Texas Tech University

2021 Virtual Symposium

Arts, Histories, Literatures of the World, 500-1500 CE 

April 24, 2021       

It is our great pleasure to announce the TTU Medieval & Renaissance Studies Center's interdisciplinary Spring Symposium, a virtual event, on Saturday April 24, 2021, 8:15am-6:00pm.

Register for the Symposium/ Register for Professor Heng's Keynote Lecture

Symposium Program (PDF)

Heng Keynote Lecture

 The keynote lecture will be presented at 1:00 PM by
Professor Geraldine Heng (University of Texas at Austin/Columbia University)

“Teaching the Literatures and Cultures of the Global Middle Ages”

Sometime around the year 1000 of the Common Era, archeologists tell us that an expedition of people from Greenland and Iceland took advantage of climate change and crossed the Atlantic Ocean to North America.  There, they proceeded to build a settlement at L'Anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland, erected a complex of houses, smelted iron for tools and weapons, repaired ships, slept, socialized, threw away their trash, wove cloth, and did single-needle knitting.  The presence of what might have been a child's toy hints that a new generation may even have been born there.  Beyond that, the archeological record is silent.  What these northern Europeans saw in the Americas, why they wanted to be there, what happened in their encounters with native peoples: for cultural details of that kind, we must turn to two literary-historical accounts in Old Norse known as the Vinland Sagas.  From North America to Africa, from Islamic civilizations to the Eurasian steppe, from the Mediterranean to South, Southeast, and East Asia, "Teaching the literatures and cultures of the Global Middle Ages” will offer ideas, texts, and guidelines for those who want to explore the worlds of early globalism with their colleagues and students.  
Geraldine Heng is Perceval Professor at the University of Texas in Austin, and a founder of the Global Middle Ages Project (G-MAP): www.globalmiddleages.org. Her second book, The Invention of Race in the European Middle Ages (Cambridge University Press, 2018), won the 2019 PROSE prize in Global History, the 2019 Robert W. Hamilton Grand Prize, the 2019 Academy of American Religion prize in Historical Studies, and the 2020 Otto Gründler prize. She is also the author of a third, short book, England and the Jews: How Religion and Violence Created the First Racial State in the West (Cambridge, 2019). Dr. Heng co-edits the University of Pennsylvania Press's new book series, RaceB4Race: Critical Studies of the Premodern, and Cambridge University Press's 40-title Elements series on The Global Middle Ages.  Her new title for Cambridge, The Global Middle Ages: An Introduction, will appear in 2021.  She is also the editor of a forthcoming volume in the Modern Language Association of America's "Options for Teaching" series, entitled The Global Middle Ages.  Professor Heng is currently researching and writing a fifth book, Early Globalisms: The Interconnected World, 500-1500 CE.

The Symposium / Lecture is organized by The TTU Medieval & Renaissance Studies Center Working Group, sponsored by a TTU Humanities Center Working Group Grant, with additional support from Texas Tech's Office of Research & Innovation, College of Arts & Sciences, Department of History, and Medieval & Renaissance Studies Center.