DepositBibliography for Slavery and the Slave Trade in the Medieval Middle East – Teaching and Research

This bibliography accompanied a presentation I made at the Symposium “De-Centering the Global Middle Ages” at the University of Michigan on February 9, 2019. The presentation was entitled “The Slave of 8J10.9: Elite and Subaltern Agents of the Global Slave Trade.” It is an incomplete, working bibliography for scholar-teachers working on slavery and the slave trade in the medieval Middle East and beyond.

DepositA Tale of Two Ivories: Elephant and Walrus

This essay offers a short story about long distance trade during the “global” middle ages. It emerges as a response to two seemingly unrelated puzzles: one, the role of walrus ivory in the Norse Atlantic economy; the other, the origins of a mysterious material known in Arabic sources as khutu. Although debated within distinct specializations, these problems have been approached through mirrored argumentation. In one, walrus is seen as being in economic competition with elephant; in the other, khutu seems specifically distinct from the pachyderm.

MemberAnita Traninger

Anita Traninger is Professor of Romance Literatures and Vice Director of the Dahlem Humanities Center at Freie Universität Berlin. Her areas of research include the history of rhetoric and dialectics, transcultural entanglements of literature and discourses of knowledge from the late Middle Ages to the nineteenth century, theories of gender and institutions as well as media history. She has been a fellow in residence at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study, a visiting scholar at Oriel College at the University of Oxford and a Global Humanities Senior Fellow at Harvard University.

MemberGeraldine Heng

Geraldine Heng is Perceval Fellow and Associate Professor of English and Comparative Literature, with a joint appointment in Middle Eastern studies and Women’s studies.  She holds the Perceval Professorship, an anonymously-funded endowment that was created to support her research and teaching.   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.   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 also founder and director of the Global Middle Ages Project (G-MAP):   For more of her work, see her page at:   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;}  

MemberCandace Barrington

I teach medieval English literature at Central Connecticut State University.  My research interests are two-fold. First, I examine the intersection of legal and literary discourse, which has lead to several articles and co-edited volumes. Currently, I am co-editing the Cambridge Companion to Medieval English Law and Literature with Sebastian Sobecki (University of Groningen). My second research interest examines Chaucer’s popular reception.  In this vein, I have written American Chaucers (2007) and contributed articles to Sex and Sexuality in a Feminist World (2009), American Literary History (2009), European Journal of English Studies (2011), Dark Chaucer: An Assortment (2012), Medieval Afterlives in Popular Culture (2012), Digital Gaming Re-imagines the Middle Ages (2013), Educational Theory (2014), Screening Chaucer: Absence, Presence, and Adapting the Canterbury Tales (2016), and Cambridge Companion to Medievalism (2016). In a broader context, I collaborate with Jonathan Hsy (George Washington University) on Global Chaucers (, a project focusing on non-Anglophone adaptations and translations.  With Hsy, I maintain an active blog and have written articles for Medieval Afterlives in Contemporary Culture (2015), Accessus (2015), and postmedieval (2015). Together we are co-editing an issue for the Global Circulation Project at Literature Compass. Because of my interest in teaching and Chaucer’s global reception, I am a founding member of the Editorial Collective for the Open Access Companion to The Canterbury Tales, a project developing a free, high-quality, open-access introductory volume reaching Chaucer’s global audience of English readers from a wide diversity of institutions.  

MemberAlexander D'Alisera

Welcome to my profile! I am an incoming Ph.D. student in medieval history at Boston College, set to begin my doctoral studies in the fall of 2019. From 2015 to 2017, I attended Yale University as a Marquand Scholar, where I received my M.A. in religion from the Divinity School. I also hold my B.A. in history and classics from Bard College, where I attended from 2011 to 2015 as an Excellence and Equal Cost Scholar. My current research interests include: Anglo-Saxon history, theology, and material culture; early Christian influences on medieval vernacular literature; classical reception in the Middle Ages; and Boethius’s influence on the Middle Ages. I also have extensive experience working in the publishing industry, having held editorial positions at Wiley-Blackwell, Yale Law School, and Harvard Medical School. At Academic Studies Press, I conceived and established the series Global Catholicism, one of the first book series dedicated to the interdisciplinary study of Catholicism in the Global South. At Yale Divinity School, I re-founded the previously defunct scholarly journal of religion Glossolalia, and served as its editor in chief from 2016 to 2019.

DepositMedieval Water Studies: Past, Present and Promise

The articles in this Special Collection engage directly with the realities of water as they simultaneously explore its intellectual potential in various genres of medieval writing, from crusade chronicles to medieval romance. In this way they shed new light not only on the literature and history they explore but also on medieval conceptions of water more generally, paving the way for a new approach to medieval water studies. In assembling this Collection, it was the intention of the editors to reflect on the best next steps for the study of water in the Middle Ages. A new medieval water studies should be novel, critical, self-aware, global and above all inclusive. Water is more than a subject of academic research, a catalogue of tropes and idioms to be described. As fields such as ecocriticism, environmental history, geography, anthropology, archaeology and water governance have demonstrated, water is always entangled with a larger ecology. The articles in this Special Collection reveal a water that is a puzzle, but also a cipher for a variety of nuanced readings and inquiries. An overly instrumentalist and scientific mentality leads to water being studied as a passive and malleable resource, but this trend has also affected cultural and historical inquiry.

MemberElizabeth N. Emery

My research interests include medieval and nineteenth-century French literature and cultural studies, the reception of medieval art, architecture, and literature in nineteenth- and twentieth-century Europe and America, early photojournalism, celebrity interviews, European and American writer house museums, naturalism, decadence, mysticism, cabaret culture, nineteenth-century French theater, the collection and study of Asian art in nineteenth-century France, and global food politics and sustainability studies. I teach a variety of courses from Beginning French I to advanced French language, literature, and culture courses with particular emphasis on the medieval period and the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. I currently serve as Book Review Coeditor for the journal Nineteenth-Century French Studies and as a board member of the Interdisciplinary Nineteenth-Century Studies Association.

MemberJennifer Marion Taylor I am a journalist, an independent academic, a Bloomsbury author and a campaigner who pioneered religious literacy in journalism in Britain, founding Lapido Media in 2005 and running it until 2016.  A registered charity an online newspaper and publishing house, it helped to change the national secular discourse by providing resources for journalists needing to ‘get religion’ in an age of globalization, and contributing to several government-level reports. I am particularly interested in how we as journalists, for whom no formal philosophical or moral training is required, do ‘truth’ in a globalized context without overt ethical moorings, at least in UK. As a member of the KLICE Group and one who has travelled widely, particularly in the Muslim world, I enjoy every bit of the question that anchors us: What time is it in our culture?