Scholarly Community for the Globalization of the "Middle Ages"
Under the leadership of Susan Noakes, former Center director, CMS has partnered with the Medieval Studies Program at the University of Texas to organize the scholarly community for the globalization of the “Middle Ages,” an outgrowth of the highly successful “Global Interconnections, 500-1500 C.E.” course originated by Geraldine Heng, Director of the program at Texas. For a description of the course see their website. This community seeks to reconceive the field of Medieval Studies not in terms of Europe alone but also in relation to Africa, the Middle East, Eurasia, and Asia. The Graduate School funded a planning workshop in November 2007. The goals of the community are:
- to develop and support an on-line presence (tentatively called Mappamundi) for an international, interdisciplinary research community focused on critiquing and reconceiving the study of the period ca. 500-ca. 1500 C.E. in ways not limited to Europe or the Mediterranean. This site will not only develop and archive materials for the study of the Global Middle Ages, but also provide forums for discussion of pertinent artifacts, problems, and issues
- to formulate and host a “federation” of research projects stemming from collaborations among specialists in different areas, languages, and disciplines, leading to publications and public programs under the SCGMA (Scholarly Community for the Globalization of the “Middle Ages”) umbrella;
- to prepare for and fund a residency year for seven faculty from various universities in 2010 or 11 to develop products including, but not limited to: a published primary source reader on the Global Middle Ages, a workshop for advanced graduate students, a summer workshop for college and university teachers, an oversight structure for Mappamundi, and a series of public programs (e.g. on video games based on medieval material)
- The SCGMA is currently working with the Institute for Computing in the Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (ICHASS) at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) to employ the experimental data-mining software SEASR (Software research) to help plan its work. Presentations related to SCGMA include Ayhan Aytes's talk about the Mappamundi project at the May 2008 Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Advanced Collaboratory (HASTAC) meeting and by Susan Noakes at the July 2008 ICHASS workshop where she presented on “Information-Rich Environments for Research and Teaching.” SCGMA plans an official launch, including three panels and a reception, at the Kalamazoo Congress in 2009.