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  • Dec
    Studying the past in 2017: Awkward Pasts
    Medieval and Renaissance reading group, fifth session. A past filled with wars, discrimination, violence, and other abuses and a present which builds much of its identity on history leads not only to misrepresentations but to awkward silences and difficult positioning. This session highlights that awkwardness by focusing on its most explicit form: denial. But silence’s less overt forms are similarly influential.
  • Oct
    Studying the past in 2017: The Present in Research
    Medieval and Renaissance reading group. This second session centres around ‘Presentism’. Looking at the past through the prism of the present used to be a sin, a dangerous anachronism. However, scholars increasingly realise that the questions of the present shape our understanding of the past. How and to what extent can present preoccupations and analytical frameworks illuminate the past? How can we subvert biases inherent in the archive and not replicate past violence and abuses?
  • Nov
    Studying the past in 2017: The Present in Teaching
    Medieval and Renaissance reading group, third session. At a time when students more readily make connections between past and present, we should ask whether and how we can discuss these in the classroom. How can we encourage students to use their historical thinking more broadly? And how, in acknowledging diversity, do we not fall in the trap of forcing identities and roles upon our students and colleagues?
  • Nov
    Studying the past in 2017: Uses and Abuses of History
    Medieval and Renaissance reading group, fourth session. The Middle Ages in particular have been the topic of interest of White Supremacists. This session introduces some of the main targets of White Supremacists, and opens wider conversations on how scholars can deal with such misappropriation.