Crusades: Medieval Worlds in Conflict

An International Symposium
Saint Louis University
15-18 February 2006

A Crusader

A Great Success

Jonathan Riley-SmithThe Symposium was a smashing success! Scholars from more than 30 colleges and universities and from countries around the world took part in the four-day event. Distinguished lectures were delivered on the evenings of February 15, 16, and 17 by Jonathan Riley-Smith of Cambridge University, Carole Hillenbrand of the University of Edinburgh, Jaroslav Folda of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, John France of the University of Wales at Swansea, and Robert Hillenbrand of the University of Edinburgh. They were attended by a large number of symposium participants, students, faculty, and interested members of the public. Although the lectures were held in the expansive Pere Marquette Gallery, many were to standing-room-only crowds. Questions and discussions after each lecture were especially interesting.

During Phase II of the Symposium on Saturday, February 18, more than 40 scholarly papers on all aspects of the crusading movement were delivered. A high point of the day was the Special Plenary Session on Saint Louis and the Crusades. Excellent papers by Caroline Smith of Saint Louis University, M. Cecilia Gaposchkin of Dartmouth College, and Michael Lower of the University of Minnesota were followed by a stimulating comment delivered by William Chester Jordan of Princeton University. In my opinion, it was one of the very best sessions that I have ever attended -- and I know that I am not alone in that judgment.

As the Symposium came to a close over (appropriately enough) drinks and good food, I received many requests to continue it as an annual event. Given the extraordinary vibrancy of Crusade Studies , there is certainly a need for it. However, because of the cost in money and time that it takes to put on something of this magnitude, I fear that it will be at least a few years before I will be in a position to tackle it again. But I will tackle it.

My sincerest thanks go to all of the participants of the Symposium, who truly made it a rich banquet of intellectual fare. Thanks also go to SLU graduate students, Walker Cosgrove, Adam Hoose, Christopher Lane, Brendan McGuire, James Naus, Patrick O'Banion, David Parnell, Joseph Reidy, and Vincent Ryan, who put in long hours making certain that all ran smoothly. Finally, my thanks go to my Assistant, Teresa Harvey, whose logistic expertise translated vague ideas into solid reality.

Thomas F. Madden
Saint Louis University

P.S. For those interested, the Symposium website can still be found here.

Publication of Symposium Papers

Selected papers from the Symposium will be published in a volume, Crusades: Medieval Worlds in Conflict, edited by Thomas F. Madden, James Naus, and Vincent Ryan. All participants are welcome and encouraged to submit essays for this volume.

Submission Guidelines: If at all possible, essays should be submitted electronically as an email attachment to Notations should conform to the Speculum style, which can be found here.

The deadline for submissions is June 15, 2006.