January 31, 2020
Medieval Academy of America journal

The Medieval Academy of America — the largest scholarly organization in the United States dedicated to promoting the study of the middle ages, and a member organization of the American Council of Learned Societies — has announced that Katherine L. Jansen, professor of history at Catholic University, is one of six newly elected fellows.

Election as a fellow of the academy is a signal honor for scholars of medieval studies. At any given time there are a maximum of 125 fellows, and up to 75 corresponding fellows based outside the U.S. Jansen’s induction as a fellow will take place at the organization’s annual meeting in March, in Berkeley, Calif.

“I am deeply honored to be elected as a fellow of the Medieval Academy of America and to join the list of fellows affiliated with Catholic University,” Jansen says. “It is humbling to be enrolled in the company of so many of my academic heroes who people the roster of fellows and corresponding (international) fellows. I hope one day to see some of our terrific graduate students honored similarly.”  

Jansen joins a short list of exceptionally distinguished Catholic University medievalists who previously received this honor: 

  • Roy Joseph Deferrari (professor, Greek and Latin, 1918-1960) 
  • Stephan Kuttner (professor, canon law, 1940-1964) 
  • Brian Tierney (professor, history, 1951-1959)
  • David Herlihy (M.A., history, 1953)
  • Kenneth Pennington (professor emeritus, Law and Canon Law)
  • Maureen Miller (M.A., history, 1983)
  • Uta-Renate Blumenthal (professor emerita, history)
“Our department was delighted to hear of this high honor for Professor Jansen,” said Michael Kimmage, chair of the history department. “It signifies an extraordinary record of scholarly achievement, with many further achievements to come.”

Her election as a fellow comes less than a year after she was appointed editor of the Medieval Academy of America’s academic journal, Speculum. The journal is the premier North-America-based academic journal for medieval studies.

Last summer she took over as editor and the journal’s editorial office moved to campus. The journal had been housed in the academy’s Cambridge, Mass., offices since 1926. Jansen is the first editor to work off-site in producing the journal.

Jansen said having the journal produced on campus cemented the University’s role as a leader in the interdisciplinary study of the Middle Ages.

Speculum is the gold standard in the field of medieval studies, and Catholic University, with its stellar faculty (including four other prominent medieval historians in my own department), promising graduate students, and Center for Medieval and Byzantine Studies, provides just the right setting at just the right time in the journal’s history,” Jansen said.