Thursday, October 23, 2008

Medieval history at the AHA

I just got the AHA annual meeting schedule in the mail today. Usually there's something of a dearth of medieval sessions at the AHA--actually, even if you put together the ancient, medieval, and early modern sessions, they are probably still outnumbered by sessions on, say, the U.S. since the 1960s.  

This year appears different, though; so thanks to the Program Committee and the session organizers for having a diverse lot of medieval sessions.  Some of them do come from the affiliated societies--the American Society of Church History and the American Catholic Historical Association can usually be relied on for a few medieval topics, and societies focused on regions like Spain or Italy often have a few as well.  Although I still observe the scheduling problem of sticking several of the medieval sessions in the same time slot, at least this year we are not in the position of seeing the only 3 or 4 medieval sessions all in the same slot.  

Here's what I noticed on a quick spin through the catalog (apologies to any sessions I've missed):

  • Reform and Clerical Culture in the Eleventh Century (Fri. 1pm)
  • Identities: Forms and Functions in the Middle Ages (Fri. 3:30pm)
  • Medieval History: Old and New Classics III (Fri. 3:30pm)
  • Late Medieval and Early Modern Catholic Responses to Heretical "saints" (Fri. 3:30pm)
  • New Directions in Morisco Studies (Fri. 3:30pm)
  • Greek History and Its Islamic Fate, 630-930CE (Sat. 9:30am)
  • Problematic Passions: Case Studies in the History of Emotion in Medieval and Early Modern Europe (Sat. 9:30am)
  • Women and Community in the Middle Ages (Sat. 9:30am) (this looks particularly nunnish, so I will do my best to attend)
  • Christianity, the Religious Other, and Demonic Language in Medieval and Early Modern France (Sat. 9:30am)
  • Cultural and Intellectual Responses to the Crusades (Sat. 2:30pm)
  • New Trends in Medieval Spanish History (Sat. 2:30pm) 
  • Locating Jews in Medieval Iberia (Sun. 9am)
  • Reassessing Reform: Medieval Models of Change (Sun. 9am)
  • National History in an Age of Globalization: The Case of Medieval France (Sun. 2:30pm)--especially notable for the participation of Dominique Iogna-Prat)
  • Bound Feet, Corseted Waists, and Veiled Heads; Chastity Belts and the Tropes of Contained Femininity (Sun. 2:30pm)--ok, this one is only sort of medieval; it does feature Albrecht Classen on chastity belts and looks potentially quite interesting
  • The Other Middle Ages: New Developments in Byzantine Studies (Mon. 8:30am)
  • The Papacy: Its Friends and Foes in the Later Middle Ages (Mon. 8:30am)

Having written all that up, I'm pretty impressed with the collection: a good variety of topics and regions. There is certainly some medieval stuff hiding in some of the thematic sessions, and there are also a good number of early modern sessions (and a few ancient ones) that I haven't listed here.  The concentrations at Friday 3:30 and Saturday 9:30 are unfortunate, but the AHA only schedules two sessions a day, so some kind of logjam was inevitable with this many sessions.  Medievalists attending the AHA should have plenty to interest them.  


Anonymous said...

Hmm, quantities of Spain and France too. If by some chance I have other reasons to be at the AHA meeting, as might yet be, I shall have something to do between times it seems. Thanks for posting this.

clio's disciple said...

Glad to be of service. If you do end up at AHA, leave a comment or something, we could possibly meet up.