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Annual Marco Symposium

17th Annual Symposium: “Visions of the End”

NOTE: In order to guarantee the safety of our students, faculty, staff, presenters, and the public during the coronavirus pandemic, we postponed our 2020 Symposium (originally scheduled for April 3-4, 2020). We are planning to hold the event, featuring the same topic and speakers, on 5-6 March 2021, in a virtual format. We will update this page with more information as it becomes available.

John of Patmos writing down his visions of the Apocalypse, c. 1400-1405 (Philadelphia Free Library, Lewis E M 8:13b)

The 17th annual Marco Symposium will explore the theme of Apocalypse. During the course of two days, eleven leading scholars will discuss medieval and Renaissance responses to the Book of Revelation written by John of Patmos. Completed around 100 C.E., John’s Book of Revelation anticipates a final judgment by analyzing such foreboding precursors as terrifying beasts and natural disasters. Recoiling from frightful threats and aspiring for eternal salvation, medieval and Renaissance writers and artists balanced fears about the final days with promises of renewal.

Program Information:

Featured Speakers:

  • Robert Bast, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
    Apocalyptic Augsburg: Prophecy, Piety and Politics in the Early Sixteenth Century
  • Kathryn Beebe, University of North Texas
    “Imagined Pilgrimage to the Celestial Jerusalem in the Late Middle Ages “
  • Richard Emmerson (Keynote Speaker), Florida State University:
    “The Apocalypse of the Duc de Berry and the Apocalyptic Great Schism”
  • Jennifer Feltman, Univesity of Alabama
    “Ecclesiology and Typology in the Apocalypse Sculptures of Reims Cathedral”
  • Mayte Green-Mercado, Rutgers University, Newark
    Prophecy as Diplomacy in the Fifteenth-Century Mediterranean
  • Jennifer Jahner, Cal Tech
    Apocalypse Unfurled: End-Times Management from Codex to Roll
  • Benjamin Saltzman, University of Chicago
    “Enigmas Near the End”
  • Stephen Shoemaker, University of Oregon
    “The Apocalypse of Ps.-Shenoute: Imperial Apocalypticism and Early Islamic Jerusalem”            
  • Laura Ackerman Smoller, Rochester
    Reading the End in Late Medieval Augsburg:  Wolfgang Aytinger’s Commentary on the Revelations of Pseudo-Methodius
  • Brett Whalen, University of North Carolina
    “The End Times and the Medieval Cosmos”
  • Roger Wieck, Morgan Library and Museum
    “Visions of the Beginning:  The Parliament of Heaven”


Registration Information:

The Marco Symposium is free and open to the public. Our 2021 Symposium will be hosted online and will require advance registration. Details forthcoming.

Please email our Program Coordinator, Dr. Katie Hodges-Kluck, at, with questions.

About the annual Marco Symposium

The Marco Symposium is held every year in March or April. The Symposium brings 10 leading experts in their field to the University of Tennessee for two days of talks on that year’s theme. A round-table discussion by all the participants concludes the weekend.

The Symposium is Marco’s signature event of the year, and typically attracts members of the larger Knoxville community in addition to students and faculty at UT and scholars from across the region. The theme of the Symposium changes each year. Faculty who are interested in submitting a proposal should contact

Guest Parking Information:

Visitor parking is located in the Volunteer Hall Garage (1545 White Ave.). Further details about UT visitor parking are available at the Parking & Transit Services website.

Free street parking is available in the neighborhoods around campus (e.g. Fort Sanders), but cannot be guaranteed. Guests can also get to campus via the free trolley from downtown.

The campus map is available online here.

2019 Marco Symposium
Death and Dying in Medieval Judaism, Christianity, and Islam
2018 Marco Symposium

Navigating Language in the Early Islamic World


2017 Marco Symposium

Carolingian Experiments

2016 Marco Symposium
Rome: Beyond the Discourse of Renewal
2015 Marco Symposium
‘Cry Havoc!’: War, Diplomacy and Conspiracy in the Middle Ages and Renaissance
2014 Marco Symposium
Reconceiving Pre-Modern Spaces
2012 Marco Symposium
Grounding the Book: Readers, Writers, and Places in the Pre-Modern World
2011Symposium 2011 Marco Symposium
Gardens, Real and Imagined
2010Symposium 2010 Marco Symposium
The Building Blocks of France
2009Symposium 2009 Marco Symposium
Humanism and Its Economies
2007Symposium 2007 Marco Symposium
Saints & Citizens: Religion and Politics in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance
2006Symposium 2006 Marco Symposium
The Book of Travels: Genre, Ethnology, Pilgrimage from 1250-1650

2005Symposium 2005 Marco Symposium
Interactions and Images: Cultural Contacts Across Eurasia, 600-1600

2004Symposium 2004 Marco Symposium
Spectacle and Public Performance in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance

2003Symposium 2003 Marco Symposium

Books and Readers in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance

2002Symposium 2002 Marco Symposium

Scripture and Pluralism: The Study of the Bible in the Sectarian Worlds of the Middle Ages and Renaissance