Student conference


The Undergraduate Student Conference is run in partnership with the students of Medieval Studies, the Medieval Studies Course Union and the program of Medieval Studies.

The conference is free and open to all.

Submissions must be sent to

Students pose for a photo op at the 2014 Medieval Studies Undergraduate Conference.
Students pose for a photo op at the 2014 Medieval Studies Undergraduate Conference.

Interested in getting involved with the conference? .

Imagining Medicine - 2017


Friday February 24th, Harry Hickman Building 110

Time Session
2:30 pm

Doctors and Physicians (Chair: Alanna Blackall)

  • Omolara Awoyungbo, Jensen Edwards, Emma Kwasnica, UVic French, "Mire, médecine, physicien: following French synonyms for doctor through time"
  • McKaila ferguson, UVic AHVS, "The Physician's Almanac: Accessory as Authority"
  • Sam Landa, UVic Medieval Studies, "Responsibilities and Dangers of Being a Jewish Physician in the Middle Ages"
4:30 pm Keynote address: Dr. Grossi, The Love Sickness (Chair: Jasmeen Boparai)
6:00 - 7:30 pm

Research Poster Fair
with refreshments and cake

Saturday February 25th, Harry Hickman Building 110

Time Session
9:30 am Morning cup, HHB 120
9:45 am

Childbirth in question (Chair: Molly Trepanier)

  • Kathryn Ney, UBC, "Blood Mothers, Milk Nurses, and teh Nurturing Breast from Antiquity to Early Modern Medicine
  • Josie Greenhill, UVic, AHVS, "From Hippocrates to Soranus: Moral and Ethical Implications of Abortion in the Ancient World"
  • Fran Cudlipp, Interdisciplinary Studies, "Childbirth Charm Remedies in the Old English Medical Recipe Books"
11:00 am Indigenous Youth Reclaiming Spirituality and Medcine (Chair: Helene Cazes) Ceremonial Hall, First Peoples House
Wapiskey Muskwa (Gordy Bear), Aygadin Majagalee (Teanna Ducharme), Morris Prosser, Rakiya Larkin, Asta Murray
12:00 pm Hosted lunch
1:00 pm

Knowledge and Spaces (Chair: Sam Landa)

  • Keely Hammond, IMP/UBC, "Re-discovery of Observation in Medieval Anatomy Education: Lessons in Art and Anatomy for the Modern Medical Studnet"
  • Alanna Blackall, UVic Medieval Studies/English, "Looking at Public Relationships with Manuscripts: The Enigmatic Voynich Manuscript"
  • Karen Ng, UBC Medievals Studies, "Mint and Medicine: Spaces of Knowledge in Medieval Pharacopeias and Physic Gardens"
3:00 pm

Medicine and Mystery (Chair: Katie Woods)

  • Phelan Hourigan, UVic French, "The Stereotypical Relationship Between Women and the Use of Poison in The Accursed Kings"
  • Duncan Calveley, UVic Medieval Studies/History, "Amber in Liao Dynasty Tombs: Safegaurding Body and Soul"
4:00 pm Conclusions and closing remarks

Download a pdf copy of the program.

Imagining Medicine before 1660: Disciplines and Traditions of "Medicine before Modern Medicine"

University of Victoria 24th - 25th of February 2017
Harry Hickman Building 110

More ancient and broader than what we now call "Medicine", ancient and medieval medicine was not as much a specific discipline as a way of using and weaving together all disciplines with the aim of knowing and healing the human body: it encompassed both the theoretical knowledge of the universe and the practical ways of acting on living beings. Astrology, natural history, alchemy, botany, chemistry, dietetics, psychology, religion, magic, art, music, theology, literature were all relevant in order to explore/explain the mysterious resonances between the universe and the human body, between the macrocosm and the microcosm. Far from disparaging these forms of knowledge that the Scientific Revolution pushed into oblivion or discredit, we'll emphasize the global dimensions (geographic and epistemological) of the ancient medicine and we'll highlight their lasting influence into our own practices and beliefs.

This conference will explore ancient and medieval medicines, focusing on the complexities and permeability of disciplines. Papers may address medical knowledge and practices, systems and sources, people and stories, institutions and economics, structures of power, indigenous medicine, lifestyles, sanitation and prevention, gender, surgery, anatomy, humours, lapidaries, works of art, etc. We welcome submissions from all disciplines and methodologies.

All aspects of pre-modern medicine will be considered, from the wide range of periods and places across which Hippocrates dialogues with Harvey, Galen and Soranus dialogue with Agnodis and Trotula, Avicenna and Guy de Chauliac with Arnaldus de Villanova and Maimonides, along with many other physicians, healers, midwives, scientists, saints, and seers. Geographical areas include but are not limited to Mediterranean, Europe, Iceland, Middle East, Asia. Submissions should comprise a title, the name and affiliation of the author, a short biography (150 words), a summary of the proposed paper (300 words max, with a corpus, a methodology and a short bibliography). Submissions will be selected on the criteria of relevance to the topic and academic rigorousness. We also invite students and community to submit proposals for art works, short performances, workshops, or shows (up to 30 minutes) of medieval crafts, music, art, and dramatic or martial arts.

Global Magic - 2016

"Global Magic" was help on Februrary 19th and 20th 2016. Our featured keynote speaker was Dr. Andrew Gow from the University of Alberta.

Keynote address

  • Dr. Andrew Gow, University of Alberta - Backwards Progress:" The Secularization of witch-hunting and the superenchantment of the world in Renaissance and Reformation Europe. Download the poster.

Student speakers

  • Della E. Campion, University of Washington - The Intellectual Decompression Chamber:" Defining Magic in the Satanic Bible
  • Joe Marino, University of Washington - Monks, Magic, and Meditation: Protection Spells from the Snake King in a 2nd Century Gandharan Buddhist Manuscript
  • Jonathan Amor, University of Victoria - As A Light Unto the Nations: Magic as Shadow of the Ancient and Biblical Israelites
  • Karoline Guelke, University of Victoria - Soul Loss and the Evil Eye in the Andes: Reflections on the Liminal Position of an Anthropologist
  • Jerome Palliser, University of York - Spiritual Sanctioning: Understanding Indigenous Perspectives on Magic
  • Josh Scott, University of Calgary - Disenchantment and Modernity: Reallianism as a Subversion of Scientific Rationalism
  • Gabrielle Greenlee, UC Santa Cruz - On the Borderlines of Magic: Sacred Mountains and Alchemical Mining in the Colonial Andes
  • Baylee Woodley, University of Victoria - Tools of the Necromancing Encyclopedist
  • Tyler Riemer, University of Saskatchewan - What You Wouldn't do for Love: Books of Secrets and Love magic in sixteenth-century English
  • Irina Ridzuan, University of Victoria - The Dark Side of Byzantium: Gendered Iconography of Evil
  • Baily Arnholz, University of Victoria - Voice of Death: The Sound of Images of the Medieval Macabre
  • Fahime Ghorbani, University of Victoria - Words and Numbers as the Guardians; Talismanic Shirts from Persian World

Journeys through the Middle Ages and the Renaissance - 2015

"Journeys through the Medieval and Renaissance Worlds" was held over two days in March 2015. The proceedings featured keynote speakers, Dr. Richard Unger from the University of British Columbia and Dr. Erin Campbell from the University of Victoria.

Keynote address

  • Dr. Richard Unger, University of British Columbia - Sailing the High Seas: Vikings and Other Travellers in the Middle Ages and Renaissance.
  • Dr. Erin Campbell, University of Victoria - There and Back Again: Images of Travel in the European Home

Student speakers

  • Nichalas Healey, UVic Anthropology - Dying a Christian, Dying like my Ancestors: The Archaeology of Death in the Early Medieval Irish Sea Region
  • Bailey Arnholz, UVIC History in Art - Dancing with Skeletons: Moving between Life and Death in the Middle Ages
  • Deryck Harry, UVIC History - Travels in Treason and Persecution: An Analysis of the English Judiciary Use of the Treason Act to Punish Catholics
  • Warren Olmstead, UVIC Medeival Studies - Dante's iPod: The Sounds of the Divina Commedia
  • Dawn Williamon, UVIC French - One Woman's Journey along the Long Road of Learning
  • Richard Bergen, UBC English - The "Ins" and "Outs" of the Allegorical Epic: The Soul's Warfaring and Wayfaring

Thanks to

The Beck Fund for Icelandic Studies
The Faculty of Humanities
The Graduate Students Society
The University of Victoria Student Society
The Program of Medieval Studies
Deryck Harry


Medieval Secrets and Mysteries - 2014

"Medieval Secrets and Mysteries" was held over two days in February/March 2014. The proceedings featured keynote speakers, Dr. Andrew Gow from the University of Alberta and Dr. Sara Beam from the UVic History department, as well as presentations from twenty undergraduate and graduate students from across North America.

Keynote address: Andrew Gow from the University of Alberta - Obscure 'superstitions' or human rights under the rule of law: what is medieval? The Arras witch-hunt of 1460 and its aftermath

Closing lecture: Prof. Sara Beam from the University of Victoria - Secret Pain: Judicial Torture Behind Closed Doors in Medieval and Early Modern Europe