The Medieval Globe

Our Mission

The Medieval Globe (TMG) is a peer-reviewed journal launched in November 2014 with a special issue on the Black Death as a global pandemic. It explores the modes of communication, materials of exchange, and myriad interconnections among regions, communities, and individuals in an era central to human history. TMG promotes scholarship in three related areas of study:

  • the direct and indirect means by which peoples, goods, and ideas came into contact
  • the deep roots of global developments
  • the ways in which perceptions of the medieval past have been (and are) constructed around the world.

The Medieval Globe is published biannually, in both print and digital formats. Thematic issues usually alternate with miscellanies of select articles submitted for consideration on a rolling basis.  Future thematic issues might address such topics as: pilgrimage, diasporas, race and racializing technologies, maritime cultures and ports-of-call, piracy and crime, knowledge networks, markets and consumerism, entertainment, spoils and spolia, global localities, comparative cosmographies, sites of translation and acculturation, slavery and social mobility.

For a more comprehensive introduction to TMG’s mission, please read the executive editor’s introduction.


TMG‘s Editorial Board is currently seeking submissions.
It encourages innovative and collaborative work in a variety of academic genres:

Full-length articles
Scholarly dialogues
Multi-authored discussions
Review essays
Editions or translations of source materials

Submission Guidelines

Published Issues of the Journal

Published Books of the Thematic Volumes

Recent Issues

TMG 4.2 | Fall 2018
Pater Don’t Preach: Byzantine Theology, Female Sexuality, and Histories of Global Encounter in the “English” Paenitentiale TheodoriErik Wade
Fit for a Prince: An Eighth-Century Umayyad Map Fresco – Karen Pinto
Thinking Globally: Mandeville, Memory, and Mappaemundi – John Wyatt Greenlee and Anna Fore Waymack
Anachronous Antipodes: The Island of California, the Medieval Mediterranean, and the Modern Pacific – Scott Riley

TMG 4.1 | Spring 2018
Special Issue: Seals: Making and Marking Connections across the Medieval World edited by Brigitte Miriam Bedos-Rezak
By placing medieval sealing practices in a global and comparative perspective, the essays gathered in this issue challenge the traditional understanding of seals as tools of closure and validation in use since the dawn of civilization. Far from being a universal technique, sealing is revealed as a flexible idiom, selectively deployed to mediate entangled identities: the introduction of Buddhism in early medieval China; the Islamization of Sasanian and Byzantine cultures; the balancing of Christian orthodoxy against classical and Muslim science; the development of civic consciousness in Byzantium; the efforts of tradesmen to brand merchandise for export; and the advancement of diplomacy from northern Europe to Indonesia. This examination of documentary seals, archaeologically recovered seal dies, and commercial and conceptual seals from cultures across the medieval world shows how skillful manipulation of their iconography, inscriptions, technology, and metaphorical meanings disseminated information, negotiated influences, asserted hegemony, and forged connections.

TMG 2.1 | Winter 2016
This issue features articles inspired by the conference on The Medieval Globe: Communication, Connectivity, Exchange held at the University of Illinois in April 2012.
Editor’s Preface – Carol Symes
Periodization and “The Medieval Globe”: A Conversation – Kathleen Davis and Michael Puett
Identity in Flux: Finding Boris Kolomanovich in the Interstices of Medieval European History  – Christian Raffensperger
The Geographic and Social Mobility of Slaves: The Rise of Shajar al-Durr,
a Slave-Concubine in Thirteenth-Century Egypt – Fairchild Ruggles
Towards a Connected History of Equine Cultures in South Asia:
Bahrī (Sea) Horses and “Horsemania” in Thirteenth-Century South India – Elizabeth Lambourn
The Painter, the Warrior, and the Sultan: The World of Marco Polo in Three Portraits – Sharon Kinoshita
Japan on the Medieval Globe: The Wakan rōeishū and Imagined Landscapes in Early Medieval Texts – Elizabeth Oyler
Tilting Toward the Light: Translating the Medieval World on the Ming Mongolian Frontier – Carla Nappi
View TMG 2.1 Online

Upcoming Issues

TMG 5.2 | Winter 2019
Special Issue: Sicily, al-Andalus and the Maghreb: Writing in Times of Turmoil edited by Nicola Carpentieri and Carol Symes
This special issue focuses on literary exchanges among the peoples of Sicily, the Iberian Peninsula, and North Africa during a “long” Middle Ages. Besides their cultural affinities and remarkably similar histories, Muslim Sicily and al-Andalus shared a position as “frontier-states” and the westernmost strongholds of Islam vis-à-vis Christendom. Sicily and Iberia also had close but complex relations with their North African neighbors. These close relations were not only the result of geographical proximity, but also of a shared population of Arabs and Berbers who, after the Muslim conquests, settled in these lands. But in spite of these shared characteristics, the political interests of Iberia and Sicily came to diverge greatly from those of North Africa, as the two lands undertook their hyperbolic rise to autonomy. Finally, in their political twilight, both al-Andalus and Muslim Sicily had to negotiate new alliances with the North African kingdoms in order to guarantee their survival.

TMG 5.1 | Summer 2019
Permeable Membranes: Classical Astronomy, Pan-Mediterranean Iconography, and Their Carolingian Appropriation in the Leiden Aratea  – Eric Ramírez-Weaver
Gallus Anonymous Monk of Lido (fl. ca. 1102 – 1117): Writer for Hire in Twelfth-Century Europe – Jakub Kabala
From the Bosphorus to the Atlantic: Genoese Responses to the Ottoman Conquest – Padraic Rohan

Editorial Board

Excecutive Editor: Carol Symes

Carol Symes is the Lynn M. Martin Professorial Scholar at the University of Illinois, where she is associate professor of History, Global Studies, Medieval Studies, and Theatre.  Educated at Yale and Oxford, she received professional theatre training at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and pursued an acting career while earning the Ph.D in history at Harvard. The founding executive editor of TMG, she has served on the editorial boards of the American Historical Review, Speculum, and French Historical Studies. She has published widely on medieval manuscript cultures; the relationships among writing, orality, and performance as media of communication; the textual history of pre-modern theatre; and the modern construction and uses of the medieval past. Her first book, A Common Stage: Theater and Public Life in Medieval Arras (Cornell, 2007) was honored with four prestigious awards, including the Herbert Baxter Adams Prize of the American Historical Association and the John Nicholas Brown Prize of the Medieval Academy of America.  Her current book project is provisionally entitled “Mediated Texts: The Work of Documentation in Medieval Europe.” In 2013-14, it was supported by a Burkhardt Fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies and a residency at the National Humanities Center. For more information on her research and publications, please click here.

James Barrett
Reader in Medieval Archaeology & Deputy Director of the McDonald Institute, University of Cambridge
Viking diaspora and the North Sea world

Kathleen Davis
Professor of English, University of Rhode Island
history and politics of  periodization, medievalism, and postcolonial studies

Felipe Fernández-Armesto
William P. Reynolds Professor of History, University of Notre Dame
the Atlantic world, global environmental history, the early Americas

Monica Green
Professor of History, Arizona State University
global history of health, history of medicine and science, women’s history and gender studies

Robert Hymes
Carpentier Professor of Chinese History, Columbia University
middle-period China, social and kinship networks, intellectual and cultural history, medicine and religion

Elizabeth Lambourn
Reader in South Asian and Indian Ocean Studies & Leverhulme Major Research Fellow, DeMontfort University
history and material culture of the South Asian and Indian Ocean world

Yuen-Gen Liang
Academia Sinica, Taiwan & Founding Executive Director of the Spain-North Africa Project
Spain and the Mediterranean world

Victor Lieberman
Marvin B. Becker Collegiate Professor of Southeast Asian History, University of Michigan
premodern and early modern global Southeast Asia

Elizabeth Oyler
Associate Professor of East Asian Languages and Cultures, University of Pittsburgh
medieval Japanese theatre and the performing arts in a global context

Christian Raffensperger
Associate Professor of History, Wittenberg University
medieval Rus’ and its neighbors, transnational kinship networks

Rein Raud
Professor of Japanese and World Cultures, Tallinn University & Freie Universität Berlin
medieval Japanese literature in a global perspective

D. Fairchild Ruggles
Professor of Landscape Architecture and Art History, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
the Islamic Mediterranean and South Asia

Julia Verkholantsev
Associate Professor of Russian and East European Studies, University of Pennsylvania
cultural and intellectual history of Central and Eastern Europe

Alicia Walker
Assistant Professor of Medieval Art and Architecture, Bryn Mawr College
cross-cultural artistic interaction, art and the material culture of Byzantium

Our Emblem

The mark of The Medieval Globe was designed by Matthew Peterson, Assistant Professor of Graphic Design at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Each graphic element is derived from a different contemporary vision of the medieval world.