Roundtable: "Advocacy and Resistance" at the International Congress on Medieval Studies ("Kalamazoo"

deadline for submissions: 
September 15, 2017
full name / name of organization: 
Babel Working Group
contact email: 

Babel invites abstracts for participation on a roundtable on "Advocacy and Resistance" at the International Congress on Medieval Studies, May 10-13, 2018, in Kalamazoo, Michigan.


Roundable description:

The study of the Middle Ages has been for many scholars something of a refuge from the troubles of the modern world, but in the current political moment, more of us feel the need to turn our scholarly and pedagogical efforts toward advocacy for our students and communities and resistance to the misappropriation of the medieval for socio-political purposes. A common refrain, though, is that we do not know how. How can our teaching of the Middle Ages be present, relevant, and engaged in the political struggles that occupy much of our time and energy? How can we use the study and teaching of the Middle Ages to provide support for students, and for members of the academic precariat? How can we help those who are engaged in the emotional labor of resistance (often laid upon already-precarious bodies and positions)? And, indeed, who even gets to be an advocate? Who gets to resist? How do we engage a wider community of allies and agents of change? How do we expand the resistance? And how do we do all of this not despite being medievalists, but as medievalists?


This roundtable invites participants to share the work they’ve done, and hope to do, to develop mini-manifestos, and to write hopeful, defiant letters to the future and present. We also invite medievalists to think about advocacy and resistance not only in the classroom, but in their local communities, in the public sphere, and in arenas not yet thought of. We invite them to think not only as teachers and scholars, but as public intellectuals, and as activists.


Abstracts of 300 words plus PIF form (available here: to  MElmes by Friday, September 15, 2017.