Masha Johnson

Q&A with Thomas Ward on Coloniality and the Rise of Liberation Thinking during the Sixteenth Century

1. What is the main argument presented in your book? Readers may be familiar the Liberation Theology that came out of places like Peru, Mexico, Chile and Argentina during the 1960s and beyond, and out of El Salvador after the terrible civil war there during the 1980s. If the remnants of Colonialism, what I like to call coloniality after Aníbal Quijano, had not survived until our time, it would never have been necessary for concerned theologians to develop Liberation Theology. Yet it is sometimes difficult for modern readers to perceive that various colonial factors have survived through the centuries taking...

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On their own terms

This post is intended to give some intellectual and experiential background to this book, Animism, Materiality, and Museums: How Do Byzantine Things Feel?, which was published earlier this month (it is available in open access). It represents a still provisional statement of my own thinking about the vitality of matter in the Byzantine world, how we might understand historical objects outside Cartesian categories, and how we might allow such historical objects to speak, if not with their natural voices, then in voices that are true and authentic to some of their meanings and work. My own experience of taking, or...

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Q&A with Denise Y. Arnold on Situating the Andean Colonial Experience

Denise Y. Arnold is an Anglo-Bolivian anthropologist who divides her time researching, teaching and writing between La Paz and London. She first arrived in Bolivia in 1984 as a young anthropologist about to do fieldwork, and has lived there until recently. Below she answers questions about her new book Situating the Andean Colonial Experience: Ayllu Tales of History and Hagiography in the Time of the Spanish. Q: Can you sum up the theme of your new book, and describe how you came to write it? Denise Y. Arnold: The book started as a research project. I had piles of field notebooks...

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Book Nomination Announcement 

Two of our titles have been short-listed for a Laura Shannon Prize, which the Nanovic Institute for European Studies administers at Notre Dame. Medieval Women, Material Culture, and Power: Matilda Plantagenet and her Sisters  by Jitske Jasperse Craft Beer Culture and Modern Medievalism: Brewing Dissent  by Noëlle Phillips

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Q&A with Catherine Clarke on the St. Thomas Way

What is it the St. Thomas Way? The St. Thomas Way (www.thomasway.ac.uk) is a new heritage route from Swansea to Hereford, inspired by a real medieval pilgrimage. In 1290, a Welsh outlaw, William Cragh, was hanged in Swansea by the Anglo-Norman Marcher Lord of Gower, William de Briouze. But, after his execution, Cragh came back to life, in what was understood as a miracle of Thomas de Cantilupe, the former Bishop of Hereford (died 1282). Many medievalists will know this story from Robert Bartlett’s brilliant book The Hanged Man: A Study of Miracle, Memory, and Colonialism in the Middle Ages...

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Yulia Mikhailova’s Favorite Online Research Resources!

I teach history at New Mexico Tech, located in Socorro, NM. This is a great science and engineering school, and I enjoy teaching intelligent and hard-working students there. Overall, I am happy here, but one problem is that, in terms of my field, medieval history, Socorro is in the middle of nowhere. It is difficult to reach to a good library, let alone an archive. Fortunately, there is an increasing number of resources available online. Of course, they can never completely substitute “real” – that is, paper or parchment – sources, but they do help. Here are some free resources...

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Q&A on Medieval Women, Material Culture, and Power: Matilda Plantagenet and Her Sisters

Which part of your research on the daughters of King Henry II of England and Eleanor of Aquitaine was particularly exciting? Answer: It is always amazing to actually hold the material items we study because it helps to make tangible what happened in a distant past. One memorable occasion was when I lived in Spain and visited the cathedral archive in Toledo to study the seal of Queen Leonor of Castile. It is attached to a charter issued in 1179, in which she confirms and extends the endowment of the altar of St. Thomas Becket in Toledo Cathedral. It was...

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A Global View of the Early Middle Ages

Have you ever wondered how globally connected the pre-modern world was? Have you ever asked yourself what happened in the medieval period outside of Europe and the Mediterranean? Do early medieval Oceania, Korea, Tibet or other far-flung regions seem like fascinating topics that you would like to know more about? Are you in search of a book on medieval history that does not merely claim to be global, but actually covers the whole globe? If your answer is yes to any of these questions, then A Companion to the Global Early Middle Ages will definitely be of interest to you....

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Christine D. Baker on Medieval Islamic Sectarianism

In the tenth century Middle East, a remarkable thing happened: two Shi’i states took over the greater part of the Muslim world. First, the Fatimids, who began as an underground Shi’i revolutionary movement and declared an independent caliphate in North Africa in 909; they would eventually establish the city of Cairo as their capital and rule until the late 12th century. Second, the Buyids, Shi’i Persian mercenaries from the mountainous hinterlands just south of the Caspian Sea, conquered Baghdad in 945 and took control over the Sunni ‘Abbasid caliph and his territories. They would retain power for a century and...

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