Hans-Werner Goetz  (Chair of the panel)

Disputes of Interpretation in Recent Debates on Medieval History


Different from the 19th century when controversies on medieval history concerned historical studies as a whole, the great controversial issues nowadays seldom emanate from medieval studies. The last great challenge with a firm focus on medieval history concerns the French ‘Annales’. Later controversies neither found due attention in public nor within research on the Middle Ages. They are mostly incorporated into general debates in historical studies: from the applicability of sociological theories to history since the 1960s to new research areas such as women’s or (later on) gender history, respectively feministic historical studies, the history of everyday life or, more recently, ‘cultural studies’ with their variant ‘turns’. Specific features, topics or argumentations that are characteristic of debates in medieval history, within this general frame, have rarely been a matter of concern so far. Alongside these general debates there are quite a lot of (admittedly smaller) ‘intra-medieval’ controversies which have not been thoroughly analysed either but promise insight into the ‘culture of discussion’ in historical studies on the Middle Ages. This section aims at analysing both, a participation of medieval research in general debates and controversies that are specific to studies on the Middle Ages, by more or less recent exemplary case studies with regard to their contents, manifestations and arguments, backgrounds and reasons, scope and repercussions in order to reach a deeper comprehension of recent and present-day medieval studies: why do those controversies arise and what is their relevance, within medieval studies and beyond?

Hans-Werner Goetz  (Hamburg)
Historische Einführung
Steffen Patzold (Tübingen)
Der Streit um die „mutation de l’an mil“
Amalie Fößel (Essen)
Mediävistische Geschlechtergeschichte – immer noch ein Reizthema?
Walter Pohl (Wien)
Frühmittelalterliche Migrationen und Identitäten im Spiegel naturwissenschaftlicher DNA-Analysen
Thomas Ertl (Berlin)
Streit ums Globale. Die Grenzen der mittelalterlichen Geschichte