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This seminar addresses subjects of common interest to all branches of medieval studies. The seminar particularly encourages interdisciplinary topics and approaches, which will stimulate discussions of issues in the study of medieval culture. One of the great advantages of the seminar is that it brings together representatives of medieval disciplines, from Columbia and elsewhere, who otherwise would have only rare opportunities to talk about questions of common interest.

Professor Neslihan Şenocak

Professor Hannah Weaver

Jilian Pizzi

Meeting Schedule

09/28/2022 Faculty House, Columbia University
5:30 PM
Medieval America: The Local in the Global
Suzanne Conklin Akbari, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton University


The medieval past is increasingly understood in global terms, moving past the narrow confines of Latin Christian Europe to include not only the Mediterranean region and the Islamic world, but also wider expanses of Africa and Asia, and even the Americas. Yet this ‘global turn’ comes with some dangers, including the risk that a European paradigm of ‘the medieval’ will simply be exported to other regions, along with Eurocentric perspectives on periodization and geography. This lecture draws on a recent exhibition at Toronto’s Aga Khan Museum, “Books Along the Silk Roads,” in order to illustrate how collaborative research projects can be structured to avoid some of these dangers, while also offering glimpses into the global medieval past to a wider public. The relationship of – and the tension between – the global and the local is fundamental to this approach. The final part of the lecture turns to the local environment of Lunaapahkiing, or Lenape land (New Jersey, along with southern New York, eastern Pennsylvania, and Delaware), using this case study to explore how our approach to the global medieval is inflected by our local environment, and shaped by our own situatedness.

10/24/2022 Faculty House, Columbia University
5:30 PM

Emilie Kurdziel, Maître de conferences in medieval history at the Université de Poiters/CESCM (Centre d’études supérieures de civilisation médiévale)

11/14/2022 Faculty House, Columbia University
5:30 PM

Sean L. Field, University of Vermont

12/02/2022 Zoom
1:00 PM

Elizabeth Tyler, University of York