A Farewell letter to Medieval Studies

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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About carlamthomas

I'm an Assistant Professor of English at Florida Atlantic University, and I earned my PhD from New York University and my BA and MA from Florida State University. It's good to be a Floridian again. My concentration is Early Middle English literature, language, and manuscript culture although this stretches from Old English influences to later Middle English iterations of developments in my period. I'm also an intersectional feminist, trying to inject such theory into some of my newer work as well as my activist work with the Medievalist of Color.
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