The Graduate Certificate Program

Any graduate student enrolled in a graduate degree program in the Rackham School of Graduate Studies is eligible to apply for the Graduate Certificate Program in MEMS. We have rolling admissions, so you may apply at any time. For requirements and how to apply, follow the Graduate Certificate Program link.

The Proseminar

The centerpiece of the Graduate Certificate Program is the MEMS proseminar, which is a team-taught comparative and/or interdisciplinary course that brings together faculty and students from a wide array of our constituent areas. Visiting lectures, colloquiua, and conferences are often coordinated to bear upon the topic of a given term’s proseminar. This course is offered under two or more departments (appropriate to the topic and disciplinary approach) and welcomes both Certificate students and other interested upper level students. For more information, follow the Proseminar link.

MEMS 898: Interdisciplinary Dissertation Colloquium

The MEMS proseminar is usually our students’ first experience in creating an interdisciplinary intellectual community. At the other end of the graduate student experience, MEMS 898 offers a similar model of interdisciplinary work for students at the dissertation-writing stage. The Dissertation Colloquium provides advanced students in MEMS an opportunity to present their work to one another in a seminar that brings together doctoral candidates from potentially all the MEMS disciplines. The work one presents may be dissertation chapters (or parts thereof), conference papers, or scholarly articles to be submitted for publication. In addition to reading and responding to one another’s work, the seminar will also consider methodological and disciplinary issues of common interest to members of the seminar. MEMS 898 counts toward the requirements of the Certificate in Medieval and Early Modern Studies, but you do not need to be admitted to the Certificate Program to take the course. The Dissertation Colloquium may be repeated for up to six credits. This is the only MEMS colloquium you can also take for graduate course credit.

The Premodern Colloquium

The Premodern Colloquium is a reading group in medieval and early modern studies. The Colloquium has been meeting for more than twenty-five years in the home of Tom Green (Law School, History Department) by whom it was founded as a forum for discussion of new work in the history of law. In recent years it has evolved into a wide-ranging multi-disciplinary reading group dedicated to medieval and early modern studies in History, History of Art, History of Law, European Literature and Languages, and other fields. The groups has recently read current journal articles and book chapters, but typically discussions focus on works-in-progress by local and visiting scholars, or dissertation chapters presented by our own students. We would especially like to increase the participation of graduate students in our regular meetings, both as discussants and as presenters of dissertation work in progress. Our discussions tend to be intense and lively, but people who present their own work also find the experience to be friendly and helpful. Suggestions for future readings, including advanced dissertation chapters, are most welcome, as are the names of interesting scholars we might invite locally or try to draw in from further away. Readings for each month are decided in consultation with a sub-group of regular participants. If you have suggestions or questions about The Premodern Colloquium please write to Tom Green ( or to Tom Willette (

Michigan Medieval Seminar

The 2011 Michigan Medieval Seminar is being organized by Ryan Szpiech (Romance Languages) and Hussein Fancy (History). This edition will focus on the Mediterranean, highlighting comparative studies that bring together Latin, Arabic, Hebrew, and Romance sources in order to deal with interdisciplinary subjects such as conversion, violence, and translation.

Rackham Interdisciplinary Workshops

Since 2003 Rackham School of Graduate Studies has sponsored a number of interdisciplinary workshops for graduate students and faculty. These groups are self-organized by the participants, have an ongoing core membership, and meet regularly throughout the academic year. This program is designed to help advanced students form working groups that support the dissertation-writing process, as well as encouraging exchange and collaboration among students and faculty who share intellectual interests but do not have a readily available common forum. For information on MEMS-related workshops and other groups of interest, follow the Rackham Seminars link above. (ED: Which link is this? Please locate and restore.)