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Annual Riggsby Lecture on Medieval Mediterranean History and Culture

Relief sculpture by Antonio di Pietro Averlino

2020 Riggsby Lecture: 

Headshot of Samantha KellySamantha Kelly

Professor of History, Rutgers University

“The Other Christians of the Late Medieval Mediterranean: Ethiopian Settlement and Exchange with Latin Europe, c. 1200 – c. 1550”

Date: Thursday, October 1, 2020

Time: 5:00 PM EDT

Venue: This free public lecture will be hosted online via Zoom. Get the link here.

Questions? Email

About the Riggsby Lecture:


Thanks to the generous support of donors Stuart and Kate Riggsby, the Marco Institute was able to establish the annual Riggsby Lecture in 2004. This lecture series brings a prestigious scholar of the medieval Mediterranean to the University of Tennessee campus every fall to give a public talk on a medieval Mediterranean topic of the speaker’s choosing. We are grateful to the Riggsbys to have been able to host the following distinguished academics in past years.

Poster for Maureen Miller's 2019 Riggsby Lecture2019

Maureen Miller

“Medieval Italy’s Bishops: A Mediterranean Episcopate in its European Context, c. 1050-1300”


Hussein Fancy

Associate Professor of History, Univ. of Michigan

“The Impostor Sea: The Making of the Medieval Mediterranean”


Nuria Silleras-Fernandez

Associate Professor of Spanish and Portuguese, University of Colorado – Boulder

“The Crown of Aragon and the Mediterranean: Politics, Gender, and Culture”


Karla Mallette

Professor of Italian and Near-Eastern Studies, University of Michigan

Cosmopolitan Languages, Lingua Franca, and Linguistic Frontiers in the Medieval Mediterranean


Paul M. Cobb

Professor of Medieval Islamic History, University of Pennsylvania

“Charlemagne’s Muslim Elephant: Kingship, Nature, and Monotheism in the Early Middle Ages”
Click Here to watch the simulcast on November 5 @ 5:30p


Jonathan P. Phillips

Professor of History, Royal Holloway, University of London

“Saladin: Life and Legend”


Catherine Brown

University of Michigan

“Traveling Hands: Mobile Manuscript in the Early Medieval Mediterranean”


Amy Remensnyder

Brown University

“La Conquistadora: A Tale of Two Seas, the Virgin Mary, Muslims, Christians, Jews, and Indians”


Paul H. Freedman

Chester D. Tripp Professor of History, Yale University

“A Phantom Spanish Archive: The Past Slips Through Our Fingers”


Cynthia Robinson

Cornell University

“Who’s that Girl?: Cross-cultural Narrative, Mysticism and the Lady on the Alhambra Ceilings”


Sharon Kinoshita

University of California, Santa Cruz

“How To Do Things in the Medieval Mediterranean”


Michelle Hamilton

University of California, Irvine

“The Fall of ‘Spain’: The Problem of Muslims in Medieval Iberia”


Joel Cohen

Director, Boston Camerata

“Music of the Three Religions in Medieval Spain”


Timothy Barnes

University of Toronto

“What is the Theodosian Code?”


David Nirenberg

Johns Hopkins University“King Alfonso VIII and the Jewess of Toledo: A Love Story”


Olivia Remie Constable

University of Notre Dame

“A Game for Everybody: Chess and Society at the Court of Alfonso X of Castile”