We’re excited for another busy medieval weekend in Kalamazoo!
Here’s what the Material Collective is up to–please join us! All are welcome.
On Thursday night, we’re co-hosting the BABEL/MC reception at 5:15 in Fetzer 1045. (In the program, it’s listed as the BABEL Business Meeting and Reception, but it’s hosted by both organizations.) We’ll have an open bar, plenty of swag, and even some punctum books to distribute.
Our own Business Meeting will take place on Friday at 12:15 in Fetzer 1060. We are always looking for new ideas and directions for the Material Collective so please come along and bring friends.
Our sponsored sessions wound up on Sunday this year, but we’re ready to make that sacrifice because we’ve got some great ones! Both sessions are in Fetzer 1045 at 8:30 and 10:30. We’ll bring donuts and OJ.
The first session, co-sponsored with TEAMS (Teaching Association for Medieval Studies) and organized by B. Joy Ambler and Danielle B. Joyner is called Teaching Medieval Studies with/without Objects and Collections. Here’s the description:
Students often describe their first encounter with a genuine medieval object — the weight of a late antique coin, the colorful sparkle of an enameled reliquary, the imperfect leaf of a medieval manuscript—as the moment their interest in the Middle Ages grew into passion. But how can teachers, from K–12 to under/graduate best incorporate objects into their classes? And what might they do if they do not have access to close or significant collections? This panel considers the many ways to incorporate visual and material culture into the classroom: visits to museums and rare book collections, classes designed around special exhibitions, trips overseas. Alternately, what online resources exist that best recreate turning the folios of a manuscript or walking through the spaces of a gothic cathedral? Can visits to neo-gothic or Richardsonian romanesque buildings, or modern-day mosques, illuminate the experience of medieval church-goers? (Speakers: Jennifer Borland, Kelly Gibson, David T. Gura, Katherine W. Jager, and Anna Siebach-Larsen)
After that, Luke Fidler and Nancy Thompson have put together a great roundtable called How to Engage Now: Medieval Studies and Public Discourse in 2018. (Speakers: Marian Bleeke, Amy Goodwin, Eileen Joy, and Peter Konieczny). This session offers a perfect chance for real, substantive discussion, and we’re hoping it will serve as that final inspirational Kalamazoo moment that you carry home with you on the plane.
Lastly, although we were not involved in the planning, we want to be sure to highlight the important workshop sponsored by the Medievalists of Color on Saturday at 1:30 in Fetzer 1045. Called Whiteness in Medieval Studies 2.0, it continues the vital conversation about race and racism in our field.
As always, many of us will be at the dance, and here are a few other opportunities for socializing that we enthusiastically recommend:
Medieval Donut (Wednesday 8:30-10pm in the Radisson Lobby))
A Queerdievalist and Allies Get Together! (Saturday 9 pm in the Radisson Hotel Bar/Lounge)
See you at the Zoo!