A Thing of the Past: Material Evidence and the Writing of Medieval England’s Past

May 2013

This seminar will bring together both internationally recognized and promising young scholars from a variety of fields to strategize and plan a conference titled “A Thing of the Past: Material Evidence and the Writing of Medieval England’s Past,” which will result in a published volume.

Our workshop is self-consciously not about “material culture,” but rather “material evidence.” We will invite the usual thing-centered historians (art historians and literary scholars) as well as more scientific scholars (osteoarchaeologists, landscape historians, and material scientists working in museum collections) whose insights about the past are informed by evidence that is often unfamiliar to scholars in the humanities. The common threads uniting participants are an interest in material evidence as well as an interest in the past itself; the people we invite are committed not only to using material evidence, but to writing in compelling ways about the lived experience of the past. Thus, it is not just “the material” that unites participants, but their commitment to telling a wider story about the past.

Discipline: