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KNOXVILLE — Dr. Thomas J. Heffernan, Kenneth Curry Professor of English at the University of Tennessee, has been elected to a four-year term as a councillor to the Medieval Academy of America.

Founded at Harvard University in 1925, the Medieval Academy of America is the largest organization in the world devoted to the study of the Middle Ages. Its goal is the support of research, publication and teaching in medieval art, archaeology, history, law, literature, music, philosophy, religion, social and economic institutions, and all other aspects of the Middle Ages.

The nominees for the position of councillor are selected by the academy’s international membership in recognition of the quality of their scholarship. The academy is governed by the president, the executive director and the councillors.

Dr. Heffernan’s current research focuses on a critical edition and translation of the Passion of Saints Perpetua and Felicity. This account of Christian martyrdom may be one of the earliest such memoirs written by a woman in the West.

The distinguished series Ancient Christian Writers is publishing the work.