FAQ

What is The Public Medievalist? 

The Public Medievalist is a volunteer, scholar-run online magazine devoted to the idea that the Middle Ages matter to people today. Our goal is simple: to present compelling, exciting, meaningful medieval histories that showcase the best of contemporary scholarship in a way that is accessible and enjoyable to the public for free.

What on earth is a “public medievalist?”

A medievalist is a person who studies the Middle Ages whether professionally or not. A public medievalist is a combination of this with the idea of public history– which is the field of study that is about bringing history into the public sphere.

Where should I start?

I know, right? We were founded in July of 2014 and have published a lot of articles since then! If you’re excited by really interesting, cutting-edge research, maybe start out on our special series on Race, Racism, and the Middle Ages or Gender, Sexism and the Middle Ages. If you’re a Game of Thrones fan, we’ve got you covered right here.  Into medieval weaponry? I’m about to blow your mind. Wondering about that conspiracy theory your weird uncle just forwarded to you? Yeah, we’ve got something on that.

So dive in; click around. There’s something here for everybody.

Is The Public Medievalist a blog?

We don’t think of ourselves as a blog, but we also know there is no clear definition of what a blog is. We are a publication that is somewhere between journalism and academia. Everything published on The Public Medievalist is well-researched and goes through an intensive editorial and peer-review process. The word “blog” often implies that what is written there isn’t serious, or is just one person’s opinion. The Public Medievalist isn’t that.

Is The Public Medievalist peer-reviewed?

Yes. Everyone on the editorial staff of The Public Medievalist has a PhD in medieval studies and is an expert in their field. Every article published on the site has been approved by at least two of the editors, and has had its content thoroughly reviewed. You can trust us.

Is The Public Medievalist partisan?

No. This is actually very important to us. We think that history is fundamental to the human experience, and rises above partisan politics.

That having been said, we here at The Public Medievalist have values that are important to us. We believe in the equality and dignity of all people, no matter how medieval. In practice, this means that we are against any ideological stance that privileges one group over another, or promotes division based upon who you are. This means that we actively reject things like sexism, ageism, racism, religious hatred, anti-LGBTQ+ hatred, ableism, and all the other ways in which people are marginalized and oppressed.

That does mean that we will call out those in power who actively promote those hatreds. This is especially true when they are using a (mis)interpretation of the past to do so, or are doing so out of ignorance of the past. But we will never tell you how to vote (as if you would listen to a bunch of historians about that anyway), and we strive to be read by good people from a range of political persuasions.

Just not fascists.

How can I support The Public Medievalist?

Thanks for asking! At the moment, we’re working on pulling together the paperwork that will allow us to accept donations. For the time being, a good way to support us is to subscribe here so that you get each new article in your inbox the day it comes out, and share our work on social media—especially in places like Facebook and Reddit. Most of the traffic that we get comes either from people searching out questions on google, or through Facebook.

And if, on the off chance, you’re looking to make a serious donation to a startup educational nonprofit, reach out to our Editor-in-Chief Paul by email here.

Can I write for The Public Medievalist?

Yes! We’re always looking for contributors. You don’t have to be an academic to write for us—so long as the content, research, and approach is solid, we’d love to have you. Have a look at our author guidelines here.

Do you pay authors?

Not yet. We’re working on it. In order to do so we need to get appropriately set up as a nonprofit entity, and then solicit enough donations from the public that we can begin paying writers. We’re hoping this may become a reality in 2019 or 2020.

Are you sure that there were no flails in the Middle Ages?

Yeah, we’re sure.

I have another question!

Great! Shoot Paul an email here, and he’ll get back to you as soon as he can.