Medieval Ethiopia: A Second Colloquium (11-12 October)

When and Where

Friday, October 11, 2019 9:00 am to Saturday, October 12, 2019 8:00 pm
AGO Jackman Hall and Lillian Massey Building Room 310
located at 317 Dundas Street West and 125 Queen's Park Crescent


co-hosted by the University of Toronto’s Centre for Medieval Studies and the Department of Near and Middle Eastern Studies together with the Art Gallery of Ontario and with the support of the Italian Cultural Institute 


If you intend to attend the conference, please register via Survey Monkey.


11 October 2019

9:00 am-9:15 am / CMS 310

Welcome by Suzanne Akbari (IAS / U of Toronto), including honored guests:

9:15-10:30 am / CMS 310

Session 1: Opening lecture by Michael Gervers (U of Toronto):

“The Enigma of Ethiopia’s Tablet-Woven Sanctuary Curtains”

10:30 am-11:00 am / CMS Great Hall

Coffee break

11:00 am-1:00 pm / CMS 310

Session 2Manuscript Culture:

Chair: Jill Caskey (U of Toronto)

Eyob Derillo (Curator of Ethiopian Collections, British Library), “Ethiopian Manuscripts: Curating, Exhibiting, and Digitising the British Library’s Collection”

Melissa Moreton (Hill Museum and Manuscript Library), “Nearing the Half-Century Mark: A Look Back at Ethiopian Manuscript Collections at the Hill Museum & Manuscript Library”

Robert Holmstedt, “On Not Editing and Not Normalizing Ethiopic Texts (for the Sake of Gǝʿǝz Linguistics)” (U of Toronto)

1:00 pm-3:00 pm

Lunch break / travel to AGO

3:00 pm-5:00 pm / AGO Jackman Hall

Session 3: Roundtable discussion:

“Representing Ethiopia – and Representing Africa – in the Museums”

Welcome by Julian Cox (Art Gallery of Ontario)

Chair: Suzanne Akbari

Andrea Achi (Metropolitan Museum of Art); Michael Chagnon (Aga Khan Museum); Julie Crooks (Art Gallery of Ontario); Bryan Keene (Getty Museum); Silvia Forni (Royal Ontario Museum

5:00 pm-5:15 pm / adjoining Jackman Hall

Coffee break

5:15 pm-6:45 pm / AGO Jackman Hall

Session 4: Public lecture: Samantha Kelly (Rutgers U):

“Connected Histories: Ethiopia and the Global Middle Ages”


12 October 2019

9:30 am-10:00 am / Great Hall

Coffee and light breakfast

10:00 am-12 noon / CMS 310

Session 5Theological and Cartographic Contexts:

Chair: Isabelle Cochelin (Director, Centre for Medieval Studies, U of Toronto)

Marcia Kupfer (Washington, DC), “Sites of Anti-Judaism in Christian Cultures: A Comparative Study of the Medieval Latin and Ethiopian Orthodox Traditions”

Meron Gebreananaye, “Life of Krestos Semra” (Durham U)

Bryan Keene (Getty Museum), “Locating the Island of Socotra on Maps and in Manuscripts from Medieval Afro-Eurasia”

12 noon-1:15 pm / Great Hall

Lunch (buffet on site for presenters)

1:15 pm-2:30 pm / CMS 310

Session 6: Hagos Abrha Abay (St. Yared Center for Ethiopian Philology and Manuscripts Director, Mekelle U):

“Manuscript Collections of Kidana Mihret Wegrezhi”

2:30-3:00 pm / Great Hall

Introduced by: Tim Harrison (U of Toronto)

Coffee break

3:00-5:00 pm / CMS 310

Session 7: Material Culture:

Chair: Mark Meyerson (U of Toronto)

Verena Krebs (Bochum U), “Echoes of Exotic Others: Flemish Panel Paintings, Madre della Consolazione Icons, and Limoges Painted Enamels at the Late Medieval Ethiopian Royal Court”

Felege-Selam Solomon Yirga (Ohio State U / Dumbarton Oaks), “A New Provenance Study of the Aksumite Coins of the American Numismatic Society”

Sarah Guerin (U of Pennsylvania), “The African Ivory trade in the Longue Durée”

5:00 pm-6:30 pm / CMS 310

Session 8: Closing lecture: Alessandro Bausi (U of Hamburg):

“Ethiopia and the Christian Ecumene: Cultural Transmission, Translation, and Reception”

Introduced by Walid Saleh (U of Toronto)

Closing remarks and thanks: Suzanne Akbari (IAS / U Toronto)

6:30-8:00 / Great Hall



Centre for Medieval Studies, Department of Near and Middle Eastern Studies, Art Gallery of Ontario, Italian Cultural Institute


located at 317 Dundas Street West and 125 Queen's Park Crescent