Founded in 2001, the Program in Medieval Studies at Illinois was reconfigured in 2011 to encompass the entire medieval world (not just Europe and its Mediterranean neighbors). This wider vision, which our program was among the first to promote, recognizes the intense interconnectivity of Afro-Eurasia during this pivotal era -- as well as the value of studying the global processes which affected all peoples and cultures in both hemispheres at a time of extraordinary innovation and change.

Our mission is therefore to foster the interdisciplinary and collaborative study of histories, literatures, languages, beliefs, ideas, arts, environments, and archaeologies across the medieval globe throughout this long millennium, from approximately the fourth through the sixteenth centuries C.E. -- as well as their ancient antecedents and modern impacts. We sponsor seminars, conferences, symposia, and lectures open to all members of our campus community and the general public, featuring contributions by our own faculty and student affiliiates as well as by visiting scholars. We also offer an undergraduate Interdisciplinary Studies Major and Minor in Medieval Studies and a graduate Concentration in Medieval Studies. The Program spans departments in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences and the College of Fine and Applied Arts. Participating Departments in LAS include Anthropology, Classics, Comparative Literature, East Asian Languages and Cultures, English, French, Germanic Languages and Literatures, History, Philosophy, Religion, Slavic Languages and Literatures, Spanish, Italian & Portuguese, and Speech Communications; and in FAA, Architectural History, Art History, Landscape Architecture, and Music; as well as the School of Information Sciences and the University Library.

Through this range of methods and perspectives, our program aims to create a diverse community of scholars within the University of Illinois with close connections to partner institutes and centers around the world. 

In keeping with our distinctive approach to the medieval past, Illinois is home to The Medieval Globe, the first academic journal to pioneer the global practice of medieval studies across all regions and disciplines. Launched in 2014, it is now in its tenth year as the premier journal of the medieval world. 

Carol Symes, Director  | Professor of History | Founding Executive Editor, The Medieval Globe