This lecture will describe how Medieval Studies has emerged as a distinct territory of learning in the twentieth century, how it had a special momentum in the 1980s and 1990s, with the vogue of “New Middle Ages” à la Umberto Eco, what the most important centers promoting its study were in Europe and in America, how it pioneered new interdisciplinary approaches and innovative methodologies, and how it opened, in the twenty-first century, towards a global approach. A second round of thought will focus on Central Europe within this framework, showing how Medieval Studies re-emerged in the post-communist transition in East-Central Europe, how the inhabitants of this region turned their attention towards crucial questions of ethnicity and national identity (also in Austria), and how public history and right-wing ideologies made their irruption into this field, transforming it frequently into a battleground for contemporary politics. Finally, I will take this opportunity to recall how CEU's Department of Medieval Studies took part in the organization and the promotion of this academic field, what its major scholarly achievements were during these 30 years. I will conclude with some suggestions about the future of Medieval Studies, based on its already existing cooperation with the broader fields of history, cultural heritage studies, religious studies, philosophy, anthropology, digital humanities, and environmental studies.
Gábor Klaniczay is University Professor at Central European University, Vienna/Budapest. He is corresponding fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Medieval Academy of America and the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles Lettres, Paris. His principal field is historical anthropology of medieval Christianity (sainthood, miracle beliefs, stigmata, visions, magic, witchcraft). His books include The Uses of Supernatural Power (1990); Holy Rulers and Blessed Princesses (2002); Santità, miracoli, osservanze. L’Ungheria nel contesto europeo (2019).
Meeting ID: 974 1356 6507
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