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MemberGeraldine Heng

Geraldine Heng is Perceval Professor of English and Comparative Literature, with a joint appointment in Middle Eastern studies and Women’s studies.   Heng’s research focuses on literary, cultural, and social encounters between worlds, and webs of exchange and negotiation between communities and cultures, particularly when transacted through issues of gender, race, sexuality, and religion.  She is especially interested in medieval Europe’s discoveries and rediscoveries of Asia and Africa.   Her first book, Empire of Magic: Medieval Romance and the Politics of Cultural Fantasy (Columbia UP, 2003, 2004, 2012), traces the development of a medieval  literary genre—European romance, and, in particular, the King Arthur legend—in response to the traumas of the crusades and crusading history, and Europe’s myriad encounters with the East.   Her second book, The Invention of Race in the European Middle Ages (Cambridge UP, March 2018), questions the common assumption that race and racisms only began in the modern era.  Examining Europe’s encounters with Jews, Muslims, Africans, Native Americans, Mongols, and the Romani (“Gypsies”) from the 12th through 15th centuries, the book shows how racial thinking, racial law, racial practices, and racial phenomena existed in Europe before a recognizable vocabulary of race emerged in the West.   Analyzing sources in a variety of media, including stories, maps, statuary, illustrations, architectural features, history, saints’ lives, religious commentary, laws, political and social institutions, economic relations, and literature, the book argues that religion—so much in play again today—enabled the positing of fundamental differences among humans that created strategic essentialism to mark off human groups and populations for radicalized treatment.  The volume also shows how race figured in the emergence of homo europaeus and the identity of Western Europe in this time.   The Invention of Race in the European Middle Ages was awarded the 2019 PROSE prize for world history, the 2019 American Academy of Religion prize for historical studies, the 2019 Robert W. Hamilton grand prize, and the Medieval Institute’s 2020 Otto Gründler prize.   Heng’s third (short) book, England and the Jews: How Religion and Violence Created the First Racial State in the West, also with Cambridge, is currently in production.   She is completing a fourth book: Early Globalities: The Interconnected World, 500-1500 CE.     Heng is editor of an MLA Options for Teaching volume on the Global Middle Ages, and co-editor, with Susan Noakes, of the 40-title Cambridge University Press Elements series on the Global Middle Ages, as well as co-editor, with Ayanna Thompson, of the Penn University Press series on early critical race studies, RaceB4Race: Critical Studies of the Premodern.   Heng is also founder and director of the Global Middle Ages Project (G-MAP): http://www.globalmiddleages.org   For more of her work, see her Academia.edu page at: https://utexas.academia.edu/GeraldineHeng   Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:”Table Normal”; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:””; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:”Calibri”,sans-serif; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:”Times New Roman”; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;}  

MemberShirin Azizeh Khanmohamadi

I am a Professor of premodern literature in the Comparative and World Literature department at San Francisco State University, where I’ve been teaching since 2005.  My location in a Comparative and World Literature department means that my teaching necessarily extends beyond my training as in European and Mediterranean studies to embrace the literatures of premodern Asia, Africa and the Americas.  My research and writing is likewise marked by comparative methods and interdisciplinarity: my first book, In Light of Another’s Word: European Ethnography in the Middle Ages (UPenn, 2014), considered postcolonial critical-anthropological critiques of colonial ethnographic description and the ethnographic gaze in order to bring into sharp relief the differences of premodern ethnographic representation, namely its dialogism, particularly where European description predated colonial control.  In showing a Latin Europe incorporative and integrative of the voices and perspectives of its (internal and external) others, I was also interested in the open-ended nature of European identity in its formative period. My current book project continues this interest while returning me to the complex ‘matter of Saracens,’ which first drew me to the study of the Middle Ages.  Rethinking Saracens and their Objects in the Epic: Translation, Association, Desire deploys translatio/n theory and material culture studies to read the movement of symbolic objects associated with Muslim imperial authority in chansons de geste and chronicles as evidence of European desire for ‘prestigious association’ with various Islamicate empires in the Middle Ages.  I thereby call for renewed attention, through the work of these critically neglected objects, to  ‘the Arabic role’ (Menocal 1987) in Europe’s cultural and imperial self-fashioning. I’m honored to have been elected to serve on the Executive Committee of the MLA Forum, CCLS: Medieval, for the term 2019-24.    

MemberMary Agnes Edsall

My interdisciplinary scholarship focuses on the literatures and practices of Christian catechesis and devotion of the European Middle Ages, with attention to memory (personal and cultural), mnemonics, rhetorical theory, and the role of images and the emotions. I have recently published on early copies of Anselm of Canterbury’s Prayers and Meditations as exemplars of practice that drew their power from the way that they reproduced the charismatic presence of their author. Forthcoming articles address the patristic prehistory of medieval Arma Christi imagery and the connections between monastic anthologies for novice formation and household devotional anthologies of late medieval England. My research interests also include Hugh of Fouilloy, an under-studied writer whose works were widely read in his time (mid-twelfth century) and beyond.
I am currently writing a book, A Road of the Affections: Rhetoric, Catechesis, and the Cultivation of the Christian Self, A.D. 1-1150. This project rewrites a paradigm long central to the discipline of medieval history and the study of medieval devotional literature: affective piety. It demonstrates that the genealogy of affective piety goes back to the arts of disciplining the passions that originated in the philosophical schools of antiquity, for philosophers who taught disciplines of the soul were also rhetoricians who sought to move and persuade. Their methods were adapted by early Christian teachers and rhetorical appeals to the emotions became a basic preaching, literary, and prayer practice of the church. This project, therefore, recovers the history of how preaching, texts, and practices were used to shape the emotions and craft Christian selves at different times and places.

MemberDominik Waßenhoven

I am an Historian of the Middle Ages, working as ‘Akademischer Rat’ (which is corresponding to a Lecturer or Senior Lecturer) at the University of Cologne. My focus is on Northern European History (England, Scandinavia, as well as the Reich), especially in the 10th and 11th centuries. I am mainly interested in the depiction of history and how contemporaries viewed their own time and their immediate past.

MemberAlice Tavares

Alice Tavares holds a PhD in History, Medieval Age specialty, at University of Lisbon (Portugal). I also hold a Master in Regional and Local History and I graduated in History at the College of Letters of the University of Lisbon. My two thesis devoted to Common Law in the Middle Age. Besides she got the Homologation of the Degree in History by the Faculty of Letters of the University of Lisbon to the Official Spanish University Degree in History by the Ministry of Education and Science – General Technical Secretariat. Subdirectorate General of Titles, Convalidations and Homologations, with Series A Nº0356242 / 2007 / H05163. Currently, Alice Tavares is a research in History at New University of Lisbon. I was involved in many national and international research projects, as a project, partner in the framework of the Horizon Research and Innovation Program (H2020) of the European Comission and national programs. I worked in very projects about Heritage; merchants, networks business, culture and art Sephardic Jewish; Local and National Justice in The Middle Age and Early Modern Age. Your last project was about the múdejar in Portugal (architecture and historical perception), of Instituto de Estudios Turolenses (Teruel, Aragón -Spain). I was publishing books chapters and articles in peer reviewed journals (Scopus/Web of Science), dictionary and catalogue entries, reviews in Portugal, Spain, Romania, Brazil, Chile and Italy about animals (birds, fisheries, transport animals), Sephardic Jewish and Common Law. I have very interesting nacional and internacional dissemination of my research. I was also collaborated with journals and the Blog, Lugares con Historia. Since 2017, I was Scientific Correspondent in the Progressus Journal (Siena, Italy).

MemberLaury Sarti

I am a specialist in medieval history with a background in ancient history, currently focussing on the early medieval period and planning some work on the late medieval period. I am currently a lecturer at the University of Freiburg.  My second book, the manuscript has been completed in June 2021, deals with the question to what extent contemporaries could and did assume that the West remained part of the Orbis Romanus by looking at the respective understanding of imperium Romanum, contacts and exchanges, identities and mutual assessments, the significance of (Latin and Greek) language as an identity marker, the perception of Antiquity and the more recent past, the role of Christianity as a uniting or dissociative factor, and cultural analogies and mutual influences. The project is associated to the ‘Leipnitz-WissenschaftsCampus Byzanz zwischen Orient und Okzident‘.   I headed the research group “The Militarisation of early medieval Societies. Nature, Control and Perception in a west-European Comparison” (2016-2020) funded by the Fritz Thyssen Foundation and located at the Freie Universität Berlin.   Moreover, I am currently writing a student handbook on western Europe in transition between Antiquity and the Middle Ages (“Westeuropa zwischen Antike und Mittelalter”), under contract with the Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft to be published in the series ‘Geschichte Kompakt – Mittelalter’.   My current research focuses on:

  • Contacts and the connectivity between the Byzantine empire and the Frankish west.
  • History of mentality, imagination, ideas and concepts.
  • Identities in Antiquity and the Middle Ages.
  • France, Italy, England and the Byzantine Empire in the Middle Ages.
  • Travel and traffic in the Middle Ages.
  • The transition from Antiquity to the Middle Ages.
  • Late antique and early medieval military.
  • Ancient and Medieval Archaeology.

Please feel free to contact me via laury.sarti@geschichte.uni-freiburg.de. You may find me on Academia and Twitter, and on my blog: https://timetravellinghistorian.blogspot.com.

MemberDaniel Davies

After studying in Edinburgh and Berlin, I entered the University of Pennsylvania’s graduate program in English, where I am currently completing my Ph.D. My research centers on war and literature in the late Middle Ages, focusing in particular on how the sprawling series of conflicts now known as the Hundred Years War (1337-1453) changed the way war was represented, theorized, and historicized. I also have related interests in classical reception, material texts, visual culture, and the methodologies of literary study.

MemberRyan T. Goodman

My research explores the intersection of gender and political culture in England and surrounding realms in the transition from the early to central (or ‘high’) middle ages, c. AD 900-1200, with a particular focus on the relationship between the ideals and practice of masculinity and kingship. I recently completed my PhD in Medieval History at the University of Manchester. My dissertation was entitled ‘”In a Father’s Place”: Anglo-Saxon Kingship and Masculinity in the Long Tenth Century.’ I completed my BA in History and Medieval & Renaissance Studies (2008) and my MA in European History (2012) at East Carolina University in Greenville, NC, where my MA thesis explored ‘The Role of Royal Power in the Formation of an Anglo-Saxon State, circa 400-900 AD.’ I previously served, from 2012–2015, as a Teaching Instructor in East Carolina University’s Department of History, as part of the Italy Intensives study abroad program based in Certaldo, Tuscany. While there, I also served as the program’s Academic Coordinator and Writing Center Director, as well as the Scholarship Committee Chair, Student Life Director, and Social Media Coordinator.