The Medieval History Club is a platform for debate and discussion on different aspects of the medieval world by principally under-graduate and post-graduate students. It will also involve their regular informal interaction with research students and practitioners of medieval history. The objective of such a dynamic and participatory forum is to stimulate interest about medieval studies in students who otherwise are induced to focus their attention on the history of more recent times.
Babur [right] and Humayun with Courtiers (Detail), Late Shahjahan Period, ca. 1650.
Sunday, November 28, 2010
O medieval, diverse thou art!
The elusive Second Session of our Club is only 6 days away. I am presuming that by now, most of you have finished off your assigned readings. I personally have had the opportunity to read a few of these and was quite astonished about how diverse the catagorisation of themedievalhas been in different cultures. The politics behind naming a periodmedieval, the attributes used to define it, the temporality assigned to it -- all changes as one shifts one's focus from one socio-cultural milieu to another. Moreover, the notion of themedievalis used in various ways to justify/condemn one's actions in the present ormoderntimes. We are all familiar with howmedievalIndian history has emerged as a battleground in the post-colonial Indian nation in the hands of warring political parties. Our readings would suggest that similar tendencies arenoticeablein lands as diverse asIran,Japan andIreland, among others. With the Second Session round the corner, I think it would not be inappropriate to share such curious, if not intriguing, findings on this forum. Feel free to make separate posts for the different readings. We might consider it a dress rehearsal!