After 22 years, the Rocky Mountain Medieval Renaissance Association (RMMRA) Conference has returned to Colorado State University, as scholars of various liberal arts fields studying Medieval and Renaissance eras gather for one of the largest gatherings of such scholarship in the West. 

“People come together from many universities, from Colorado to the coast, every year for RMMRA and then exchange what they’re working on and offer ideas about how to approach particular topics,” Assistant History Professor of Instruction and Conference Organizer Erin Jordan says, I think in part, it’s just this opportunity to kind of immerse yourself in the scholarly world.”  

From Thursday, April 13 through Saturday, April 15, over 60 in-person scholars and 55 virtual attendees, will join this hybrid three-day scholarship event in CSU’s fourth time hosting the conference, the first time dating back to 1971, three years after the association’s initial founding in 1968.  

Rocky Mountain Medieval Renaissance Association (RMMRA) Conference
Program for RMMRA

Though the conference has yet to reach pre-pandemic numbers, the associates of RMMRA have a history of starting small and gaining momentum, when its first members convened in the living room of one of the founders, Professor Allen DuPont Breck at the University of Denver, in 1968. Present with DuPont was Professor of History Harry Rosenberg at Colorado State University, Boyd Hill at the University of Colorado, and Ben Byerly at the University of Northern Colorado, all of whom formed the association and organized the first conference that same year.  

The association has grown in membership and scale of the conference since its founding but has also stayed true to its original charge of advancing the learning and study of Medieval and Renaissance studies across disciplines of literature, history, philosophy, religion, art, music, architecture, sociology, and anthropology. 

Continuing to expand its mission of interdisciplinary learning, the conference will include for the first time, a presentation and discussion in Spanish, aligning with the conference’s theme of Inclusion. University of Granada, Spain, Professor Rafael Peinado’s keynote address, “Un espacio de heroísmo y guerra santa: La frontera andaluza (siglos XIII-XIV)”, will be presented in Spanish on Friday, April 14. 

In line with CSU’s Thematic Year of Health, the association worked alongside the History Department to bring in pre-modern health historian Monica Green to host her lecture, Why History (Still) Needs Historians: Adventures at the Edge of Pandemic Studies, as both the History Department’s annual Furniss Lecturer and as the Conference’s Keynote Speaker.  

Green’s lecture will use plague studies as a pathway to discuss the research of historians and scientists as they reinterrogate past narratives and understandings of pandemic-level disease. The lecture will take place in Clark A 101 of the Andrew G. Clark Building on the CSU campus, at 7 pm on Friday, April 14.   

Rocky Mountain Medieval Renaissance Association (RMMRA) Conference
Banner for 2023 Furniss Lecture with Dr. Monica Green

The conference will also feature key faculty of the College of Liberals representing the departments of English, History, and Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, with many faculty acting as presiders, panelists, presenters, as well as the CSU organizing body as the Conference Committee.  

The full program for the Conference is available here: Rocky Mountain Medieval Renaissance Association (RMMRA) Conference Program

Rocky Mountain Medieval Renaissance Association (RMMRA) Conference
CSU Alumni Center

To attend panels and conference sessions featuring CSU faculty in the Smith Alumni Center, check out the abbreviated list below: 

  • Spanish Culture & Teaching the Classics | Thursday April 13|10:30 – 11:50|Seminar Room 1 

Chair: José Luis Suárez-García, Professor of Spanish 

  • Early Modern Drama: Renewal and Review |Thursday April 13 | 10:30 – 11:50|Seminar Room 2 

Chair: Mitchell Macrae, Instructor of English 

Panelist: Barbara Sebek, Professor of English 


  • Enslavement: Real and Figurative |Thursday April 13 | 1:00 – 2:20 | Seminar Room 2 

Panelist: Lynn Shutters, Associate Professor of English 

  • Three Early Modern Studies |Friday April 14 | 1:00 – 2:20 | Board Room 

Chair: Elizabeth Steinway, Instructor of English 

  • Poetry Reading and Question and Answer Session with Jos Charles | Friday April 14 | 11:00 – 12:20 | Event Hall 

Presiding: Lynn Shutters, Associate Professor of English 

  • (Special Event in Spanish) Keynote Address from Professor Rafael Peinado Santaella University of Granada, Spain” Un espacio de heroísmo y guerra santa: La frontera andaluza  | Friday April 14 | 11:00 – 12:20 | Seminar Room 1 

Presiding: José Luis Suárez-García, Professor of Spanish 

  • Translatio and Change | Friday April 14 | 11:00 – 12:20 | Board Room 

Panelist: Anna Emerson, MFA student | Paul DiRado, Senior Instructor of Philosophy 

  • Muslim Sources of the Crusader Period in the Classroom | Friday April 14 | 2:40 – 4:00 | Event Hall 

Panelists: James Lindsay Professor of History | Erin Jordan Assistant History Professor of Instruction 

  • Spanish Literatures and Cultures | Saturday April 15 | 8:30 – 9:50 | Classroom 105 

Chair: John Slater, Professor of Spanish 

  • Striving for Equality: Academic Labor in American Higher Education | Saturday April 15 | 11:10 – 12:10 | Plenary Auditorium Room 221 

Presiding: José Luis Suárez-García, Professor of Spanish 

CSU Center for the Study of Academic Labor Board Members: Professors Sue Doe, Mike Palmquist, and Steve Shulman