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A Letter from the President of the Medieval Association of the Pacific

May 21, 2006

Dear Members and Prospective Members of the Medieval Association of the Pacific:

I write as President of MAP to update members not able to attend the annual conference about MAP news and to provide all members with more information about our next annual meeting.  We send this letter to our e-mail membership list, print it in Chronica, and post it on the MAP website in hopes of communicating with everyone who is or might be interested in becoming a member.

According to MAP custom, I succeeded Siân Echard as President of MAP after two years of service as Vice President.  Before being elected Vice President I had served several terms on the Council, the first time from 1985-88, and had served as Secretary of MAP and Editor of Chronica from 1998-2003.  I also served as spouse of the MAP President from 1992-94 when George Brown was President.  Thus I know the organization from many points of view.  I am honored to serve as President.

Since the meeting in Utah, plans for the 2007 MAP meeting have firmed up.  Blair Sullivan and the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies will host our meeting at UCLA Friday and Saturday March 2-3, 2007.  Paul Dutton and former MAP President Caroline Bynum will be our two plenary speakers.  As usual paper submissions will be due November 1, 2006.  I encourage those interested to submit proposals for complete sessions, especially sessions that are interdisciplinary and include presenters from more than one university.

The 2008 meeting will be conjoint with the Medieval Academy at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, hosted by Siân Echard.

Thinking back on the 2006 annual MAP meeting, several features stand out for me.  The policy implemented during Dhira Mahoney’s term as President of having two plenary speakers served us well: Martin Carmargo’s “Medieval Rhetoric Delivers: Pedagogy and Performance in and beyond the Medieval Classroom” and Peter von Sivers’ “Getting Along: The Afterglow of Convivencia in the Cantigas de Santa Maria” entertained and informed their audiences.  All the papers I heard during the five concurrent sessions were interesting and elicited thoughtful discussion.  I was especially pleased by the high quality of papers presented by graduate student members of our organization. 

We celebrated MAP turning 40 with a special plenary session called “Memories of MAP,” at which six MAP presidents reflected on our history.  Andy Kelly, George Brown, Nancy van Deusen, Glenn Olsen, Dhira Mahoney, and Siân Echard each presented a different perspective, after which members in the audience added their memories.  Since then I have revised the MAP history on our web site, correcting some errors brought to my attention and bringing the history up to date.

The local arrangements committee, chaired by Georgiana Donavin, our host for the conference, did a superlative job providing for us at Westminster College and Little America.  Saturday morning we were treated to snow and brilliant sunshine.  Throughout the conference the mountain ranges in view from the city were stunning.

At the Business Meeting, congratulations were offered to winners of the Benton Award and the Founders’ Prize, and thanks were proffered to outgoing President Siân Echard and members of the MAP Council, Jarbel Rodriguez, David Tinsley, and Nick Howe.  New officers and councilors were elected by the membership:  Peter Diehl, History, was elected the new Vice President, and Julie Paulson, Scott Kleinman, Blair Sullivan, Keizo Asagi, and Michael Curley were elected to terms on the Council.

I will conclude with two reminders:

If you haven't renewed your membership for 2005-06, please do so. The Treasurer reported at the Business Meeting in Utah that renewals are disturbingly low. If you aren’t sure whether you paid or not, you can always send $25 with a note that it can be a gift to the organization if your dues are current!

Spread the word about MAP, especially to graduate students. And make sure they know about the Benton Award, which supports travel to conferences, and the Founders’ Award for the best student papers presented at the MAP conference.

Wishing you all well as we approach summer,

Phyllis Brown
President, MAP

Membership is $25 for faculty and $15 for students

Renew online or make checks payable to the Medieval Association of the Pacific and send them to the treasurer,

Professor Mary-Lyon Dolezal
Department of Art History
University of Oregon
Eugene, OR 97403-5229

Upcoming Events

Next year's MAP meeting will be held at UCLA on March 2-3, 2007.

The conference program and registration forms may be found under the "Annual Conferences" link in the left sidebar, starting in early 2007.

The Founders' Prize

MAP awards a maximum of three prizes ($500/ $250/ $250) for the best papers presented by graduate students at the annual meetings. Graduate students who wish their papers to be considered for the Founders' Prize should submit their papers, preferably electronically, to Arlene Sindelar ( by August 15, 2006.

If you have questions about this prize, direct them to either Arlene Sindelar ( or Phyllis Brown (

The John F. Benton Award

This award, named in honor of its progenitor, John F. Benton, MAP President 1982-1984, provides travel funds for all members of the Medieval Association of the Pacific--independent medievalists and graduate students in particular--who might not otherwise receive support from institutions.

The award may be used to defray costs connected with delivering a paper at any conference, especially for MAP conferences, or connected to scholarly research. Up to three awards will be presented each year, for $400 apiece. Applications should include a one-page vita, an abstract of a paper submitted to the conference, and a photocopy of the Call for Papers or conference announcement; if the application is for travel to research, it should include a one-page vita, and a letter outlining the research project. Send applications by November 1st, 2006 to the vice president of the Association.

Peter D. Diehl
Department of History
Western Washington University
Bellingham, WA 98225-9056


2005 Presidential Letters (archived)

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