Mellon Program in Post-Classical Latin

The UCLA Department of Classics is pleased to announce the third and final year of a grant by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support the preparation and training of young scholars in post-classical Latin for graduate programs in Medieval and Renaissance Studies.

The post-baccalaureate program in post-classical Latin is intended for students who have completed B.A. degrees and are seeking to pursue Ph.D. programs requiring study and proficiency in late Latin texts and documents. All university fees and a stipend of $18,000 are provided by the Mellon Foundation grant to allow the admitted students to spend a year at UCLA participating in the post-classical Latin curriculum as well as taking existing courses in Classical Latin and, more broadly, in undergraduate and graduate courses in Medieval and Renaissance Studies related to their research interests. Participating departments include English, Art History, History, Italian, Philosophy, French and Francophone Studies, and Near Eastern Languages and Cultures.

The program offers a pro-seminar in the Fall Quarter to introduce students to UCLA faculty and to prepare them for successful applications to top-ranked Ph.D. programs.

All inquiries about the Mellon program should be addressed to Professor Robert Gurval, UCLA Department of Classics, Director of the Mellon Program in Post-Classical Latin (

This year’s cohort includes six Post-Baccalaureate students: Matthew Aiello; Kai Dowding; Lillian Datchev; Timothy Glover; Christa Lundberg; and Katherine Perl.

2016-2017 Students

Matt Aiello

Matthew Aiello grew up in the Bay Area, CA. He attended Stanford University where he graduated in 2015 with a B.A. in English and a focus in Medieval Studies; he was awarded both Distinction and Departmental Honors upon graduation and received the Marie Louise Rosenberg Prize for his thesis on the word ‘honour’ in late Medieval chivalric literature. Matt was also a member of the Stanford Men’s Volleyball Team and received the Elite 89 Award from the NCAA in 2014 for having the highest GPA out of any athlete present at the Final Four Championships. After Stanford, Matt went on to earn his MSt in English (650-1550) from the University of Oxford where he directed his critical efforts to the early Medieval Period. His current research interests are in Alfredian Literature and Anglo-Saxon book production, particularly the production of smaller, utilitarian volumes for probable secular use and the potential information they are able to provide about individual scribal preferences in page layout. He is currently the Lead Research Assistant for the National Endowment for Humanities project, Stanford Global Currents: Cultures of Literary Networks 1050-1990. This inter-institutional project has trained computer software to identify and transcribe scribal hands in Latin and Old English manuscripts, and to extrapolate specific information retrieval tools from manuscript folios to determine visual hierarchies in mise-en-page. Matt hopes that this technology will catalyse the future scholarship of Medievalists across the globe by allowing them better access to the digital avatars of manuscripts. He is deathly afraid of butterflies.

kai-dowdingKai Dowding

Kai earned her B.A. in History from Pomona College, and minored in Late Antique-Medieval Studies. The summers of 2014 and 2015 she researched the papal register of Pope Innocent III (1198-1216), and specifically his correspondence with concerned Jews and heretics. For her senior thesis she focused on the canons of the Fourth Lateran Council (1215), the council organized at Innocent’s behest, and examined the canons with described the “threats” that Jews and heretics pose to the Catholic Church. She intends to apply to PhD programs in either history or religious studies/theology, and her research interested include medieval churchmen’s depictions of non-Catholics, and intersections of medieval theology with medieval medical and gender theory.

lillyLilly Datchev

Lilly Datchev has a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts from St. John’s College in Annapolis, and a master’s degree in Renaissance intellectual history from the Warburg Institute in London. Following her undergraduate studies, she spent a year working in legislative politics before taking history courses at the University of Maryland and studying at the Latin/Greek Institute in New York. She enjoys tracing the origins of new conceptualizations in Renaissance scholarship, and has focused on the history of epistemology. Recently she has studied fifteenth-century Italian historiography and cartography, as well as the medieval reception of Islamic texts on geography. Beyond the history of the disciplines she is interested in political thought and in the transmission of texts across cultures, and plans to explore related problems in graduate school.

timothy-gloverTim Glover

Tim grew up in a small village near Reading in the UK. In 2014 he graduated with a first-class degree in English Language and Literature from the University of Oxford and he has just completed an MSt in Medieval English Literature, also from Oxford. His research interests lie particularly in the philosophical, theological and literary-theoretical issues entailed in medieval representations of God. Over the past year Tim has also worked on medieval music, demonic monsters, and names for the Holy Spirit, and he especially enjoys placing modern critical theory in dialogue with medieval texts. After studying at UCLA, he hopes to explore some of these issues further through a PhD looking at time and the divine, examining the ways in which fourteenth-century religious writers dealt with the paradox of encountering and representing eternity from within time.

christaChrista Lundberg

Christa Lundberg was born in Lund, Sweden. She earned her B.A. in Liberal Arts at the University of Gothenburg in 2014. She spent the following year in Lyon, France, studying French, Latin and history of the book. In 2015, she moved to London to study for her M.A. in intellectual and cultural history (1300-1650) at the Warburg Institute. Christa’s academic interests include the Platonic tradition, the philosophical commentary and early modern ideas about human reason and its limitations. Her recent work has focused on the innovative philosophical methods employed in the circle of Jacques Lefèvre d’Étaples during the first decades of the sixteenth century. She plans to continue studying early modern intellectual history in graduate school.

kate-perlKate Perl

Kate graduated magna cum laude from Loyola Marymount University with a B.A. in History and minors in Theology and Women’s and Gender Studies. Her primary interest is medieval Iberia with a focus on the eleventh-century taifa period and the relationship between decentralized political dynamics and cultural expression at that time. She also studies the degrees of religious tension and tolerance in medieval Iberia, and more broadly, the history of late antique and medieval Christian thought and practice. At LMU she worked as a History T.A., writing tutor, and research assistant, and was president of LMU’s chapter of Phi Alpha Theta (History Honor Society). Outside of academics, she loves hiking and working for animal-assisted therapy programs. She is indebted to Drs. Anthony Perron, Anna Harrison, and Andrew Devereux for their generosity of time and support in her undergraduate education, and she looks forward to studying Latin and Arabic in the Mellon program in preparation for doctoral work in History.

2015-2016 Students


bowenEdward Mead Bowen

Mead earned his B.A. in English and B.S. in Journalism from the University of Florida, and his M.A. in Medieval Welsh Literature from Aberystwyth University in Wales. Prior to his time at UCLA, he served as the Editor-in-Chief of Vexillum: The Undergraduate Journal of Classic and Medieval Studies, a publication sponsored by the Medieval Studies Program at Yale University. Mead’s research interests include medieval animal studies; joint consideration of animals and human-animal interactions as described and depicted in bestiaries and other scientific texts, in hunting and husbandry manuals, and in popular literature; medieval Celtic studies; intersections of medieval science, medicine, magic, and religion; medieval science and literature; transmission and reception of texts, narratives, and ideas across cultures and classes; and Arthuriana, especially British (English, Welsh, Scottish, Cornish) and Irish material.

crislerJulia Crisler

In June 2015, Julia graduated with honors from UCLA with a B.A. in History. As an undergraduate, she worked with Professor Jessica Goldberg on a History Honors Thesis focused on the equine breeding and management system in the Anglo-Saxon world. Julia’s research interests include medieval agricultural history and animals; how cultures developed animal breeds in order to satisfy need and create national pride and identity; medieval economics, trade, wills, church documents, breeding, and management practices; modern knowledge of nutrition, genetics, and other sciences in order to understand these medieval practices; active in the horse world and often attend clinics and seminars on modern equine health, training, and management.

mansonMichaela Manson

Born and raised in Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada, Michaela moved to Montreal in 2008 initially to study film production, though she wound up taking some Latin and philosophy. In 2012 she received the Fraser Medal from Concordia University, which is awarded to the student graduating from philosophy with the highest GPA. Upon graduating, she spent a year introspectively dog-walking to pay the bills before enrolling at Simon Fraser University (Vancouver, Canada) for the MA in philosophy. Her master’s research project considered Descartes’s notion of clear and distinct perception. In support of these studies, Michaela was awarded a Master’s level SSHRC (social science and humanities research council of Canada award). More generally, her interests in the history of philosophy concern epistemological and metaphysical questions of the early modern period. More particularly, she is intrigued by the debates around mental representation, the nature of perception, in addition to the role and nature of rational cognitive norms. She is also sympathetic to recent scholarly efforts to expand the set of texts and authors considered “philosophical” and is thus curious about certain meta-debates around the question of just what is philosophy (in the early modern period). Outside of academics, she can often be found reading fiction, or catching a movie, or in the sunshine building/maintaining/riding bicycles, or at a ‘show’ of some genre, be it art, music, comedy, or theatre. She is excited to be at UCLA for the post-baccalaureate in post-classical Latin as she applies to, and prepares for, doctoral studies in philosophy.

missonJames Misson

James comes from Stratford-upon-Avon in England. He graduated from the University of Oxford with a first-class BA in English Language and Literature, and an MSt with distinction in Medieval Literature and Palaeography. His research interests concern the transition from manuscript to print technology in the fifteenth century, print’s effect on the English language, and the Humanist ideologies implicit in typography in the transition between the Medieval and Early Modern periods. More informally, he is interested in the recent history of typography and design, theories of material texts, and the narratology of graphic novels. He has worked as a researcher for the Oxford English Dictionary, a Production Editor of academic journals for Routledge, and has seven years of experience as a freelance Graphic Designer.

quijanoCarly Quijano

Carly Quijano grew up in Orange County, California before moving to Los Angeles to complete her undergraduate studies. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from UCLA in 2014 with a B.A. in History and Italian and Special Fields. During her undergraduate studies she spent two summers in Siena, Italy learning Italian, and during her senior year studied at the University of Bologna where she took courses in medieval history and Italian literature while interning at the Museo della Città. Carly intends to apply for PhD programs this year, and her research interests include the the Carolingian Dynasty and the Frankish Empire, as well as the Medieval papacy and its political theory and interaction with secular powers. She is also interested in the politics of medieval Italian communes, especially their relationships with ecclesiastical authorities and the emperor, and the social consequences of these relations. In her free time Carly enjoys travel, exploring new cultures, reading, photography, and spending time with her family.

2014-2015 Students


img_1653-version-2Lena Frostestad

Lena Frostestad grew up in San Francisco, California. She attended Colby College and graduated Cum Laude with distinction in her major, Medieval and Renaissance Studies. After working in finance for a year, she moved to London in order to complete a Master’s degree in Medieval History at King’s College London. Her main academic interests include women’s and gender history, religion, literature and social history. Her Master’s dissertation topic was the use of the monster in Christian propaganda, though her future research will be on the topics of women, gender and sexuality. Through the Mellon Post-Baccalaureate program in Post-Classical Latin, she hopes to round out her education before entering into a History PhD program.

swainAlexandra Kaczenski

Alexandra is a recent MA graduate from the Courtauld Institute of Art in London, where she specialized in Burgundian court art from 1380-1520. Her thesis, titled Redesigning Prayer: The Second Decorative Program of BL Harley 1892, used the manuscript’s early sixteenth-century decorative campaign, which included miniatures replicating and adapting Martin Schongauer prints, as a means of investigating personalized prayer and the interaction between printing and illumination. She received her Art History BA, cum laude with highest departmental honors, from the University of California, Santa Cruz.  Her undergraduate thesis ‘Eat of this Bread’: Variations on a Theme Within the Cult and Iconography of St. Agatha of Sicily, was awarded the Patricia and Rowland Rebele Grant in Art History. She looks forward to spending the year at UCLA improving her post-classical Latin in preparation for PhD research.

Apart from educational pursuits, she has worked at various art institutions such as Bonhams Auction House, the Santa Monica Museum of Art, the Victoria & Albert Museum, the New Orleans Museum of Art, and the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. When not buried away in a library one can find her baking up a storm, hiking around for the perfect spot to read, dusting off some old records, or planning her escape back to north London.

Research interests: illuminated manuscripts, late-medieval spirituality and prayer especially though Eucharistic practices, blood piety, mysticism, pilgrimage, physicality, and customization of texts; artistic replication and appropriation; interaction between early printing and illumination; Jagiellonian Court patronage; metalwork and numismatics; history of photography; Latin language and literature.

img_0487Lily Stewart

Lily Stewart graduated from Scripps College in May, 2014 with a degree in Religious Studies, and a minor in Late Antique and Medieval Studies. She began studying Latin her first year in high school, and she continued with the language (both Classical and Medieval) throughout her four years of college. Lily intends to apply to doctoral programs in Medieval History and Medieval Studies, with the goal of remaining cozily entrenched in academia (and books about old dead things) for the next few decades at least.



summer-2013-789_croppedBurt Westermeier

Burt Westermeier, a native of Wake Forest, North Carolina, graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2014 with a degree in History and Religious Studies.  In the summer of 2013, Burt received a Burch Fellowship to do research in Spain, England, and Ireland which formed the basis of his Honors Thesis, “The Impact of Pilgrimage on Local Communities and the Medieval Expansion of Europe,” supervised by Marcus Bull. At UNC, Burt was a senior editor of Traces, an award-winning undergraduate journal of history. Burt also played trumpet for four years as a member of the UNC Marching Tarheels. In his free time, Burt enjoys hiking, trivia, and watching Tar Heel football and basketball.