De-centering the Global Middle Ages
Organizers: Paula R. Curtis, Amanda Respess
The De-centering the Global Middle Ages symposium was held at the University of Michigan February 8-9, 2019. It invited researchers to consider scholarly perspectives of the “global turn” of the premodern world, addressing connectivity and mobility of the globe c. 500-1600 CE. What work does the idea of “the medieval” do, and for whom? What do we gain and what do we lose by insisting on a shared notion of the medieval? By conceiving of a more diverse Middle Ages characterized by mobility and connectedness rather than isolation and limited travel? This symposium explored what the “medieval” means for scholars of various geographic regions, including Africa, Asia, the Americas, and Europe in hopes of facilitating a dramatic shift in our visions of what it means to do medieval history, and the meaning of global history more broadly.
The official symposium website can be found here.
Different from many symposia, De-centering the Global Middle Ages embraced an innovative format (a combination of lightning talks, pre-circulated papers, and primary source presentations) and asked for tangible, public-facing outcomes in the form of bibliographies that can be incorporated into teaching and used in the classroom. Abstracts of each talk and their bibliographies are uploaded to the symposium website and will be linked to on the Global Middle Ages Project website in an effort to contribute to the development of a canon of literature on the global Middle Ages able to be used in research and teaching.
To make the proceedings more accessible to those unable to attend, this event was live-tweeted by several members of the symposium. Please click each day below for information on individual presentations in the program and my live-tweets related to each session. The event’s hashtag was #DGMA19.