Sunday, July 5, 2009

Call For Papers for a Special Issue of Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Teaching (SMART)

Call For Papers for a

Special Issue of Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Teaching (SMART)

“Teaching Medieval Studies at Minority-serving Colleges and Universities”

Deadline for Submission: October 1, 2009

In recent years, medievalists at high Hispanic- and African-American
serving institutions have discussed both the negative difficulties
and the positive challenges of offering medieval studies on their
campuses. We have noted that students, especially minority ones, may
often perceive a lack of real connection to literatures, languages,
and histories, that they do not feel they "own." There are,
therefore, serious challenges in maintaining enrollment in medieval
courses at institutions with diverse student populations, and in
keeping those courses in rotation in small colleges. Conversely, the
task of teaching history to minority students 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. The diversification of the classroom, in terms of both
ethnicity and class, may destabilize old paradigms, and point towards
new models of intellectual inquiry more deeply informed by a
commitment to social justice.

Two NEH-sponsored roundtables on "Teaching and Researching the Middle
Ages at Minority-Serving Colleges and Universities" were held at the
International Medieval Congress in 2009 in order to exchange ideas
regarding the teaching and study of medieval society and culture at
minority-serving colleges. These roundtables stimulated an interest
in a proposed Special Issue of Studies in Medieval and Renaissance
Teaching (SMART) titled "Teaching Medieval Texts at Minority-serving
Colleges and Universities." We are now seeking articles which
discuss the challenges and opportunities involved in teaching
medieval studies and texts in colleges and universities which serve
diverse populations.

Some topics which could be covered include but are not limited to:

* How to attract students of diverse backgrounds to courses in
medieval studies?

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

* How do we increase students' interest in a historical period which
appears superficially to be removed and irrelevant to contemporary

* How can we use this challenge to create opportunities for
innovative teaching and research, for generating new paradigms and
for rethinking the social function of the university?

The deadline for article submissions is October 1, 2009. Papers
should be between 3,000 and 5,000 words, formatted in accordance with
The Chicago Manual of Style guidelines, and should be submitted as an
e-mail attachment in MS Word to:

Pearl Ratunil

Assistant Professor

Department of English

Harper College

1200 W. Algonquin Rd.

Palatine, IL 60067


James M. Palmer, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of English

Director, Writing Center

Prairie View A&M University

P.O. Box 519; MS 2220

Prairie View, TX 77446

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