Ritual and Ceremony from Late-Medieval Europe to Early America (NEH Summer Institute)

NEH Summer Institute

June 21 through July 23, 2010

Directed by Claire Sponsler, Professor of English at the University of Iowa

This seminar offered a comparative study of ritual and ceremony across related cultures from 1300 to 1700. It built on anthropological theories of the ubiquitous role of ritual and ceremony and the impact of that work in performance studies. Testing assumptions about influence and exchange among national traditions and local contexts, it sought a new understanding of the processes and effects of cultural hybridity and assimilation.

The distinguished international faculty included Ian Archer (Keble College, Oxford), Lawrence M. Bryant (California State University, Chico), Barbara Fuchs (UCLA), Gail McMurray Gibson (Davidson College), Bruce Holsinger (University of Virginia), Roslyn L. Knutson (University of Arkansas, Little Rock), Joseph Roach (Yale University), Helen Watanabe-O'Kelly (Exeter College, Oxford), Michael Wintroub (University of California Berkeley), and Barbara Wisch (SUNY Cortland).


  • Bernadette Andrea, Professor of English, University of Texas, San Antonio
  • Christopher J. Bilodeau, Assistant Professor of History, Dickinson College
  • Rachel L. Burk, Visiting Assistant Professor of Spanish and Portuguese, Tulane University
  • Peter Craft, PhD Candidate in English, University of Illinois,Urbana-Champaign
  • J. Caitlin Finlayson, Assistant Professor of English, University of Michigan, Dearborn
  • Elina Gertsman, Assistant Professor of Medieval Art, Case Western Reserve University
  • Marcia B. Hall, Professor of Art History, Temple University
  • Matthew C. Hansen, Assistant Professor of English, Boise State University
  • Kenneth L. Hodges, Associate Professor of English, University of Oklahoma
  • John M. Hunt, Term Assistant Professor of History, University of Louisville
  • Matthew W. Irvin, Assistant Professor of English, Sewanee The University of the South
  • Nancy J. Kay, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Art History, Merrimack College
  • Andrew D. McCarthy, Assistant Professor of English, University of Tennessee, Chattanooga
  • Cynthia Nazarian, Assistant Professor of French and Italian, Northwestern University
  • Patrick O’Banion, Assistant Professor of History, Lindenwood University
  • Stephanie M. Seery-Murphy, Lecturer in History, California State University, Sacramento
  • Christopher Swift, PhD Candidate in Theatre Studies, City University of New York, Graduate Center
  • Lisa Voigt, Associate Professor of Spanish and Portuguese, The Ohio State University
  • Anne E. Wohlcke, Assistant Professor of History, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
  • Suzanne M. Yeager, Assistant Professor of English and Medieval Studies, Fordham University

Folger Institute Staff

  • David Schalkwyk, Chair
  • Kathleen Lynch, Executive Director
  • Owen Williams, Assistant Director
  • Adrienne Shevchuk, Program Assistant
  • Matthew Carr, Intern


Ritual and Ceremony

  • Claire Sponsler, Advisory Editor
  • Kathleen Lynch, Editor
  • Owen Williams, Associate Editor
  • Adrienne Shevchuk, Production and Managing Editor
  • Allison Isberg, Editorial Assistant
  • Swim Design, Design and Development
  • Julie Ainsworth, Folger Shakespeare Library Photographer

Promotional Materials

For more past programming from the Folger Institute, please see the article Folger Institute scholarly programs archive.

Hosted by the Folger Shakespeare Library. For more information about current summer seminars, please visit the National Endowment for the Humanities website.