Category Archives: Lone Medievalist

Next Lone Medievalist CFP! Out of the Cloister: Lone Medievalists Making the Middle Ages Matter

CFP: Out of the Cloister: Lone Medievalists Making the Middle Ages Matter 
Contributions of any style and various lengths welcome!
Second volume of essays from The Lone Medievalist! Forthcoming soon: The Ballad of the Lone Medievalist from punctum press.
For many medievalists who have had the good fortune to find jobs in academe, the professional reality is that we are unlikely to be surrounded by colleagues who share our areas of expertise and interest. In most cases, a department will hire only a single medieval specialist – and may be hard-pressed to convince administrations or hiring committees to approve even that one. Those lucky few who find a tenure-track position will then spend years explaining their work to colleagues, chairs, grant committees, and eventually tenure reviewers who know little about the work we do.
This collection, as the title suggests, is especially focused on the significance of studying the Middle Ages. What is the role of the medievalist in the modern public sphere? How do we communicate this significance to various communities (students, colleagues, promotion and tenure committees, the general public)? How do we address misconceptions and misappropriations of the Middle Ages? How do we talk about the medieval in ways that make sense for a non-specialist (or even disinterested) audience? And, throughout all of these questions, how is the Lone Medievalist uniquely situated to think about and/or promote the significance of the Middle Ages? How can Lone Medievalists engage more in the public face of Medieval Studies? What is it that we want to communicate? How can we help others to communicate the significance of the Middle Ages?
Potential ideas for focus (certainly not limited to and could be combined):
  • What is the significance of studying the Middle Ages?
  • How are Lone Medievalists uniquely situated to think about and/or promote the significance of the Middle Ages?
  • Communicating significance to students
  • Communicating significance to colleagues/departments
  • Communicating significance to promotion and tenure committees
  • Communicating significance to the public
  • Engaging with popular ideas of the Middle Ages
  • Engaging with the appropriation of the Middle Ages by certain groups (i.e. politicians, white supremacists, etc.)
Send proposals (do not have to be too long or formal – around 100-200 words to give us a good sense of your idea) either through Facebook messaging or to the email addresses: ktracy3@fitchburgstate.edu and john.sexton@bridgew.edu. We are looking for a combination of anecdotes, stories, longer essays, manifestos, and advice – various lengths, any style. We do recommend 1000-5000 words (longer will be considered as well) or the equivalent (e.g. a photographic essay or a collection of documents). We anticipate a quick turnaround on this, so let’s get moving! The initial deadline for proposals will be August 31, 2017. The initial deadline for contributions is scheduled for January 31, 2018.

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CFP, International Medieval Congress 2016 – “The Ballad of the Lone Medievalist Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Job”

MassMedieval is at it again, organizing for the International Congress. Building off the success of last year’s roundtable, for the 2016 Congress, our topic is a sequel “The Ballad of the Lone Medievalist Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Job.”

The professional reality is that many of us are at institutions at which we are the “lone medievalist,” without colleagues who share our areas of expertise and interest. In most cases, a department will hire only a single medieval specialist – and may be hard-pressed to convince administrations or hiring committees to approve even that one. While the advent of digital technologies has brought us the possibility of closer contact and greater collaboration with our fellow medievalists, our resource access, teaching opportunities, tenure cases, and other facets of our professional lives can be affected by our lack of numbers and by questions about the nature and value of what we do. In order to navigate these realities, we should be drawing on our collective experience.

At the 2015 International Medieval Congress, we hosted a roundtable entitled “The Ballad of the Lone Medievalist.” It was exceptionally well-attended and various members of the audience raised issues and suggestions that indicated the conversation had only just begun. For this next roundtable, we would like to extend this conversation. This roundtable, as the title suggests, will collect panelists who can provide suggestions and ideas for professional engagement, curriculum planning, and reappointment and tenure cases as the “lone medievalist” in a department or institution. Our intention is that this roundtable will not be a forum simply for bewailing the state of medieval studies in small institutions. Indeed, we anticipate that it will be an opportunity for camaraderie, suggestions, and advice. We intend it to be very forward-thinking and revitalizing as well as helpful to those of us in these positions. It is also a forum for gathering the contact information in order to build a “lone medievalist” support group.

If you’d like to take part in this important conversation, please e-mail Kisha at ktracy3@fitchburgstate.edu by September 15. Thanks!

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