Monday, April 02, 2012

Medieval and Renaissance conference returns to New College bigger, better than ever

For some, the word “Medieval” conjures mental images of kings, peasants, knights in shining armor and damsels in distress. Others may be inclined to think of watching underpaid actors joust while wearing a paper crown and eating greasy food without napkins or utensils, or perhaps a climactic scene from Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction. As for the term “Renaissance,” it might well evoke the image of a fun time at an outdoor fair, such as the one Catalyst staffer and thesis student Alexis Santos attended this week (for this writer, it primarily brings to mind the Ninja Turtles).

For the nearly-200-strong group of professors and scholars flocking to the Sudakoff Center this past weekend, however, all things Medieval-minded and Renaissance-related represented an opportunity to take center stage and demonstrate one’s impressive knowledge to a crowd of like-minded peers. Such was the concept driving the 18th Annual New College Conference on Medieval and Renaissance Studies.

The conference has taken place at New College every other spring semester ever since the inaugural event 36 years ago. “Lee Snyder, who was a professor of Medieval History before Professor [Carrie] Beneš and Professor [Thomas] McCarthy, started it as, basically, just a little thing to try to bring local Florida Medievalists together,” Professor of English and Conference Committee Co-Chair (alongside Beneš) Nova Myhill told the Catalyst. “It was originally something like for a day, a day and a half. As it led on, he discovered that actually, not that many people from Florida wanted to come, but people from all over the country … and also a lot of different countries wanted to come … so it just grew."

Click here to read this article from The Catalyst