Old School: Medieval Club Celebrates Historical Era
Published: Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, March 27, 2012 02:03
Founded in the 1970s by students interested in medieval history and culture, the Medieval Club provides an extracurricular outlet not just for Medieval Studies students, but for all students with a penchant for history.
“It’s a gathering of people who are interested in medieval-type things, even if it’s not purely academic,” President Sorina Radu (SFS ’12) said.
Treasurer Melissa Riggio (COL ’14) joined after hearing about the group through the Georgetown Fencing Club, which was a component of the Medieval Club before it split from the group to become a club sport. The two organizations are still connected and have overlapping members.
The cornerstone of the club’s programming is its Medieval Banquet, which features fencing, jugglers, dancers and a falconer to celebrate the Middle Ages.
As in past years, the banquet on April 13 in Copley Formal Lounge will feature free food, including a pig that will be roasted in Red Square. For some club members, this sight alone was an incentive to join the club.
“It has its tradition,” Jonathan Kim (COL ’12), senior adviser to the organization, said. “I joined the club after seeing the Medieval Banquet [which had] a pig roasting in Red Square. I’m a Medieval Studies major, so that also was a really good way for me to explore medieval culture as much as possible.”
Every fall, the Medieval Club travels to a local Renaissance fair and takes advantage of other cultural opportunities in the District. The group recently visited the National Geographic Museum’s “Anglo-Saxon Hoard: Gold from England’s Dark Ages” exhibit.
Medieval Club also hosts two to three movie nights each semester, occasionally accompanied by guest lecturers.
“In the past we’ve had a ‘Braveheart’ movie night where … Professor Jennifer Paxton in the history department [came] and [lectured] about ‘Braveheart’ and the inaccuracies of the movie,” Kim said.
The group has always been small, with active membership of around fifteen students.
“It’s been really hard to expand our membership. There’s this general idea that small clubs cater to [a small group of] people and their friends,” Radu said.
To draw in more students, club leaders hope to branch out and host more programs, possibly including a medieval cooking party in the future.