Masters, Means & Methods: The (Liberal) Arts in the Medieval World – Midwest Medieval History Conference 2013
The theme of this year’s conference concerns the transmission of knowledge, from masters to students, from practitioners to audience. It includes the liberal arts, the fine arts, and even the practical arts. Topics might include monastic as well as university education; the trivium and quadrivium; the history of theology, science, music, mathematics, and dialectic; art history, especially the training of artists; the education of women; and professional training in guilds.
Keynote speaker: Jordan Sramek, founder and artistic director of The Rose Ensemble, presents “Devotional Laude: Praise and Procession within the First Franciscan Communities.”
St. Francis of Assisi encouraged his first followers to be Joculatores Domini (the Lord’s Minstrels), sparking the composition of a host of congregational melodies and vernacular lyric poetry, which would become known as laude spirituali. Joined by colleagues in The Rose Ensemble, Jordan Sramek introduces this lesser-known, monophonic genre from 13th-14th-century Umbria and Tuscany, and explains how the lauda played an important role in the advancement of confraternal and monastic activities and ideas throughout the region.