The Medieval Studies Working Group will provide an opportunity for junior and senior scholars to engage in larger questions of methodology, the viability of interdisciplinarity, and the specific forms it might take within the umbrella of "medieval studies," as well as within specific disciplines. In order to explore these abstract questions productively, the working group will follow a single guiding theme for the entire series of eight meetings in the 2011–12 academic year: Contact and Identity. The first session of the semester is Art, Italy, and the East. The speakers are: * Remie Constable (history and Medieval Institute) on "Gentile Bellini, Venice, and a Late Medieval European Vision of Egypt * Brandon Cook (Medieval Institute) on Mosaics of Holy Women in the Cappella Palatina Speakers will be encouraged to respond to the year's specific theme, but also to highlight their methodological approach either in the body of their talk or in the subsequent question and answer session. By placing practitioners of different methodologies and disciplines into direct contact with each other, the organizers envision the working group as a place of active dialogue and debate between scholars not only from different departments, but also from inside and outside the Notre Dame community. If you have any questions, contact Anna Larsen at email@example.com, or Brett Rodriguez at firstname.lastname@example.org.