Home

Events

vertical divider

Upcoming Conferences and Workshops

Medieval Studies Spring Symposium: Medieval Media Resolutions
scheduled for Sat, 18 Apr 2015 08:30:00 CDT
Like the internet, the development of writing within particular cultures was initially intended to facilitate certain kinds of transactions among certain specific users. But media revolutions – now and in the medieval world – occur because such new technologies facilitate and encourage innovative, unforeseen uses, leading to the widening of participatory communication networks and the recording of many different kinds of information. The result is the creation of new kinds of literacy, new public spheres, and new expectations. Another analogy could be drawn between medieval texts and the graphical user interface (GUI), which enables visual, sonic, and tactile hypertextual interactions: interactions that complicate, undermine, or enhance other forms of literacy. Indeed, this analogy could apply to any historical moment when the relationship among competing literacies, or between writing and other forms of communication, is being re-negotiated.This one-day symposium and workshop invites three distinguished visiting scholars to focus on moments or movements that might be regarded as “medieval media revolutions.” How did new recording technologies, or the intensified use of existing channels of communication, enable the formation (or closure) of networks and create (or disrupt) ways of accessing information? In keeping with the mission of The Medieval Globe – the new journal sponsored by the Program in Medieval Studies – participants will also be encouraged to discuss the ways that such technologies may have fostered (or hindered) connections across and among regions of the medieval world. Each invited scholar will deliver a 45-minute paper/presentation, which will then be followed by a formal comment (15 minutes) by an appropriate Illinois medievalist; there will then be ample time for discussion. Drafts of the papers will be made available one month prior to the symposium, so that commentators can prepare suitable remarks. One session will take place in the late morning, followed by lunch; the two afternoon sessions (fueled by a coffee break) will be followed by general discussion and a small reception.Our invited guests for this event are: Christian de Pee, Associate Professor of History at the University of Michigan and author of The Writing of Weddings in Middle-Period China: Text and Ritual Practice in the Eighth through Fourteenth Centuries (2007), who is working on an intellectual history of the city in eleventh-century China and the ways that urban space was negotiated through new forms of writing; Jessica Goldberg (UCLA) whose book Trade and Institutions in the Medieval Mediterranean: The Geniza Merchants and their Business World (2013) is being followed by new studies of everyday written communication (in multiple languages) throughout the medieval Mediterranean; and Warren Brown, Professor of History at CalTech and author of several important books on medieval documentation and conflict resolution, whose current project deals with the social uses of texts in northern Europe from late antiquity through the early Middle Ages.

Past European Union Center Conferences