O’Donnell Lectures

The J.R. O’Donnell Memorial Lecture Series was established in 1992 to honour the memory of Rev. Prof. J.R. O’Donnell, who passed away in 1988. O’Donnell was a Basilian priest educated at the University of Toronto and the École des Chartes. From the 1930s to his retirement in 1971 he taught Medieval Latin, palaeography, and the edition of texts at the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies and in the Classics Department at the University of Toronto. His rigorous teaching standards were carried over into his scholarship. His book Nine Mediaeval Thinkers and his articles on Calcidius, Alcuin, Bernard Silvestris, and Coluccio Salutati are cited as authoritative contributions to this day. The series is intended to commemorate O’Donnell’s wide interests that embraced philology, the classical tradition, and medieval philosophy and theology. It is also meant to give prominence to the general field of Medieval Latin Studies.

Except as noted below, lectures are published in the Journal in the year following that in which they are given.

Father Leonard E. Boyle, O. P., Prefect, The Vatican Library

“The Vatican Library: Its Resources for Medieval Latin Studies”
Tuesday, 12 January 1993, Alumni Hall SMC
Not published by author’s request

Professor Peter Dronke, Professor of Medieval Latin, University of Cambridge

“Andreas Capellanus”
Friday, 1 October 1993, Alumni Hall SMC
Published, JMLat 4 (1994), 51–63

Professor Michael Winterbottom, Corpus Christi Professor of Latin, University of Oxford

“The Gesta Regum of William of Malmesbury”
Friday, 30 September 1994, Alumni Hall SMC
Published, JMLat 5 (1995), 158–173

Professor Mary Caruthers, Professor of English, New York University

“The ‘Rhetorica Novissima’ of Boncompagno da Signa”
Friday, 29 September 1995, Alumni Hall SMC
Published, JMLat 6 (1996), 44–64

Professor Brian Stock, Professor of Comparative Literature, University of Toronto

“Ethical Values and Literary Imagination in the Later Ancient World”
27 September 1996, Alumni Hall SMC
Not published by author’s request

Professor Gernot Wieland, Professor of English, University of British Columbia

“Interpreting the Interpretation: The Polysemy of the Latin Gloss”
Friday, 26 September 1997, Alumni Hall SMC
Published, JMLat 8 (1998), 59–71

Dr. Vivien Law, Reader in Linguistics, Sydney Sussex College, Cambridge

“Why Write a Grammar in Verse? Memory, Form, and Reality in Grammars 500–1500”
Friday, 25 September 1998, Alumni Hall SMC
Published, JMLat 9 (1999), 46–76

Professor Jan Ziolkowski, Professor of Classics and Comparative Literature, Harvard University

Nota Bene: Why the Classics were Neumed in the Middle Ages”
Friday, 17 March 2000, Northrop Frye Hall Victoria College
Published, JMLat 10 (2000), 74–114

Professor Dr. Walter Berschin, Professor of Medieval Latin, University of Heidelberg

“An Unpublished Library Catalogue from Eighth–Century Lombard Italy”
Friday, 9 March, 2001, Alumni Hall SMC
Published, JMLat 11 (2001), 201–212

Professor Danuta Shanzer, Professor of Classics, [quondam] Cornell University

“So Many Saints – So Little Time … The Libri Miraculorum of Gregory of Tours”
Friday, 27 September 2002, Alumni Hall SMC
Published, JMLat 13 (2003), 19–60

Professor Terence Tunberg, Professor of Latin, University of Kentucky

“The Latin of Erasmus and Medieval Latin: Continuities and Discontinuities”
Friday, 26 September 2003, Alumni Hall SMC
Published, JMLat 14 (2004), 147–170

Professor Ralph Hexter, President and Professor of Comparative Literature, Hampshire College

“From the Medieval Historiography of Latin Literature to the Historiography of Medieval Latin Literature”
Friday, 12 November 2004, Alumni Hall SMC
Published, JMLat 15 (2005), 1–24

Professor Bernice M. Kaczynski, Professor of History, McMaster University

“The Authority of the Fathers: Patristic Texts in Early Medieval Libraries and Scriptoria”
Friday, 24 March 2006, Alumni Hall SMC
Published, JMLat 16 (2006), 1–27

Professor Richard Sharpe, Professor of Diplomatic, University of Oxford

“Anselm as Author: Publishing in the Late Eleventh Century”
Friday, 26 October 2007, Alumni Hall SMC
Published, JMLat 19 (2009), 1–87

Professor Rita Copeland, Professor of Classics and English, University of Pennsylvania

“Naming, Knowing, and the Object of Language in Alexander Neckham’s Grammar Curriculum”
Friday, 30 January 2009, The Great Hall CMS
Published, JMLat 20 (2010), 38–57

Professor Claudio Moreschini, Professor of Classical Philology, University of Pisa

“Hermetism in the Twelfth Century”
Friday, 23 October 2009, Alumni Hall SMC
Not published by author’s request

Professor Winthrop Wetherbee, Professor of English and Classics, Cornell University

“Alan of Lille, De planctu Naturae: The Fall of Nature and the Survival of Poetry”
Friday 30 September 2010, The Great Hall CMS
Published, JMLat 21 (2011), 223–51

Professor Martin Camargo, Professor of English, University of Illinois

“In Search of Geoffrey of Vinsauf’s Lost ‘Long Documentum’”
Friday, 28 October 2011, The Great Hall CMS
Published, JMLat 22 (2012), 149–83

Professor Carmela Vircillo Franklin, Professor of Classics, Columbia University

“History and Rhetoric in the Twelfth Century Redaction of the Liber Pontificalis
Friday, 30 November 2012, The Great Hall CMS
Published in JMLat 23 (2013)

Professor John J. Contreni, Professor of History, Purdue University

“Learning for God: Education in the Carolingian Age”
Friday, 7 February 2014, The Great Hall CMS
Published in JMLat 24 (2014)

Professor Catherine Conybeare, Department of Classics, Bryn Mawr College

“Augustine the African”
Friday, November 21, 2014, The Great Hall, CMS
Published in JMLat 25 (2015)

Professor Siân Echard, Department of English, Univ. of British Columbia

“How Gower Found his Vox: Latin and the Gowerian Poetic”
Friday, January 29, 2016, Room 310 CMS
Published in JMLat 26 (2016)

Professor Monika Otter, Department of English, Dartmouth College

“Magnum iocum dare: Literature as Play in the Eleventh Century”
Published in JMLat 27 (2017)

Professor Michael W. Herren, York University and University of Toronto

“Comedy, Irony, and Philosophy in Late Late Antique Prosimetra: Menippean Satire from the Fifth to the Eighth Century”
Published in JMLat 28 (2018)

Professor Gregory Hays, Department of Classics, University of Virginia

“A World Without Letters: Fulgentius and the De aetatibus mundi et hominis
Published in JMLat 29 (2019)

Professor Francesco Stella, Department of Classics, University of Siena

“Latin Poetic Stories about Muhammad and Their Stylistic Network”
Published in JMLat 30 (2020)

No Lectures in 2021 and 2022 due to the COVID-19 Crisis


Professor Scott. G. Bruce, Fordham University

“Origen Issues: The Reception of a Renegade Greek Theologian in Early Medieval Europe”
Published in JMLat 33 (2023)

Professor Carmen Cardelle de Hartmann, University of Zürich

“Petrus Alfonsi, A Twelfth-Century Spanish Polymath and Christian Convert: An Intellectual Profile”
Published in JMLat 34 (2024)