I always love my job, but some days I really, really love it. Across the hall, Maura Lafferty might be poring over a difficult Latin text with a graduate student or two. Next door, Lauren Whitnah will be meeting with undergraduates, one after the other, from her Medieval and Renaissance Studies class, talking to them with the energy and brilliance she brings to all her work. Just a little farther down the hall, Anne-Hélène Miller meets with a seminar, speaking in modern French about texts written in Old French or Occitan. Immediately opposite my office, most days, three or four students will be in the Riggsby Reading Room, our program’s library, digging through primary sources, polishing an essay, or perhaps decoding a digitized image of a manuscript on one of our computers. From time-to-time during the day most any day, I can bother our program coordinator, Katie Hodges-Kluck, with questions about the budget or about why Henry II believed that King Arthur had been buried at Glastonbury. As a medieval historian, it’s hard to imagine a better place to pass the days.
This was the vision of Marco that my predecessors in this job, the wider community of medievalists and students of the Renaissance, and our generous patrons over the years promoted here in Knoxville—an engaged group of scholars and students drawn together by a shared passion for worlds and languages centuries or millennia old, a love of research and teaching, and talking to the wider public about what we do. Marco is thriving. We are always building on our past successes and looking to launch still more ambitious projects in the coming years. Check our online calendar regularly, take part in our events, and join our community. See how the plans of the past have come together and imagine with us to what future they might still lead!
Riggsby Director, Marco Institute for Medieval and Renaissance Studies
Alvin and Sally Beaman Professor of History