We are happy to announce the University of North Texas (Denton) will be hosting the annual conference of the Texas Medieval Association, October 3-4, 2014. More information can be found on the TEMA website (http://www.texasmedieval.org).
This year TEMA will be held in conjunction with the annual conference of the
While we will entertain papers on any topic, from any discipline of Medieval Studies—Art History, Religion, Philosophy, English, History, Foreign Languages, Music, we particularly welcome those that engage the multifaceted topic of
“Interdisciplinarity in the Age of Relevance.”*
Many of us in the academy, even those amongst us who are preparing for a career in the academy, are confronted with the constant refrain of “relevance.” The state of the academy and its public rhetoric profess among its highest goals an emphasis on community engagement, tangible solutions to “real” world problems, and quantifiable results that produce change and progress. Highlighting the value of stem research, and stressing the potential for expansive pools of external funding, we in the Humanities are asked to consider the creative potential and lucrative benefits of interdisciplinary research clusters and cross-campus collaborative partnerships. The underlying suggestion in this none-to-subtle rhetoric--even recently professed by the President of the United States—is, of course, that the humanities in general, and Medieval Studies in particular, are less-relevant in our current era because we do not on the surface contribute to this over-arching public mission.
Beginning however, with the understanding that all the various disciplines comprising Medieval Studies—English, History, Music/Liturgy, Philosophy/Religion, Archaeology, Art History, Language Studies—are inherently interdisciplinary and in some sense inseparable, we seek papers that explore or exploit the difference between “Interdisciplinary,” “Intra-disciplinary,” Extra-disciplinary,” and even “Super-disciplinary” studies. We are interested in examples of those who are engaging technology in their studies and/or have incorporated a theoretical stance in line with the hard sciences, or perhaps seek to turn the notion of “Relevance” on its head. We ask: What role do Medievalists play in this new age? Where do we see ourselves and our projects in the world of “real solutions?”
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