Session Title

Service Learning, Civic Engagement, and the Medieval Studies Classroom

Sponsoring Organization(s)

Special Session

Organizer Name

Elizabeth Harper

Organizer Affiliation

Mercer Univ.

Presider Name

Elizabeth Harper

Paper Title 1

Learning in Lock-up: Teaching the Honors Medieval World Class in a Men's Prison

Presenter 1 Name

Karen Taylor

Presenter 1 Affiliation

Morehead State Univ.

Paper Title 2

Service Learning, Social Justice, and the Wife of Bath

Presenter 2 Name

Alexandra Verini

Presenter 2 Affiliation

Univ. of California-Los Angeles

Paper Title 3

Going Viking as Service-Learning

Presenter 3 Name

F. Tyler Sergent

Presenter 3 Affiliation

Berea College

Start Date

12-5-2017 10:00 AM

Session Location

Schneider 1330

Description

This session will explore ways to teach the Middle Ages using service learning, civically-engaged learning, internships, and other means of connecting social and ethical problems in the Middle Ages with problems of our own day. This is an important topic because service learning and civic engagement are increasingly prominent pedagogies at the college level, appealing as they do to Millennials’ sense of public service and desire to see practical outcomes to their learning. It is also important because of the widespread perception that “medieval” is a synonym for “outdated” or “irrelevant”—a perception that medievalists know is simply false, but which frequently works to marginalize our work.

Papers in this session will describe past experiences teaching the Middle Ages in ways that highlight their connection to modern ethical issues using service learning and other forms of practical inquiry. Such issues might include, but are not limited to, issues of poverty; religious or ethnic persecution including anti-Semitism and Islamophobia; inequality based on gender, sex, or sexual orientation; war and peace; community-building and conflict. The recent volume Why the Middle Ages Matter: Medieval Light on Modern Injustice highlights many such connections.

In keeping with the practical focus of this session, presenters will offer a complete syllabus, an assignment sequence, or other concrete elements that audience members can adapt for their own contexts. Materials may be uploaded to Dropbox to facilitate sharing.

Elizabeth Harper

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May 12th, 10:00 AM

Service Learning, Civic Engagement, and the Medieval Studies Classroom

Schneider 1330

This session will explore ways to teach the Middle Ages using service learning, civically-engaged learning, internships, and other means of connecting social and ethical problems in the Middle Ages with problems of our own day. This is an important topic because service learning and civic engagement are increasingly prominent pedagogies at the college level, appealing as they do to Millennials’ sense of public service and desire to see practical outcomes to their learning. It is also important because of the widespread perception that “medieval” is a synonym for “outdated” or “irrelevant”—a perception that medievalists know is simply false, but which frequently works to marginalize our work.

Papers in this session will describe past experiences teaching the Middle Ages in ways that highlight their connection to modern ethical issues using service learning and other forms of practical inquiry. Such issues might include, but are not limited to, issues of poverty; religious or ethnic persecution including anti-Semitism and Islamophobia; inequality based on gender, sex, or sexual orientation; war and peace; community-building and conflict. The recent volume Why the Middle Ages Matter: Medieval Light on Modern Injustice highlights many such connections.

In keeping with the practical focus of this session, presenters will offer a complete syllabus, an assignment sequence, or other concrete elements that audience members can adapt for their own contexts. Materials may be uploaded to Dropbox to facilitate sharing.

Elizabeth Harper