Medieval studies


The term 'medieval studies' began to be adopted by academics in the opening decades of the twentieth century, initially in the titles of books like G. G. Coulton
G. G. Coulton
George Gordon Coulton FBA was a British historian, known for numerous works on medieval history. He was known also as a keen controversialist....

's Ten Medieval Studies (1906), to emphasize a greater interdisciplinary approach to a historical subject. In American and European universities the term provided a coherent identity to centres composed of academics from a variety of disciplines including archaeology, art history, architecture, history, literature and linguistics. The Institute of Mediaeval Studies at the St. Michael's College of the University of Toronto became the first centre of this type in 1929; it is now the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies
Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies
The Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies is a research institute in the University of Toronto that is dedicated to advanced studies in the culture of the Middle Ages....

 (PIMS) and is part of the University of Toronto
University of Toronto
The University of Toronto is a public research university in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, situated on the grounds that surround Queen's Park. It was founded by royal charter in 1827 as King's College, the first institution of higher learning in Upper Canada...

. With university expansion in the late 1960s and early 1970s encouraging interdisciplinary cooperation, similar centres were established in England at University of Reading
University of Reading
The University of Reading is a university in the English town of Reading, Berkshire. The University was established in 1892 as University College, Reading and received its Royal Charter in 1926. It is based on several campuses in, and around, the town of Reading.The University has a long tradition...

 (1965), at University of Leeds
University of Leeds
The University of Leeds is a British Redbrick university located in the city of Leeds, West Yorkshire, England...

 (1967) and the University of York
University of York
The University of York , is an academic institution located in the city of York, England. Established in 1963, the campus university has expanded to more than thirty departments and centres, covering a wide range of subjects...

 (1968), and in the United States at Fordham University
Fordham University
Fordham University is a private, nonprofit, coeducational research university in the United States, with three campuses in and around New York City. It was founded by the Roman Catholic Diocese of New York in 1841 as St...

 (1971). A more recent wave of foundations, perhaps helped by the rise of interest in things medieval associated with neo-medievalism
Neo-medievalism is a neologism that was first popularized by Italian medievalist Umberto Eco in his 1973 essay "Dreaming in the Middle Ages"...

, include centres at the University of Bristol
University of Bristol
The University of Bristol is a public research university located in Bristol, United Kingdom. One of the so-called "red brick" universities, it received its Royal Charter in 1909, although its predecessor institution, University College, Bristol, had been in existence since 1876.The University is...

 (1994), the University of Sydney
University of Sydney
The University of Sydney is a public university located in Sydney, New South Wales. The main campus spreads across the suburbs of Camperdown and Darlington on the southwestern outskirts of the Sydney CBD. Founded in 1850, it is the oldest university in Australia and Oceania...

 (1997) and Bangor University
Bangor University
Bangor University is a university based in the city of Bangor in the county of Gwynedd in North Wales-United Kingdom.It was officially known for most of its history as the University College of North Wales...


Medieval studies is buoyed by a number of annual international conferences which bring together thousands of professional medievalists, including the International Congress on Medieval Studies
International Congress on Medieval Studies
The International Congress on Medieval Studies is an annual academic conference held for scholars specializing in, or with an interest in, medieval studies. It is sponsored by Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan and is held during the first half of May...

, at Kalamazoo MI
Michigan is a U.S. state located in the Great Lakes Region of the United States of America. The name Michigan is the French form of the Ojibwa word mishigamaa, meaning "large water" or "large lake"....

, U.S.
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, and the International Medieval Congress
International Medieval Congress
The International Medieval Congress is an annual academic conference held for scholars specializing in, or with an interest in, the study of the European Middle Ages . It is organised and administered by the Institute for Medieval Studies at the University of Leeds and is held during the second...

 at the University of Leeds
University of Leeds
The University of Leeds is a British Redbrick university located in the city of Leeds, West Yorkshire, England...

. There are a number of journals devoted to medieval studies, including: Mediaevalia, Comitatus, Viator, Traditio, Journal of Medieval History, Journal of Medieval Military History, and Speculum
Speculum (journal)
Speculum: A Journal of Medieval Studies is a quarterly academic journal published by the Medieval Academy of America. It was established in 1926. The journal's primary focus is on the time period from 500-1500 in Western Europe, but also on related subjects such as Byzantine, Hebrew, Arabic, and...

, an organ of the Medieval Academy of America founded in 1925 and based in Cambridge, Massachusetts
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Cambridge is a city in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States, in the Greater Boston area. It was named in honor of the University of Cambridge in England, an important center of the Puritan theology embraced by the town's founders. Cambridge is home to two of the world's most prominent...


See also

  • Canadian Society of Medievalists
    Canadian Society of Medievalists
    Canadian Society of Medievalists is a Canadian learned society of medievalists .It publishes an annual journal, Florilegium, which is "devoted to the ancient and medieval cultures of Europe, North Africa, and the Near East."...

  • Centers for Medieval Studies
    Centre for Medieval Studies
    Many Centres / Centers for Medieval Studies exist, usually as part of a university or other research and teaching facility.Some notable ones are:* The Center for Medieval Studies...

     at various colleges and universities
  • Conferences in Medieval Studies
    Conferences in Medieval Studies
    Regular academic conferences in medieval studies:* International Congress on Medieval Studies, annual conference * International Medieval Congress, annual conference...

  • Digital Medievalist
    Digital Medievalist
    Digital Medievalist is an academic project and community-building organization for those who are interested in the use of computers and computational techniques in the academic field of medieval studies, a sub-field of digital humanities.- History :...

External links

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