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Methods and the Medievalist

Current Approaches in Medieval Studies

Editor(s): Jesse Keskiaho, Marko Lamberg
Contributors: Olga Timofeeva, Bo Franzén, Mervi Suhonen, Heikki Simola, Inka Moilanen, Isto Huvila, Nicole Crossley Holland,

Book Description

The field of medieval studies has shifted towards a growing degree of inter- and multidisciplinarity during the recent decades. The concept of medieval studies covers in fact a multitude of disciplines, some of them being loyal to their long-established traditions, whereas others are very new and borrow methods from other branches of the humanities or even from modern natural or social sciences. Since this means not only new possibilities but also new challenges, sources and methodology should obviously concern anyone engaged in the history and culture of the Middle Ages.

Regardless of what aspects of the medieval world a scholar is dealing with, his or her study has much to gain from a source-pluralistic approach: in order to be able to understand and even combine different types of sources, a scholar must be aware of what methods are relevant and available and how they can be adapted and applied. This collection of essays presents a comprehensive overview of current and fresh approaches to the history of medieval Europe. The topics include, among other things, the complex relationship between the spoken and the written word, explorations in social and geographic space, layers and mental images perceivable in medieval texts, source edition techniques, relics as visual and tangible items, not to mention the possibilities offered by prosopography, zooarchaelogy and the natural sciences. Also the question and significance of ethics, an ever more important issue in present-day academic circles, is discussed.

The contributors to this volume themselves form a very inter- and multidisciplinary team: although they can all be labeled as medievalists, they in fact they work within different disciplines and in several different research units in different countries. Geographically, several parts of Europe are covered in the essays – not only the westernmost part of the continent but also the poorly known eastern and northern parts as well. This diversity makes the collection worthwhile reading for students and scholars alike.


ISBN-13: 978-1-8471-8899-1
ISBN-10: 1-84718-899-0
Date of Publication: 01/10/2008
Pages / Size: 300 / A5
Price: £34.99


Marko Lamberg, PhD, docent (Department of History and Ethnology, University of Jyväskylä, Finland), has been focusing on Nordic social and cultural history, especially from the point of view of late medieval and early modern communities.

Jesse Keskiaho, MA, researcher (Department of History, University of Helsinki, Finland), is involved with themes concerning written culture and parchment fragments; he is also preparing a doctoral thesis on the early medieval reception of patristic ideas on dreams and visions.

Elina Räsänen, MA, researcher (Art History, University of Helsinki, Finland), is finishing her doctoral thesis on late medieval wood sculptures of St. Anne, with a focus on the themes of corporeality and sanctity.

Olga Timofeeva, MA, researcher (Research Unit for Variation, Contacts and Change in English, University of Helsinki, Finland), focuses on the influence of Latin on Old English syntax as well as medieval translation and language contacts.

Leila Virtanen holds a bachelor’s degree in English Literature from the University of Toronto and a master’s degree in Folklore Studies from the University of Helsinki. She works as a freelance translator and English-language editor

Contributors Include: Tuija Ainonen, Johanna Andersson Raeder, Nicole Crossley-Holland, Elisabeth Grönlund, Alaric Hall, Isto Huvila, Mari Isoaho, Katriina Kajannes, Sini Kangas, Sofia Lahti, Inka Moilanen, Janken Myrdal, Heikki Simola, Ylva Stenqvist Millde, Auli Tourunen, Kari Uotila, Mikko Vasko, Anna Maria Vilkuna.