about us

this is the plaform of three ambitious initiatives: the Global Middle Ages Project (GMAP, pronounced “g-map”), the Mappamundi cybernetic initiative (“mappamundi” = “world map ”), 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 “MiddleAges” 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 globe. 

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.

clicking on a self-identifying logo will take you to a portal with nested pages of its own.  our platform—like the idea of a global middle ages and the new kinds of collaborative teaching, research, and learning that we envisage—is still growing.  we invite you to keep visiting, and to contribute in whatever ways you can.  our ultimate goal is to revitalize and reimagine the study of the past in ways that help to transform its future and the future of learning institutions.

welcome to the global middle ages.

susan noakes
the university of minnesota, twin cities

geraldine heng
the university of texas, austin

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 “MiddleAges” 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 globe. 

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, who are the tip of a growing iceberg.

clicking on a self-identifying logo will take you to a portal with nested pages of its own.  our platform—like the idea of a global middle ages and the new kinds of collaborative teaching, research, and learning that we envisage—is still growing.  we invite you to keep visiting, and to contribute in whatever ways you can.  our ultimate goal is to revitalize and reimagine the study of the past in ways that help to transform its future and the future of learning institutions.

welcome to the global middle ages.

san noakes, director and administrator,
the university of minnesota, twin cities

geraldine heng, founder and co-director,
the university of texas, austin

 

 

 

 

 

acknowledgements

Image on About Us and News pages and on the Global Middle Ages portal site: photograph of an Islamic planispheric astrolabe, by Husain b. Ali, 1309/1310. Image © the Whipple Museum (Wh.1759)
See also: http://www.hps.cam.ac.uk/whipple/explorecollections/specialcollections/

Image on GMAP: Extract of a letter in Mongol script sent in 1305 c.e. by the Mongol ruler of the Ilkhanate in Iran, Öljeitü, to Philip IV of France, to renew the alliance between the house of Genghis Khan and the French court; document preserved at the Archives Nationales, Paris; reproduced with permission.

Image on Mappamundi: Sections of the Catalan Atlas, c. 1375, by Abraham Cresques, courtesy of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France.

Image on the SCGMA banner head: composite drawing, based on diagrams of planetary motion/sky maps by Islamic scientists, adapted from public domain images on Wikimedia.