Students present at Medieval & Early Modern Symposium

historyOn February 25, 2017, 3 Marist students presented their work at the Hudson Valley Medieval and Early Modern Symposium, held at Mount St. Vincent College. Highlighting the best student work on the pre-modern period in such disciplines as History, English, Philosophy, Art History, and Modern Languages, the Symposium takes place at a different Hudson Valley institution each year. Mentored by Associate Professor of History Janine Peterson (far left) Marist students have been selected to share their work every year since the symposium's inception 3 years ago.

For Spencer Johnson '17 (pictured second from right), the conference offered a valuable opportunity to explore cultural connections in the Middle Ages and to exchange ideas with fellow scholars: "I was always interested in African history, so I wanted to research how medieval ideologies were present throughout the world, not just Europe, through European exploration, missionaries, the slave trade, and imperialism. This was my first time presenting at a conference, which allowed me to interact with fellow peers from colleges along the Hudson Valley and draw connections I haven’t previously considered, which was engaging and exciting!"

The students presented the following work:

  • Spencer Johnson '17: History/Secondary Education major, Political Science minor
    Spencer's paper, "Dona Beatriz Kimpa Vita: From Saint to Heretic in the Kongo," explores a woman in 17th-century Africa who claimed to have visions from St. Anthony and initiated a Christian revival movement called the Antonian movement that placed the historical Jesus and Mary in the Kongo

  • Alicia Ptak '18 (pictured far right): Communications major, Medieval & Renaissance Studies minor
    Alicia's paper, "What is Roman? An Analysis of Liutprand of Cremona's Identification of Race in the 10th Century," also dealt with questions of identity and ethnicity, examining whether Western Europeans viewed Eastern Orthodox Christians in the Byzantine Empire as a different "race."

  • Kimberly Woodward '18 (pictured second from left): History major, English Literature minor, Honors Program
    Kim's presentation, "Good Christians and the Church of Satan," was an outgrowth of her honors-by-contract project with Dr. Peterson. It explored the issue of cultural fears of the "other" into modern times by comparing trials against Cathar heretics in 13th-century southern France to the so-called "Satanic Panic" of the United States in the 1980s.

Planning is under way for the College to host the fourth annual symposium in February 2018.