IMC 2018: Sessions

Session 1801: Public Medievalism for Social Change: A Workshop

Thursday 5 July 2018, 16.15-17.45
Organisers:Victoria Cooper, School of English, University of Leeds
Robert Houghton, Department of History, University of Winchester
Amy S. Kaufman,
Paul B. Sturtevant,
Richard J. Utz, School of Literature, Media & Communication, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta

Many medievalists have watched the news in horror as people have used the Middle Ages to promote and justify hate. The difficult question can be: as medievalists, what can we do? Is there a way for us to responsibly connect the present and past with rigor and nuance? How could we use our knowledge of the Middle Ages to educate the public against these warped ideas of the period we love?

The staff and contributors of The Public Medievalist will lead this workshop, teaching public history principles developed in tandem with the History Communicators group. We will discuss the incredible potential, and possible pitfalls, of writing for a wider public with an eye toward effecting social change. We will then work with participants to build the skills necessary to turn their research into an article that could thoughtfully engage a wider audience.

The Public Medievalist is a popular, volunteer scholar-run web-zine. It regularly publishes articles at the intersection of the medieval past and contemporary culture and politics. The Public Medievalist has featured articles on a wide range of topics, in all disciplines in Medieval Studies, by over 50 scholars at all stages in their careers, and has been used in teaching at more than 60 universities worldwide. In 2017, it inaugurated its first special series, Race, Racism, and the Middle Ages, which ran for 10 months and was viewed over 250,000 times. At the beginning of this year it launched a complementary series on Gender, Sexism, and the Middle Ages.

Although this workshop is open to all IMC participants, the workshop leaders request that those interested in participating contact the IMC in advance so that they will have an idea of the numbers attending.