Lecture series on Middle Ages kicks off tomorrow

Sunday Times Newspapers

RIVERVIEW – Many people get certain perceptions of time periods in history based on what they see in movies, but Downriver residents now have a chance to learn the real details about the Middle Ages.

The Riverview Public Library’s second annual Summer History Lecture Series starts at 7 p.m. Monday with an overview of the medieval period.

“I think a lot of people have this idea of the Middle Ages as knights, ladies and castles, but that’s just a specialized part of it,” said Pamela Sayre, a premodern history professor at Henry Ford Community College in Dearborn who will lead four of the six sessions in the lecture series. “I’m trained as a historian, so it’s coming at things for the historian’s viewpoint.”

The series will have lectures 7 p.m. every Monday through Aug. 17. In addition to tomorrow’s kickoff overview, Sayre also will lead lectures titled “Daily Life in Medieval Times – peasants, town folk and nobles” July 26, “Towns and Cathedrals” Aug. 9 and “Knights, Chivalry and Courtly Love” Aug. 17.

Also scheduled to speak are Michael Farrell of the Art House of Detroit for a July 19 discussion on “Angels, Demons, Fables and Lust: Art along the Pilgrimage Routes during the Middle Ages” and library Director Kirk Borger, who will speak about “Medieval Eastern Europe” on Aug. 2.

“Medieval Eastern Europe tends to get overlooked because we tend to think of France, Germany, etc.,” Borger said.

The lecture series will last at least 60 minutes per speaker each week before a question and answer session opens up so attendees can learn any other specific information they may be curious about. The entire event lasts up to two hours per week.

“In 2005 we received a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to put on a lecture (about World War II). We decided to do one in the summer, and it’s been very popular,” Borger said.