About Us

The Medieval Studies Research Blog is a multi-author blog site hosted by the University of Notre Dame’s Medieval Institute, one of the premier centers for medieval studies in North America. Our posts come from current and former members as well as friends of Notre Dame’s vibrant medievalist community. As a project intended to support the research and online presence of our graduate students and faculty, this blog aims to achieve interdisciplinary and geographically broad coverage that represents the full spectrum of research performed among medieval scholars. The site, therefore, actively supports the Institute’s inclusive mission to advance “research and teaching on the multiple cultures, languages, and religions of the medieval period and their interrelations.” Our posts cover a spectrum of topics related to current research projects, pedagogy, the state of the humanities, working in the archives, translation and editing projects, and more.

This site began as the Chequered Board, a manuscript studies forum developed under the aegis of Kathryn Kerby-Fulton with an emphasis on insular and North Seas literature. In medieval England, the Court of the Exchequer used either a checkered board or cloth, inspired by the game of chess, for its complex accounting duties. The Exchequer was famous for loud and lively debates in court, and this image embodies the animated conversations that take place among Notre Dame’s scholarly community. In keeping with the spirit of the original project, we encourage just this kind of active, intellectual discussion, now with a more diverse geographical and disciplinary scope under our new Institute sponsorship.

Dublin Court of the Exchequer from a now destroyed manuscript, c. 1420. The Red Book of the Exchequer. Image from John Gilbert, Facsimiles of the National Manuscripts of Ireland, vol. 3 (London, 1879), plate 37.