The interdisciplinary Premodernist Group Workshop, housed in the History Department, has been active since the fall of 2011. It brings together faculty and graduate students from various departments and programs across our campus whose research interests focus or touch on premodern contexts. We have organized monthly sessions to read scholarly publications, workshop papers, and discuss theoretical and methodological issues that we find important. The workshop has attracted diverse participants from History, Classics, Political Science, East Asian Languages and Literature, Near Eastern Languages and Cultures, Comparative Studies, Center for Religious Studies, Art History, to name a few.

The Premodernist Group holds an Graduate Conference every year. Graduate students working on premodern periods often encounter distinctive challenges in terms of source availability, analytical categories and frameworks, and “translating” premodern and non-western experiences into suitable modern, western terms. They also tend to be outnumbered by their modernist peers, so have relatively few opportunities to discuss these common challenges with others. We invite students in History and other departments to present their research and discuss concepts, theories, methodologies, and frameworks that premodernist scholars have explored, problematized, or complicated. Graduate students will not only get useful feedback from faculty of various departments but also engage in cross-disciplinary conversations amongst themselves.

We are always looking for new ways to expand our activities to foster meaningful collaborations among faculty and students to enrich our research and teaching experiences at OSU. Please contact us if you have questions or proposals. This group is co-cordinated by Greg Anderson (anderson.1381@osu.edu) and Ying Zhang (zhang.1889@osu.edu).