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News Release

Medieval and Early Modern Studies Conference at Moravian College

Bethlehem, Pa., November 19, 2008—Moravian College will host an interdisciplinary Undergraduate Conference in Medieval and Early Modern Studies on Saturday, December 6, marking the third year that this notable academic conference will be held at the College. The conference and related activities have been designed to highlight the richness and interdisciplinary nature of medieval studies and early modern studies. The day-long program will showcase student scholarship and creative work, encourage students to consider future work in graduate and professional studies, provide students with the opportunity to present their work in a broader setting beyond the classroom, and to build ties among medievalists and early modernists in the region.

Students from colleges in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region will present papers or performances related to art, history, English, music, philosophy, religion, and other disciplines dealing with the medieval and early modern eras. The keynote speaker will be delivered by Pamela J. Crabtree, associate professor of anthropology, New York University.  A leading scholar on medieval studies, Crabtree’s research interests include the archaeology of later prehistoric and early medieval Europe and zooarchaeology.  She is involved with the archaeological study of forts of the French and Indian War period in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, a cooperative project between New York University and the National Park Service. Professor Crabtree and Peter Bogucki (Princeton University) are currently editing an encyclopedia of the Barbarian world, to be published by Charles Schribner's Sons.

A member of Center for the Study of Human Origins, Crabtree is  co-author of Archaeology and Prehistory ( New York: McGraw-Hill, 2001). Other published works include: Medieval Archaeology: An Encyclopedia. New York: Garland, 2000.; "Production and Consumption in an Early Complex Society": Animan Use in Middle Saxon East Anglia World Archaeology, 28(1):58-75, 1996; "Zooarchaeology and Complex Societies: Some Uses of Faunal Analysis for the Study of Trade, Social Status, and Ethnicity". In Archaeological Method and Theory, Volume 2, edited by M.B. Schiffer, pp. 155-205. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1990; and "Early Animal Domestication and Its Cultural Context." Pam J. Crabtree, Douglas V. Campana, and Kathleen Ryan, eds. University of Pennsylvania Museum, MASCA Research Papers in Science and Archaeology, Supplement to Vol. 6, 1989.

Opening remarks will be presented at 9:30 a.m. by Jim Skalnik, assistant dean for academic advising at Moravian, Student presentations will begin at 10 a.m. and continue until the luncheon break at 12:30 p.m. with demonstrations by Moravian Pottery and Tile Works.

The Moravian Pottery and Tile Works, a National Historic Landmark, is maintained as a "working history" museum by Pennsylvania's County of Bucks, Department of Parks and Recreation. Located in Doylestown, Pa., handmade tiles are still produced in a manner similar to that developed by the pottery's founder and builder, Henry Chapman Mercer (1856-1930). Mercer was a major proponent of the Arts & Crafts Movement in America. He directed the work at the pottery from 1898 until his death in 1930.
The conference will reconvene at 1:30 p.m. for the keynote speech, which will be followed with an afternoon session, and a reception. The conference will conclude with a performance of medieval and early modern music by “Tapestry.” The group will perform at nearby Trinity Episcopal Church, 44 E. Market St., Bethlehem, Pa. (Concert admission free for conference attendees, but tickets required.)

Tapestry, a vocal ensemble founded in 1995 by Laurie Monahan, Cristi Catt, and Daniela Tosic, has established an international reputation for its bold conceptual programming which combines medieval and traditional repertory with contemporary compositions. Tapestry has won numerous awards, including WQXR and Chamber Music America’s Recording of the Year and, most recently, the prestigious Echo Klassik Prize for their recording Sapphire Night. Based in Boston, the ensemble made its concert debut in its hometown with performances of Steve Reich’s Tehillim at Jordan Hall; additional Boston appearances include the Celebrity Series, Harvard, Radcliffe, and Sanders Theater.

Now in its third year, Moravian College hosted its first-ever Undergraduate Conference in Medieval and Early Modern Studies in December 2006. The event featured a rich exchange of scholarly ideas with 28 presentations by undergraduate students from various colleges and over 200 attendees representing 25 schools. Along with conventional slide lectures, the day was filled with performances and demonstrations, including a Renaissance dance by the Moravian Star Irish Dance Troupe and calligraphy by Terese Swift-Hahn. Other events included a plenary speech by Arthurian literature specialist Kelley Wickham-Crowley, a reception hosted by the Friends of Reeves Library, and a performance (to a packed house) by members of the Baltimore Consort and Quartetto Brio.

The conference and associated activities are being organized by Sandy Bardsley , assistant professor of history, and John Black , assistant professor of English at Moravian College. A website for the conference can be found at http://www.moravian.edu/medieval.htm.

Moravian College is a private, coeducational, selective liberal arts college located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Tracing its founding to 1742, it is recognized as America's sixth-oldest college. Visit the Web site at www.moravian.edu.