Universities/University of Sheffield
Early Medieval Clerical Exemption in a Digital Age
- HST6079: Early Medieval Clerical Exemption in a Digital Age
- Organised by Dr Charles West
This course provides a long-term perspective on a single contentious issue: whether and how early medieval clerics could be put on trial in secular courts. The question of ‘criminous clerks’ is most famously associated with the cause célèbre of Thomas Becket in the twelfth century, but this was merely the latest in a long line of similarly explosive confrontations that reached back to the establishment of the church in the Roman Empire.
The course also however situates this topic in a new context, that of global public humanities. Both public and scholarly perceptions of the past are increasingly mediated through free online resources, such as Wikipedia, rather than traditional published sources, with significant consequences for the production and consumption of historical knowledge. Historians have often ignored this development; but this course chooses instead to squarely engage with it, requiring its participants to use the knowledge they acquire to improve Wikipedia, whether by adding new pages on relevant topics or editing those that already exist, as well as to reflect on the implications of this new form of dissemination.
The two-hour seminar format allows each seminar to discuss an aspect of digital humanities, focusing on Wikipedia, alongside a substantive discussion of early medieval sources and historiography. In doing so, it juxtaposes shifts in the early medieval knowledge about clergy – what their role should be, how they should be treated, and how that information was transmitted – with shifts in the creation and dissemination of contemporary historical knowledge.
About the event
This workshop is intended to provide attendees with an overview of how Wikipedia works in practice and the etiquette of contributing to the online encyclopedia. No knowledge or previous experience of Wikipedia is necessary to participate. New editors are welcome and they will be trained in basic Wikipedia editing skills to help them make their first contributions.
- 14:00 - Start
- Introduction to Wikipedia
- Setting up your account
- How to edit Wikipedia
- What makes a good article
- Getting started as an editor
- How to get help when needed
- 16:00 - Finish
Participants - Add your name below
- Simon Cobb (Sic19 ; talk page)
- Becket controversy
- Benefit of clergy
- Codex Theodosianus
- Compromise of Avranches
- Constitutions of Clarendon
- De Iniusta Vexacione Willelmi Episcopi Primi
- Exemption (church)
- Gregorian Reform
- Henry II of England
- Investiture Controversy
- Libertas ecclesiae
- Pope Leo I
- Pope Martin I
- Privilegium fori
- Prætextatus (bishop of Rouen)
- Reliability of Wikipedia
- Thomas Becket
How do I prepare?
- Sign up for the event
- Create a Wikipedia account (if you haven't already got one) - signup
- Bring a laptop (wi-fi will be provided)
- If you want to learn about editing beforehand, please consult the introductory material below.
- Beginner's Guide to Editing Wikipedia
- Five pillars, the fundamental principles of Wikipedia
- Writing an article (using the Wikipedia Article Wizard, if you wish)
- Manual of Style
- Citation templates
- Infobox templates
- Bookshelf, additional "getting started" resources
- Wikimedia as a public engagement tool for the arts and humanities