Further details are provided below. All abstracts relating to the topic are welcome. If interested, please email a 250-word abstract and a CV to <email@example.com> by May 19, 2014.
Panel Title: Envisioning a Global Middle Ages- Opportunities and Challenges
In 2007, scholars from the University of Texas and the University of Minnesota launched “The Global Middle Ages Projects” (GMAP), which aimed to transform how scholars study and teach the world across macrohistorical time, problematize the concept of the “Middle Ages,” and deny a privileged position to any region. Similarly, in 2009 medievalists at the University of Oxford sponsored a series of intra-university workshops at the Centre for Global History that produced a network of medievalists across the United Kingdom dedicated to studying and defining the Global Middle Ages. This network includes scholars who study Eurasia, Africa, and the Americas and who have explored diverse themes such as clerical power, multilingualism, and law in frontier regions. The idea of the Global Middle Ages has also begun to migrate into the classroom. In fact, Stanford University will introduce a Global Middle Ages minor for its students in Fall 2014.
Each of these Global Middle Ages projects offers exciting new opportunities for those studying, researching, and teaching the medieval period. The projects also raise some interesting and difficult questions. For example, what new insights into the Middle Ages might be produced from utilizing global perspectives and how might those insights alter current research and pedagogical paradigms? In what ways does a “Global Middle Ages” coincide with or differ from World History? How can the terms “medieval” and “Middle Ages” successfully be transferred to the study of other regions without simultaneously transmitting European context and connotations? Does employing a global framework for analyzing medieval history require embracing “grand narrative” histories or abandoning detailed local analysis? In what ways, for instance, would a scholar examining peasant culture in northern France benefit from expanding her or his research outside of Western Europe? What implications would exist for academic departments embracing a Global Middle Ages paradigm for recruiting and training graduate students?
These are only some of the questions that this panel may address. Papers are welcomed on any topic relating to researching or teaching the Middle Ages in global perspective and from scholars in any discipline.
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