The UCSB medieval studies program is involved in various activities during the year, including the annual graduate student conference (held in the spring), as well as colloquia on various topics of interest within the discipline. To receive updates and information about future events, please contact Edward D. English at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Medieval Studies Events 2014-2015
The Medieval Studies Program with the University of California Mediterranean Seminar Group sponsored a two day meeting on “Land and Sea in the Mediterranean World.” 7-8 November 2014:
UCSB, Medieval Studies Conference, 7 November 2014
UC MRP (The Mediterranean Seminar) Saturday, 8 November –
The Medieval Studies Program sponsored a lecture on Thursday, 22 January 2015, by Peggy McCracken, the Domna C. Stanton Collegiate Professor of French, Women's Studies, and Comparative Literature at the University of Michigan.
The Medieval Studies Program sponsored a lecture on Monday, 2 March 2015 at 4:00 in HSSB 3041.
The Medieval Studies Program and the Department of English sponsored a lecture by Carol Sibson (Queen Mary University of London):
“Christ, the Lover-Knight, His Lady and the Devil: Allegory and Social Speculation in Bozon’s `Tretys de la Passion.’”
The Medieval Studies Program at UC Santa Barbara Presented The Graduate Student Conference: “Changes in Fashion in the Middle Ages” on Saturday, 25 April 2015.
Welcome by Edward English, Director of the Medieval
Panel 1: “L’habit ne fait pas le moine”: Clothing’s Determination of the Body. Moderator: Jonathan Forbes, English
Jennifer De Vries, Department of History, Georgetown University, “Dressing the Part: Regulations on Clothing in
Schuyler Eastin, Department of English, UC Riverside “Armé et desarmé asanblent”: Chainmail and Chivalric Assemblage in Chrétien de Troyes’ Le Chevalier de la Charrette.”
Panel 2: Material Fashionings: Building Public and Private Spaces. Moderator: Paul Megna, English.
Joe Figliulo-Rosswurm, Department of History, UC Santa Barbara “Out of Vogue: Florentine Society, through the Lens of Historical Materialism.”
Susan B. Schmidt, Department of History, UC Santa Barbara “A Walk through the Talk of Medieval Public Space: Examining the Language Used for Public Space in Trecento Bologna.”
Introductory Remarks by Carol Lansing:
Panel 3: “Of Monsters and Men”: Distorting the Human Moderator: Lauren Horn Griffin, Religious Studies.
Deepti Menon, Department of Comparative Literature, UC Santa Barbara. “King of the Jungle: An Examination of the Lion in Marie de France's Fables.”
Thomas Franke, Department of History, UC Santa Barbara “Refashioning the Apocalypse: Abraham Cresques’s Subversive Eschatology in the Catalan Atlas (1375).”
The Medieval Studies Program was a cosponsor with the Department of English of a conference entitled: “Neighbors and Networks in Medieval Literature” on 22 May 2015.
Panel 1: Networks
Hannah R. Johnson, University of Pittsburgh: “Method Makes Meaning: Chaucer and the Tradition of Source Studies.”
Panel 2: Neighbors
Rachel Levinson-Emley, UCSB: “Neighbor-, God-, and Self-Love in The Sultan of Babylon.”
Emily Houlik-Ritchey, UCSB & Rice University: “Being Neighborly in Gower’s `The Tale of the Jew and the Pagan’.”
ResponseL. O. Aranye Fradenburg, UCSB
Medieval Studies Events 2013-2014
SATURDAY JANUARY 18, 2014
SATURDAY, 31 May 2014, UCSB MEDIEVAL STUDIES GRADUATE STUDENT CONFERENCE.
Sponsored by the Department of Comparative Literature, Department of French and Italian, Department of History, Department of Religious Studies, Department of Spanish and Portuguese, Graduate Division, the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center, and the Medieval Studies Program.
“Manliness and Religious Identity in Medieval Muslim and Christian Iberia: From Gender Difference to Cross-Cultural Gender Constructions”
The scholarship on gender and religious or ethnic difference in the Middle Ages has been based largely upon readings of western Christian sources. Explorations of textual and visual representations of Byzantine eunuchs and “Oriental” transvestites, cross-dressers, and homosexuals have helped illuminate the instability of gender categories, while the study of western stereotypical representations of “menstruating” Jewish men and hyper-sexed, “monstrous,” or effeminate Saracens has revealed how Latin Christian authors attempted to justify their dominance on the basis of religious and “racial” differentiation. This talk posits that medieval Muslim, Jewish, and Byzantine males will only be inscribed as “other” in the scholarly imagination as long as there are not more concerted efforts to explore the full range of constructions of masculinity from within those cultures and to undertake comparative analyses that transcend the privileging of the sources from Latin western Christendom. Using medieval Almohad, Merinid, and Castilian chronicles, I will undertake a cross-cultural analysis of Muslim and Christian constructions of masculinity and assess the significance of religious difference in the gendered depictions of male rivals and allies in both chronicle traditions.
Katie Sjursen (Department of History, Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville). Professor Sjursen received her PhD through our program.
Nicole Archambeau (Department of History, UCSB)
I use the medieval canonization inquest of Delphine de Puimichel to answer the seemingly simple question: What did people do when they were sick? I show that the answer was often far more complex than traditional research in the history of medicine shows. By sifting through the narratives ofpeople coping with their own and loved-ones' health care, we find that people used a plurality of available methods and even created new ones when needed. We also see that medieval concepts of health care extended beyond the boundaries of the physical body to include the passions or what contemporaries called "accidents of the soul." Healers and sufferers saw that sadness, fear, and anxiety could damage physical health and were health problems in their own right.
Matthew Fisher (Department of English, University of California, Los Angeles)
“`You Didn't Build That,’ or, What We Talk About When We Talk about Digital Humanities.”
“You Didn't Build That” considers the Digital Humanities as an inevitable and also an already essential part of literary criticism and research as it is conducted today. Offering at once an historical and a methodological introduction to certain trends in DH scholarship, I look at a number of text-analysis and text-editing projects from the 1980s and '90s to the present. I expose some assumptions made by the designers of these tools, and discuss the implications of the limits of the tools for the work we as humanities scholars do. Looking at texts ranging from Hamlet to Jane Eyre, from a medieval Middle English chronicle to the Autobiography of Mark Twain through the lens of projects such as TAPoR, Google ngrams, Juxta, and T-Pen, this talk argues for new priorities in the use and misuse of Digital Humanities in our research.
The Medieval Studies Program at UCSB hosted an interdisciplinary event in conjunction with the UC MPR on “Mediterranean Studies”. The theme was “Digging up a Mediterranean Past?: Archaeology and Comparative Material Culture.” It was held on Friday-Saturday, 9-10 November 2012 at the University of California, Santa Barbara. The main speaker on Friday afternoon was Marcus Milwright of the University of Victoria in British Columbia where is the Director of the Program for Medieval Studies and Associate Professor, Islamic Art & Archaeology in the Department of History in Art. The title of his paper will be “Archaeology and the Study of Traditional Urban Crafts in the Islamic Mediterranean.” His research focuses upon the archaeology of the Islamic period, the art and architecture of the Islamic Middle East, cross-cultural interaction in the Medieval and early Modern Mediterranean, the history of medicine, craft practices in Late Ottoman Syria, and the architecture and civil engineering of southern Greece during the Ottoman sultanate. He is the author of two books: An Introduction to Islamic Archaeology, The New Edinburgh Islamic Surveys (Edinburgh University Press, 2010); and The Fortress of the Raven: Karak in the Middle Islamic Period (1100-1600), Islamic History and Civilization, Studies and Texts 72 (Brill, 2008).
Texts for all farces were edited and translated by Professor Jody Enders in “The Farce of the Fart” and Other Ribaldries: Twelve Medieval French Plays in Modern English (University of Pennsylvania, 2011).
26 October - 4:00 PM - HSSB 4020 - Christophe Picard, (Université de Paris I, Sorbonne), “Abbasid Jihad and Ribat in the Ninth-Century Mediterranean.” Christophe Picard is a research professor at the Université de Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne and a fellow of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique. He is a specialist on the history of the Medieval Mediterranean, Muslim maritime history, Mozarabs, and the history of the Ribat.
27 October - 12 PM - SH 2714 - Professor Eileen Joy (Southern Illinois University) “Toward A Speculative Literary Criticism.” Prof. Joy will meet with grad students after her talk in the English Research Commons for an informal discussion - all welcome!
28-29 October - At UCLA - "Rivalry and Rhetoric in the Early Modern Mediterranean;" The UC Multi-Campus Research Group in Mediterranean Studies fall meeting.
8 November – 4:00 PM, HSSB 6056, in the seminar room of the IHC – Professor Donald Maddox (University of Massachusetts Amherst), "Fictions of the Undead: Eschatological Bodies in the 13th-Century Vulgate Cycle of Arthurian Romances."
18 November 4:00 PM, HSSB 6056, Meredith Cohen, Department of Art History, UCLA, “Saint Louis and the Construction of Sacral Kingship in Thirteenth-Century France.”
Winter and Spring Quarters 2012
We will be having a new series of lunch time talks on Fridays in the Winter and Spring quarters as noted below. The Friday meetings will start at noon unless otherwise indicated. The venues will also be announced.
Winter Quarter 2012
Medieval Studies Annual Colloquium
21 January 2012, 9:00AM-6:00PM
The McCune Conference Room, located at 6020 HSSB at the University of California , Santa Barbara
Part of “The Public Good”, an IHC series, 2011-2012
Speakers and schedule.
9:00 Breakfast service
9:45 Welcoming remarks: Heather Blurton (Chair, Medieval Studies Program, UCSB) and Edward D. English (UCSB)
10:00 Session I: Renaissance Venice .
Sarah Ross (Boston College). “`Al beneficio commune ': Physicians and the Common Good in Renaissance Venice .”
Elizabeth Horodowich (New Mexico State Universit ). “Public Speech and the Public Good: The Control of Language in Early Modern Venice ."
Comment: Jon Snyder (French/Italian, UCSB)
1:00 Session II: The Common Good and Politics in Bologna and Siena.
Nicholas Terpstra (University of Toronto). “The Common and Uncommonly Good: Cultures of Charity and the Struggles of Republicanism in Late Renaissance Bologna .”
Edward D. English (UCSB). “The Reality of the Common Good in Fourteenth-Century Siena .”
Comment: Stefania Tutino (History/Religious Studies, UCSB)
3:00 Session III: Ideas about the Common Good in Thought.
Ronald G. Witt (Duke University). “The Common Good in Thirteenth-Century Artes arengandi and in the Thought of Albertano da Brescia."
Peter Stacey (UCLA). “Representation in the Renaissance res publica.”
Comment: Robert Morstein-Marx (Classics, UCSB)
Sponsors: Medieval Studies Program, the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center , the Department of History, Renaissance Studies.
This colloquium will address ideas about the Common Good and the actual realities of political, economic, and social life in the polities of Late Medieval and Renaissance Italy. This was an era in which corporate bodies such as factions and interest groups threatened, influenced, or controlled what might be said about the traditional, classical and medieval concepts of the common good of society.
25-26 January: Cary Howie (Cornell University) at Westmont College.
3-4 February: at UCSD, UC MRG Mediterranean meeting
17 February 2012, Friday Series: Professor Carol Pasternack, "Blood Lines: Purity, Warfare, and the Procreative Family in Bede's Ecclesiastical History.” 12:00-1:30, HSSB 4020
Friday, February 24 at noon in South Hall 2635. Professor Brantley Bryant, Sonoma State University, "Geoffrey Chaucer Hath a Blog: Humor, .Html, and the Humanities."
8-10 March: The New College Conference on Medieval and Renaissance Studies. Plenary Speaker: Jody Enders, University of California , Santa Barbara, “The Devil in the Flesh in Medieval Farce.” Saturday, 10 March. Several other alumni/e and current students are also speaking.
9 March 2012, Friday Series: Paul Megna (English and Medieval Studies, UCSB) "Reactionary Rage: The Premodern Roots of `Tea-Party' Anger" at 12:00PM in HSSB 4020.
Lecture, Wednesday, 14 March 2012: Professor Isaac Gottlieb (Ramat-Gan, Israel Institute for the History of Jewish Bible Research): “Rupert (of Deutz) and the School of Rashi” in HSSB 3041.
22-24 March: Medieval Academy of America, Annual Meeting, St. Louis. MO
22-24 March: Renaissance Society of America, Annual Meeting, Washington DC
Spring Quarter 2012
2 April: Spring Classes Begin
6 April 2012, UC Mediterranean MRP, Spring Workshop – "Identities" – University of Colorado, Boulder
13 April 2012, Friday Series: Professor Carol Lansing (UCSB), “Rape, Humiliation, and the Exercise of Power.” 12:00-1:30, HSSB 4080
Medieval Studies Graduate Conference Program
28 April 2012
The McCune Conference Room of the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center,
9:30-9:40 Opening Comments
9:40 – 10:40 Panel I: “Fear and Diplomacy”
Colleen Ho, History, UCSB “Is There a Prester John Among the Mongols? Europe's 13th Century Search for the Mythical Christian King.”
Nikki Malain, History, UCSB “Historicizing Fear: The Mosque of Genoa.”
Comment: Munther Al-Sabbagh, History, UCSB
11:00-12:00 Panel II: “Fear and the State”
Joe Figliulo-Rosswurm, History, UCSB “`Let us kill this wretched dog': The Emotional Structures of Class Conflict in Fourteenth-Century Florence."
Paul Megna, English, UCSB “Timor Domini.”
Comment: Lauren Horn Griffin, Religious Studies, UCSB
1:15-2:15 Keynote: Teofilo F. Ruiz (Distinguished Professor of History, UCLA)
“Enduring Fears in the Medieval West: Time, Power, and Salvation.”
2:30- 3:30 Panel III: “Fear and Piety”
Anna Katharina Rudolph, History, UCR “Laughing in the Face of Fear: Differing Medieval Perceptions of the Presentation of the Torments of Hell.”
Jessica Marin Elliott, History, UCSB “`Jews Feigning Devotion': Christian Fears about Converted Jews in France after the Expulsion of 1306.”
Comment: S. C. Kaplan, French, UCSB
Sponsored by UCSB Graduate Division, the IHC, the History Department, and the Medieval Studies Program.
If you have any questions, please contact Abigail Dowling at email@example.com .
10-13 May: Medieval International Congress, Kalamazoo
Friday, 11 May: Martin Foys ( Drew University ), “By Bell , Book, and Candle: Ecologies of Early Medieval Media”. (UCSB, Department of English)
Beyond oral poetry and monkish manuscripts, we rarely think about the medieval past in terms of the media people used. Considering the robust network of technological and physical practices employed by pre-modern societies to communicate and exchange information helps us understand the (often skewed) visualist framework in which modern study of the medieval past operates. Between and beneath the lines of surviving medieval writing, we still can discover a more vibrant media ecology - one of words, but also of bells, of weapons, of light and darkness, of silence and sign language, and of technologically altered bodies . . . for starters.
Friday, 1 June 2012: Jesse Njus (English, Theatre and Dance, UCSB), "Guilty of Christ's Blood?: Representing Jews in Medieval Passion Plays" 4080 HSSB at 12:00-1:30.
The representation of Jews in medieval theatre has not inspired the same enthusiasm as the portrayal of Jews in medieval art, perhaps because there exists an assumption that the dramatic characterization of Jews lacks nuance and provides less valuable information than the study of the pictorial record. Through a comparative study of the medieval Passion plays of Western Europe, I demonstrate that the representation of Jews varies surprisingly among plays, illustrating an increasing complexity in medieval drama and in the portrayal of Christ's Passion as well as differing attitudes towards the role of the Jews in Christ's death. In the most intriguing case, a dramatic tradition rooted in France found itself transformed by an Italian adaptation. Yet this instance is only one example of the intricacy behind dramatic representations of the Jews in medieval drama and of the ways in which, by following these representations across national and linguistic boundaries, they can be unraveled to reveal the conceptual debates central to the medieval understanding of sacred history.
Friday, 8 June, Spring Quarter ends
Medieval Studies Events, 2010-2011
“Who Serves Whom in Medieval Jewish-Christian Relations.”
Thursday, 14 October 2010 at 3:30 PM in The IHC Research Seminar room, 6056 HSSB.
Her Books include: Christian-Jewish relations, 1000-1300: Jews in the Service of Latin Christendom (2010), Christians and Jews in the Twelfth-Century Renaissance (1995), Christians and Jews in Dispute: Disputational Literature and the Rise of Anti-Judaism in the West (c. 1000-1150) (1998), and edited Religious Violence between Christians and Jews: Medieval Roots, Modern Perspectives (2002).
“What Happened to Tristan in the Renaissance?”
Friday, 5 November 2010 in HSSB 3041 at 2:00 PM.
In her lecture, Dr. Jane Taylor will discuss the question of ré-écriture and changing literary tastes through an analysis of two late Tristan versions, the Tristan of Pierre Sala's (ca. 1525) and Jean Maugin's Nouveau Tristan (1554). While Sala attempted to recover the medieval in the manuscript versions of his work, Jean Maugin endeavored to make his modernized prose treatment of the Tristan tradition, which appeared in printed form, address the forward-looking aesthetic of his times, set by the meteoric success of the Amadis de Gaule . Professor Taylor is a world-renowned French medievalist whose research covers a wide variety of subjects ranging from the twelfth to early sixteenth centuries. Her current work focuses on three topics: Arthurian romances and how they are translated, adapted, and rewritten in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries; the late-medieval French lyric; and the rewritings of François Villon's poetry in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, in France and in England . Her many publications include: The Making of Poetry: Late-Medieval French Poetic Anthologies ( 2007); The Poetry of François Villon: Text and Context ( 2001); a co-authored edition of Le Roman de Perceforest, première partie (with Roussineau, Gilles) (1979); and three co-edited volumes on women and the book culture (with Lesley Smith): Women, the Book and the Godly ( 1995); Women, the Book and the Worldly (1995); Women and the Book: Assessing the Evidence ( 1997). She is Past resident of the International Arthurian Society and past editor of Medium Aevum and was a Fellow of St Hilda's College at Oxford University for ten years before accepting a position at the University of Durham . She is currently a Visiting Professor at UC Berkeley.
Colloquium/Conference – Medieval Studies Program, UCSB
On Friday and Saturday, the 18 th and 19 th of February 2011, the Medieval Studies Program at the University of California at Santa Barbara in conjunction with a meeting of the University of California MRP for Mediterranean Studies will be hosting a conference on “Mediterranean Princely Courts and the Transmission of Cultures.” We have chosen to use princely courts as a lens to study influence across cultures. Courts were crucial sites of interaction. Clever rulers used them to project their power and authority, and also to live in opulence among the diverse populations of the regions around the Mediterranean . The meeting asks the questions of just how various Mediterranean courts learned from were influenced by the cultural and artistic ideas and practices of their neighbors -- who might be from a different tradition.
The list of speakers and the titles of their proposed papers are: Joshua C. Birk (Smith College) “Slaves of the Court: Eunuchs in a Twelfth Century Mediterranean World,” William Tronzo (UCSD) “The Norman Palace in Palermo as Crucible of the Arts,” Lara Tohme (Wellesley College) “The Normans and the Creation of a New Mediterranean Capital in Palermo,” S. Peter Cowe (UCLA) “Islamic Interchange with the Armenian Court at Cilicia in the Levant (12th-14th centuries),” Elizabeth B. Smith (Pennsylvania State University) “Santa Maria Novella in Florence as Communal Alternative to the Princely Model,” Nancy Khalek (Brown University) “Epistles to the Byzantine Emperor in the Abbasid Period,” Christine Chism (UCLA) “ Between Muslim and Christian in Ibn Battuta's Travels in between Courts in the North-East Mediterranean ,” Dwight Reynolds (UCSB) “Music in the Courts: Trade in Music and Musicians in Medieval Europe and the Middle East,” Carol Lansing (UCSB) “The Emperor's Elephant: Mediterranean Influence on North Italian Courts,” Florence Eliza Glaze (Coastal Carolina University) “From Babel to Biblion: Episodes in the Development of a Uniform Latinized Graeco-Arabic Pharmacological Tradition in Eleventh and Twelfth Century Salerno,” Heather Blurton (UCSB) “Hugo Falcandus' History of the Tyrants of Sicily and the 12 th Century,” and Chris Wright (University of London) “Ideology and Opportunism: The Anatolian Turks and the Byzantine Court.” The final schedule has not yet been set. Most of the papers will be on Saturday.
Medieval Studies Events, 2009-2010
“Christian Communities and Muslim Rule in Early Islamic Syria and Mesopotamia (634-1070).”
Friday, 30 October 2009 between 12:00-1:00 PM in HSSB 4020.
Lecture: Roger E. Reynolds, University of Toronto, “God's Money: Eucharistic Hosts in the Ninth Century according to Eldefonsus of Spain, Observations on an Unusual Text.”Tuesday, 16 February 2010 at 4:30 PM in HSSB 4041.
Medieval Studies Colloquium: Women, Art and Culture in Medieval and Renaissance Europe
Friday and Saturday, February 26-27, 2010
Friday, February 26, 2010: Mosher Alumni House, Alumni Hall (2 nd floor)
2:00-2:30 pm Welcome
Introductions: Cynthia Brown, Chair, Advisory Committee, Medieval Studies
David Marshall, Executive Dean, Letters and Science, Dean, Humanities and Fine Arts, UCSB
Yann Perreau, Deputy Cultural Attaché, French Consulate, Los Angeles
2:30-4:00 pm First Session:
Moderator, Carol Lansing , Department of History, UCSB
2:30-3:00 "‘Les gardins de ma dame': Mahaut d'Artois' Control and Use of the Park at Hesdin." Abigail Dowling, Department of History, UCSB
3:00-3:30 “Saint Bavo at the Service of Princely Propaganda, or the Case of Philip the Handsome and Mary of Burgundy .” Olga Karaskova, Histoire de l'Art, Université de Lille-3, Curator of Prints, The Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg
3:30-3:40 Commentary. Erika Rappaport, Department of History, UCSB
4:00-6:00 Reception, Mosher Alumni House, Library (2 nd Floor)
Saturday, February 27, 2010: McCune Room, Interdisciplinary Humanities Center
8:45-9:15 am Coffee and pastries
9:15-9:30 Introductions: Edward D. English, Executive Director, Medieval Studies, Department of History, UCSB
Henry T. Yang, Chancellor, UCSB
Gale Morrison, Dean, Graduate Division, UCSB
9:30-11:00 Second Session:
Moderator, Brigit Ferguson, Department of History of Art and Architecture, UCSB
9:30-10:00 “Remembering Delphine's Books: Reading as a Means to Shape a Holy Woman's Sanctity.” Nicole Archambeau, Department of History, UCSB
10:00-10:30 “Staging the Court: Aliénor de Poitiers and the 1478 Mise en Scène of a Princely Nativity.” Noa Turel, Department of History of Art and Architecture, UCSB
10:30-10:40 Commentary. Peter Bloom, Department of Film Studies, UCSB
11:00-11:15 Coffee Break
11:15-12:15 Keynote Address
Moderator, Cynthia Brown , Chair, Advisory Committee, Medieval Studies, Professor, French and Italian, UCSB
“Constructing the Ideal and Universal Princess: The Entry of Joanna of Castile into the City of Brussels on December 9, 1496.” Professor Anne-Marie Legaré, Histoire de l'Art, Université de Lille-3
12:15-12:25 Commentary. Thomas Kren, Curator of Manuscripts, The Getty Museum
12:25- 12:45 Discussion
12:45-2:30 Buffet Lunch
2:30-4:00 Third Session:
Moderator: Shannon Meyer , Department of English, UCSB
2:30-3:00 “Books in the Noble Women's Chapter of Sainte-Waudru's Collegiate in Mons (Hainaut): Hermine de Hairefontaine's Lectionary (London, B.L., Ms Eg. 2569).” Anne Jenny-Clark, Histoire de l'Art, Université de Lille-3
3:00-3:30 “ To Better Impress Upon the Mind: Manuscript II 232, a Renaissance Textbook for Women?” Jessica Weiss, Department of History, UCSB
3:30-3:40 Commentary. Laury Oaks, Department of Feminist Studies, UCSB
4:00-4:30 Open Discussion and Concluding Remarks
6:30 PM Buffet Dinner - All are welcome. At the home of Cynthia Brown (directions will be provided).
Wednesday, 14 April 2010. 4:00-5:30 PM, HSSB 6056 (The IHC Seminar Room). Guy Geltner, Professor of Medieval History, University of Amsterdam.
Friday, 30 April 2010, 1-4 PM (HSSB 4020).
Benjamin M. Liu, Hispanic Studies, UC Riverside: “Medieval Spain 's Asian Other.”
This paper will be looking at the figure of resemblance that Foucault identifies as “aemulatio”, in the context of Medieval Spain 's knowledge of and relation to Asia . From Ramon Llull to late-14th and 15th century maps and travel narratives, China and “Greater India ” are delocalized sites that, as they are desirously gazed upon from medieval Spain , also return a gaze that serves to constitute a Spanish polity.
Christine Chism, English, UCLA: “Over the Edge: Narrative and Cultural Extremities in the Travels of Ibn Battuta.”
This paper investigates Ibn Battuta's experiences in South Asia, the Maldives and especially China -- where he finally reaches the edge of cultural comprehension and suffers a form of culture shock that effectively ends his journey and sends him home to Tangier, traumatically neck and neck with the spread of the bubonic plague. This paper contrasts the sections of the narrative on China with other, more interpenetrative encounters with otherness in the narrative. It investigates the causes of the traveler's sudden, uncharacteristic lack of willingness to encounter the strangeness to be found over the East Asian edge of the Islamic world, an unwillingness that pervades even the style of the narration, which becomes aversively vague and allusive. I chart the narrative's flight back to the more familiar heartlands of the Dar al-Islam, where the traveler reencounters, almost with joy, the more encompassable alterities of the Christians and Jews to be found within its contact zones. I end with Ibn Battuta's description of an incident at Damascus, where, in the face of the accelerating attritions of the plague, all the monotheisms join in a penitential fast and public procession, a performance of penitential solidarity that unite all the people of the book, and, in the narrative, effectively ameliorates the plague. In this traumatic return, the narrative effectively rerenders former alterities into relationships within an unstable continuum.
Nancy McLoughlin, History, UC Irvine: “The Monstrous Other: Jean Gerson (1363-1429) and the Deadly Sins of Politics.”
The fifteenth-century Parisian preacher and theologian, Jean Gerson, has been credited with laying the foundation for the early modern witch-hunts by blurring the boundary between divinely inspired women visionaries and diabolically possessed religious frauds to such an extent that all women's claims to divine inspiration fell under increasingly severe suspicion. Gerson, however, did not reserve his accusations of diabolical influence for women. In the sermons he delivered before the French royal court, Gerson cast the enemies of the University of Paris , whether these were the princes of the blood or the queen regent, as the very embodiment of the seven deadly sins. Worse yet, he suggested that if these monstrous agents of the devil succeeded in influencing the policy of the French crown that Jews and Saracens would rejoice and France would lose its status as the most Christian kingdom. My paper examines Gerson's deployment of a constellation of diabolical and religious others as a means of promoting his own authority, paying particular attention to how the multiple layerings of othering, which characterize his sermons, allowed him to condemn his enemies and present the University of Paris as a loyal voice of reason.
Comment: Sharon Farmer, History, UC Santa Barbara
Medieval Studies Events, 2008-2009
Brian P. Copenhaver, Director, Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, UCLA
Lodi Nauta, Professor in Medieval and Renaissance Philosophy
Friday, 21 November 2008, 2:00-5:00 PM, HSSB 4020
Alison Frazier. University of Texas .“Machiavelli, Trauma, and the Scandal of the Prince.”
Kenneth Pennington. The Catholic University of America ."Women on the Rack: Three Trials.”
Lisa Hajjar. UCSB, Comment.
Friday, 23 January 2009, 3:00-6:00 PM
Marine Sciences Institute Auditorium (Room 1302)
Monday, 23 February 2009, 4:00 McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB, IHC
Allen Grieco, Harvard University, Villa I Tatti, Università delle Scienze Gastronomiche ( Italy ), University of Tours
An event in “Food Matters”, the theme for 2008-2009 of the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center, UCSB
Paolo Squatriti. University of Michigan .
“Storms, Floods and Climate Change in the Dark Ages: An Italian Case.”
D. Fairchild Ruggles. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
"Islamic Gardens in the Mediterranean (7th-15th Centuries): Environmental Perspectives on Water and Landscape.”
David Cleveland. UCSB Environmental Studies Program, Comment.
Friday, 3 April 2009, 3:00-6:00 PM
Marine Sciences Institute Auditorium (Room 1302)
Marine Sciences Institute Auditorium (Room 1302)
10:00 Coffee, pastry
10:15 Opening remarks
10:30 Panel 1: Identity and Religious Exchange
Karen Frank, History: "From the Inside or the Outside: The Cultural Marking of Jewish women in late medieval Perugia ."
Cat Zusky, English: “ Staging Christ's Pain in Late-Medieval Drama.”
Nikki Goodrick, History: "Sheep Among Wolves: Muslim Pilgrims on Christian Ships in the Age of the Crusades”
12:00 Keynote: Patricia Ingham, English, Indiana University : "Little Nothings: The Squire's Tale and the Ambition of Gadgets."
2:15 Panel 2: Gendered Identities
Lydia Balian, English, “ Men, Monsters, and Melee: A Comparative Analysis of Hand-to-Hand Combat in Beowulf and La3amon's Brut ”
Corinne Wieben, History: “The Discourse of Dispute: Marriage in Fourteenth-Century Lucca ."
3:30 Theater Performance
Anonymous “Monkey See, Monkey Do or The Joyous Farce of Master Mimin”
Translated by: Jody Enders
This is an anonymous fifteenth-century French farce about the trials and tribulations of the poor student, Master Mimin. The performance is directed by Andrew Henkes, a graduate student in Theater, who brought us last year's extraordinary production of the Farce of the Fart.
4:15 Concluding Remarks
The Medieval Studies Program is sponsoring a lunch-time seminar on research by our faculty: Heather Blurton, Department of English on Monday, 18 May 2009 in HSSB 4020 at 12:00
“The Evidence of Things Not Seen: Narratives of Ritual Crucifixion in 12th Century England?”
In the second half of the twelfth century, in England , there suddenly appear three unconnected narratives of accusations against English Jews that they had kidnapped and ritually crucified Christian children. This project attempts to account for the strange appearance of these narratives of ritual crucifixion in Anglo-Norman England by situating them in the first instance in the literary context of changes in the practice of insular hagiography after the Norman Conquest, and in broader terms in the epistemological shifts of the twelfth century.
Film and Discusssion: 21 May 2009 at 4:00-6:00 in the McCune Conference Room of the IHC, HSSB 6020: Allan Langdale, “The Stones of Famagusta: The Story of a Forgotten City.”
The Mediterranean Research Focus Group of the IHC and the Medieval Studies Program are sponsoring a film presentation and a discussion by Allan Langdale of UC Santa Cruz on Thursday, 21 May 2009 at 4:00-6:00 in HSSB 4020: “The Stones of Famagusta: The Story of a Forgotten City.” Art historian and filmmaker Dr. Allan Langdale takes you on a bicycle tour of the once famous medieval city of Famagusta, Cyprus . Once considered the world's richest city, Famagusta is now largely forgotten by the West. Explore the wonders of the gothic churches and monasteries, the ruins of Venetian palaces, the fabulous two-mile long walls and moat, Byzantine churches, Ottoman baths, and some of Famagusta's unique and mysterious underground churches.
If you have any questions, please contact Edward D. English, firstname.lastname@example.org
Lecture: "The Minster and the Privy."
Kathy Lavezzo, University of Iowa. Tuesday, 26 May 2009, 4:00 McCune Conference Room, 6020 HSSB, IHC. This talk offers a new vantage point on the politics of identity in Chaucer's Prioress's Tale by examining how its built environments--namely the abject privy into which the murdered schoolboy is thrust and the conventual church where his corpse finally rests--at once make and unmake notions of Christian selfhood and Jewish alterity. Through a cultural geographic and historicist analysis of the minster and the privy as spaces whose production is mutually constitutive with the making of identities, Lavezzo decelerates our analysis of the dynamic of Christian purity and Jewish danger at work in the tale. Ultimately, by reading the minster and the privy not as fixed entities but as contingent, fluid spaces joined through the infrastructure of the tale, she identifies in Chaucer's anti-Semitic text an early materialist critique of any effort to conceive of a purely religious space. I have attached a flyer for the event.
Medieval Studies Events, 2007-2008
Medieval Studies Events, 2006-2007
Events for 2005-2006 included:
Events for 2004-2005 included:
©2006 Edward D. English