“The Sciences and Medieval Studies: New Approaches, New Questions”
48th International Congress on Medieval Studies, May 9-13, 2013
Sponsor: Department of History, University of Southern California
Organizer: Justin Haar, University of Southern California
“The Sciences and Medieval Studies: New Approaches, New Questions”: Medieval scholars have always been, to a large extent, interdisciplinary: art history, history, literary studies, archaeology, anthropology, and other disciplines have informed medieval historiography for decades. There have been times, however, when the breadth of our questions have outstripped the possibilities of our skills. In recent years, pathbreaking work has begun to overcome these limitations by uniting traditional historical methods with tools from the natural sciences–dendrochronology, isotope identification, DNA and chemical analyses, among others–which have allowed scholars to make unprecedented breakthroughs and ask entirely new sets of questions.
This panel invites scholars working across these disciplinary boundaries to share their work, either in calls for new directions in medieval scholarship or in demonstrations of the possibilities or pitfalls of incorporating natural sciences into the study of the medieval past. Participants interested in contributing a fifteen-minute paper should send an abstract of no more than 300 words and a completed participant form (available at the Congress’s website) to Justin Haar at firstname.lastname@example.org by September 15th.