Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Teaching (SMART)


This collection of articles on manuscript materiality resulted from a 2015 National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Seminar called “The Materiality of Manuscripts: Interpretation through Production,” directed by Jonathan Wilcox, which took place at the University of Iowa’s Center for the Book. Its main principle was the idea that learning the skills and techniques of bookmaking would provide a richer understanding of the texts that form the core of medievalists’ research and teaching. The group of scholars made their own parchment, sewed their own books, and participated in hands-on events involving special collections, eventually returning to their own campuses to share their experiences and directly take on classroom engagement. Hopefully, these essays will inspire others to develop their own ways of connecting with medieval materiality.

Also included in this issue are four very fine articles—from teaching Chaucer as a foreign language, to a blended-learning digital humanities course involving the history of the Spanish language, to teaching the Crusades, to Christian free will and reader choice—as well as four first-rate book reviews, long overdue as a result of SMART’s long publishing queue.

Please share information on the SMART journal with friends, colleagues, and libraries, alerting them to the wide contribution that this journal makes to Middle Ages and Renaissance pedagogy. We are always interested in new submissions, either individual papers or collections of essays around a theme. If you have a project that you think might be suitable for SMART, please let us know. Also, thank you for being a SMART subscriber.

Fall 2018 (Volume 25, Issue 2)

Manuscript Materiality in the Classroom and Beyond (special collection guest edited by Ellen K. Rentz and Michelle M. Sauer)

  • ELLEN K. RENTZ and MICHELLE M. SAUER Of Parchment and Pedagogy: An Introduction

  • RHONDA L. MCDANIEL Manuscripts in the College Classroom: Material and Virtual Pedagogies

  • ERIN I. MANN Doing More, Reading Less: Revising History of the Book Pedagogy

  • SARAH NOONAN Yielding the Floor: Production, Craft, and Materiality in the College Classroom

  • HEATHER BLATT #RespectTheScribes: Experiential Learning and Book History

  • R. SCOTT BEVILL Manuscript Madness at the Medieval Faire: Bringing Materiality into the Public Classroom

  • JONATHAN WILCOX The Riddle of the Page: Material Enticement to the Old English Riddles of the Exeter Book

  • REBECCA RICHARDSON MOUSER Teaching Oral Tradition through Medieval Materiality

  • PAUL GAFFNEY Manuscript Materiality and Immateriality

  • JAMES W. BARKER Teaching the Bible as a SuperNatural Book: Textual Criticism of Matthew’s Parable of the Two Sons


NICOLE CLIFTON Teaching Chaucer as a Foreign Language

ABRAHAM QUINTANAR The History of the Spanish Language, a Blended-Learning Digital Humanities Course: Teaching Advanced Under-graduate Students in a Liberal Arts Setting

CHRISTOPHER M. BELLITTO Teaching the Crusades: Religion, Violence, and Mythistory

BRIAN J. HARRIES Christian Free Will and Reader Choice in Ryan North’s To Be or Not To Be

TED LERUD  Book Review: The Chester Cycle in Context, 1555–1575: Religion, Drama, and the Impact of Change, edited by Jessica Dell, David Klausner, and Helen Ostovich

JOSHUA S. EASTERLING Book Review: Catholic and Protestant Translations of the Imitatio Christi, 1425–1650: From Late Medieval Classic to Early Modern Bestseller, by Maximilian von Habsburg

MICHAEL SARABIA Book Review: Neomedievalism in the Media: Essays on Film, Television, and Electronic Games, edited by Carol L. Robinson and Pamela Clements

 E. J. CHRISTIE Book Review: Runes: A Handbook, by Michael P. Barnes

Both spring and fall 2018 issues of SMART are included in the yearly subscription price of $30 for individuals, $35 for libraries and centers, and $40 for subscriptions outside of the United States. Prepayment is required. A subscription form can be printed by clicking on Subscription Information in the left side bar area.

Back issues are available for $20 each (domestic mailing) or $25 each (foreign mailing).

Continuing support for SMART from the Fairmount College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Wichita State University makes it possible to provide our readers with quality pedagogical scholarship.