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Welcome to Medieval and Early Modern Studies.

The MEMS program organizes the University’s extraordinarily rich resources in medieval and early modern history, history of art and architecture, archaeology, history, literature, linguistics, anthropology, sociology, philosophy, religious studies, music, and the history of science and technology into an interdisciplinary and often collaborative community where we can share work, information, and interests.

MEMS offers graduate students a number of opportunities: a Graduate Certificate Program, funding for travel and research, ongoing colloquia and interdisciplinary workshops, the MEMS lecture series, and several conferences each year. Graduate students with MEMS interests are always welcome to participate in our various programs, and we make a point to arrange opportunities for conversation and intellectual exchange between our graduate students and visiting scholars. Since MEMS is a voluntary affiliation, you need not be formally admitted to the Graduate Certificate Program to participate in our events. Your interest is the only requirement! To get on our mailing list, receive announcements, and keep up with current happenings, contact

The Certificate Program

For requirements and how to apply, follow the Certificate Program link.

The Proseminar

The centerpiece of the Graduate Certificate Program is the MEMS proseminar, which is a team-taught comparative and/or interdisciplinary course that brings together faculty and students from a wide array of our constituent areas. Visiting lectures, colloquiua, and conferences are often coordinated to bear upon the topic of a given term’s proseminar. This course is offered under two or more departments (appropriate to the topic and disciplinary approach) and welcomes both Certificate students and other interested upper-level students.

MEMS 898: Interdisciplinary Dissertation Colloquium

The MEMS proseminar is usually our students’ first experience in creating an interdisciplinary intellectual community. At the other end of the graduate student experience, MEMS 898 offers a similar model of interdisciplinary work for students at the dissertation-writing stage. The Dissertation Colloquium provides advanced students in MEMS an opportunity to present their work to one another in a seminar that brings together doctoral candidates from potentially all the MEMS disciplines. The work one presents may be dissertation chapters (or parts thereof), conference papers, or scholarly articles to be submitted for publication. In addition to reading and responding to one another’s work, the seminar will also consider methodological and disciplinary issues of common interest to members of the seminar. MEMS 898 counts toward the requirements of the Certificate in Medieval and Early Modern Studies, but you do not need to be admitted to the Certificate Program to take the course. The Dissertation Colloquium may be repeated for up to six credits. This is the only MEMS colloquium you can also take for graduate course credit.

Rackham Interdisciplinary Workshops

Since 2003 Rackham School of Graduate Studies has sponsored a number of interdisciplinary workshops for graduate students and faculty. These groups are self-organized by the participants, have an ongoing core membership, and meet regularly throughout the academic year. This program is designed to help advanced students form working groups that support the dissertation-writing process, as well as encouraging exchange and collaboration among students and faculty who share intellectual interests but do not have a readily available common forum. Learn more about MEMS-related workshops and other groups of interest.

Funding Opportunities

The Newberry Consortium

The Newberry Consortium is an important source of archival materials and programing for MEMS graduate students. Through our affiliation with the consortium (administered at the Newberry Library, Center for Renaissance Studies in Chicago), students and faculty have access to the programs of both the Newberry Library and the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC. In addition, both students and faculty of the U-M Ann Arbor campus may apply for funds to attend seminars or lectures, or to do research at these libraries. Typical grants are $300-$800 for travel to Newberry programs and $600 for travel to Folger programs; in special circumstances, larger grants may be possible if funds are available.

Individuals are strongly encouraged to request pre-approval for their budgets to ensure their costs will be covered. Please submit your workshop/symposium acceptance and a detailed budget to We will make every effort to support as many scholars as possible, but the funds in this account are available on a first come, first serve basis.

To see what’s going on at the Newberry and the Folger, follow the Quick links on the MEMS homepage.  For more information.

MEMS Summer Travel/Research Grants

MEMS awards Summer Travel/Research Grants to graduate students through an application process that commences early each Winter term. MEMS can offer such grants due to the generous gifts the program receives, and also thanks to support from the Rackham School of Graduate Studies, which has provided $5,000 for this purpose for the next three years (2016-2019). For further information about how to apply for this and other grants, follow the Funding link.

Other Resources

ScholarSpace is a community-driven learning space built to support initiatives that bridge disciplines, build networks, and discover new contexts for scholarship. To meet these goals, ScholarSpace is designed to enable creation, collaboration, and consultation, flexibly supporting independent use, group use, and course-integrated use, with a focus on information design, digital scholarship, and digital pedagogy.

ScholarSpace offers consultation services, workshops, and course-integrated instruction to help faculty, students, and staff develop digital literacy and design skills. Student and staff consultants partner with scholars across disciplines to explore the application of technologies to their learning and research. The space is designed to support multiple simultaneous uses of collaboration space and technology. Independent use of the technology and space is encouraged.