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Greetings from Dr. Michael A. Ryan, the new Director of the UNM's Institute for Medieval Studies.

As colorful balloons soar in the azure New Mexican skies and the smell of roasting green chile wafts in the air, one’s thoughts naturally turn to fall in the Land of Enchantment. And with the start of the new Fall semester here on UNM’s bucolic campus, I became the fourth director of UNM’s Institute for Medieval Studies. It is a true honor and pleasure to assume the mantle as Director following my amazing predecessor, Dr. Justine Andrews, who led and safely steered the IMS during the trauma of the COVID-19 pandemic and who reinvigorated the Helen Damico Memorial Lecture Series; the extraordinary Dr. Timothy C. Graham, who led the IMS for almost two decades and who brought dozens of respected medievalists to campus to share their brilliance with the UNM community; and the dearly-missed, founder and first director of the IMS, Helen Damico, who put medieval studies in New Mexico on the map. I look forward to continuing the IMS’ mission of outreach, education, and scholarship in the rich heritage of the ancient, medieval, and early modern periods.

We have already had an invigorating semester for those interested in the medieval past. In September, we were fortunate to have Dr. Enrica Salvatori of the Università di Pisa come share her innovative and important work on medieval Mediterranean piracy and digital humanities with IMS undergrads, grad students, and faculty. This October we are excited to be having our first annual (hopefully!) Medieval Times Faire! This FREE event to which you are all invited, to take place on Friday, October 20, 2023, from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM and held on Smith Plaza (the space between Humanities and Ortega Halls and Zimmerman Library), will be a celebration of all things medieval and we will have games, lectures, music, representatives from UNM student organizations and Albuquerque businesses. My deepest thanks go to Dr. Andrews and Jessie Bonafede, the IMS Outreach Coordinator, for conceptualizing and organizing what promises to be a fun and informative day. For more information, please see the Medieval Times Faire tab under the "events" section of the website. Of course, in the coming Spring semester, we plan to have more guests and the always spectacular Helen Damico Memorial Lecture Series (formerly known as the Spring Lecture Series).

In our current, and complicated, time of the continuing pandemic, the rising tide of white supremacy, and the flood of misinformation and disinformation from those who would seek to appropriate the premodern past for their own nefarious ends, as Director I pledge that the IMS will continue to support our students and faculty and Friends in their scholarship and teaching of the Middle Ages. I also aim to find ways to bring interesting new content through new platforms to our entire medievalist community.

If you want to get involved with the IMS, please do not hesitate to write medinst@unm.edu and ask the IMS’ indefatigable assistant, Emily Heimerman, to be put on the mailing list. Please do let us know if you’re an undergraduate student, a graduate student, a member of the faculty or staff, or a Friend of Medieval Studies, so we ensure you get on the right mailing list and aren’t bombarded with a host of emails.

I am very much looking forward to serving as Director of the IMS and meeting all of you. Welcome to the IMS and the 2023-2024 academic year!


Check out our Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBzMAGk95CIhKgz-hadHlAg

Past Spring Lecture Series, Work in Progress Lectures, etc. can be found there.


IMS Newsletter: Medieval Happenings - UNM IMS Newsletter

We are happy to announce that the Foulk Medieval Studies Scholarship of $2000 has been awarded to Emily Heimerman.

Ms. Heimerman is a graduate student in the history department who will be participating in the summer study trip "Museums and Archives in Oxford U.K." This faculty-led trip will allow students to explore the collections and archival materials at Oxford University and other institutes nearby. 

Helen Damico Memorial Spring Lecture Series

“Medieval Women,” the 3rd Annual Helen Damico Memorial Lecture Series and the 37th Spring Lecture Series hosted by UNM’s Institute for Medieval Studies, will offer a compelling four-day event that will span the fields of Art History, Literature, Law, History, and Medicine. It will be taking place April 24-27, 2023 in Woodward Hall 101 each evening beginning at 6 pm.   

Video recordings of lectures can be found on our YouTube channel.




A Note from Justine Andrews, New Director of the Institute for Medieval Studies

On July 1, 2020, I became the third director of the UNM Institute for Medieval Studies. Following my extraordinary predecessor, Dr. Timothy Graham, and the dearly-missed, founder and first director, Helen Damico, I look forward to continuing the Institute’s mission of outreach, education, and scholarship in the rich heritage of the Middle Ages. In the current, and complicated, time of the COVID-19 crisis, we will continue to support our students and faculty in their scholarship of the Middle Ages. I also aim to find ways to bring interesting new content through new platforms to all of our students, faculty, and friends. I hope that everyone stays safe and that we will be able to see each other again at the next lecture series or event.

Helen Damico, Founder of the Institute for Medieval Studies, Passes Away

It is with great sorrow that we announce that Helen Damico, the inspirational founder of the Institute for Medieval Studies and all UNM’s medieval programs, passed away on Tuesday, April 14, 2020. Our medieval community here in New Mexico deeply mourns her passing; we will always honor her memory and her extraordinary achievements.

A number of those who knew Professor Damico have asked if they can make donations to the Institute as a mark of their esteem for her. We greatly appreciate your thoughtfulness and generosity. Please see the Support page for more details.