Symposium: What’s New in the Middle Ages?

University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
Saturday, February 11, 2017
9:15 AM - 5:30 PM

The Medieval period of European history has been mischaracterized as an age of little innovation, while scholars who study the period are often portrayed as antiquarians poring over old texts without recourse to new research methods, tools, and perspectives.  This seminar will put these notions to rest by showing how novel approaches to scholarship of the Medieval Era are yielding new insights on the era and on our world today. Join art historian Caroline Bruzelius, religious studies scholar Jessica Boon, professor of English Taylor Cowdery, and historian Brett Whalen as they discuss how cutting-edge technologies, cognitive science, new approaches to translations, and a willingness to find the “relevance” of the historically-distant Middle Ages to our world today are informing their research. This interdisciplinary seminar will not only change our perspectives on the age, but will give us insights into how scholars find the new in the seemingly familiar.

“Old Poetry in New Words: How to Translate Chaucer”
Taylor Cowdery, Assistant Professor of English and Comparative Literature, UNC-Chapel Hill

“Transforming Medieval: Digital Technologies and the Middle Ages”
Caroline Bruzelius, Anne Murnick Cogan Professor of Art and Art History, Duke University

“Mind, Body, and Soul in Medieval Christian Spirituality”
Jessica Boon, Associate Professor of Religious Studies, UNC-Chapel Hill

“The Medievalist as Public Historian”
Brett Whalen, Associate Professor of History, UNC-Chapel Hill

Sponsored by the Program in the Humanities, Adventures in Ideas Weekend Seminar. Tuition is $125; tuition for teachers is $62.50.

humanities.unc.edu/event/whats-new-in-the-middle-ages