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Globalising Medieval Studies: Perspectives from a Worldwide Network - A Round Table Discussion Report

CARMEN sponsored a round table at the International Medieval Congress at the University of Leeds on Wednesday evening, 3 July 2013 (session 1430), entitled 'Globalising Medieval Studies: Perspectives from a Worldwide Network - A Round Table Discussion'.

The session was organised and chaired by Felicitas Schmieder (Historisches Institut, FernUniversität Hagen) and Elizabeth Tyler (Centre for Medieval Studies, University of York). It built on a productive session at the CARMEN Annual Meeting at Budapest in September 2012.

The round table explored the tensions involved, when seeking to take a more global approach to the 'medieval' period, in using essentially Eurocentric concepts, and whether a globalised approach required direct links (e.g. individuals, cultural or physical artefacts, bacteria) between Europe and other continents to be valid. The consensus from speakers and participants seemed to be moving to a looser and more pragmatic, inclusive definition of the millennium in question. In particular, a number of speakers were involved in publishing ventures in this field, while others were keen to develop international (and inter-continental) research projects in this area. Several spoke passionately about how a global approach had transformed their own research agenda.

The speakers were Simon Forde (CARMEN), Keith Lilley (Queen's University Belfast), Naomi Standen (University of Birmingham), Felicitas Schmieder, and Carol Symes (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign) and an audience of about thirty attended.