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The Annual Meeting of the Medieval Academy of America (MAA) comes to Canada

Updated: Aug 7, 2022

With a Session for Teachers K-12, April 6-8, 2017

-- 01 April 2017 | TMA

The Medieval Academy of America (MAA) meets annually in the spring at the end of the academic year to present new research, and this year the conference will be held in Toronto at the University of Toronto hosted by Centre for Medieval Studies (CMS) and the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies (PIMS) with some sessions at the Art Gallery of Ontario and Aga Khan Museum, tours at the Royal Ontario Museum, and excursions to the oldest European settlement in Ontario (1615), the Jesuit mission of Sainte-Marie-Among-the-Hurons, and the Shrine of the Canadian Martyrs in Midland Ontario. (See more information at CMS website)

Interesting for teachers in Ontario is the session focusing on supporting teachers in the classroom in the US and Canada. In both countries the Middle Ages are part of the curriculum, and in Ontario students are first exposed to the Middle Ages in fourth grade through the Ancient Civilizations curriculum and Language Arts. In most cases teachers are not specialists of the Middle Ages and can’t be expected to know how to teach the breadth of the curriculum if it falls outside their expertise. This is a great opportunity to connect teachers, who are exposing the period to students for the first time, with Medievalists who can provide reliable resources to teachers just as TMA provides scholarly works and reliable web sources.

The session, entitled “Words and Deeds: A Roundtable on Medieval Studies K-12 Classrooms” (2.7) on April 7 (10AM-12PM), includes Carrie Swartz of the AGO who will be sharing the lesson sheets to teach students about the prayer beads located in the Thomson collection at the AGO. The lessons for the boxwoods were created to accompany the “Small Wonders: Gothic Boxwood Miniatures” exhibit and are shared with the public already on their website. (Download here)

Miniature Boxwood, discussion of Lesson 1: Collections, Museums, and Portable Art Grades 4-6

Other speakers include Elza Tiner of Lynchburg College, discussing Latin which is taught in the US in fourth grade through high school; Emily Sohmer Tai of Queensborough Community College, CUNY, highlightin Medieval Studies in the advance placement curriculum which can include the academic stream, IB, and AP in High School in Ontario; Anne McClanan of Portland State University who will demonstrate using visual realities in the classroom; Elizabeth Morrison of the Getty Museum and Shennan Hutton of University of California. Swartz will be providing a Canadian Museum perspective to this panel talk.

Thomas E. Burman of the University of Notre Dame organized the panel, and Thomas Goodmann of the University of Miami will chair it Friday morning. See more details on the conference webpage and MAA program:

Proceedings can be purchased with University of Chicago press:

Miniature Boxwood, discussion of Lesson 2: The Design of Storytelling for Grades 4-6

New Links:

Sites of Encounter in The Middle Ages - California History and Social Science Project from

The J. Paul Getty Museum K-12 Resources as presented by Elizabeth Morrison:

How to cite blog:

TMA staff, "The Annual Meeting of the Medieval Academy of America (MAA) comes to Canada:

With a Session for Teachers K-12, April 6-8, 2018." Teaching the Middle Ages (TMA), April 1, 2017; revised 2022,

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