MAA News – Call for Proposals – Speculations: The Centennial Issue of Speculum

The Centennial Issue of Speculum
January 2026

The centenary of a scholarly journal offers the opportunity to recognize, reflect on, and reimagine scholarly methods and objects, including canonicity and the discursive possibilities of scholarship; the boundaries, borders and spaces that define our disciplines; the genres and taxonomies that shape our work.

To mark the 100th anniversary of Speculum, we aim to commemorate the journal by raising questions about the methods and parameters of our study in a prospective rather than retrospective manner. What might the future of medieval studies look like? What might the place of this journal in that future be? The volume focuses on the future of the journal and the field it helps to define by inviting a wide breadth of scholarship that can collectively speculate about how we can take medieval studies into the future. But of course those living in the medieval world broadly considered speculated on their future as well. How was the future conceived in the past and what might those past reflections about the future, and about the condition of futurity generally, have to teach us as we consider recent shifts in our field and a shifting institutional context.

The format of the centennial volume will model the kind of contributions we seek: instead of 4-5 long form articles, we plan to publish 50 short essays (of approximately 3000 words each) in an attempt to represent a broader range of voices, perspectives, methodologies, and areas of study. We welcome traditional essays as well as innovative forms of research and reflection (pedagogical speculations, creative or dialogic writing, speculative history, etc.).

We invite contributions that speculate on the past and future of scholarly work in medieval studies. We particularly welcome essays that address gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, and that use comparative and interdisciplinary methods and that address at least one of the following questions:

  • What kinds of methods and theoretical models shape our work and will orient us in the future?
  • How might we call on more inclusive and expansive understandings of the Middle Ages in light of the global turn and critical reappraisals of periodization.
  • What histories do we examine, what histories do we obscure, and what criteria will most productively guide our examination of histories in the future?
  • How have scholarly understandings of medieval historicity and temporality shaped the parameters of our inquiry, and how might we critically engage these accounts?

Proposals of 300 words should be sent to by December 1, 2023.

Speculations editorial collective
Mohamad Ballan
Peggy McCracken
Cecily Hilsdale
Katherine Jansen
Sierra Lomuto
Cord J. Whitaker

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