Medieval Studies: Definitions, Debates, and the Parameters of the Field

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Image by Mikel Jaso. Published in New York Times, May 5, 2019, here.

 

Yesterday’s front-page article in the print edition of New York Times bore the headline “Symbols of Past Used by Right Upset Scholars.” That the online version’s header is “Medieval Scholars Joust with White Nationalists. And One Another” is a rhetorical shift worth questioning.

The article’s many directions are equally fascinating:

*the culture of the International Congress on Medieval Studies;

*demographics of the field of European Medievalism;

*narratives of the Anglo-Saxon race—roots, routes, and modernity—in Europe and the US;

*critical theory, feminist critique of power and patriarchy, and decolonizing a field;

*apolitical scholarship as an ideal;

*the Medievalists of Color group;

*white privilege and white fragility;

*Facebook fights and the resource of social media;

*white nationalism and white chauvinism—past and present;

*overhauling the academic conference submission process;

*the Belle da Costa Greene Award (est. 2018) and passing for white.

The Times reporter Jennifer Schuessler runs through these topics differently. She conveys the complexity of terrain in some passages and displays her amusement with the debates in others. “A field increasingly torn by vitriolic spats and racial politics”—anchorage text on the jump page in the print edition—sadly demonstrates the limited way in which Schuessler and the editor who worked with her on this piece see things.

There’s nothing easy about change in twenty-first century academia: it’s well- communicated in the letters accompanying the article—634 of them at present count. They’re worth a look.

This year’s International Congress on Medieval Studies Conference opens in Kalamazoo, Michigan on Thurs., May 9. The next day, May 10, is the anniversary of Greene’s death.

 

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Belle da Costa Greene. Photo by Clarence White. Published on Pinterest.

Da Costa Greene (born Dec. 13, 1879/1883 in Alexandria Virginia; died May 10, 1950 in New York) was elected of fellow of the Medieval Academy of America in 1939. A librarian at Princeton and later for J. P. Morgan, Greene was the director of the Pierpont Morgan Library from 1924 to 1928.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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New resource about artist Maud Sulter (1960-2008)

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Maud Sulter. Les Bijoux (The Jewels), 2002. Large-format, colour Polaroid photograph. Source here and discussed here.
There is a newly published website about the late, Scottish-Ghanaian artist and writer Maud Sulter:
The publishers of the site make this request:
“Please have a look round the site, there are lots of embedded links leading to more information on Maud’s exhibitions, publications and what’s happened in the past few years.
We need your help in circulating the website.  Please click, like and share the link with everyone who would be interested.”

Postdoctoral Fellow in African and African Diaspora Art History–Brandeis University (Applications due Jan. 15, 2019)

Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts invites applications for a two-year, non-renewable Florence Kay Postdoctoral Fellowship at the rank of Lecturer in African and African Diaspora Art, beginning in the Fall 2019. We welcome a variety of disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives on African and African Diaspora Art History. The fellow will pursue their own research and writing and teach two courses (one per semester) while participating in and contributing to the rich intellectual life of the Brandeis community, in affiliation with the departments of African and Afro-American Studies and Fine Arts. The fellowship includes a salary of $58,000, plus benefits, with moving expenses (approximately $1,500), and a research fund of $4,000 per year. Applicants must have a Ph.D. in hand by the commencement of the fellowship, preferably received within the past six years.

Applications should be submitted through AcademicJobsOnline at: https://academicjobsonline.org/ajo/jobs/12822

Please include the following: a letter of interest outlining a research project and possible course offerings, sample syllabi, a CV, a writing sample of no more than 25 pages, and three letters of recommendation. First consideration will be given to applications submitted by January 15, 2019.

Brandeis recognizes that diversity in its student body, staff and faculty is important to its primary mission of providing a quality education. The search committee is therefore particularly interested in candidates who, through their research, teaching and/or service experiences, will increase Brandeis’ reputation for academic excellence and better prepare its students for a pluralistic society.

Brandeis University is an equal opportunity employer, committed to building a culturally diverse intellectual community, and strongly encourages applications from women and minority candidates.

Questions about the position can be directed to:

Kay Fellow Search c/o Jennifer Stern jstern@brandeis.edu

 

Application Materials Required:

Submit the following items online at this website to complete your application:

  • Cover Letter
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • sample syllabi
  • writing sample of no more than 25 pages
  • Three Reference Letters [Applicants need to add all their writers on their standard Coversheet and instruct the system to email the letter request notifications to the writers. The writers can’t login or submit letters without such an email.]
And anything else requested in the position description.

Further Info:

 
Brandeis University
415 South Street
Waltham, MA 02453

Call for Author: essay on Carroll Parrott Blue

Carroll Parrott Blue, MFA
carrollpblue@hotmail.com

I am looking for an art scholar who specializes in late 20th and early 21st African American Art who is interested in contributing an introductory chapter on a 60-year review of the works of my work. As artist Carroll Parrott Blue, I am assembling my archive and am open to an interview by the author.

From the 1960s to the present, my work encompasses published written works, still photography, film, video, public art, digital media, digital stories, interactive multimedia, ARC GIS Story Maps, production notes and other materials associated from many of the productions.

The essay that will support the completed archival report should be roughly 6,000-8,000 words with notes and references included. The interview as a transcript will be separate. The main focus of the essay is on an overall or comprehensive analysis of the work. The author should be prepared to engage formal analysis, the history of the technological changes from analog to digital, race and gender theory, and biography.