So one of my summer projects (one for which the college is actually paying me, hurrah) is to get up to speed on Crusades scholarship for a course I'm teaching in the fall.
There is a lot of Crusades scholarship, folks. Hoo boy. I ordered a huge stack of books which I'm now skimming. Some I'll assign for class, and others I'll order for the library, whose collection in this area is not very current.
When I started this reading, I had only a vague idea of what I wanted to do with this class, and the process of reading has sharpened my ideas considerably. I have rejected several books for class assignments as being, to me, "too magisterial." I want my students to get a handle on what happened, but I don't want them to be too influenced by a single narrative that proclaims This Is What Happened. I am much more drawn to books that explain differing interpretations, that talk explicitly about how they handle sources, and that don't pretend to be the single definitive account of events.
I've winnowed my giant pile into rejects and books I want to take a second, closer look at. I'd also welcome suggestions.