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History Professor Celia Chazelle named Medieval Academy of America fellow

History Professor Celia Chazelle named Medieval Academy of America fellow
Celia Chazelle

Celia Chazelle, professor of history, was elected a 2019 fellow of the Medieval Academy of America, joining the ranks of fewer than 200 of the most distinguished medievalists in the country. She was formally inducted at the Medieval Academy’s annual meeting at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia on Saturday, March 9.

“Being named an active fellow of the academy is an honor that recognizes your contributions — usually over many years — to the field of medieval studies,” says Chazelle.

And it’s an honor she didn’t expect to receive.

“I got my PhD in 1985, and I’ve spent years publishing things—books, volumes of essays, articles. In this field, you publish things, and it feels like you’re putting things into a black hole. Sometimes you get feedback, but you don’t necessarily have a sense of what the impact is. To get an honor like this is an indication that ‘Oh! People are reading what I wrote!’ It’s very exciting to know,” she says.

Chazelle’s studies focus primarily on religious life in the Middle Ages. However, growing inequity has inspired her to explore the connection between medieval studies and contemporary social justice issues.

Although Chazelle recalls being shocked and thrilled when she received the news of her election, she does suspect the Academy’s decision is connected to the recent publication of her book, The Codex Amiatinus and its “Sister” Bibles: Scripture, Liturgy, and Art in the Milieu of the Venerable Bede, in January 2019. In her newest book, Chazelle examines the religious and cultural context of the Bibles made at the northern English monastery of Wearmouth–Jarrow. Read more in the winter 2019 issue of TCNJ Magazine. 

Founded in 1925, the Medieval Academy of America is the flagship organization for medieval studies in North America. The academy supports research and publication in all aspects of the Middle Ages, including medieval art, history, law, literature, music, philosophy, and religion. It provides prestigious fellowships and grants to medieval scholars interested in these subjects.The Academy has a maximum of 125 Fellows and 75 Corresponding Fellows.

— Sarah Voorhees ’20