Program: (Mis)Communication, Community, and Translation in the Middle Ages and Early Modern Time

This symposium is open to anyone, so just enter at your leisure when you are not presenting, but please make sure to mute yourself until you want to speak. You can always raise your hand, or put down something in the chat. We have always a 10 min. period for Q & A after each talk. And for emergencies, I have built in 5 minutes extra between all talks.

Since this a virtual online conference with many speakers from different parts of the world, I’ll give preference to those from outside of the USA to speak first each day, irrespective of the chronological order.

Zoom link, or:


PLEASE MAKE SURE TO LIMIT YOUR SPEAKING TIME TO 20 MINUTES; YOU WILL THEN HAVE 10 MINUTES FOR Q & A. If you want to show pictures, or present a PPP, I’ll be happy to make you to a co-host. As one of my own teachers once said, what you cannot explain in 20 minutes, you better keep quiet about.


May 8, 7:15-7:30 a.m.: Albrecht Classen, Introduction and Welcome



Najlaa Ramadan Abdulaziz Aldeeb, Swansea University, UK: Deconstructing the (Mis)Interpretation of Paratextual Elements in Ross’s English Translation of the Qur’an, The Alcoran of Mahomet (1649)


8:05-8:35 a.m.

Connie L. Scarborough, Professor Emerita, Texas Tech University/ Madrid: A Jewish Moneylender, Mis-Communication, and a Lie: Gonzalo de Berceo’s Milagro 23

8:40-9:10 a.m.

Nere Jone Intxaustegi Jauregi, University of Deusto, Spain: Communication and Translation in Early Modern Basque Society. The Role Played by the Notaries Public


9:15-9:30 a.m. Break


9:30-10:00 a.m.

David Tomíček, Usti na Labem, Czech Republic: Communication about the Health Risks in the Czech Written Medical Sources of the 15th and 16th Centuries


Chiara Melchionno, Scuola Superiore Meridionale – University of Naples “Federico II”, Italy: Paremiac Expressions: A Touch of Color in the Ambassadors’ Diplomatic Correspondence in the Fifteenth Century

10:40-11:10 a.m.

Amina Boukail, University of Jijel-Algeria: Translation ‒ Culture ‒ Alterity in Medieval Iberia: The Case of Kalila wa Dimna in Hebrew and Castilian

11:15-11:45 a.m.

Andreas Lehnertz (Jerusalem), Birgit Wiedl (St. Pölten): “as written in my own Jewish hand”: German-Hebrew Documents from the Medieval Holy Roman Empire

11:50-12:30 Lunch Break

12:30-1:00 p.m.

Fidel Fajardo-Acosta, Creighton University, Nebraska: Proscribed Communication: The Obscene Language of the Troubadour William IX of Aquitaine

1:05-1:35 p.m.

Albrecht Classen, University of Arizona, Tucson: Entertainment and Laughter as a Training Ground for Communication: Heinrich Kaufringer, ca. 1400


1:40-2:10 p.m.

Emily L. Sharrett, Loyola University Chicago: Book Piracy in Early Modern Publishing Practices

2:15-2:45 p.m.

Amany El-Sawy, Alexandria University, Egypt: Community and the Others: Crossing Boundaries in Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice


Sunday, May 9:


7:30-7:35 a.m. Welcome back


7:35-8:05 a.m.

Sally Abed, University of Alexandria, Egypt: Thus, Spoke the Monster: The Language of Monsters in Medieval Arab Writings

8:10-8:40 a.m.

Chiara Benati, Dipartimento di Lingue e Culture Moderne, Università degli Studi di Genova, Italy: Preventing Miscommunication: Early Modern German Surgeons as Specialized Translators



Daniel Droixhe, Université Libre de Bruxelles – Université de Liège : Galen’s Statements on Scirrhus and Their Translations in Early Modern Times (Therapeutics to Glaucon, Method of Medicine).

9:20-9:35 a.m. Break

9:35-10:05 a.m.

Daniel F. Pigg, The University of Tennessee at Martin: Words, Signs, Meanings: William Langland’s Piers Plowman as a Window on Linguistic Chaos


Heba Gaber Abdelaziz, Alexandria University, Egypt: A New Historicist Reading of the Representation of the Muslim in Othello


10:45-11:15 a.m.

Filip Hrbek, University of J. E. Purkyně, Ústí nad Labem, Czech Republic: The Physicians’ Community in Pre-Thirty Years’ War Bohemia

11:20-11:50 a.m.

Asmaa Ahmed Youssef, Alexandria University, Egypt: The Function of Storytelling in the Medieval Arabic Poetry of Abu Tammam

12:30-1:00 p.m.

Doaa Omran, University of New Mexico: (Non)-Imaginary Ideal Communities in the Pre-Modern World: A Reading of the Utopian Works of al-Farābi’, Ibn Khaldūn, Christine de Pizan, and Thomas Moore

1:05-1:35 p.m.

Jane Beal, University of La Verne, CA: The Chaucerian Translator

11:55-12:30: Lunch Break

1:40-2:10 p.m.

Wessam Elmeligi, University of Michigan-Dearborn: Reclaiming Their Status through Poetry: A Literary and Digital Textual Analysis of the Medieval Poetry of Arab Women

2:15-2:30 p.m.: Albrecht Classen: Conclusion of the symposium; general discussion, next steps


Thank you all very much.