Call for Papers: Networks – Cooperation – Rivalry, The Fourth Biennial Conference of the Medieval Central Europe Research Network, University of Gdansk

Networks – Cooperation – Rivalry

The Fourth Biennial Conference of the Medieval Central Europe Research Network

University of Gdansk (Gdańsk, Poland), 22–24 April 2020

Call for Papers

After successful conferences in Budapest (2014), Olomouc (2016) and Zagreb (2018), the Fourth Biennial Conference of MECERN (http://mecern.eu/) will examine the building of networks in Central Europe, as well as between Central Europe and other parts of Europe and the wider world. It will raise the question whether this process was based on cooperation or competition, on solidarity or rivalry, and will trace the short and long-term impacts, and eventual disintegration of these networks. In other words, the conference will explore medieval Central Europe as a conglomerate of structured and interrelated, but often changeable ties. By invoking new paradigms, this approach encourages historians from Central Europe or writing about Central Europe to reject the national perspective and national myths concerning this subject.

We welcome proposals from scholars at all stage of career, researching all aspects of medieval past, from political, social, cultural, economic, ecclesiastical, urban, artistic, material, literary, intellectual and legal history. Having Central Europe as their starting point, papers and session proposals may address the following issues:

– rivalry and competition for power in Central Europe

– building Central European alliances; dynastic connections, including contacts with Western Europe and wider Eurasia

– temporary and permanent agreements or contracts of an economic, social or political nature

– network building between families, kin-groups, social groups, economic organisations; trade contacts

– Church connections and rivalry in Central Europe and beyond

– religious organisations, brotherhoods, networks of monasteries and monks

– medieval schools and universities as places of networking

– the development of the idea of networks in the Middle Ages

– networks of law; legal ties between cities

– inclusion and exclusion: developments outside the network structure

– artistic aspects of networks (the existence of artists’ networks)

– material culture and of objects – what archaeology says about networks

– modern historiography on networks; the concepts of rivalry and cooperation in the Middle Ages

Both individual and panel submissions are encouraged. Papers are twenty minutes long. In addition, the call is open for poster presentations. A poster session will include five-minute presentations from each accepted poster presented.

Deadline for submissions: 15 October 2019 Please submit a 250-word abstract and a one-page CV to beata.mozejko@ug.edu.pl

Expected registration fee: 75 EUR PhD students: reduced fee 40 EUR

Accepted participants will be notified by 30 November 2019

Between Three Seas: Borders, Migrations, Connections

The Third Biennial Conference of the Medieval Central Europe Research Network (MECERN) on the theme Between Three Seas: Borders, Migrations, Connections took place at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Zagreb (Croatia), between 12 and 14 April 2018. Already an established scholarly forum, founded at a conference at CEU in 2014, MECERN’s third major international event attracted almost 100 participants from 15 countries in Europe and North America. The main organizers were Luka Spoljarić (MA ‘08, PhD ‘13), Trpimir Vedriš (MA ‘04, PhD ‘15) and Borislav Grgin (MA ‘94), all faculty members at the University of Zagreb.

The choice of the main theme was triggered by the fact that in the summer of 2015 the countries of Central and South-eastern Europe were faced with a massive wave of refugees caused by the collapse of the established political order in the Near East. In the longue durée, however, this was not a new phenomenon. Throughout the Middle Ages the region of Central Europe, closed off by the Baltic, Black and Adriatic Seas [MECERN logo], was on numerous times exposed to the large-scale movements of people. Yet during this entire period migrations were also taking place on a micro level, through the movement of individuals, objects, and ideas.

The conference focused on the impact of both mass and individual movements on the region, the permeability of borders, and the manifold connections that reached beyond purely local contexts. In other words, the conference explored medieval Central Europe in flux through papers on political, social, cultural, economic, ecclesiastical, intellectual, legal and urban history, as well as the history of art and literature. Two thought-provoking keynote lectures were given by Neven Budak, Professor at the University of Zagreb and recurrent visiting professor at CEU, and Paul W. Knoll, Professor Emeritus of the University of Southern California, a renowned expert of Late Medieval Poland and Central Europe. The abstracts of the conference are accessible from this link.

The closing reception was held in the Golden Hall of the Croatian Institute of History, hosted by the Institute’s vice director, Gordan Ravančić (MA ‘97). The participants visited the cathedral treasury and got an insider’s view of the history and topography of medieval Zagreb through a valuable tour guided by Zrinka Nikolić Jakus (MA ‘97, PhD ‘04) and Neven Budak. The next international conference of MECERN will take place at the University of Gdańsk in 2020.

Photos: Judit Majorossy (MA ’97, PhD ’06)

The Department of Medieval Studies of CEU (Budapest, Hungary) invites applications for the 2018/19 academic year

Central European University is a graduate level, English-language University situated in Budapest. Our Department offers two-year MA and PhD programs, coordinated with the Bologna process requirements and accredited in Hungary (that is, accepted throughout Europe) as well as in the US; and a one-year MA accredited in the United States. We would also like to call your attention to the two-year MA program in Cultural Heritage Studies (http://medievalstudies.ceu.edu/chs).

CEU provides a variety of merit-based scholarships and various other types of financial support available to students from any country (tuition waiver, stipend, housing awards, health insurance coverage).

For further information, see the attachment and visit http://medievalstudies.ceu.edu.

Please feel free to circulating our call among those who might be interested.

The Third Biennial Conference of the Medieval Central Europe Research Network

Between Three Seas: Borders, Migrations, Connections

The Third Biennial Conference of the Medieval Central Europe Research Network

Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Zagreb (Croatia), 12–14 April 2018

Organized by

the University of Zagreb’s Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

in collaboration with

the Croatian Institute of History

 

Keynote lectures by

Neven Budak and Paul Knoll

In the summer of 2015 the countries of Central and Southeastern Europe were faced with a massive wave of refugees caused by the collapse of the established political order in the Near East. In the longue durée, this was not a new phenomenon. Throughout the Middle Ages the region of Central Europe, closed off by the Baltic, Black and Adriatic Seas, was on numerous times exposed to the large-scale movements of people, whether migrations or invasions, while its borders, as well as political and cultural landscapes were constantly shaped and reshaped anew. Yet during this entire period migrations were also taking place on a micro level. As various individuals, objects, and ideas circulated to and fro, political, economic and cultural connections emerged that transcended borders both within and beyond the region. The Third Biennial Conference of MECERN (http://mecern.eu/) will focus on the impact of both mass and individual movements on the region, the permeability of borders, and the manifold connections that reached beyond purely local contexts. In other words, the conference will explore medieval Central Europe in flux. We welcome proposals from scholars researching all aspects of history, from political, social, cultural, economic, ecclesiastical, urban to art, literary, intellectual, and legal history. Both individual and panel submissions are welcomed, with papers expected to be twenty-minutes long. In addition, the call is open for poster presenters, as one poster session will also be organised with five-minute presentations.

Deadline for submissions: 15 September 2017

Please submit a 250-word abstract and one-page CV to mecern.zagreb2018@gmail.com

Planned registration fee: EUR 50

All accepted participants will be notified by 15 October 2017

 

MECERN at the International Medieval Congress, University of Leeds

MECERN at the International Medieval Congress, University of Leeds, UK

(July 3-6, 2017)

Report by Nada Zečević

 

At this year’s International Medieval Congress in Leeds, MECERN presented its activities and network in session 1316 (July 5) entitled The Many Different Others of Medieval Central Europe. Moderated by Prof. Cosmin Popa-Gorjanu of the University 1. December 1918 in Alba Iulia, the session yielded a broad and lively discussion of the aspects and categories of “otherness” seen between the medieval Baltic and Adriatic. Cored in the Kingdoms of Hungary, Poland and Bohemia, medieval Central Europe, with its varying geographic forms, patterns of political organization and socio-economic structures, also reflected wider religious divergences and multiple cultural connections. These left a particular mark in the region’s dynamic exchange with the surrounding areas, some of which were seen even as marginal structures and more distant parts of the continent.

The three papers presented in this session showed several micro-examples of an exchange that contributed to the region’s socio-cultural diversification and implied, each in its own way, various relationships of otherness that connected the center and periphery. The first paper, Latin Christendom’s Others: 13th-Century Papal Legates in Poland, Hungary and England presented by Agata Zielinska, a post-graduate student of the University College in London, showed three examples of how the Papacy treated its “eastern periphery,” namely Poland and Hungary. Comparing these cases to a well-known area such as England, Zielinska showed that the Papacy tailored its missions according to the local needs, still allowing the papal agents to extend the arm of papal authority long into distant areas. The second paper presented by Nada Zečević of MECERN-CEU/Marie S. Curie Actions Research Fellow at Royal Holloway University of London, The Changing Other: Emigre Communities from the Balkan Peninsula in Late Medieval Hungary, pointed out to a variety and changing dynamics of „otherness” observed by the local sources of the time in relation to the first waves of the Balkan migrations from the Ottomans to the Kingdom of Hungary. The third presenter, Wojtek Jezierski of the Goeteborg University, debated upon Feelings in the siege: Fear Trust and Emotional Bonding in the Missionary and Crusader Baltic Realm, 12th and 13th centuries, showing how emotional experiences of the siege and conflict could prompt the feeling of otherness among the Crusaders in the Baltic.

 

MECERN at the 52nd International Congress on Medieval Studies in Kalamazoo (Michigan): report

MECERN and its members at the 52nd International Congress on Medieval Studies in Kalamazoo (Michigan), May 11th-14th 2017

Report by Suzana Miljan, Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts

At the 52nd International Congress on Medieval Studies in Kalamazoo (MI), that brought together more than 3000 medievalists from all over the world, MECERN participated with a session on Central European Medieval Networks. The first paper in this session, presented by Christian Raffensperger of the Wittenberg University (Springfield, Ohio), dealt with “Comparative Political Development in the Arc of Medieval Europe.” The second presenter, Katalin Szende of Central European University (Budapest, Hungary), focused on “Urban Networks in Medieval East Central Europe,” giving an analysis of diversified networking processes and complex structures of networks created through urban colonization between the Baltic and the Adriatic (including legal systems, connections between political elites, intellectual and cultural relations, ecclesiastical structures and business and trade networking). The third paper by Damir Karbić and Suzana Miljan of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts (Zagreb, Croatia) entitled “Complex networks of legal traditions and social structures. A case of Croatia-Dalmatia and Slavonia-Hungary” reflected upon the parallel existence of two contrasted legal cultures: the one, predominantly based on the written pragmatic legal literacy and the tradition of the academic Roman law of Croatia’s southern parts, and the other, that largely grafted upon oral legal traditions of northern Croatia. Apart from lively scholarly debate and exchange, the panel, presided by Prof. Gerhard Jaritz of the Central European University’s Medieval Studies Department, was also an opportunity to alert the US and international collegium about the recent acts of oppression of the Hungarian government towards the Central European University and it values that promote freedom of academic work and open society.

Apart from the MECERN session, the network’s members took part in several other sessions and Congress activities. Prof. Gerhard Jaritz organized a panel sponsored by CEU’s Department of Medieval Studies on “Creating and Transforming the Image of Saints,” in which one of the Department’s doctoral students, Stephen Pow, presented an innovative view on the connection between cults of saints and chivalry literature, while Prof. Gabor Klaniczay spoke about the stigmata of Blessed Helen of Hungary.

A particular interest of the MECERN scholars was expressed in a number of panels on “Archeology of Medieval Europe,” organized by Prof. Florin Curta of the University of Florida. There, one of the speakers was Mario Novak of the Institute for Anthropological Research in Zagreb (Croatia), whose presentation dealt with health, diet and lifestyles of early medieval populations in the East Adriatic area. In the panel on “Rulership in Medieval Central Europe (Bohemia, Hungary, and Poland): Ideal and practice,” Prof. Paul Knoll of the University of Southern California reflected upon various aspects of rulership by comparing three individual cases of Louis the Great of Hungary, Casimir the Great of Poland, and Charles IV of Bohemia. The great interest of MECERN members was also seen in the panel “Beguines and the Transformations of Urban Piety on the Eastern Periphery of Late Medieval Christendom” organized by Michael Van Dusen of the McGill University, where new questions were put to examine the inquisitorial procedures against heretics in Poland and Bohemia by the papers of Tomasz Gałuszka and Pavel Kras.The call for papers for the 53

The call for papers for the 53rd Congress open until June, yet the interested candidates can apply with individual papers until the coming Fall by writing directly to panel organizers. More on the procedures of the application can be seen here.

 

Book launch: From Hus to Luther -Visual Culture in the Bohemian Reformation (1380-1620)

Tuesday, May 30, 2017 – 7:00pm to 8:30pm
CEU, Nador u. 9, 1051 Budapest
Monument Building, Gellner Room

Book launch

From Hus to Luther –Visual Culture in the Bohemian Reformation (1380-1620) edited  by Katerina Hornicková and M. Šroněk, presented by Béla Zsolt Szakács

The first study representing a little-known phenomenon in Bohemian cultural and political history – the visual culture that grew up in the environment of the Reformation churches in Bohemia from the Hussites until the defeat of the Estates by the Habsburgs at White Mountain in 1620.

This book portrays a little-known phenomenon in Bohemian cultural and political history – the visual culture that grew up in the environment of Reformation churches in Bohemia from the time of the Hussites until the defeat of the Estates by the Habsburg coalition at White Mountain in 1620. It provides the first comprehensive overview of a forgotten era of artistic production over a period of approximately two hundred years, when most of the population of Bohemia professed non-Catholic faiths.

During the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries a unique situation arose in Bohemia, with five main Christian denominations (Utraquists, Lutherans, the Unity of Brethren, Calvinists, and Catholics) gradually coming to function alongside each other, with a number of other religious groups also active. The main churches, which had a fundamental influence on political stability in the state, were the majority Utraquists and the minority Catholics. Yet the essays of this book establish that despite the particularities of the Bohemian situation, the religious trends of Bohemia were an integral part of the process of Reformation across Europe.

Featuring over fifty illustrations including manuscript illumination, panel painting, and architecture, the book also presents the surviving cultural products of the four non-Catholic Christian denominations, ranging from the more moderate to radical Reformation cultures. The book also analyses the attitudes of these denominations to religious representations, and illuminates their uses of visual media in religious and confessional communication. The book thus opens up both the Reformation culture of Bohemia and its artistic heritage to an international audience.

Kateřina Horníčková obtained her PhD at CEU Budapest in 2009. She is  a researcher at the FWF SFB 42 research program, Visions of Community, based in Vienna, and lecturer in art history at the University of South Bohemia, České Budějovice. She has published on late medieval art and the Hussites, medieval treasures and piety, and collaborated in several interdisciplinary projects on medieval, and early modern visual and material culture.

Michal Šroněk obtained his PhD at Masaryk University, Brno. He is a researcher at the Institute of Art History of the Czech Academy of Sciences and university professor of art history at the University of South Bohemia. He specialises in Early Modern painting and visual culture. He is the author of several monographs and studies on sixteenth- and seventeeth-century Bohemian art, and on the connections between art and the Reformation.

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