The Global Turn in Medieval Studies: the 94th Annual Meeting of The Medieval Academy of America
University of Pennsylvania, 7-9 March 2019
The 94th Annual Meeting of the Medieval Academy of America will take place in Philadelphia on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania. The meeting is jointly hosted by the Medieval Academy of America, Bryn Mawr College, Delaware Valley Medieval Association, Haverford College, St. Joseph’s University, the University of Pennsylvania, and Villanova University.
Medievalists across various disciplines are taking a more geographically and methodologically global approach to the study of the Middle Ages. While the Organizing Committee invites proposals for papers on all topics and in all disciplines and periods of medieval studies, this year’s conference spotlights the “global turn” in medieval studies. To this end, we encourage session and paper proposals that treat the Middle Ages as a broad historical and cultural phenomenon, encompassing the full extent of Europe as well as the Middle East, southern and eastern Asia, Africa, and beyond. We also invite proposals that explore departures from traditional teleological discourses rooted in national interests, ones that apply disciplinary and interdisciplinary methods to study a broad array of subjects.
We especially encourage proposals that provoke explorations of the following “big questions”:
1) Periodization and the drawing of geographic borders in medieval studies can be helpful, but can also limit our ability to make connections, see patterns, or entertain dialogue among specialists in individual sub-fields. What do we mean when we speak of the “Middle Ages” in geographic, temporal, or disciplinary terms? What do we mean when we use contemporary geographical concepts, such as Europe or Asia? What do we mean when we say “Global Middle Ages”? What is in and what is out?
2) If we are to turn away from national models, what is an alternative? For instance, how can methodologies that highlight networks further our understanding of the “Global Middle Ages”? How might they contribute, for example, to… read more