News and events

  • Professor McDonald releases a new book featuring the Isle of Man’s “forgotten” kingdom

    Professor McDonald with one of the famous Viking Age sculptures at Kirk Andreas

    Professor McDonald recently visited the Isle of Man for his book release featuring the islands “forgotten” kingdom.  Read the BBC news coverage here.

    If you’re interested in travelling with Professor McDonald to the Isle of Man on a study tour, now’s your chance!  The Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies will offer MARS/HIST 3F51 The Vikings and Medieval Isle of Man in May.  There will be information sessions in October.  Click here for more information.

  • Come travel with us in May 2024!


    The Isle of Man is a small island in the middle of the Irish Sea with a rich heritage from the Viking and Medieval eras. In the central Middle Ages it was home to a dynasty of powerful and influential sea kings of mixed Gaelic and Norse heritage. Highlights of this course (subject to change):

    ·Study travel in Isle of Man, late May 2024
    ·Intensive pre-travel study on campus in early May
    ·Visits to historic and heritage sites including the Manx Museum, Peel Castle, Castle Rushen, Rushen Abbey, Tynwald Hill, Maughold, and Viking Age sites and monuments ·Hands-on session with Viking and medieval artifacts at the Manx Museum
    ·Visit the modern Manx parliament (Tynwald)
    ·Plenty of opportunity to enjoy the Island’s scenic beauty including the Douglas Promenade, Electric and Steam Railways, Laxey Wheel, and Snaefell
    ·Instructor: Prof. Andrew McDonald (History/MARS), researches and publishes on Viking Age and Medieval Manx history and is a frequent visitor to the Isle of Man. He is the author of The Kingdom of the Isles (1997), Manx kingship in its Irish Sea Setting (2007); The Sea Kings (2019); and his Visitor’s Guide to the Medieval Kingdoms of Man and the Isles is forthcoming in 2023 from Manx National Heritage.

    Come find out more at our information sessions:  October 17 and October 26 from 1:30-2:30 p.m. in RFP 214.

    Click here to download promo poster

  • Looking for an interesting way to get your Humanities Context Credit?

  • Great courses in MARS in 2023-24, including new offerings!


    Click here to download pdf document.


  • MARS 3P97 Hosts Student Conference – All welcome to attend!

    Contact Dr. Teresa Russo for more information.

    ***Students receive CWC credit for attendance.


  • Gigantic Book Sale – All Welcome

  • Free Event featuring Zoey M. Cochran from University of Montreal

    Please register on Eventbrite for this free event.

    All welcome.

  • MARS 2P95 host Conference on Fashion of the Middle Ages

    Email to RSVP for this conference, identifying the date you would like to attend.

  • The MARS Speaker Series presents a free event on February 15 – All Welcome

  • Rare books on campus highlighted at Archive Crawl

    Book lovers and historians alike were drawn to a recent tour that gave access to two rare collections of texts, documents and illustrations housed on Brock’s main campus.

    Held Sept. 29, the Archive Crawl saw members of the Brock community join representatives of the Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies (MARS) and the Brock University Medieval and Renaissance Society (BUMARS) to explore Brock Library’s Archives and Special Collections and the Concordia Lutheran Seminary’s Rare Book Room.

    The group was able to view some of the oldest materials in Archives and Special Collections, including a page from a medieval Bible dated to c. 1200 CE; the famous Clopton Charter from Stratford, England, from 1241 CE; a letter from King James VI of Scotland; and John Gerard’s Herbal history of plants from 1597. MARS professors Andre Basson, Leah Knight and Andrew McDonald were on hand to share their expertise.

    The tour continued at the Concordia Lutheran Seminary’s Rare Book Room, home to rare books dating back to the early 16th century. Texts and woodcut illustrations on display highlighted the importance of print culture to the 16th century Protestant Reformation.

    Featured items included a 1562 edition of Martin Luther’s writings with an early printing of his 95 Theses; notated liturgical music from 1592; a Danish-language Luther Bible from 1589; and Flavius Josephus’s history of the Jewish people from 1574, “complete with bookworm hole,” says Sarah Cavanagh, Librarian and Bookstore Manager.

    “We also have a small but aesthetically-beautiful selection of early 20th-century German books designed in art nouveau and art deco style, among them Oscar Wilde stories and fairy tales by Hans Christian Andersen and Wilhelm Hauff,” she says.

    Other books on exhibit at the Rare Book Room offer a glimpse into the lives and history of their owners, featuring unique inscriptions, notations and painstaking and surprisingly creative book repairs, proving there are more stories hidden in old books beyond what is printed on their pages.

    “I’m excited that the participants had a chance to discover some of the fascinating documents held in these two neighbouring collections,” says Renée-Claude Breitenstein, Associate Professor of French with the Department of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures, and Director of the Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies.

    “My hope is that the time spent learning together, walking together and exchanging about the past will pique the participants’ curiosity for these fascinating periods, encourage them to learn more and go back to the archives, and maybe even open new research perspectives.”