Longwood University will host the Seventh Annual Undergraduate Medieval Conference: Meeting in the Middle on April 5-6.

One of the speakers is prominent medieval scholar Dr. Lorraine Stock, who will speak on "Green Men, Wild Men and Sheela-na-gigs." Other highlights will include a presentation on the game of chess by French medieval architecture and archaeology specialist Dr. Luc Bourgeois and a fencing demonstration by historical fencing coach Tom Leoni. In addition, nearly 30 students will present research at the conference, the theme of which this year is "Where the Wild Things Are?" 

"One of the images of the Medieval Ages is that it was this wild and rambunctious time," said Dr. Steven Isaac, associate professor of history, who co-directs the conference. "Well, it was, but it was also a time of great political sophistication, courtliness and artistic production. You’ve got some of the best parts of human culture and society."

Isaac and co-director Dr. Larissa Tracy, associate professor of English, created the conference as a showcase for students interested in medieval studies. "It’s essentially a professional conference for undergraduate students," Tracy said.

"We wanted our students to present their research in the company of students of all the surrounding schools, both those at our presumed level and schools like U.Va. or William & Mary" said Isaac. "Our students have learned, year after year, that their skills and insights are on a par with the best in the region," Tracy said.

Undergraduates from around the country submit abstracts of their research to vie for a slot on the crowded  conference program. Those selected to make presentations have come from as far away as Cornell, Ole Miss and Notre Dame.

For more information, visit www.longwood.edu/medieval

[Medieval Festival image courtesy of Shutterstock]

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