Call for Papers

De-centering the Global Middle Ages

February 8-9, 2019, University of Michigan

The Department of History and Medieval and Early Modern Studies Program at the University of Michigan invite proposals for a February 8-9, 2019 symposium, “De-centering the Global Middle Ages.”

This symposium will contribute to the burgeoning body of scholarship on the meaning of the “medieval” and “Middle Ages” in increasingly interdisciplinary and cross-regional conceptions of the premodern world.

This symposium invites researchers to consider scholarly perspectives of the “global Middle Ages” by presenting research and resources that address the connectivity and mobility of the globe c. 500-1600 CE. What work does the idea of “the Middle Ages” do in our scholarship, and what do we gain from a shared or comparative notion of the medieval? Papers and presentations will aim to contribute to a more inclusive view of the premodern world that de-centers European interpretations of the Middle Ages and recognizes dynamic globalisms. A keynote address will be delivered by Valerie Hansen (Stanley Woodward Professor of History, Yale University), specialist in premodern China and Silk Road Studies, whose current book project is entitled: The World in the Year 1000: When Globalization Began.

Faculty and graduate students are welcome to apply to deliver a lightning talk + complementary paper and/or a primary source-based research presentation. Abstracts should be no longer than 300 words.

Lightning Talks

The symposium will hold two panels of lightning talks (8 minutes each) based on short, pre-circulated papers (approx. 4 pages) summarizing current work on globalized conceptions of and connections within the medieval world. Lightning talks will engage field- or region-specific conceptualizations of “the medieval/Middle Ages.”

Roundtable discussions with respondents will follow.

Primary Source-based Research Presentations

Submissions will also be accepted for 15- to 18-minute research presentations, each focused on a particular medieval primary source (text, image, object, etc.) that is useful for thinking in comparative or global perspectives. The source (an image or a selection from the source) should be pre-circulated to attendees.

Each talk will be followed by a moderated discussion.

All presenters are asked to submit a brief bibliography (5-10 entries) on resources related to their lightning talks or research presentations. After the symposium, these bibliographies will be uploaded to the Global Middle Ages Project website (http://globalmiddleages.org/, University of Texas at Austin) and contribute to the development of a canon of literature on the global Middle Ages.

Deadline:        September 17, 2018

For a PDF version of this call, see the following document: Call for Papers