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Monday, April 9, 2018 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

The UCF community is invited to join the UCF History Department for its annual Pauley Lecture Series on Global Affairs. This year's speaker is Dr. Thomas F. Madden is Professor of History and Director of the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies at Saint Louis University.

Dr. Madden will present, The New Crusaders: Distorting Medieval Europe’s Holy Wars in Support of Modern Agendas

In the wake of racist violence that took place during the Charlottesville protests of August 2017, medieval historians were surprised to discover white supremacists co-opting some of the symbols and imagery of the Crusades.  This has since led to a crisis within Medieval Studies, as practitioners scramble to disassociate their scholarship with modern fantasies of a racially pure European past.  While the injection of race into the issue has startled and energized many medievalists in the past year, the truth is that mischaracterizations of the Crusades to justify violence have been around for centuries.  This lecture will explore some of the modern distortions of the medieval Crusades found in Enlightenment, Romantic, colonialist, Islamist, and Euro-nationalist narratives.  The misappropriation of the Crusades to further modern agendas remains a powerful tool today. 


Thomas F. Madden is Professor of History and Director of the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies at Saint Louis University.  As an author and historical consultant, he has appeared in such venues as The New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, and The History Channel.  His books include Istanbul: City of Majesty and the Crossroads of the World (Viking, 2016); Venice: A New History (Viking, 2012); The Concise History of the Crusades (Rowman and Littlefield, 1999, 2007, 2013); Enrico Dandolo and the Rise of Venice (Johns Hopkins, 2003); and Crusades: The Illustrated History (University of Michigan, 2004).

Awards for his scholarship include the Medieval Academy of America’s Haskins Medal and the Medieval Institute’s Otto Grundler Prize.  He is a Fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the Medieval Academy of America, and the American Council of Learned Societies.


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