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IMC 2016: Sessions

Session 406: Doing the Global Middle Ages: A Round Table Discussion

Monday 4 July 2016, 19.00-20.00

Sponsor:Arts & Humanities Research Council Project 'Defining the Global Middle Ages' (AH/K001914/1)
Organiser:Catherine Holmes, Faculty of History, University of Oxford
Moderator/Chair:Naomi Standen, Centre for the Study of the Middle Ages (CeSMA), University of Birmingham

The very notion of a 'global Middle Ages' is controversial. Basic problems of definition, approach, and even ethics abound, with some scholars unsettled by the imperialist and euro-centric history of the term 'medieval'. But this is a new and exciting field, certain to be shaped as much by practical experience as by theoretical foreboding. Given the breadth of expertise that global projects require, 'doing' the global Middle Ages is also likely to involve collaborative research across broad geographies. The six participants of this round table, whose combined expertise stretches from sub-Saharan Africa to east Asia, will reflect on their own practical experience of engaging with the global Middle Ages: whether in terms of handling new archaeological materials; establishing new journals with a global canvas; or seeking to put established categories of analysis (e.g. the Crusades) into a more global context. We will also be keen to hear from the audience about their own experience of globalising their particular medieval worlds.

Participants include Matthew Mesley (Universität Zürich), Sam Nixon (University of East Anglia), Arietta S. Papaconstantinou (University of Reading), Walter Pohl (Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Wien), and Carol Symes (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign).