The Association of Historians of the Crown of Aragon (Societas Historicorum Coronae Aragonum): call to join

In the Middle Ages, the Mediterranean was the scenario for the development of a plural and diverse political entity, which became one of the European models of mixed monarchies. It had accessible institutions and a representativeness of the estates, and cultural traits converted into unifying factors, an economy involved in the great maritime routes and, with all this, a plurality under one crown, that of the kings of Aragon. The memory of this peculiarity of this structure has survived in a dense, widely varying, network of archives and diverse sources that need to be duly explored and analysed.

Indeed, the later articulation of society and historical research under the parameters of the nation-state, so deeply rooted over centuries, has even hindered our understanding of what entities like the Crown of Aragon were, to the point that its participative institutions or the membranous traits of its culture could be claimed to be immature from the conceptual rigidities imposed later.

It is undoubtedly necessary to facilitate the coming together, through debate and interdisciplinary relations, of everyone who, from history, art history, philology (literature and language) or any other perspective, studies different aspects and geographies of what was the Crown of Aragon. Accordingly, it is necessary to create an association, one that facilitates relations and exchanges between researchers, anywhere in the world, whose research is focused on the Crown of Aragon.  Together, we can improve the results of our work, increase the circulation of the interpretative paths and also defend adequately what the Crown of Aragon was and represented.

To this end, we present the new Association of Historians of the Crown of Aragon (Societas Historicorum Coronae Aragonum) and invite you to accompany us in this scientific and amiable adventure.

Aymat Catafau, Université de Perpignan Via Domitia

Pietro Corrao, Università degli Studi di Palermo

Charles Dalli, L-Università ta’ Malta

Fulvio  Delle Donne, Università degli Studi della Basilicata

Antoni Furió, Universitat de València

Luciano Gallinari, Istituto di Storia dell’Europa  Mediterranea- CNR Cagliari

Carlos Laliena, Universidad de  Zaragoza

Flocel  Sabaté, Universitat de Lleida

Eleni Sakellariou, University of Crete

Nada Zecevic, Royal Holloway University of London

More information and materials can be obtained at https://hiscoar.org/

Truth and Fiction conference

Dear colleagues,

The International Medieval Society (IMS-Paris) invites interested scholars to submit proposals by November 24th 2017 for our annual symposium, which will be held in Paris on June 28th to June 30th 2018. This year’s topic is “Truth and Fiction,” and we are looking forward to what is sure to be a challenging and stimulating conference.

Please find the call for papers below, with information about the IMS-Paris Graduate Student Prize. We hope that the members of your organization will be interested in this event.

Best regards,
The IMS-Paris Symposium Committee
www.ims-paris.org

 

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Truth and Fiction
28-30 June 2018

In the wake of the US presidential election and the Brexit referendum, the Oxford English Dictionary chose the expression “post-truth” as its word of the year. This expression underlines the growing tendency to dismiss objective facts in favor of impulsive—and often prejudicial—feelings, frequently supported by “alternative facts.” The contentious relationship between the truth and lies, or truth and fiction, which is currently playing out in the public arena has, in fact, a long-standing legacy—one which can be traced back to the Middle Ages. For this reason, this year’s IMS conference seeks to investigate the variety of different approaches to truth and fiction that existed in the Middle Ages.

One possible avenue of inquiry concerns new ideas of Truth introduced by the Gregorian reforms. On a philosophical and doctrinal level, the idea of the infallibility of the Pope, the “Doctor of Truth,” was introduced by Gregory VII who, taking up the words of Christ, contended that he was the Truth (via, veritas, et vita). From a liturgical and sacramental point of view, on the other hand, we can study contemporary tenets of Eucharistic doctrine as a challenge to common sense as a mystery of human understanding—albeit articulated in rationalist terms. Papers thus might address the manner by which the Gregorian reforms placed the question of truth at the center of the demands of society: by constructing this “ideology of truth,” but also—and above all—by implementing mechanisms like preaching, which spread Truth to Christians, and confession, which introduced the obligation to speak the truth. We are particularly interested in the place and the role of Fictions in these devices (sermons, exempla, vita, etc.).

A second approach to this theme is through language, discourse and narrative forms that aimed to produce a supposed truth. We could examine the relationships between literature and history and their ambiguity with respect to the truth. For example, fictionalized historical narratives throughout the medieval period were frequently thought to be true because they provided a means of decrypting the social order. As John of Salisbury wrote, “even the lies of poets served the Truth.” Papers might explore relationships between truth and fiction through the lens of historical and literary genres (novels, epics, etc.) and the ‘truths’ they produced, placing special emphasis on the way that it was possible to believe the facts related in these works. The importance of these historico-literary fictions—what Paul Veyne called “doctrine in the face of facts”—might also be taken into account.

Law and rhetoric also construct notions of truth. Rhetoric permits the control of the relationship between the author and the audiences of a text and the establishment of the status of a text as veridic, among other things. It can even create direct links between music and words, using metaphor as a means of approaching the truth. Papers could consider, for instance, the virtuosity of the effects of Truth produced by the dictamen or even the quaestio scholastique as a method for establishing Truth with certitude, as well as the place of fiction within these new political languages.

Images throughout the medieval period play a fundamental role in the construction or undermining of truth(s). According to Augustine, the image is not truth, but rather a means of understanding Truth. For him, the work of art renders abstractions concrete using representations hat are both specific and individualized. What is the art object’s role in dispelling truth or decrying falsehoods? Through what formal and material means does it achieve either? Papers might consider the use and forms of medieval diagrams, the role of the art object in spiritual form, etc.

Finally, the conference aims to examine the origins and development of interrogative procedures in the medieval period, in that they illustrate relationships with the truth maintained by medieval societies. We are especially interested in the uses and status of fictive facts in inquisitorial trials, the manner that fictions were revealed during trials, or even how the participation of individuals in inquisitorial trials was viewed as an instrument of legitimization of power and as a way of acknowledging those individuals’ own truths and interpretations of facts.

This great diversity of themes opens participation to researchers working in a variety of different fields and coming from a variety of backgrounds: historians, art historians, musicologists, philosophers, literary scholars, specialists in auxiliary sciences (paleographers, epigraphists, codicologists, numismatists)… While we focus on medieval France, compelling submissions focused on other geographical areas that also fit the conference theme are welcomed. In bringing together such diverse proposals, the IMS conference seeks to take a new look at the notion of Truth, its articulations, and its relationship with Fiction in the medieval world.

Abstracts of no more than 300 words (in French or English) for a 20-minute paper should be sent to communications.ims.paris@gmail.com. Each proposal should be accompanied by full contact information, a CV, and a list of the audio-visual equipment required for the presentation.

The deadline for abstracts is 24 November 2017.

Paper selections will be made by a scientific committee composed of Catherine Croizy-Naquet (Univ. Paris 3/CERAM), Marie Dejoux (Univ. Paris 1/LAMOP), Lindsey Hansen (IMS), Fanny Madeline (LAMOP/IMS), and Valerie Wilhite (Univ. of the Virgin Islands/IMS), as well as the members of the Board of Directors of the IMS. Please be aware that the IMS-Paris submissions review process is highly competitive and is carried out on a strictly anonymous basis.The selection committee will email applicants in mid-December to notify them of its decisions. Titles of accepted papers will be made available on the IMS-Paris website thereafter.

Authors of accepted papers will be responsible for their own travel costs and conference registration fees (35€ per person, 20€ for students, free for members of LAMOP and CERAM; 10€ membership dues for all participants).The IMS-Paris is an interdisciplinary, bilingual (French/English) organization that fosters exchanges between French and foreign scholars. For more than a decade, the IMS has served as a center for medievalists who travel to France to conduct research, work or study. For more information about the IMS-Paris and for past symposium programs, please visit our websites: www.ims-paris.org and https://imsparis.hypotheses.org.

IMS-Paris Graduate Student Prize:

The IMS-Paris is pleased to offer one prize for the best paper proposal by a graduate student. Applications should consist of:

1) a symposium paper abstract

2) an outline of a current research project (PhD dissertation research)

3) the names and contact information of two academic referees

The prize-winner will be selected by the board and a committee of honorary members, and will be notified upon acceptance to the Symposium. An award of 350€ to support international travel/accommodation (within France, 150€) will be paid at the symposium

 

The III Congress of International Researchers of Polish History October 11-14, 2017 Kraków

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 The III Congress of International Researchers of Polish History

October 11-14, 2017 in Kraków.

This congress occurs every five years and is a cyclical meeting of academics from throughout the world who, in their research, address not only problems associated with Polish history but also within its culture, arts and sciences. This congress’s guiding theme is “The Polish Lithuanian Commonwealth: History – Memory – Legacy” („Dawna Rzeczpospolita: historia – pamięć – dziedzictwo”). Our aim is to gather in one place and at one time those scholars interested in the phenomena of the Polish – Lithuanian Commonwealth what it was, how it was memorialized over subsequent decades as well as what consequences or manifestations from its existence are seen in the later histories of Poland, Lithuania and the remaining countries who once found themselves within its sphere of influence.

We cordially invite and encourage you to take part in the deliberations of this upcoming congress.

MECERN Memeber appointed the Marie Skłodowska Curie Actions’ Research Fellow at the Royal Holloway University of London

Starting from July 1, Nada Zecevic, the MECERN’s Research Companion to Medieval Central Europe Managing Editor and Associate Professor in Medieval History at the Faculty of Philosophy of the University of East Sarajevo, has been appointed the Marie Skłodowska Curie Actions’ Research Fellow at the History Department of the Royal Holloway University of London. There, she will conduct her research on A Comparative Diachronic Analysis of Post-Byzantine Networks in the Early-modern Europe (15th-18th c.) (MSCA IF-EF-ST no. 747857, acronym MIGWEB), in collaboration with Prof. Jonathan Harris.

The project focuses on the emigration from the Balkans and Greece to western Europe since the fall of the Byzantine capital of Constantinople in 1453 to the mid-eighteenth century, when the Balkan region was dominated by the Ottoman Empire. It will examine how the émigrés connected with each other to build efficient networks that kept and protected their interests, but also how various émigré groups interacted with their host societies amidst changing historical conditions. In order to discern some common „patterns” of exchange and interaction that channeled the émigrés’ integration into the wider context of the early-modern Europe, the project will use an interdisciplinary approach that integrates historical, anthropological and demographic analysis, thus also reflecting upon the wider significance which the movement of people from the Byzantine and post-Byzantine East had in building the common European heritage.