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Previous Suggestions

14th Century French Feasts
Learn about the basic structure of a 14th Century French Feast, based on the menus from Menagier de Paris. See how this compared to English menus of the same time period, then take a look at what resources were available in 14th century Paris to someone planning a feast. We'll finish with a chance for participants to put together their own feast menu using photographs of typical dishes of the period.
Speaker: Wendi Trauzzi

2E3P (Two Estates - Three Papers)
The WLU undergraduate course Privilege and Practice (ML202) examines two of the three medieval 'estates': the warrior aristocracy and the peasant / farmer / commoners. As part of the course, students do 12 minute presentations. This session includes three of the best presentations from the 2012 edition of the course. Presenters and paper titles will be updated shortly.
Jewish prosperity during Muslim rule in Al-Andalus
The Iberian Peninsula developed as the heartland of the Western Diaspora between the 1st and 8th centuries CE, surviving the persecution of the last of the Visigothic Christian Kings of Spain just before the Umayyad invasion of 711 CE. The transfer of control of much of the peninsula ushered in a Golden Age (711-c.12th century CE) for Jewish religion, science and philosophy in Iberia largely coinciding with the Golden Age of Islam. This paper examines the contributions made by Spanish Jews in the fields of science, medicine, and philosophy during a period of unparalleled cooperation.
Medieval Mercenaries: The Warrior Bourgeoisie
This paper examines the medieval perception of the mercenary profession, arguing that the negative perception of mercenaries is due to their social status as a 'middle class' similar to merchants (who also recieved negative attention). In doing so, the paper will examine the role, status, function, and characteristics of European mercenaries (from the 11th century to the end of the fifteenth) and present both the positive and negative contributions of the mercenary to society.
Byzantine Diplomacy
This paper examines diplomatic traditions in the Byzantine Empire, and considers if these traditions actually harmed Byzantine interests in the longer term.

Speakers: Brent Krajewski, Alexander Wreford, Clare Pember

A Mere Matter of Marching: Causes and Impact of the War of 1812
In this lecture we will discuss the causes and the impact of the War of 1812 on British/French-Canadian and American cultures and history. What caused two neighboring nations to plunge themselves into war and how did the war effect both the peoples and our nations. What did Issac Brock think of the war? What was Tecumseh's reason to join the British? Why did the Battle of New Orleans take place after a peace treaty was signed? Stay tuned and find out!
Speaker: Nathan Laanstra

A Working Day on a Victorian Farm and Estate
Last year Ken and Margaret spoke about the working day in a Victorian household on a farm or an Estate. For the last year they have been trying to live that life. This year's session is a follow up about how the year has gone so far and what they have learned, and what they will be doing differently. You can read about their adventure on their blog.
Speakers: Ken Cook, Margaret Trainor Cook

A second look at Art
The Many Sided Well - The Well of Moses, an interpretation
The monument presently called "The Well of Moses", attributed to the sculptor Claus Sluter, was not always known by this name. In fact it was originally described as the Cross, or the Great Cross, in the manuscripts that have come down to us. I will first discuss the history of the chartreuse de Champmol and those who created the well, how this monument was viewed by contemporaries, and by a discussion of the monument itself.
The Problem of Two Madonnas: A comparative analysis of Leonardo da Vinci's Madonna of the Rocks
This paper compares both the Paris and London Madonnas and their authorship, with particular attention paid to both the original contract which commissioned the painting as well as what historians have to say about this problem.
Donatello's Mary Magdalen
This paper focuses on Donatello's wooden Mary Magdalen sculpture. It will first give some information on the life of Donatello-although not much it known about him-and proceed into discussing the overall look of the work and debate on the year it was created. There will be discussion on the rise of the Magdalen cult as a whole within medieval Italy followed by explanation on how Donatello's work may have been influenced by earlier medieval works and its continued presence within the church during his time. The last section will focus on where the statue was placed in the Baptistery it was originally located and argue the meaning it would have conveyed depending on where it was located within it.

Speakers: Samantha James, Barry Torch, Candice Kernot

Archaeology and the Single Re-enactor
History buffs, including recreationists and re-enactors, exploit a wide variety of sources. One of the least understood by non-specialists is archaeology. This talk describes how and why archaeology is done, exploring its potential and limitations as a source of evidence for the re-enactor. It focuses especially on why the results are published in certain formats, and what to expect from these formats.
Speaker: Ronald A. Ross, Ph.D.

Basic Calligraphy
Calligraphy is the art of beautiful writing, and was used for books of all kinds throughout the Middle Ages. Participants can try out one or more basic "hands," including Caroline Miniscule. If you have a calligraphy pen or marker please bring it; handouts with the scripts and practice lines will be provided. Kits are available to purchase (materials fee) if you do not already have materials (includes pen, at least one nib, and ink). Everyone is welcome, including calm children & youths.
Class is limited to 15 people.   There is a materials fee of $5 for this class.
Speaker: Jackie Wyatt

Bawdy Songs & Love Ballads
Popular songs from the halls and taverns of medieval Europe. We'll be discussing and learning rounds and catches, drinking songs and poetry that stirs the heart and the... imagination. All are invited to join in the singing, but convenient larengitis will be provided for those who just want to listen. This class is for adults only.
Speaker: Richard Schweitzer

Beads - Open Torch Time (2 hours)
For anyone who has already taken a class in lampwork. This is a chance to spend more time on the torch with a teacher nearby who can offer advice as required. This session is restricted to those aged 16 or older.
Class is limited to 6 people.   There is a materials fee of $5 for this class.
Speaker: Jean Ross

Bookbinding 101
A brief overview of the history of bookbinding and how it as evolved to today. Followed by a hands on workshop where we everyone will create one leaf for a book of their own. This workshop will provide the necessary beginner knowledge to create one’s own hand bound book.
There is a materials fee of $1 for this class.
Speaker: Erynn Bockler

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.
Speaker: Rob Schweitzer

Cancelled: Being Graby - Medieval Style

Cancelled: Bone and Antler Carving

Cancelled: Understanding Close Combat and Shock Tactics

Chainmail - Beyond the Basics (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 you will learn how to make the King Chain, French Rope, and Foxtail patterns. A basic understanding of chain mail is required. Bring two pairs of pliers. In addition to more complex patterns with standard rings this session will explore the use of smaller rings and precious metal rings in decorative patterns and jewelry. Bring two pairs of pliers.
Class is limited to 10 people.   
Speaker: Jerry Penner

Chainmail for Beginners
Imagine a shirt made of thousands of tiny metal rings, all linked together to form a cloth impenetrable by sword. Why was chainmail the ultimate armour for warriors for over a thousand years? Chain mail is so versatile it is still in use today. You can see it on divers in shark-infested waters and on the hands of your local butcher. While you learn to knit your own bracelet that you get to take home we'll discuss the historical background of this wonderful armour. Please bring two pairs of pliers.
Class is limited to 10 people.   
Speaker: Jerry Penner

Costuming Research (1000 - 1800 A.D)
Not sure where to start researching that costume? Come learn how to do research using traditional library search techniques and some not so traditional ways.
Speaker: Amy Menary

Counted Cross Stitch - Learn to Make Your Own Heirlooms
A hands-on course in counted cross stitch for beginners and experienced stitchers alike. There will be a brief outline of the history of needlework from the days when stitching meant that you were a lady of leisure to a present day craft that is enjoyed by all. Each participant will make a Celtic bookmark. All supplies provided. Limited to those over 6.
Class is limited to 15 people.   There is a materials fee of $2 for this class.
Speaker: Ellen Mervin

Learn about the various means used to protect information from prying eyes - all the way from Ancient Greece right up to the real events behind the trial of Mary Queen of Scots!
Speaker: Peter Westergaard

Development of the King Arthur Legends
Who was King Arthur? How did a snippet of historical record become the rich tapestry of legend we know today? This class will take a lively romp through 1500 years of literary history; come learn things you never would have guessed about Britain's favourite hero!
Speaker: Heather Dale

Digging in the dirt - attending an archaeological fieldschool
Many fieldschools allow members of the public to work as volunteer diggers at an archaeological excavation while learning the steps involved in a proper dig. This experience is both rewarding, and can be difficult. Join Karen and Neil for a discussion of their experience at a fieldschool on Gotland in 2011 as well as information on how you can get involved yourself.
Speakers: Neil Peterson, Karen Peterson

Dundurn Castle and the 1855 Kitchen Garden
In the Victorian era, kitchen gardens provided the homes of the wealthy and powerful with fruits and vegetables, flowers for fresh use and drying, herbs, medicinals, and beautiful pleasure grounds. The two-acre kitchen garden at Dundurn Castle has over 200 different varieties of heirloom fruits and vegetables grown according to historic methods and tools. Join Gardener Demonstrator Victoria Bick to discover Dundurn Castle, the restored home of Sir Allan Napier MacNab, and the Kitchen Garden that supplied his estate. Learn about the trials and tribulations of historic gardening, the sources for restoration, local Hamilton heirloom varieties, and more.
Speaker: Victoria Bick

Early Medieval Weights and Measures
A brief overview of measurement systems in use in early Medieval Europe including the tools and equipment used.
Speaker: Mila Little

Eating the Past: The food of Apicius comes to life
One of the few records existing of exact Roman recipies is that of Apicius and this procject is about the pros and pitfalls of trying to recreate thses recipies in modern times.
Speakers: Krystal Osborn, Cady Berardi

English 16th & 17th Century dances from the Inns of Courts
Dancing in English Law Schools was actively encouraged, and held in such high esteem that it was 'accounted a shame for an Innes of Court man not to have learned to dance, especially the measures'. In this class, students will be guided through several of these easy social dances by reviewing copies of extant student's 'cheat notes'.
Speaker: Marc Collins

European Dance - English Country Dances
Dating from 1651, these dances range from Elegant to Energetic, forming the basis of more modern square dance and country dance. Open to all skill levels. No partners required.
Speaker: David Learmonth

European Dance - Mimed Bransles of France
Fun and Silly Dances from Arbeau (1589). Open to all skill levels. No partners required.
Speaker: David Learmonth

Experimental Vikings: Glass and Iron
An Iron Smelt in Vinland - an experimental investigation
Investigations of the archaeological site at L'Anse aux Meadows, Newfoundland, indicate local bog iron ore was smelted into workable metal, at least once, by the Norse some time about 1000 AD. Just why the first iron smelt in North America was carried out remains open to interpretation. Starting in 2009, a team from Ontario, Canada, conducted a series of five experiments, culminating on a full re-creation of the original Norse iron smelt at L'Anse aux Meadows NHSC in August of 2010. This paper will detail how the archaeological evidence was combined with years of experience with Norse styled furnaces to produce a successful working system. What was learned about the physical process can now shed greater light on not only early iron smelting methods, but what happened in Vinland near the end of the Viking Age.
Glass on Fire: temperatures in reconstructed Norse bead furnaces
At least seven distinct sites in the Viking World show traces consistent with the construction of the glass beads the Norse loved. At only one of these sites do we find any trace of the furnaces used. During 2011 members of the Dark Ages Recreation Company's Bead Research group conducted temperature measurements on a range of models to determine the temperature patterns and ranges. This paper will review the results of those experiments.

Speakers: Neil Peterson, Darrell Markewitz

Fingerloop Braiding - Intermediate (2 hours)
This workshop is geared towards those who have done a fair amount of single person fingerloop braiding and want to try something a little more ambitious. We will be working in pairs to try some of the more complex patterns available. This will be more of a learning experience and experiment for all and should be a lot of fun.
Class is limited to 6 people.   There is a materials fee of $1 for this class.
Speaker: Karina Bates

Fingerloop Braiding - beginner (2 hours)
Fingerloop braiding's beginnings likely date prior than 1200AD. Some of the first documentation mentioning fingerbraiding occurs in the thirteenth century. It reached its height by the 16th century and is still practiced in some places today. The laces made by this technique were used for dress lacings, hair ties, hose ties, clothing trim etc. Fingerloop braiding is a technique of fiber braiding much like lucet braiding. This class will be a hands-on learning of some simple braiding patterns. Any fiber thread can be used, although something that will not either fray or break is best. There will be supplies available for a fee or you may bring your own. Observers are welcome.
Class is limited to 10 people.   There is a materials fee of $1 for this class.
Speaker: Karina Bates

Get Stuffed!!! - Sausage-Making and You (2 hours)
This class will allow you the hands-on experience of making your own sausages from scratch. The class will cover a brief over-view of sausage making including a brief history, rational, techniques and equipment. Then working with a partner, both of you will get a chance to mix and stuff your own small sample batch of sausages to take home and enjoy. The class will have a material fee to cover cost of ingredients and all other equipment will be provided. Be aware this class will involve the use and handling of raw pork. Please take this into account if you have lifestyle, health or religious concerns. Each PERSON gets 1 kg of meat to turn into sausage -(meat, casings, spices and other ingredients included in the cost, grinders will be provided)
Class is limited to 10 people.   There is a materials fee of $12 for this class.
Speaker: Sam Falzone

Get in the Game Part I - The Game is Banned
This session will examine some medieval sports and the difficulties in researching sports and games. Rules for several medieval sports and games will be discussed as well as some examples of equipment that would have been available. Some games covered will be Stoolball, golf, dwyle flunking, bowls, knattleikr, and more.
Speaker: Jeff Johnston

Get in the Game Part II - So... Let's Play
Weather permitting we will be playing some of the games learned in the first session outdoors, if not we can play some of the tamer varieties indoors. Warning if we play outside you may get a little dirty. Games played with be entirely dependant on conditions of the day.
Speaker: Jeff Johnston

History of Japan from 1100 to 1573
A look at what happened in Japan politically and socially from the Heian Era up to the arrival of the first Europeans
Speaker: Brendan Smith

History of Japan from 1573 to 1603
A look at the tumultuous Sengoku Jidai and the Battle of Sekigahara that brought about 250 years of the Ieyasu Shoguns
Speaker: Brendan Smith

I wrote some
Social historian Royden Loewen writing in his book on Mennonite diarists, "From the Inside Out", suggested that "diaries often turned the hidden contours of household and community inside out" allowing us to see beyond closed doors into a person's private life. When the micro-history behind a diary was reconnected to the wider historiography of the period the complexity of social networks and kinship ties could be reconstructed in a way that would be unimaginable through a more general history. Using diaries to reconstruct life on the farm and around the kitchen table as it really was will be the focus of this paper as we listen to the voices of a young man working the family farm in 1891 and a twenty-five year old woman living in a small village from 1868.
Speaker: Catherine Ollerhead DeSantis

Influential battles of the Middle Ages
A review of 4 of the most important battles of the middle ages and how their influence is seen to this day. We'll look at the tactics and people involved in each battle. Hastings, Horns of Hattin, Agincourt
Speaker: Brendan Smith

Introduction to Drop Spinning
Learn to make your own yarn and thread the way they did for centuries until the fancy modern technology of spinning wheels took over. Hands-on participants will learn the basics of spinning, some jargon, and where to find more spinning supplies to feed the addiction. No limit on observers.
Class is limited to 8 people.   
Speaker: Karen Peterson

Introduction to Glass Bead Making (2 hours)
This class will cover the style of bead making known as Lampwork. A history of bead making, their uses, and trade. The modern process of lampworking to make a bead will also be demonstrated. This session is restricted to those aged 16 or older.
Class is limited to 8 people.   There is a materials fee of $5 for this class.
Speaker: Jean Ross

Introduction to Italian Rapier
This class is intended as a hands on introduction to the use of the rapier, especially as practised in the late 16th and early 17th c. in Italy. The rapier was a civilian sword worn in unarmoured civilian contexts and the study of its use was an important part of the education of a gentleman. While no actual fencing will take place, students will have the opportunity to try the footwork, the attacks and the defences employed in Italian swordplay and learn the terminology associated with it.
Speaker: David Stamper

Introduction to Tablet Weaving (2 hours)
This is a hands on practicum where participants will be taught the basics of tablet weaving. Tablet weaving is a narrow-band weaving technique that is commonly used for belts, straps and decorative edging on clothes. The technique (also known as card weaving) developed independently in a number of countries and has been used for over a thousand years. Participants will learn how to string their own bands and will learn a variety of pattern techniques.
There is a materials fee of $12 for this class.
Speaker: Rob Schweitzer

Introduction to the SCA
A look at the history and traditions of the SCA as well as what to expect at your local meets, practices and events
Speaker: Brendan Smith

Large Menu Planning
A practical guide to planning a large menu. Whether it is for a Wedding, Banquet or Medieval Feast using numbers as small as 12 to as large as 200. Budgeting, food choices, seating arrangements and the like for your situations will be discussed. Bring a thumb drive or accessible email for worksheets to be given to participants.
Speakers: Jean Ross, Martin Ross

Linen: flax seed to fibre (2 hours)
With a brief history of this ancient and valuable commodity, linen, this is a discussion of how to grow flax as a fibre crop and the labour-intensive process involved in extricating the fibre from the plant including demonstration of the tools used. It is also a hands-on opportunity for a few participants to try their hand at breaking, scutching and hackling the retted flax straw. Although the class is limited to 5 active participants, there is no limit to those wishing to audit/watch. Youth 12 and under are not suitable participants in this activity (sharp, pointy tools). Teens under 16 must have parental permission. Anyone with dust allergies should be sure to bring a mask and/or appropriate medication. Those planning to use the sharp, pointy tools should bring protective (leather?) gloves.
Class is limited to 5 people.   
Speaker: Wendy Maurice

Meaningful Scratches
A hands-on course in Runic and Ogham writing. The Runic alphabets were the local forms of writing in the Viking, Anglo Saxon and other Germanic cultures. Ogham was an alphabet peculiar to the Celtic inhabitants of the British Isles. Both were developed to be written with a knife rather than a pen. Participants should bring a small, sharp, single-edged knife, wood will be provided and some loaner knives will be available. No woodworking experience necessary, but children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Class is limited to 10 people.   
Speaker: Richard Schweitzer

Medieval archery
This session will begin with a description and display of different types of bows including replica longbows, a smallbow, and an Avar type horsebow and with accompanying arrows of hunting, warfare and target shooting types. The session will also cover the guilds that made the various items of archery gear and the legal requirements and obligations of the Englishman and his learning to shoot in childhood, followed by a description of the compulsory practice sessions including the kinds of targets and shooting games. The five partitions of shooting, stand, nock, draw and loose will be demonstrated {except for the loose}. If time allows the session will conclude with a look at the hunts conducted by the privileged few in the royal forests and the archer in warfare.
Speaker: Erik Roth

Norse wire weaving
Norse wire weaving (also called wire knitting) is an easy-to-to learn technique that can be used for jewellery and decorative trim. In this hands-on class, you'll see some examples of extant period pieces and modern reconstructions, and learn the basic techniques, including starting, finishing, and adding additional wire. Materials fee includes weaving stick, wire, and draw plate.
Class is limited to 10 people.   There is a materials fee of $5 for this class.
Speaker: Susan Carroll-Clark, Ph.D.

Oh happy dagger! This is thy sheath (2 hours)
Every knife needs its sheath, especially in the medieval period. Invariably made of tooled leather, close fitting to the blade and of a distinctive design to the period, sheaths not only protected the blade from harm (and vice versa), but were also a fashion statement. This class will run through the different types and designs of sheath from 7th to 14th century England (primarily based on the York and London finds) and materials and tools will be available for attendees to construct and decorate a sheath for their own knife should they have it with them. For a background on Viking Age and medieval knife shapes and scabbards, attendees are referred to or
Speaker: Marcus Burnham

Pewter Casting for Beginners (2 hours)
This is a practical class. Walk in with an idea, walk out with a pendant of your own construction and a mould to make hundreds more. Basic construction techniques will be taught for carving and casting two part soapstone moulds. Fee covers soapstone and pewter needed to make a pendant.
Class is limited to 10 people.   There is a materials fee of $4 for this class.
Speaker: Richard Schweitzer

Polite Society
"The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there",(Leslie Poles Hartley) This certainly true when applied to late Victorian etiquette. To successfully navigate this often paralysing array of do's and don't's marked you out as a member of polite society. To fail could mean social isolation and ruination of your good name. The rules of etiquette were more than knowing which fork to use, clothing, speech and even how you were introduced mattered. This is an introduction to the rules of etiquette as they applied to upper class English society. Etiquette was considered to be what separated our betters from us whom they regarded as "the great unwashed".
Speaker: Catherine Ollerhead DeSantis

Presenting the Medieval Joust as a Modern Sport
In a medieval joust there weren't lawyers waiting to leap out of the stands and sue over every splinter. Death was to be avoided but did happen. So how do we move a joust far enough into the modern world that it can be presented? What's medieval, what's sport, and what's Reality TV? Join Jordan Heron as he discusses his experiences with people and tournaments around the world. Who's doing what, what problems exist, what compromises are needed, and how do you train for a modern joust? No, he won't be bringing his horses.
Speaker: Jordan Heron

Presenting the Past - developing Living History programming
Effectively mounting a living history presentation in front of the general public is significantly different than gathering with other re-enactors at a closed event. Experience has long proved establishing an overall design to a presentation will significantly improve its value to (and reception by) both institutions and the viewing public. Do individual personas actually reflect historical realities? Is there a general theme or specific topics which should (or should not!) be illustrated? What presentation methods have proved most effective? Illustrations will be drawn from a number of differing time periods / living history presentations.
Speaker: Darrell Markewitz

SCA heavy fighting demonstration
A demonstration of SCA heavy combat, including a review of armour requirements and a brief overview of the rules of the list.
Speaker: Brendan Smith

Sex and the Church
Feeling randy? Stop! Better check with the priest if you want to practice medieval safe sex! What were official Church attitudes regarding sexual practices in the Middle Ages--and how indicative were they of reality? How did these attitudes evolve from the days of the early church up to the Reformation? And how did these doctrines affect daily life for most people?
Speaker: Susan Carroll-Clark, Ph.D.

Silk-Painting a Medieval Banner (2 hours)
Learn about the basic design concepts of Medieval heraldry, and then put them to practice by making a silk pennant. The instructor will bring supplies for some small individual projects (on a first-come basis), and any additional participants can help work on a larger communal piece during this 2-hour practicum. A list of silk-painting suppliers/resources will be available free of charge to all participants. Everyone is welcome, including calm children & youths.
Speaker: Heather Dale

Small Kit Box Construction Workshop (2 hours)
You will learn construction techniques of simple yet elegant kit boxes that can be used for any number of personal or reenacting purposes. Information will be provided on how to make the boxes water tight so they can be used as ice chests. We will be using designs from extant examples found in several wonderful texts including Victor Chinnery's Oak Furniture: the British Tradition. Kits containing: 1 @ 8' x 10" x 1" pine board, 20 @ 2 1/2 inch bright nails, and hinges.
Class is limited to 5 people.   There is a materials fee of $20 for this class.
Speaker: Nicholas West

Sprang: A Basic Introduction (2 hours)
Sprang is a textile that is not quite weaving, and not knitting but can be used to make a fabric with stretch and with lace or colour designs. The oldest found pieces predate the Viking era. Sprang was used for sashes in Napoleon's day, and is still used for hammocks. In this hands-on introduction, participants will be shown how to design and warp a loom, plus a few basic techniques and patterns. All materials will be provided for you to try your hand at this interesting craft.
Class is limited to 10 people.   There is a materials fee of $5 for this class.
Speaker: Jo Duke

Stinging Nettles
In the modern era stinging nettles are viewed as an invasive and painful weed to encounter, the knowledge of its usefulness has become an uncommon knowledge. In the Roman and Medieval eras, stinging was a readily available and valuable plant that was a nutritious food, a remedy for numerous illness and a source of cloth.
Speaker: Lynette Pike

Storytelling 101
Whether you are gossiping at the water-cooler, blogging, or sitting around a camp-fire, good story-telling skills can transform you into an engaging centre of any crowd. Learn basic story telling tips and tricks, identify some fun story structures, and get some ideas to build your repertoire!
Speaker: Andrea Shalay

The Hamilton & Scourge
The wrecks of the Hamilton and Scourge sit 300 ft. below the surface of Lake Ontario, comprising a time capsule of early 19th-century naval activity on the Great Lakes. Since 1980, the City of Hamilton has been directly involved in the management of the wrecks. Over the past five years, the City of Hamilton has worked with a number of government and private partners to undertake new investigations and to enhance monitoring of the site. Innovative options for managing the wrecks are being considered to ensure the long-term preservation of the site while realizing its potential for public presentation.
Speaker: Michael McAllister

The Hispanic Papers
This session will be chaired by Dr. Ron Ross.
Coexistence among the Peoples of the Book under Abd al-Rahman III
Historians have typically concentrated on the violent conquest of the Iberian Peninsula during the crusades and the resisting and oppressive Almoravid Muslim population. This paper demonstrates that before such conflict and oppression of Christians by immigrating Almoravid Muslims a policy of coexistence among the Peoples of the Book was pursued by Abd al-Rahman III as such an existence was conducive to economic prosperity. To pursue these ends, the Jewish community was tolerated and protected, while the muwallads, mozarabs and Christian principalities were managed through violence and enforced cooperation within the Iberian Peninsula. This paper examines the relations between Muslim, Christian and Jewish populations in the tenth-century emirate of al-Andalus under the reign of Abd al-Rahman III.
From Dependency to Dominance: The Brazilian Economy within the Portuguese Empire, 1500-1822
On the verge of Pedro Álvares Cabral's discovery of Brazil in 1500, the Portuguese Empire had developed the world's first global empire throughout Africa and India but was already economically and demographically spreading itself too thin across three separate continents. Throughout the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, sugar plantations were established throughout the Brazilian coast and by the beginning of the eighteenth century; gold and diamonds had been discovered further inland. Unfortunately for the Portuguese Crown, the country had been unable to industrialize and became dependent on raw materials from Brazil and manufactured goods from Britain. Initially considered a backwater colony that would add no economic value to the Portuguese Empire, Brazil became Portugal's most productive and wealthiest colony by the beginning of the seventeenth-century.

Speakers: Craig Mackay, Gregg French

The Logistics of Supplying English Archers during a battle
Using historical accounts and data collected, it is hoped to give an idea of the magnitude of what was required to supply English archers in the field during combat. Emphasis will center on the Battle of Poitier (1356) to put all the information presented in context.
Speaker: Russ Sheldon

The New World Papers
The Forgotten Expedition
This paper is historically based, focusing on the Canadian Siberian Expedition. It looks at newspapers as historical sources and examines how the Toronto Globe frames the Siberian Expedition in 1917-1919.
Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) Diplomacy in the 17th century leading up to the Dish with One Spoon Treaty (Southern Ontario)
In order to understand the "Dish with One Spoon" relationship of 1700 it is important to utilize a balanced examination of the history of the land and the peoples that occupied it. In order to acquire a balanced approach one must ask the question: How does secondary literature (anthropology, ethnohistory, and history), Indigenous oral history/manuscripts, and archaeological evidence differ or align with one another leading up to the Dish with One Spoon Treaty? To answer this question a three-pronged approach was utilized. This approach is loosely based on the Haudensoaunee ideology of having a 'Good Mind.' In order to have a good mind one is to be equally well mentally, spiritually, and physically. For the purposes of this paper the Eurocentric metanarrative will represent the 'mental' section, the Indigenous oral history/manuscripts will represent the 'spiritual' section, and lastly the archaeological discipline will represent the 'physical' section of this research.

Speakers: John Sampson, George Kennedy

The Russian Civil War
One of the most fascinating occurrences in modern Russian history is the outcome of this war: how is it that a group of poorly trained peasants and volunteers managed to thoroughly beat a trained force of veteran officers with large support from foreign powers? This lecture will seek to answer this question through recounting a history of the war. The focus will be less on military campaigns, and more on the social and diplomatic aspects of the war: what the respective administrations of the Reds and the Whites looked like, their treatment of peasants and their relations with foreign powers. Small mention will be given to the minor factions in the war (such as the Greens) but it will focus largely on the conflict between Lenin's Red army and the White armies of Kolchak to the east and Deniken to the south.
Speaker: Jordan Burrows

The life and times of the unicorn
One of the most popular animals of legend is the unicorn. Until fairly recently many believed in its existence for a variety of reasons. In this talk, the Western origins of this mythical beast will be discussed as well as discussions about it in Early Modern scientific literature which lead to its ignominious exit from biological discussions. Finally, we will briefly touch on the possible origins of this myth in Ethiopia.
Speaker: R. M. Kerr

The military development of Late-Medieval and Early-Modern Russia
While often overlooked, Russia had one of the most effective armies in Europe, more than doubling its size through aggressive conquest in this period. The army itself went through a number of reforms, evolving from a cavalry corps recruited only from the nobility to a regimented standing army which began to resemble more closely the armies of Western Europe. This session will cover the composition of the forces, the equipment of the soldiers and the unit tactics in some detail, as well as spending significant time looking at how the composition of the army is reflective of the social structure within Russia, and what it can tell us more broadly about the state itself.
Speaker: Jordan Burrows

To Singe the King of Spain's Beard Part 1: Events Leading up to the Armada Fight of 1588
This class will examine the historical background of the war between Spain and England in the late 16th c. It will provide an overview of the conflict and explore some of the more important events that lead to The Great Enterprise of England, the Spanish Armada. This class is intended to provide context for a second class on 16th c. Naval Warfare.
Speaker: David Stamper

To Singe the King of Spain's Beard Part 2: Naval Warfare and Technology during the Age of Elizabeth I
This class will examine the tactics and technology of late 16th c. naval warfare. It will explore the ships of the time and the weapons they were equipped with as well as the material culture of the crews that served in them. It will also look at how these ships were fought, contrasting the tactics of the English and Spanish.
Speaker: David Stamper

Torture 101
This presentation will cover the techniques, devices, and history behind the use of torture during the Middle Ages. As well, it will seek to dispel common misconceptions surrounding how certain devices were used and the reasons behind torture during this supposedly barbaric period in history. This presentation is not for the faint of heart or weak of stomach!
Speaker: Simon Newcombe

Trade Guilds and Furniture Construction Styles in Medieval England
Have you ever wondered why furniture was constructed in the style that it was. Why were dove tails not commonly used in English medieval furniture? The short answer is that construction techniques were tied to the Trade Guilds and guilds did not like to work together. I will discuss the issue of Trade Guilds in England and how they impacted furniture construction.
Speaker: Nicholas West

Turn Ons and Jack Offs: Pornography in Ancient Greece
This paper will explore the concept of pornography in the ancient world. It will attempt to break down the definition of pornography and proceed to look at examples of red and black figure pottery as well as a short section on Greek drama. Both of these topics will be analyzed using the recent scholarship on the subject and discuss the elements that distinguish certain works as pornography as well as what does not. In analyzing these scholars, this paper will set out to define what Ancient Greek pornography was and attempt to fit it into a modern view.
Speaker: Candice Kernot

Vocal Technique for Speakers/Singers
Throughout our lives we learn bad habits which restrict our breathing, which can lead to the sensation of stage-fright, tight throat and lack of vocal projection. These responses are learned -- and they can be unlearned. An experienced performer and public speaker will guide you through easy physical and mental exercises to improve your vocal technique. This workshop will include simple stretches and breathing techniques; please wear comfortable clothing.
Speaker: Heather Dale

What Middle Bronze Age grave goods say - Southern Levantine tombs
By examining the grave goods from tombs which date to the Middle Bronze Age in the Southern Levant, it can be concluded that these artefacts are indicators of rank, social status within a culture, and wealth. The sites which have been examined are Jericho, Megiddo, Tel Dan and Gesher with preliminary research being conducted on the site of Efrata. Skeletal remains have also been examined in relation to the tomb and artefacts. Each indicator of rank must have a supplement, something which enforces the artefact as an indicator. Using this method, at least two or three tombs at each site show a social stratigraphy. Not only has it been discovered that grave goods indicate rank, but they may also help to determine the afterlife beliefs of the peoples at each site in much the same way as rank is observed.
Speaker: Nichole Sotzek

What Motivates Magic, and How Far Would a Magus Go? - A Case Study of the Latin Picatrix
The value of studying human interactions with the supernatural that go beyond those sanctioned by social mores lies in what they reveal about our sense of disempowerment and the lengths to which people are willing to go to overcome their sense of powerlessness and/or enhance their sense of agency. What aspects of human lives have seemed so beyond the purview of normal personal and even supernatural agency that people have felt the need to resort to magical practices to see their aims fulfilled? This paper aims to provide a comprehensive analysis of the Latin version of the Arabic astro-magical text entitled Picatrix, which circulated widely from the later thirteenth century onward. This text proved to be immensely popular in the Latinate West, and served as the inspiration for later explorations of magic and astrology such as those in Marsilio Ficino or Cornelius Agrippa.

After identifying the main "realms of disempowerment" and the common features of these, this paper aims to explore the links between a) the perceived social acceptability of the desires manifested in the magical recipes (e.g., gaining undeserved favours among social superiors, or gaining the affections of an otherwise attached love interest), and b) the level of illicitness of the actual ceremonies involved. Under the umbrella term "illicitness" I aim to include those practices which have long been recognized as violating basic social mores such as the manipulation and consumption of excrement or the employment of parts of human corpses. The paper will demonstrate that there is indeed some correlation between the level of deviance of the desire and the level of extreme behaviour called upon of the practitioner for an individual spell.
Speaker: David Porreca, Ph.D.

Whips and whip making, a misunderstood tool
Up until the mid 1990's whips were a daily used tool for many cultures and occupations around the world. They ranged from status symbols to the standard tool of animal handlers such as drovers and stockmen. Must whips were not designed to inflict injury but extend the reach of the user. This session will examine the different type of whips, their historical use beginning with the Romans, their development over the years, and the wide range of construction techniques used to make them.
Speaker: Tim Foster

Working Up the Past - A History of Knitting (2 hours)
A hands-on course in knitting. A brief outline of the history of knitting from its earliest examples to modern patterns and techniques, followed by learning the basics of knitting. Learn to cast-on, knit, pearl and cast-off to make beautiful medieval-themed items. This session is limited to those over 10 years of age.
Class is limited to 6 people.   There is a materials fee of $5 for this class.
Speaker: Samantha James

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