Faculty News


New Medieval Studies Conference Fosters Alternative Approaches the Humanities Scholarship

by Jennifer Borland

Dr. Jennifer Borland, assistant professor of art history, participated in the first biennial meeting of the Babel Working Group, which was held at the University of Texas, Austin in November 2010. The Babel Working Group is a collective of over 150 scholars (primarily medievalists, but also those in other fields), who are working to develop new cross-disciplinary alliances between the humanities, sciences, social sciences.

The conference was intended to "bring together medievalists with scholars and theorists working in later periods in the humanities in order to collectively take up broad questions" about the future of medieval studies and the humanities. Dr. Borland is especially excited about a collaborative project that has developed out of the session in which she presented her paper. This informal group intends to explore unconventional venues and formats for discussions about visuality, phenomenology, responsibility, and creativity in medieval art history and related fields.


Library Grants Take Art Historian to California

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Cristina Cruz González was the 2010 recipient of a UCLA Library Research Grant and a William Reese Fellowship at the Bancroft Library. The UCLA grant, funded by the university’s Latin American Institute, encourages research at the Charles Young Research Library (special collections) on UCLA’s campus. The Reese Fellowship funds original research on any genre of printed material relating to the Americas.

In August and November, González traveled to Los Angeles and Berkeley to examine over 30 sermons relating to a miraculous Marian icon from nineteenth-century Querétaro (Mexico).

The sermons stress the process by which the numinous sculpture—a seventeenth-century Franciscan creation—was adopted by royalist forces during the Mexican Independence movement (1810-1821) and became an emblem of conservative, civic pride for Querétaro’s residents. The archival research forms the basis of the final chapter of her book manuscript, “Landscapes of Conversion: Franciscan Politics and Sacred Objects in Late Colonial Mexico,” which provides a genealogy of Franciscan image theory in the New World.

Contact the author for more information, cristina.gonzalez@okstate.edu.