The Global Turn in Medieval Studies: the 94th Annual Meeting of The Medieval Academy of America
University of Pennsylvania
7-9 March 2019 | http://www.medievalacademy.org
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 understanding mechanisms of knowledge sharing and the development and use of religious, economic, and political systems?
3) Across all cultures in the medieval world, philosophers, theologians, scholars, healers, poets, artists, and musicians sought to understand the natural world and to apply that understanding to concrete ends. How do we make sense of their efforts? How might traditional paradigms of what we call “science,” philosophical inquiry, literary, and artistic practice be challenged?
4) Medieval studies has been at the forefront of the “digital turn” over the past few decades. How have digital approaches to scholarship altered the landscape for better or worse? In a global context, have new technologies broken barriers or created new ones? How do we create and evaluate digital scholarship in medieval studies vis à vis traditional methods?
Within the framework of these “big questions”, the organizing committee proposes the following threads:
* Uses of the Medieval
* Expanding Geographies of the Medieval
* Re-thinking Periodization: Beyond Eurocentrism and Postcolonialism
* Medieval Foundations of Contemporary Politics
* Alexander the Great and World Thinking
* Medieval Cosmologies
* The Trojan Myth and Genealogies
* What is Medieval/European/Literature?
* Transmission and Technologies of Knowledge
* Doing Science at Court
* The Locations of Learning
* Myths and Legends of Languages and Letters
* Dante, Local and Global: Towards 2021
* Deconstructing “National” Legal Traditions
* Gender Matters
* Ars/Arts: Intersections Across Disciplines and Borders
* Global Manuscript Markets and Movements
* Digitizing the Global Middle Ages: Practices, Sustainability, and Ethics
* Approaches to Historiography
* Interfaith Encounters, Real and Imagined
* Religious and Cultural Ethics across Cultures: Conversation or Confrontation?
* Saints and Sages
* Words and Music
Individuals may propose a:
* single paper for a listed thread
* full session on a listed thread
* single paper not designated for a specific thread
* full session on a topic outside the listed threads
* poster, paper, full session, or workshop that explores the role and uses of digital technologies
Sessions are 90 minutes long, and typically consist of three 20-minute papers. Proposals should be geared to that length. The committee is interested in other formats as well: poster sessions, roundtables, workshops, etc. The Program Committee may suggest a different format for some sessions after the proposals have been reviewed.
Any member of the Medieval Academy may submit a proposal; others may submit proposals as well but must become members in order to present papers at the meeting. Special consideration will be given to individuals whose field would not traditionally involve membership in the Medieval Academy.
In order to be considered, proposals must be complete and include the following:
(1) A cover sheet containing the proposer’s name, statement of Medieval Academy membership (or statement that the individual’s specialty would not traditionally involve membership in the Academy), professional status, email address, postal address, home or cell and office telephone numbers, fax number (if available), and paper title;
(2) A second sheet containing the proposer’s name, session for which the proposal should be considered, title, 250-word abstract, and audio-visual equipment requirements.
(3) Additional sheets as necessary containing all of the above information, plus a session abstract, when a full panel for a session is being proposed.
Submissions: Proposals should be submitted as attached PDFs to the MAA Program Committee by email to MAA2019@TheMedievalAcademy.org
The deadline is 15 June 2018.
Please do not send proposals directly to the Organizing Committee members.
Selection Procedure: Paper and panel proposals will be reviewed for their quality and for the significance and relevance of their topics. The Organizing Committee will evaluate proposals during the summer of 2018 and the Committee will inform all successful and unsuccessful proposers by 10 September 2018.
Organizing Committee Members:
Lynn Ransom & Julia Verkholantsev, University of Pennsylvania (co-chairs)
Daud Ali, University of Pennsylvania
Chris Atwood, University of Pennsylvania
Kevin Brownlee, University of Pennsylvania
Mary Caldwell, University of Pennsylvania
Linda Chance, University of Pennsylvania
Paul M. Cobb, University of Pennsylvania
Catherine Conybeare, Bryn Mawr College
Talya Fishman, University of Pennsylvania
Fr. Allan Fitzgerald, Villanova University
Scott Francis, University of Pennsylvania
Nicholas Herman, University of Pennsylvania
Tom Izbicki, Rutgers University & Delaware Valley Medieval Association
Ada Kuskowski, University of Pennsylvania
Ann Matter, University of Pennsylvania
Maud McInerney, Haverford College
Paul Patterson, St. Joseph’s University
Montserrat Piera, Temple University
Dot Porter, University of Pennsylvania
Jerry Singerman, University of Pennsylvania Press
Emily Steiner, University of Pennsylvania
Eva del Soldato, University of Pennsylvania
Elly Truitt, Bryn Mawr College
David Wallace, University of Pennsylvania (ex officio as MAA president)