Forward Into the Past
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Previous Suggestions

"To Singe the King of Spain's Beard": The Naval Conflict between England and Spain in the Late 16th Century
This talk will examine the conflict at sea between the forces of England and Spain during the later half of the 16th century. The talk will cover: the politics of the time, the important players who influenced events, the tactics and technology employed by both sides, and some of the more legendary aspects of this conflict. There will be examinations of several actions including the Raid on Cadiz, the Armada, and the post Armada conflicts.
Speaker: David Stamper

Advanced Cryptography - Breaking Codes
We're supplementing basic cryptography courses taught in previous years, with a session studying the breaking of secret codes in period. Part history, part practice. It is recommended that students have some understanding of simple cryptography.
Speaker: Peter Westergaard

Advanced Embroidery (2 hours)
No Description Yet
Speaker: Larisa Kallaur-Telford

An Introduction to the Food & Cookery of the Late Middle Ages
The talk will include:
Speaker: Terence Scully, Ph.D.

Arthurian Legends
Who was King Arthur? How did he come to be one of the most popular heroes in Western culture? This course will start with a look at the historical Arthur, then move through 1000 years of the development of the legend.
Speaker: Heather Dale

Basic Half-Uncial Calligraphy
A hands-on class working with the Half-uncial script, and perhaps the Majuscule and Miniscule forms of it. The materials fee will cover a calligraphy marker and paper, students may also bring their own materials. Materials needed would be one wide-nibbed pen (either dip or cartridge) and a few sheets of paper which is appropriate for calligraphy.
Class is limited to 10 people.   There is a materials fee of $3 for this class.
Speaker: Melanie Burrett

Basic Sprang
A hands-on introduction to sprang. Sprang is a textile craft that can be used to make many useful objects. Older than the oldest Vikings and still useful today. The participants will be shown how to warp a loom, as well as a few basic techniques and patterns. All materials will be provided for you to try your hand at this interesting subject.
Class is limited to 8 people.   There is a materials fee of $3 for this class.
Speaker: Judy McKay

Basic Stone Carving (2 hours)
We will be carving soapstone with files, knives and chisels. Participants will have a piece of soapstone to work on and bring home. There will be examples of completed and "in progress" projects including a drop spindle whorl, and a ram figure.
There is a materials fee of $4 for this class.
Speaker: Davin de la baliene

Beginner's Drop Spinning
Come learn bottom whorl drop spindle spinning. A great hands-on class for beginners where you'll be shown the basics of spinning wool to produce single-ply yarn. You'll leave the class with your very own spindle, wool and handout.
Class is limited to 10 people.   There is a materials fee of $6 for this class.
Speaker: Sarah Hughes

Beginner's Embroidery (2 hours)
No Description Yet
Speaker: Larisa Kallaur-Telford

Beginner's English Country Dance
This class will tak you through the basic steps of English Country Dancing including some of the simple but fun dances that are often done at other events.  No previous dance knowledge is required. Please wear confortable clothing.
Speaker: Swannoc

Beginner's Guide to Herbology
Taking a first look at herbalism in the Middle Ages with applications to healing.
Speaker: Paddy Gillard-Bentley

Beginner's Middle Eastern Dance (2 hours)
A basic course to teach the power, grace and control of movement in the Middle Eastern dance style (especially within the SCA). Special attention will be paid to the stance and "attitude" of male dancers.
Speaker: Valizan al Bassim al Rakkas

Beginner's Tablet Weaving (2 hours)
A hands-on introduction to tablet weaving. The participants will be shown how to string up a loom, as well as a few basic techniques and patterns.
There is a materials fee of $3 for this class.
Speaker: Rob Schweitzer

Beginners sewing for Children
A very basic learn how to sew for kids. The garment they sew will be used in the afternoon heraldry class.
There is a materials fee of $1 for this class.
Speaker: Christine Olliffe

Books, Articles, and Research
This class will examine the great mystery of the modern era -- how you find things in a library.
Speaker: Amy Menary

Brocaded Tablet Weaving
This class is for those individuals who have some experience with tablet weaving or who have attended the introductory class.  A hands-on introduction of various brocading techniques used on tablet woven bands.  Historical applications and designs will also be discussed.  Observers are more than welcome.
There is a materials fee of $3 for this class.
Speaker: Rob Schweitzer

Build Your Own Beer and Mead
Mead and beer are easy to make, easier to enjoy and always much cheaper to make than a quick glance at the subject suggests. In this class, students will receive an introduction to the simplest and most straightforeward methods of making beer and mead. Combined with a brief history of beer and mead making, the practical portion of the course will demonstrate this art to a maximum of six (6) students who will be able to take a basic mead project home with them to continue their interests in this ancient art and skill. Those students who are allergic to pollens and/or yeast should prepare accordingly.
There is a materials fee of $15 for this class.

Celtic Knotwork
Brief over view of the history of celtic art, in it's various time periods and forms. Learn how to draw varoius type of celtic art, using at least one basic method.
Class is limited to 20 people.   
Speaker: Christine Olliffe

Chainmail - Advanced Techniques (2 hours)
Beyond the basics: mail is the most versatile, flexible armour ever developed. Able to be shaped to every part of the human form mail can also be the basis for wonderful jewelry. In this class some different chain patterns will be discussed. A basic understanding of mail is required. Bring two pair of pliers.
Speakers: Gary Snyder, Justin Marshall, Tim Ireland

Chainmail for Beginners (2 hours)
Why was chainmail the ultimate armour for warriors for over a thousand years? So versatile, it is still in use today. Historical background, ‘how to’, and ‘hands on’. Please bring two pairs of pliers.
Speaker: Gary Snyder

Childish Writing Isn't Easy: creating really, truly medieval song lyrics
The style of lyric in the balladry collected by Francis Child is radically different from modern song stylings and poetics. If we want to recreate medieval lyrics, one ways is to get a handle on what makes these ballads different. This class explores one author's attempts to write in the style captured by Child and traces the hoops jumped through to achieve a result. It examines narrative, imagery, symbolism, world view and draws on such disparate models as the literature of the Vietnam War and the most recent space shuttle disaster.
Speaker: Hector of the Black Heights

Commedia Dell'Arte: an Ancient art from a Modern perspective (2 hours)
Commedia was an artform that changed greatly over the 300 years of it's mainstream appearance in Europe. Teaching it in a modern world has become increasingly difficult as generalisations and errors creep into the application of the artform. Is Commedia purely Improvisational theatre? Are the masks and postures necessary to the Commedia? Are the stock characters rigid in their interpretation? The class will start with a general overview of Commedia as it was, and then examine how it is taught in the modern day. Modern improvisational theory will also be examined for how it may be used to teach this ancient form in a fashion that is as true to the spirit of the original Commedia as possible. Participation and performance excercises will be part of this class.
Speaker: Kevin Nunn

Courtly Love and Troubador Poetry
A discussion on our perceptions of the courts of love and the matters of courtly love. We will look at Troubadour poetry, its different forms and constructs and try our hand at writing a poem as a class using one of the period styles.
Speaker: Danute Dorion

Creating the Kitchen - Pre Conquest Domestic Technologies
We all like to eat, but how DID you prepare food in the Dark Ages? The technology of the times as it defined metalwork, preservation, even architecture, dictated what was available to the cook as much as any other factor. Just what was available locally, seasonally, through trade? Illustrated with slides, physical samples - maybe even some samples!
Speakers: Vandy Simpson, Darrell Markewitz

Divas, Drugs, and Academia: beyond beginner research
In this class "Inez" deals with the issue of communications when doing historical research of SCA interest. Here she will relay her own research experiences with academe and discuss how SCA members can get over the hurdle, real or imagined, of academic elitism. Inez will cover topics such as "Why Grad Students are your friends", "Conference Call" and "Research on the Internet: a veritable game of Clue".

Everyday Theology
What was religious life like for ordinary Christians in the High Middle Ages? Learn about saints' lives, feasts and fasts, the prayers that everyone learned, the Virtues and Vices, the Sacraments (including such important questions as "Can I baptise someone in beer if there's no water available"? and "Who should I choose for godparents?"), and other basics medieval Christians took for granted.
Speaker: Susan Carroll-Clark, Ph.D.

For your eyes only - Espionage and Intrigue
A presentation of some of the most interesting spies, observers, and informants that history has uncovered.
Speaker: Peter Westergaard

Games (2 hours)
This class will provide an overview of the history of games popular in the Middle Ages. The games will be presented in order of development throughout time. For many of the games time will be given to experiment playing. Come and join us for some fun and games.
Speaker: Jim McColm

Hand Sewing
It's not difficult! This class is an introduction to basic structural and finishing stitches for handsewing historical costume. Aimed at the beginner, discussion will cover techniques and textile/thread choice. Participants will be given a sampler of different stitches to try (materials supplied). Be brave - anyone can do this.
Speaker: Anne Cox

Heraldry for Children
Kids will learn the basics of Heraldry, and design a device that they can paint onto the garment they sewed in the morning sewing class.
Speaker: John Olliffe

Herbal Workshop
A workshop on making herbal preparations in medieval style.
There is a materials fee of $3 for this class.
Speaker: Paddy Gillard-Bentley

Historical Combat (2 hours)
Based upon Fiore Dei Liberi's Flos Dullatorum, the workshop will focus on the use of the Longsword in both unarmoured and armoured combat. with particular focus on the use of the techniques in the context of SCA combat.

A hands-on Illumination class. The materials fee will cover a brush, paints, paper, and ink pen. Students will create their choice of a wee manuscript page or a bookmark. The class will also include a general description of the history of manuscript making and a current how-to.
Class is limited to 10 people.   There is a materials fee of $10 for this class.
Speaker: Kelly Carney-Garlow

Inside the Harem: a look at the lives of "Middle Eastern" women
Join "Inez" in this in-depth discussion of the social, economic, and cultural contributions of women (Muslim, Catholic, and Jewish) living in the Islamic world circa 15th-16th century. Inez is cover topics such as women'sparticipation in business, charitiable works, and even the martial arts. Special focus will be placed on Turkey and Afghanistan.

Instrument Making
Instrument making is a delicate art that takes years to perfect, but there are also many simple ones that anyone can make. Come learn the basics of making some simple period instruments and walk away with a period instrument of your own construction.
Speaker: Richard Schweitzer

Introduction to Storytelling for Children
An introduction to the mechanics of storytelling including the structure of a story, stage presence and some confidence builders, with an interactive, hands-on approach.
Speaker: Laurie Woodward

Introduction to the SCA
So who are the people hosting this collegium?  The SCA is a group of people interested in history.  Come learn more of what else the group does, how widespread it is, how to contact your local group, some of its history and stories.  This class will change depending on who attends but it could also cover:  How to get involved, how the SCA can help your group, ways the SCA works with the schools, politcal structure of the SCA and many other topics.
Speaker: Deborah Welch

Italian and Intermediate English Country Dance
This class is both a take off of the previous English Country Dance class and one in which some of the easier italian dances are taught. Basic dance knowledge will be very helpful in this class. Please wear confortable clothing.
Speaker: Swannoc

Japanese History of the Heian Era to the Edo Period
This class will cover both the Military historyofthe time period as well as the various social changes caused by the various wars and conflicts. Topics will include the Grempi Wars, the Mongol Invasion, the Onin Wars, and the Sengdhu Jidai.
Speaker: Brendan Smith

Japanese Poetry & Storytelling
This class will cover the elements of Japanese poetry as well as mechanics therein. It will also cover the elements within Japanese stories.
Speaker: Brendan Smith

Japanese Tea Ceremony
This will an actual Springtime thick tea ceremony consisting of people in costume. The class will stand/sit and watch it as it happens. During the ceremony, the teacher will stop every so often to explain what's going on. The class will witness the ceremony and have comentary on it.
Speaker: Brendan Smith

Kumihimo- The Art of Japanese Cordmaking (2 hours)
A hands on intro to Kumihimo. Starting with a short history and intro to terns, tools and uses. Participants will then be shown how to set up and create a Kumihimo Braid. Observers welcome.
Class is limited to 20 people.   There is a materials fee of $5 for this class.
Speaker: Melanie Robbins

Medieval Games for Children (2 hours)
We will make a game board (Nine Holes, Three man Morris or Five man Morris: It's up to the child) and learn to play the game. The children get to keep this game. We will also learn a few other games such as Duck on a Rock (with bean bags), Morra and whatever else time will allow.
There is a materials fee of $1 for this class.
Speaker: Tina Gaston

Medieval Maps and Mapmakers
An overview of different map styles used during the Middle Ages, some of the philosophies behind them and some examples of SCA maps created in a medieval style.
Speaker: Marcus Burnham

Medieval plastics
Way back when, there were decorative, inexpensive and durable materials used in a variety of practical, often inexpensive ways, much like modern plastics. These were bone, horn and antler. This class introduces you to the basics of what these materials are, what they were used for in period, what they are used for now in the SCA, how to get your hands on them and how to start working in them. This is NOT a hands-on class.

Norse Calendar - the rythym of life
This discussion is not primarily about Saints days, or pre-Christian festivals, instead this class is an examination of the daily lives of the Norse people. Exploring the bond between the peoples of the early middle ages and the word around them. From agriculture to travel and trade: every part of life flowed in cycles, largely different to a modern way of life.
Speaker: Dave Cox

Norse Noises
Did the Vikings sing when they rowed? Could Thorsteinn carry a tune? Come see instruments played by the Norse and hear some of what remains of their musical traditions.
Speaker: Richard Schweitzer

Palaeography: Calligraphy and Writing in the Middle Ages
Learn about the evolution of writing from Roman times to the Humanist era. This class will look at the ancestors of modern writing--Roman cursive and the Uncial script--and then follow the development of writing over 900 yearsthrough the National Bookhands (such as the famous Insular script of the Book of Kells), Caroline Minuscule, the many different types of Gothic, the hybrid hands, and Humanist scripts. You'll learn to recognize what time period a particular script is from, how medieval manuscripts were laid out, and perhaps gain inspiration to venture into the world of calligraphy.
Speaker: Susan Carroll-Clark, Ph.D.

Pastimes of the Vikings
"Its all fun and games when someone loses an eye"At least that's what most people would think when they picture vikings at play. We'll look into both their restful games and their more active ones. Time permitting we can even try playing one or two.
Speaker: Neil Peterson

Overview of different pavilions and who used which ones.
Speaker: John Olliffe

Persona Development
This class will cover the basics of developing a full medieval persona. Time periods, culture, family, language, and other aspects will be looked at. This class will also cover using persona development as a catalyst for cultural research.
Speaker: Vladislav cel Inalt Tepelus

Poetic Elements
This lecture provides an introduction to metres, rhymes, rhyme schemes, half rhymes, alliteration and assonance. It also includes some examples of when they were used, in period, in Western Europe. We'll include some discussion of how we can use these to advantage in our own period style poems in English.
Speaker: Ann Graham

Poisons and their Uses in the Middle Ages
Or how to "off" the opposition in one easy lesson! The rich and powerful used many ways of eliminating their opponents in the Middle Ages. Come and discover how poisons were used by the unscrupulous to further their ambitions.
Speaker: Francois van Heerden

Rapier Inne Playne Englishe
It is a rare student that can learn any subject entirely from books, and fencing in particular is a largely tactile skill, difficult to describe by the written word. Although clearly a secondary source, Pallas Armata is a useful and accessible text on a difficult topic. Written in early 17th Century English, it presents few linguistic barriers to the modern reader. While no written material can substitute for a good teacher, even beginning fencing students should be able to pluck a few kernels of knowledge from a thorough reading of this text.
Speaker: Roger Sumner

Siege Engines
Have you ever wanted to besiege a castle with a Catapult, or wondered what a Trebuchet was?In this class you will learn a bit about historical siege engines worked, and play with some scale models.
Speaker: Mark Patchett

Siege Engines for Children
Have you ever wanted to besiege a castle with a Catapult, or wondered what a Trebuchet was?In this class you will learn a bit about historical siege engines worked, and play with some scale models.
Speaker: Mark Patchett

Silver Point Drawing
Find out the medium that folks like Leonardo da Vinci used for their sketches.   Silverpoint on Gesso .  Please bring a 3mm mechanical pencil.
Speaker: J Caz Bentley

Spread of Christianity in Ireland
A history of Christianity in Ireland, focusing more on the monasteries and their continuation of the Continental scholarly tradition, and the way they adapted Celtic art to fit on the new medium of the parchment/vellum page. We would also look at the materials they used to make the paints and ink out of.

Storytelling for Children - Part 2
In this hour the students will have assistance in finishing stories of their own which they will practice in front of small groups within the class. Parents are encouraged to come and provide the storytellers with an encouraging audience
Speaker: Laurie Woodward

Storytelling: a class with ZING!!!
Want to stand up and tell a story and keep your audience? Want to entertain across the table at a feast? Want to keep people's attention by the fireside? Telling stories **well** isn't very hard, once you grasp a few basic concepts. This class introduces basic concepts ranging from Aristotelian poetics to the large white rabbit suit. C'mon out and learn about the importance of ZING!!! in your storytelling.
Speaker: Hector of the Black Heights

The Cutting Edge - an overview from the Dawn of Time to the development of the firearm
Materials and technology have been as in fact more responcible for the pattern of cutting weapons as much as the desired end use. Many of our basic patterns actually trace themselves back to ancient prototypes. This rambling (hopefully entertaining) discussion is an survey of some of the fundemental blade shapes, primary materials and how the two relate. The topic of safe blade handling and weapons related customs in the SCA will be covered. Illustrated with slides and physical samples.
Speaker: Darrell Markewitz

Warp Weighted Loom (Practicum)
This style of vertical loom dates from the Swiss Neolithic Age to as recently as the last century in Norway. The weaver beats upwards, and the unused warp below is held under tension by tied on weights.  It was commonly used by the Norse and Saxons in throughout Europe and the North Atlantic 1000 years ago. This class will attempt to show the many stages of setting up a warp and weaving on a warp weighted loom, starting with making a tablet woven header. I will compare the method with weaving on modern, horizontal looms as well as giving students a chance to try their hand at weaving.
Speaker: Jo Duke

Wax Tablets
Was the Palm-Pilot invented over 2 millennia ago? Waxed Writing Tablets were used from Greek and Roman times throughout the Medieval period. Come have a discussion about their construction and use, and get to try your hand at making and writing on a waxed tablet. Observers welcome.
There is a materials fee of $2 for this class.
Speaker: Mark Patchett

Women in Norse Society
When we think of Vikings, we tend to think of big barbarian men running around raiding and pillaging. What about the women left behind on the shores of their homeland? This is an beginner's introduction to the developing research on women's lives in Viking Age cultures.
Speaker: Karen Peterson

Wood Carving (Practicum)
A discussion of wood carving in a medieval context.   If you wish to work please bring your tools and any work in progress.
Speaker: J Caz Bentley

Contact us if you have any questions or suggestions