Tipsheet: 30th PSU Medieval and Renaissance Forum April 24-25

April 1st, 2009 by Adam

Plymouth State University’s Forum is the oldest conference of its type in New England. Information is online at


Originally conceived as a smaller, more intimate alternative to The International Congress on Medieval Studies held each year at Western Michigan University (“Kalamazoo”), Plymouth State University’s Forum is the oldest conference of its type in New England.

Forum Staff/Contacts

Dr. Karolyn Kinane, Assistant Professor of English,Forum Director.

Ms. Ivy Page, Administrative Assistant.

2009 Event

The two-day event includes sessions on this year’s theme, “Dreams, Imagination, Fantasy.”
Papers are not confined to the topic, but cover many aspects of Medieval and Renaissance life, both secular and religious, drawing from the intersecting spheres of literature, theater, art history and music as examples.

The conference opens with registration at 8:30 a.m. Friday, April 24, followed at 9 a.m. by a procession (with students in period garb) from Rounds Hall to the Hartman Union Building (HUB) fireplace lounge. Opening ceremonies feature a reading from Chaucer’s General Prologue. President Sara Jayne Steen will deliver a formal welcome. The opening ceremonies will conclude with the traditional singing of Gaudeamus Igitur.

Concurrent session blocks are:

Friday, 9:30-10:50 a.m., 11:05 a.m.-12:25 p.m., 2:25–3:45 p.m. and 4–5:20 p.m.

Saturday 9–10:20 a.m., 10:35-11:55 a.m., and 3–4:30 p.m. The keynote lunch is Saturday from 12:15-2:15 p.m.

The full program is online at

Keynote Luncheon: Saturday 12:15–2:15 p.m. Luncheon in Hartman Union Building Ticket required.

Keynote Address: 1:15–2:15 p.m. (no ticket required without lunch)

The keynote speaker is Dr. Carole Levin, Willa Cather Professor of History at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, speaking on Haunting Dreams of Women in Early Modern England.

Dr. Levin has written numerous books and articles on Early Modern English culture, notably The Heart and Stomach of a King: Elizabeth I and the Politics of Sex and Power and her most recent book Dreaming the English Renaissance: Politics and Desire in Court and Culture.

Forum Special Events

Friday April 24

12:45–1:45 p.m. Luncheon: 30 Years of the Medieval-Renaissance Forum at PSU, with guests
Manuel Marquez-Sterling, Ursula Allen, Richard Chisholm and Herb Otto, former forum directors and personnel. Includes archival slide show by alumna Jennifer Jones. Tickets required. HUB Multipurpose Room.

1:50-2:10 p.m. Planetarium talk: Galileo’s Sky. Sylvestre Planetarium, Boyd Science Center, Highland Street. Tickets required.

5:30–6:15 p.m. President’s Reception. President Sara Jayne Steen welcomes participants of the forum to the President’s House for hors d’oeuvres and beverages.

6:30-7:45 p.m. Dinner follows the President’s Reception. [ticket required] HUB MPR.

8:15 p.m. Concert by Ensemble Chaconne with Pamela Dellal, mezzo-soprano. Heritage Hall, Samuel Read Hall Residence Hall on Highland Ave. [ticket required]

Ensemble Chaconne with Peter H. Bloom, Renaissance flute; Carol Lewis, viola da gamba; Olav Chris Henriksen, Renaissance lute and mezzo-soprano Pamela Dellal, will transport the audience to Elizabeth times with Measure for Measure: The Music of Shakespeare’s Plays. The program was hailed by The Portland Herald as “the perfect Elizabethan evening.” Ensemble Chaconne, now in its 23rd season, has been praised for vitality and character, style and verve. Songs include “The Willow Song” sung by Desdemona before her murder in Othello; “It Was a Lover and His Lasse” from As You Like It and “Take O Take Those Lips Away” from Measure for Measure.

Saturday, April 25

5–10 p.m. Medieval and Renaissance Feast and Entertainment, [ticket required]. Heritage Commons, Samuel Read Hall Residence Hall. Students in period dress and authentic medieval-inspired food served in an atmosphere that recreates the experience of a medieval meal, including a hand-washing ceremony and a knighting ceremony. The feast will be visited by a professional jester: Roger the Jester. Costumes are encouraged and masks will be provided.

Additional Events, Vendors and Displays

Sponsored by the Medieval Society of Plymouth State University (MEDSOC): Times and locations to be determined.

•Live chess match on the Alumni Green (in front of the HUB). Friday, 4 p.m.

•Longbow archery demonstrationTBA

•Chain mail workshop TBA


Books: Basilia Books

Jewelry and objets d’art: Marantha Creations

Music CDs: Art & Joanne Ketchen

Lamson Library: Visit the Lamson Library and Learning Commons to view our outstanding display of medieval materials.