Saturday, December 6, 2008

Global Middle Ages

I would like to bring your attention to an exciting new project: The
Global Middle Ages website:

This is the website of three ambitious initiatives: the Global Middle Ages
Project (GMAP, pronounced "g-map"), the Mappamundi cybernetic initiative,
and the Scholarly Community for the Globalization of the Middle Ages
(SCGMA, pronounced "sigma").

Each initiative brings together a cluster of scholars, universities,
institutes, and centers who are working toward the goal of transforming
how we see and understand the world across macrohistorical time: a
thousand years of history, literature, technology, cultural encounters and
crossings, ideas, movement, and change.

GMAP is our teaching and research initiative. Mappamundi is a digital
entity with a planetary reach that we will build online in stages, with
the help of supercomputing centers. SCGMA is the actively growing
community of scholars and technologists whose members are the driving
force of all the initiatives. SCGMA's people are drawn from many
disciplines, focus on all parts of the world, and teach, conduct research,
and work across numerous zones and chronologies. The three initiatives, of
course, share substantial overlap in energies, talents, ideas, and people.

We are conscious that collecting our initiatives under the name of any
kind of
"Middle Ages", even a global one, marks an imperfect choice. We welcome
the continued critical problematization of what the 21st century and
earlier eras understand the "Middle Ages" to be. A global Middle Ages,
nonetheless, signals an intent to study and teach a world without a
center, and without an assumption of privilege for any location on the

Our timeline of 1,000 years is flexible, and not meant to restrict. The
investigations we undertake often begin long before 500 c.e. and proceed
long past 1500 c.e. Also, since we are continually adding partners and
collaborators, the names you encounter on this site represent only our
most active contributors, the tip of a growing iceberg.

Welcome to the global middle ages.

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