IMC 2015: Sessions

Session 406: The Public Medievalist: What it Means for Medievalists to Be Public Intellectuals Today - A Round Table Discussion

Monday 6 July 2015, 19.00-20.00

Sponsor:Graduate Student Committee, Medieval Academy of America
Organisers:Christopher Riedel, Department of History, Boston College, Massachusetts
Alice Isabella Sullivan, Department of History of Art, University of Michigan
Moderator/Chair:Sanne Frequin, Center for Medieval & Renaissance Studies Amsterdam, Universiteit van Amsterdam

This round table will consider what it means today for a medievalist to be a public intellectual. Current developments in the popularization of the sciences, such as Neil deGrasse-Tyson’s revisitation of Carl Sagan’s TV series Cosmos, have enabled scientists such as deGrasse-Tyson to enjoy some cachet as ‘public intellectuals’. How might the humanities, and medievalists in particular, do it? Popular culture is full of elements that resonate as ‘medieval’, but what is the proper role for a medievalist public intellectual beyond being a film consultant or a respondent? What career opportunities might present themselves along these lines to young professionals?

Participants include Matthew Gabriele (Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University), Andrew James Johnston (Freie Universit├Ąt Berlin), and Erik Kwakkel (Universiteit Leiden).