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IMC 2023: Sessions

Session 927: The Benefits of Being Entangled: A Round Table Discussion

Tuesday 4 July 2023, 19.00-20.00

Sponsor:Pearl-Poet Society / Medieval Association of the Midwest (MAM)
Organiser:Mickey Sweeney, School of English, Dominican University
Moderator/Chairs:Ashley Bartelt, Department of English Northern Illinois University
Mickey Sweeney, School of English, Dominican University

Anglophone academic institutions increasingly argue against supporting medieval language and literary studies on the grounds that the discipline is irrelevant to current 'practically' driven, diversity / justice-inspired curriculums. This round table offers a forum for exploring strategies for cross-temporal and cross-disciplinary entanglements in the teaching of late 14th-century Middle English texts. As we are slowly being written out of the profile of English, History, and Philosophy degrees, on account of perceived student 'wants', or management's misunderstanding of relations between subjects of study within individual disciplines, we need to find ways to assert our joyfully messy and plural, yet intellectually rigorous, entanglements with all aspects of the humanities deemed specifically relevant to the present, entanglements that make knowledge of medieval culture integral not only to the learning goals and objectives of our own departments but of the liberal arts as a whole. So many of the great works of the present or cultural concerns of 2023 are grounded in a relationship with works / events of the past and the 'soft' skills that employers seek are bread and butter learning outcomes for our classes. We will also discuss strategies for devising courses that will convince people of the need to understand the origins of our contemporary culture. Like all good teaching, this round table offers practical and theoretical ways to continue to be a part of the work that needs to be done to help our colleagues and all our students to thrive in this complex time.
We will invite the audience to come prepared with their ideas and suggestions.

Participants include Ashley Bartelt (Northern Illinois University), Catherine J. Batt (University of Leeds), Jane Beal (University of La Verne, California), Michael Calabrese (California State University, Los Angeles) and Katie Jo LaRiviere (Mount Angel Seminary, Oregon).