The Lone Medievalist

Out of the Cloister

CFP: Out of the Cloister: Lone Medievalists Making the Middle Ages Matter 

Contributions of any style and various lengths welcome!

Second volume of essays from The Lone Medievalist! Forthcoming soon: The Ballad of the Lone Medievalist from punctum books.

For many medievalists who have had the good fortune to find jobs in academe, the professional reality is that we are unlikely to be surrounded by colleagues who share our areas of expertise and interest. In most cases, a department will hire only a single medieval specialist – and may be hard-pressed to convince administrations or hiring committees to approve even that one. Those lucky few who find a tenure-track position will then spend years explaining their work to colleagues, chairs, grant committees, and eventually tenure reviewers who know little about the work we do.

This collection, as the title suggests, is especially focused on the significance of studying the Middle Ages. What is the role of the medievalist in the modern public sphere? How do we communicate this significance to various communities (students, colleagues, promotion and tenure committees, the general public)? How do we address misconceptions and misappropriations of the Middle Ages? How do we talk about the medieval in ways that make sense for a non-specialist (or even disinterested) audience? And, throughout all of these questions, how is the Lone Medievalist uniquely situated to think about and/or promote the significance of the Middle Ages? How can Lone Medievalists engage more in the public face of Medieval Studies? What is it that we want to communicate? How can we help others to communicate the significance of the Middle Ages?

Potential ideas for focus (certainly not limited to and could be combined):

  • What is the significance of studying the Middle Ages?
  • How are Lone Medievalists uniquely situated to think about and/or promote the significance of the Middle Ages?
  • Communicating significance to students
  • Communicating significance to colleagues/departments
  • Communicating significance to promotion and tenure committees
  • Communicating significance to the public
  • Engaging with popular ideas of the Middle Ages
  • Engaging with the appropriation of the Middle Ages by certain groups (i.e. politicians, white supremacists, etc.)

Send proposals (do not have to be too long or formal – around 100-200 words to give us a good sense of your idea) either through Facebook messaging or to the email addresses: and We are looking for a combination of anecdotes, stories, longer essays, manifestos, and advice – various lengths, any style. We do recommend 1000-5000 words (longer will be considered as well) or the equivalent (e.g. a photographic essay or a collection of documents). We anticipate a quick turnaround on this, so let’s get moving! The initial deadline for proposals will be September 15, 2017. The initial deadline for contributions is scheduled for January 31, 2018.

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