History professor accepted into NEH seminar at Oxford

Dr. Karen Nicholas, a history professor, is one of 25 faculty members selected from a national applicant pool to attend a summer institute at the Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies in England.

The five-week institute, “Representations of the ‘Other’: Jews in Medieval Christendom,” is supported by the U.S. National Endowment for the Humanities and will begin July 11. Participants receive a stipend of $3,600 to help cover their travel, study and living expenses.

The Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies is an independent academic post-graduate institution associated with the University of Oxford. Institute participants will have the status of visiting faculty members, enabling them to obtain privileges at Bodleian Library, the main research library of the University of Oxford, and related university libraries.

Dr. Irven M. Resnick of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga will direct the institute, which will focus on the evolution of medieval European conceptions of “otherness” and the various efforts of contemporary scholars to explain it from the perspectives of history, philosophy, theology, canon law, literature and art history.

The NEH is a federal agency that each summer supports seminars and institutes at colleges and universities so that professors can work in collaboration and study with experts in humanities disciplines. It offers 22 such study opportunities this summer.

Nicholas teaches ancient and medieval history at SUNY Oswego and is coordinator of the medieval and Renaissance studies minor.

A former NEH fellow, Nicholas has published and presented papers at international conferences on the political and social history of the “Low Countries” of Europe, such as Flanders, during the 11th to 13th centuries. She earned her doctorate at Brown University and her bachelor’s degree at Mount Holyoke College.

At Oswego, she helped organize Quest in 1979 and regularly makes presentations at this annual symposium of scholarly and creative activity on campus.

She is adept at modern languages, such as French, Dutch and German, and also ancient languages like classical and medieval Latin, Greek and Middle Dutch. A musician, Nicholas plays several modern and medieval instruments and has been a member of the Schola Cantorum of Syracuse.

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(Posted: May 03, 2006)