Skip to main content

Elizabeth Tyler speaking at "Medieval European Literature After the 'Global Turn'"

MEDIEVAL EUROPEAN LITERATURE AFTER THE 'GLOBAL TURN'. A roundtable discussion at the Medieval English Graduate Seminar, Cambridge, 24 October 2018

Simon Gaunt (Department of French, KCL)
Elizabeth Tyler (Department of English and Related Literature, York)
Olenka Pevny (Department of Slavonic Studies, Cambridge)
Julian Weiss (Department of Spanish, Portuguese, and Latin American Studies, KCL)

Chair: Máire Ní Mhaonaigh (Department of Anglo-Saxon, Norse, and Celtic, Cambridge)

Recent years have seen an explosion of interest in global approaches to the Middle Ages. At the same time, renewed attention has been paid to the connections that run through the many different cultural environments that make up medieval Europe (even as they trouble its boundaries). Scholars working with both European and global perspectives have had to contend with challenging questions about how we organise the materials of history, how we balance the claims of local particularity against the larger systems that connect places and cultures together, and how the histories of contact and expansion within and beyond medieval Europe have shaped our modern understanding of the centre and the margins, as well as —crucially — nation, empire, and race.

This roundtable gathers together scholars working on the literature, culture, and art of what can broadly be described as medieval Europe, and invites them to consider the place of the European and the global in their own research. Does the emerging interest in global approaches to the Middle Ages present a challenge to scholars interested in medieval Europe? Or are the 'global' and the 'European' parallel and complementary approaches that share aims and methodologies? Does the study of literary or textual cultures offer a different perspective on Europe and its place in the medieval world than the study of visual or material culture? What is at stake in ideas about 'the European' and 'the global' outside the world of Anglo-American academia? How should we (or should we) think about European literature after the 'global turn'?

Editing was completed: 24.10.2018