CFP (Kalamazoo): Medieval Studies/Medieval Texts: Responding to (Campus) Diversity Initiatives

full name / name of organization: 
National Endowment for the Humanities; Organizer: James M. Palmer
contact email: 

NEH is sponsoring a roundtable on "Medieval Studies/Medieval Texts: Responding to (Campus) Diversity Initiatives" at the 46th International Congress on Medieval Studies, May 12-15, 2011.

The task of teaching medieval history and literature to an increasingly diverse student body in the United States raises new and potentially productive intellectual questions: for instance, about the function of our disciplines in contemporary society, and about the social and ideological underpinnings of these disciplines in the past. Furthermore, the diversification in the classroom (either realized or desired) may destabilize old paradigms, and point towards new models of intellectual inquiry. As a start to answering these questions, this roundtable panel seeks participants to share how texts they study and courses they teach (or take) respond to diversity initiatives in various ways and the results of such initiatives. Topics covered by roundtable panelists could include (but are not limited to):

1) How do medieval texts or the medieval studies curriculum fulfill state, campus, or department diversity initiatives?

2) How do we attract students of diverse backgrounds to courses in medieval studies?

3) How might we connect medieval texts to the scholarly concerns of African American, Latino, or diasporic studies?

4) What medieval texts are being used to meet diversity initiatives and why?

5) How can we use the challenges associated with teaching a diverse student population to create opportunities for innovative teaching and research?

6) How does an increasingly diverse student body generate new paradigms or help us to rethink the social function of the university?

7) What are graduate programs with concentrations in medieval studies doing to encourage diversity among future scholars in the humanities?

8) What experiences can graduate students supported by diversity initiatives share?

9) What are Tribal, Hispanic, and African-American serving universities and colleges doing to increase diversity in academia?

Because this is a roundtable, participants may present a paper in another session. Speakers will likely have no more than 7 minutes each. Submission Details: Please send a very brief abstract of approximately 100-150 words to James M. Palmer at by September 15, 2010. Along with a title for the presentation, please send a completed Participant Information Form, which can be found at: