History conference to send MU back to the Middle Ages

Friday, February 14, 2014 | 7:27 p.m. CST

COLUMBIA — MU hasn't hosted the Mid-America Medieval Association Conference since 2004, but this year it's back with a focus on the global context of the Medieval ages.

The conference will take place from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Feb. 22 at MU's Tate Hall. Attendees can expect to learn about topics like the global culture's influence on European science and art, the connection between global trade and medieval practices, and the preservation of medieval art.

Graduate students, undergraduates and all members of the community can enjoy the conference, said Lois Huneycutt, president of the Mid-America Medieval Association.

"I think anyone who has a slight interest in history, even if it's just watching the History Channel occasionally, can get something out of this conference," Huneycutt said.

Sahar Amer, professor of Arabic and Islamic studies at the University of Sydney, will give the plenary address titled "Reading Medieval French Literature from a Global Perspective." Throughout the day, others will speak on topics such as history, literature and religion. There will also be more discussion-based sessions on similar themes.

This year also marks the first year Columbia College and MU have come together to co-host the conference.

"Hopefully, it will be a long-lasting community-building activity between the scholars at both schools," Huneycutt said.

For these scholars, the conference is more than just an opportunity to teach others and share their work.

"It's a way for those of us in this field to talk about our research before it goes to publication," Huneycutt said.

Huneycutt, who is also a professor and the director of graduate studies for MU's History Department, said there are no problems with filling up classes dedicated to the subject.

"There's actually a great deal of interest in the Medieval ages. I think a lot of people just find the Middle Ages inherently fascinating," she said.

Supervising editor is Zachary Matson.

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Ellis Smith February 15, 2014 | 8:26 a.m.

How can one go back to something when they are already THERE?

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