the Global Middle Ages Project is the name of an ambitious effort to study, teach, and research an interlinked world.
how the world is studied is fragmented—atomized into many academic disciplines, departments that concentrate on national literatures and histories, or divided up into area studies that focus on a continent, region, ocean or sea.
specialized knowledge and training are indispensable. but gmap (pronounced “g-map”) was born from a lively desire to see what would happen when highly specialized scholars collaborate to deliver the world whole—reconstructing the planetary past as a web of crossings and encounters, global cities and villages, a world in dynamic exchange.
in 2004, 7 scholars attempted this in a teaching experiment at the University of Texas. clicking on articles will take you to reports on how the experiment worked. the exhilaration of our experience—for teachers and students alike—led to the initiatives collected on this site under the name of the global middle ages. In 2012-2013, the learning experiment was reincarnated as the Winton Seminar at the University of Minnesota, where 20 scholars came together over a year to study, teach, and track the early globalisms of the planet. a course description is archived under articles
we are conscious that clustering our initiatives under any kind of “Middle Ages,” even a global one, marks an imperfect choice. we welcome the continued problematization of the concept of a “MiddleAges.” but a global Middle Ages at least signals an intent to study a world without a center, and without an assumption of privilege for any location.
a global perspective reveals that different zones of the world produce structural change, new technology, and sophisticated transformations at different rates of speed. we are particularly interested in how the western inheritance of historical time—history as divided into “modern” and “premodern” eras, with identifying features allotted to each era—can be re-thought and complexified in a global perspective.
our timeline of 1,000 years is flexible, and not meant to restrict. some of the investigations we undertake begin long before 500 c.e. and proceed past 1500 c.e. gmap’s charge is merely to see the world whole in a large swathe of time— from the americas and europe in the west to china, japan and korea in the east, across islamic civilizations and africa, eurasia, india, and southeast asia—as a living network of interwoven spaces, braided into relationship by trade and travel, cosmopolitan religions, global cities, cultural borrowings, mobile stories, traveling technologies, international languages, and even pandemics and war.
knotted to the great romance of this project is our commitment to rigorous analysis and the exploration of a variety of analytical, critical, and conceptual approaches and methods.
gmap newsBibliopedia is a platform for organizing, exploring, and sharing research. Whether your research team studies articles, manuscripts, images, or something else entirely, Bibliopedia builds a network of your materials to make it possible to discover unexpected connections.
Bibliopedia makes it easy to search your archive and generate bibliographies from the results.
Bibliopedia can be customized to support multiple languages and practically any type of object. Originally funded by an NEH Digital Humanities Start-Up Grant and developed by Michael Widner and Jason Yandell, Bibliopedia is now in use at Stanford University with support from the Stanford University Libraries.
what's new on gmap?
the special issue of literature compass is dedicated to the global middle ages: medieval | literature compass, volume 11 (2014). this volume features: geraldine heng and lynn ramey: “early globalities, global Literatures: introducing a special issue on the global middle ages” su-fang ng: “global souvenirs: bridging east & west in the malay alexander romance” alexander wolfe: “marco polo, factotum, auditor: language & political culture in the mongol world empire” rebecca gould: “The cosmopolitan geography of prison poetics: khaqani of shirwan’s christian quasida” leila k. norako: “crusading gone global? the icelandic magnussonasaga’s visions of the world and home” gloria hernandez: “The libro de los ejemplos del conde lucanor & the panchatantra: translatio, power, & comparison” chistopher taylor: “global circulation as christian enclosure: legend, empire, & the nomadic prester john” jerold frakes: “quid shmuel cum homero? greek culture & early yiddish epic” margaret kim: “Globalizing Imperium: 13th century perspectives on the Mongols” anna czarnowus: “the mongols, eastern europe, & western europe: the mirabilia tradition in benedict of poland’s historia tartarorum and john of plano carpini’s historia mongalorum”
the Winton seminar at the University of Minnesota susan noakes, michael lower, and geraldine heng co-convened Early Globalities I & II as The Winton Seminar, a year-long graduate-postdoctoral-faculty seminar, at the University of Minnesota in 2012-2013. 17 specialist scholars from the U.K., Iceland, the U.S., Israel, and Singapore/Australia led the Winton Seminar during the year. Early Globalities I focused on Eurasia and the Asia Pacific. Early Globalities II focused on Africa, the Mediterranean, and the Atlantic. the course description and a graduate student essay, “5 Ivory Things” can be found under "articles" link on top navigation above.
Digital Philology: A Journal of Medieval Cultures will publish a special issue on Global Cosmology, Cosmography, and Cosmogony in 2015, edited by gabriela currie, of the School of Music, and marguerite gagnow, Curator of the James Ford Bell Library, at the University of Minnesota. for more information on this special issue, please contact marguerite ragnow at: firstname.lastname@example.org