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 will be published biannually in both print and digital formats. Thematic issues will alternate with volumes of selected 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

Recent Issues

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

TMG 2.2 | Summer 2016
Special Issue: Legal Worlds and Legal Encounters edited by Elizabeth Lambourn
Editor’s Introduction – Elizabeth Lambourn
The Future of Aztec Law – Jerome A. Offner
Land and Tenure in Early Colonial Peru: Individualizing the Sapci, “That Which is Common to All” – Susan Elizabeth Ramírez
Featured Source: The Edict of King Gälawdéwos against the Illegal Slave Trade in Christians:  Ethiopia, 1548 – Habtamu Mengistie Tegegne
Mutilation and the Law in Early Medieval Europe and India: A Comparative Study – Patricia Skinner
Common Threads: A Reappraisal of Medieval European Sumptuary Law – Laurel Ann Wilson
Toward a History of Documents in Medieval India: The Encounter of Scholasticism and Regional Law in the Smṛticandrikā – Donald R. Davis, Jr.
Chinese Porcelain and the Material Taxonomies of Medieval Rabbinic Law: Encounters with Disruptive Substances in Twelfth-Century Yemen – Elizabeth Lambourn and Phillip Ackerman-Lieberman
View TMG 2.2 Online

Upcoming Issues

TMG 3.1 | Summer 2017
Gripping It by the Husk: The Medieval English Coconut – Kathleen E. Kennedy
Featured Source The India Trade and the Emergence of the Engagement Contract: A Cairo Geniza Study – Amir Ashur
Re-Examining Usama ibn Munqidh’s Knowledge of “Frankish”:
A Case-Study of Medieval Bilingualism during the Crusades – Bogdan Smarandache
Medieval Media Revolutions: Two Perspectives
Editor’s Preface – Carol Symes
Old Media Put to New Uses: Legal Form Books in Carolingian Europe – Warren C. Brown
Notebooks (Biji) and the Shifting Boundaries of Knowledge in Eleventh-Century China –
Christian de Pee
Medieval Media Revolutions: An Exchange – Warren C. Brown and Christian de Pee

TMG 3.2 | Winter 2017
Special Issue: A World within Worlds? Reassessing the “Global Turn” in Medieval Art edited by Christina Normore
Editor’s Introduction – Christina Normore
A Camel’s Pace: A Cautionary Global – Bonnie Cheng
The Fatimid Holy City: Rebuilding Jerusalem in the Eleventh Century – Jennifer Pruitt
Worldliness in Byzantium and Beyond:
Reassessing the Visual Networks of Barlaam and Ioasaph – Cecily J. Hilsdale
Exchange of Sacrifices: West Africa in the Medieval World of Goods – Sarah Guérin
The Beryozovo Cup: A Byzantine Object at the Crossroads of the Twelfth-Century Medieval WorldAlicia Walker
Spiritualized Warfare and Christian-Muslim Encounters in a Medieval Dagger – Heather Badamo
Global Medieval at the “End of the Silk Road,” circa 756 CE: The Shōsō-in Collection in Japan –
Jun Hu
Response Medievalists and Early Modernists: A World Divided?Lia Markey and Jessica Keating

Thematic Issues in Development

TMG 4.2 * Winter 2018
Seals: Imprinting Matter, Exchanging Impressions

edited by Brigitte Bedos-Rezak
This thematic issue will focus on seals and sealing practices: on the operations seals enabled; on the networks which seals fostered and in which they operated significantly; and on the information seals transmitted, coordinated, or challenged.  The production of seal impressions requires contact between a human hand, an engraved seal-matrix or die, and a malleable material to retain the image, text, and marks left by the imprinting process. Whereas the seal-matrix is an unicum, seal impressions issued from a single matrix were multiple, replicas inhabiting time and space in a serial and diachronic manner, thereby branding the fabric of human experience with expectations of long-term protection, recognition, and verification beyond the level possible on the basis of face-to-face encounters. A central goal of this issue, therefore, is to explore the ways that seals extended the spatio-temporal range of human action and communication within, across, and beyond the medieval globe.

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

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
Associate Professor of History & Founding Executive Director of the Spain-North Africa Project,
National Taiwan University
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

Carla Nappi
Associate Professor of History, University of British Columbia
history of science and knowledge creation/transmission, Central and East 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, University of Helsinki & Tallinn University
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.