“‘As It Was in the Beginning‘: Teaching the History of Medieval Religion in an Age of Faith-Based Conflict”, in History Matters!: The Bulletin of the National Council for History Education 31:7 (March 2019).
The European Middle Ages are often framed in contemporary popular culture as the uncomplicated precursors to modern Western societies: monolithically white and Christian, populated by stolid peasants and chivalrous knights whose religious views could be “simplistic” or “primitive,” but which were nonetheless merely “traditional” forms of faiths recognizable to us today. This framing is wrong.
“Teaching Abélard and Héloïse,” in Nursing Clio, March 7, 2019.
Taking a closer look at “one of history’s most passionate and romantic true love stories” (emphasis on the air quotes) in the #MeToo era.
“My Fair Lady? How We Think About Medieval Women“, in The Public Medievalist, October 25, 2018.
The word “lady” had very different connotations during the Middle Ages, connotations that we have to be aware of when we think about the distant past and how it relates to the present.
Review of Catherine M. Mooney, Clare of Assisi and the Thirteenth-Century Church: Religious Women, Rules, and Resistance. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016, in Speculum: A Journal of Medieval Studies, 93:3 (2018). [Link]
Review of Alison More, Fictive Orders and Feminine Religious Identities: 1200-1600 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018), in Women’s History Review, 27:5 (2018). [Link]
Bits and Bobs
I chatted with Matt Gabriele for a piece in Forbes about why we should see the Middle Ages in all their garish colours.
Prof. Yvonne Seale, a historian at SUNY-Geneseo, begs to differ. She told me over email that she draws heavily on material culture in both her teaching and her research. She continuously confronts a preconception about the past as monochrome or, at best, sepia-toned. Luckily, that’s a vision that’s easy enough to dispel.