Wednesday, May 22, 2013

What We Do

The GW Medieval and Early Modern Studies Institute was founded in 2008 and has quickly grown to include nineteen faculty in seven departments. Our mission is to bring fresh critical perspectives to the study of the literature and culture of early Europe within a global perspective, connecting the past to the present. Appropriate to our location in DC, we emphasize the international character of the period: the connections that entangled Britain and France with the North Sea, Ireland, the Mediterranean and the New World. We have an abiding respect for well known authors such as Shakespeare, but we research and teach them alongside the texts that they read and within the wider worlds they traveled: narratives of China, India, Jerusalem, the Americas; adventures on the seas and along pilgrimage routes; stories of magic, possibility, loss, trauma and transformation. We never conduct this work in isolation. We are committed to ensuring that our work is available to all, from undergraduates in introductory courses to the graduate students who will someday write field-changing books and teach the next generation of students. Every lecture, symposium, and other event we sponsor is free and open to all who wish to attend. Many are co-sponsored with other humanities units. We support the research of our award-winning faculty, who have been extraordinarily successful in obtaining the grants and fellowships that boost our international ranking. We believe strongly that a keen and critical engagement with history can help to bring about a more just future.

Thank you for a wonderful five years. We look forward to sharing the next five with you!

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