Program in Medieval Studies


The Program in Medieval Studies is dedicated to studying Late Antique and Medieval Cultures, supported by a community of scholars and historians.

Faculty in the Program in Medieval Studies all have their primary appointments in regular University departments. Program activities that reach beyond Brown University include the Rhode Island Medieval Circle lecture series, which meets three to four times each semester, and the Graduate Student Medieval Conference, which was founded at Brown and convenes annually at Brown, Yale and the University of Connecticut in rotation.

The Program in Medieval Studies offers two concentration tracks: (1) the concentration in Medieval Cultures and (2) the concentration in Late Antique Cultures.

History of the Program in Medieval Studies

Fragment, John Hay Library
Fragment, John Hay Library
Prior to 1968 there was no formal undergraduate major in Medieval Studies, although many courses in history, arts, and languages dealt with Medieval subjects, and graduate students could take their degrees in Medieval fields. In that year the University adopted the New Curriculum, which allowed undergraduate students to pursue Independent Concentrations on Medieval subjects under the direction of appropriate members of the faculty.


New Curriculum begins.  Students can do Independent Concentrations in Medieval Studies. 

The Brown Medieval Group is established with Professor Michel-André Bossy as its first chair.  Over the next few years this group changes its name to the Interdepartmental Study Group for Medieval Studies and then to the Medieval Studies Group

Concentration in Medieval Studies is formally proposed and approved by the Educational Policy Committee.  The Committee on Medieval Studies is formed as an official group to oversee the concentration.  Professors William Crossgrove and Robert Mathiesen are its first chairs.

Medieval Perspectives (now MDVL 0360), an introductory course team-taught by a group of Program faculty on Medieval topics, is offered for the first time.

First Concentrator in Medieval Studies graduates. 

Under the leadership of Professor Sheila Bonde, the Committee on Medieval Studies becomes the Program in Medieval Studies. The Program is housed in the Annmary Brown Memorial.

Medieval Studies graduates since 1983 enter diverse professions.  Among them, Lisa Fagin Davis, Medieval Studies concentrator Class of 1988, is named Executive Director of the Medieval Academy of America on July 1, 2014.

The title of MDVL 0360 is "Cities: Medieval Perspectives."

The title of MDVL 0360 is  "Medieval Bodies: Medieval Perspectives."

Director of the Program in Medieval Studies

  • Jonathan P Conant

    Jonathan P Conant

    Director of the Program in Medieval Studies, Associate Professor of History, Associate Professor of Classics

    Jonathan Conant studies late ancient and early medieval history. His research focuses on the inter-regional integration of the Mediterranean, and he has a special interest in questions of identity, empire, interfaith interaction, sanctity, slavery, and documentary culture. His first book examines the fate of Romanness in North Africa between the Vandal and Islamic conquests (c. 439-700); his current work concerns the Carolingian Empire.

  • William Monroe

    William Monroe

    Interim Director of the Program in Medieval Studies (2023-2024), Senior Scholarly Resources Librarian

    William S. Monroe is the subject librarian for Classics, Medieval Studies, The Early Modern World, and a host of other areas in the Brown University Library, where he also serves as the Curator of Medieval Manuscripts and Early Printed Books. He holds a Ph.D. in history from Columbia University, with a specialty in the history of the papacy and medieval canon law, especially in the early Middle Ages.