Congratulations to all three winners.  

  • 21 Jan 2022 6:38 PM | Thomas Barton (Administrator)

    Gregory Milton, 1966–2021  


    The American Academy of Research Historians of Medieval Spain would like to remember Gregory Milton, who passed away, tragically, on December 7, 2021, at the young age of fifty-four. While Greg came to Iberian and Mediterranean medieval history after an abbreviated career as a naval officer, he quickly established an international reputation as a highly productive researcher on economic, social, and Jewish history and world-renowned authority on notarial sources.


    Born in San Jose, California, on December 24, 1966, Greg spent his earliest childhood in Boca Raton, Florida, before his family returned to California. He attended elementary, junior high, and high school in the coastal city of Santa Cruz. Greg’s mother, Linda Rose, remembers how he became increasingly curious, around the second grade, about his Jewish heritage thanks largely to a Jewish friend. This interest eventually encouraged him to join the local temple and have his bar mitzvah. Greg, she remembers, was “an avid player of Dungeons and Dragons and also interested in the history and royalty of England,” early attractions that later “spurred his career direction.”


    A love of airplanes and flying encouraged Greg to attend UC Berkeley on a naval scholarship. Immediately after graduating, he became an ensign in the navy. However, because he needed prescription eye glasses, he was ineligible to be a pilot and instead opted to serve as a flight officer in charge of electronic aerial reconnaissance. Greg was eventually stationed at an air base near Cádiz, an assignment that enabled him to travel widely throughout the Mediterranean. These years of exploration prompted Greg’s growing interest in medieval Spanish and Mediterranean history. He later transferred to Annapolis, Maryland, where he had the opportunity to offer classes in world history and discover his love of teaching. At this point, Greg decided to heed his passions and steer his life in a new direction. He withdrew from the navy after eight years of service to pursue a Master’s in Medieval History at Catholic University in 1997, then continuing his studies at UCLA as Teo Ruiz’s first doctoral student. Greg opted to focus on the commercial and social history of the Catalonian village of Santa Coloma de Queralt using its richly detailed and complex notarial records housed today at the Arxiu de Protocols de Tarragona. During his time living in coastal Tarragona, a city that was reminiscent of his beloved hometown of Santa Cruz, Greg developed a fluency in Catalan and became an expert on a wide range of local historical sites, which he enjoyed touring with visitors. He successfully defended his dissertation, entitled “Commerce, Crisis, and Society in a Medieval Village: Santa Coloma de Queralt, 1294-1313,” in 2005. Teo remembers Greg fondly as “an adult in every sense of the word. He was an indefatigable researcher, rendering his findings in brilliant and incisive fashion.” 


    Greg’s extraordinary performance at UCLA quickly earned him a visiting professorship at Marquette University followed by a tenure-track appointment at the University of South Florida (USF) in Tampa, where he impressed students and colleagues alike with his innovating teaching and dedicated mentorship. During his time at these institutions, Greg presented at numerous conferences, produced an array of articles in respected journals and edited volumes, received prestigious fellowships and awards (such as the Solmsen Fellowship at the Institution for Research in the Humanities at the University of Wisconsin-Madison), and published his path-breaking monograph on Santa Coloma de Queralt’s local economy entitled Market Power: Lordship, Society, and Economy in Medieval Catalonia, 1276-1313 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012), a fascinating study of a formerly little known rural commercial system that is now widely known as an indispensable resource among scholars of economic and social history alike. 


    Part of Greg’s appeal to his students and colleagues was that his interests were not simply confined to premodern history. He was an avid reader of other periods of history as well as politics and science fiction and shared a love of Jane Austen with his doctoral advisor. In his diverse roles at USF, he grew especially interested, his mother recalls, “in the non-traditional student who couldn’t afford the traditional four-year, on-campus programs.” He believed strongly that “universities should spend their money on educational innovations and meeting student needs rather than on another lecture hall.” Accordingly, after seven years at USF, Greg decided to listen to his heart once again and left the research track in order to devote himself fully to developing and implementing innovative educational programs. He opted to focus on improving extended learning, serving as a director first at the University of Oregon and then at Sonoma State University, a position that enabled him to return to his beloved native state of California. 


    In 2019, Greg joined several colleagues to found Tarragona Associates, named in honor of Greg’s enduring connection to his adoptive home in Catalonia, which offered consulting services to universities and colleges aimed at helping them navigate the mounting challenges facing higher education. Greg was instrumental in directing and growing this new enterprise, which, shortly before his death, had just succeeded in winning a major contract with Savannah State University in Georgia. While the growing success of this project was exciting for Greg, one of the best aspects of working with Tarragona Associates over these past two years was that it enabled him to return home and spend more time with his mother.


    It is fair to say that Teo Ruiz speaks for all of us at the Academy in expressing that Greg “was an affable and friendly person, a man of integrity. He left us far too early and for that we are diminished.” We join Teo in honoring Greg’s memory as a jovial colleague, diligent researcher, and beloved teacher and will miss him dearly.

    -- Tom Barton

       AARHMS President

  • 20 Jan 2022 6:04 AM | Kyle C Lincoln (Administrator)

    I believe Joe, Bernie, and I first met at the AHA meeting in Philadelphia in 1963. I remember that Edward Kealey, a Medieval English scholar, and my newly met colleague at Holy Cross, led me across a room to meet another rarely encountered Spanish medievalist.  It turned out to be Joe O’Callaghan. Subsequently we bumped into Bernie, yet a third Hispanist, at a session on feudalism. We frequently saw each other during the following years at the AHA meetings and those newer sessions at Kalamazoo.


    I can only echo the strongly positive views of Bernard Reilly as a scholar and a man so well detailed by Doubleday and O’Callaghan. Bernie and I occasionally shared a rental car out of the Detroit airport to Kalamazoo, and we discussed our work and our respective families. I was deeply impressed by his deft handling of episcopal archival materials and his sensitivity to how they illuminated the time periods he was covering. We were then both focused on the twelfth century, especially concerning monarchical policy regarding towns.


    I have only a small correction to offer on the dating of the origins of AARHMS.  Joe is right to note that Father Robert Burns fashioned the title of the organization with the word Academy leading to secure a high position on the AHA’s list of affiliated societies. However the first meeting was not in 1974, but rather at the 1973 meeting of the AHA at San Francisco. That’s the first program to reference the Society and list our meeting.  We met but did not have a paper–giving session.  We then withdrew to the University of San Francisco (Father Burns’ institutional employer) for a small celebration.


    During the drive to the university, Fr. Burns, being a native San Franciscan, wanted to show off his city with enthusiasm. Reilly and O’Callaghan were in the back seat and I was positioned in the front. In order to get in as many vistas as possible, Burns thought haste was important to enjoy the scenic abundance of the hills. My mind began to conjure images of the film Bullitt, made only six years earlier in the same city.  The tour was genuinely breath-taking.  He saved the best for last, a record-setting descent down the famous steep curves of Lombard Street.  Fortunately we were deprived of the record by a slower-moving vehicle in front of us; the passing of which was happily out of the question. But Joe, Bernie and I were concerned we might collectively be the shortest-lived affiliated society in AHA history. I was never more ready for cocktails in my life.  I should note that in future years I was to be driven a number of times by Father Burns in a far more conservative manner. I can only assume that the exhilaration of creating AARHMS touched us all.

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