Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Stuck in the middle with you

There's an interesting post on the relevance of the study of the Middle Ages to modern life here. It is worth a read, but I'd love to see some arguments from those who think that the study of the Middle Ages is not worth the time of day. They must exist, because I read plenty of arguments in defence of our discipline, but to be honest I'm yet to come across that student of say, the Enlightenment, who comes right out to accuse us of wasting our time (In my experience students of almost any 'Arts' subject tend to be more than a little concerned with how relevant their particular topic is to anything). These arguments defend the discipline against mostly unstated perceptions which we assume exist in other disciplines. As such they are to be applauded - and I am a fan of the particular blog mentioned above; it is a fine champion of medieval studies. On the other hand, I'm lucky enough to work with lots of other students of fairly diverse disciplines who treat my area with about as much respect as they would any other discipline which is not their own. That will do for me.


Matthew Gabriele said...

Ask, and ye shall receive, Shane. This article (by a returning student, who's a medievalist) is kind of what set this discussion at Modern Medieval off. It doesn't take too kindly to Medieval Studies, or rather how Medieval Studies is practiced today.

Shane said...

Thanks Matthew - I understand why the discipline might need some defending having just read some of the pretty harsh comments in that article. I look forward to reading the next few articles in the coming days (I think the one I linked to was the first of a few?). It seems like a very healthy thing to step back sometimes and wonder why we're doing what we do.