This gives me a lot to think about because Shamma isn’t wrong.
"Of the Making of Books there is no end..." (Ecc 12:12)
I no longer think of myself as a medievalist. It’s not because I no longer feel like I belong in this field/discipline/concentration, but because I have come to believe that it’s not a useful label under which to place my knowledge nor the right paradigm through which to filter the world.
I’ve not come to this position lightly or without a certain amount of agony. For scholarly and social reasons it has been very important for me over the past two decades to see myself as a “medievalist” working within “medieval studies.” My hope, with this post, is to move towards a better scholarly place, hopefully while maintaining my social ties to my network of colleagues and friends who see themselves as medievalists. This is not an attack on anyone, and I don’t expect everyone to agree with my arguments here.
The “Middle Ages” as a concept was already…
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