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55th International Congress on Medieval Studies

May 7-10, 2020



Race before Raza in Medieval Iberian Studies I

Bridging the Divide: Jews, Christians, and Muslims in Medieval Iberian Studies

[co-sponsored with the American Academy of Research Historians of Medieval Spains (AARHMS)]

Race before Raza in Medieval Iberian Studies II

Representing Medieval Iberia: Fiction and Non-Fiction beyond the Monograph (A Panel Discussion)

[co-sponsored with the American Academy of Research Historians of Medieval Spains (AARHMS)]

Modern assumption about race and identity have shaped scholarship on the Middle Ages since such work began. Few field of study make this more evident than medieval Iberia, where centuries of interaction among diverse ethnic, religious, and cultural communities offer up a canvas for the projection of modern paradigms and ideologies. Although such models can provide a fresh lens through which to consider problems obscured by time and cultural distance, when employed carelessly or unconsciously they can badly distort our image of the medieval Iberian past. Our interdisciplinary sessions invite papers exploring how post-medieval discourse about race and identity has intersected -- or could intersect -- with modern understandings of the history and culture of the medieval Iberian Peninsula. Submissions might consider the efficacy of applying modern concepts and terms to the study of medieval probes,; the impact of unconscious or unspoken bias in evaluating medieval evidence; promising methodological strategies in the study of the past; and the uses and misuses of medieval Iberian history in modern public and political discourse on race and identity. Both illustrative case studies and scholarly position papers will be considered.

Contact: Belen Vicens


Medieval Cities at War: The Urban Site as a Nexus of Battle and Siege

[co-sponsored with De Re Militari]

Contact: Valerie Eads


The State of Medieval History in Texas Colleges and Universities (A Panel Discussion)

This panel will discuss the findings of a statewide study of medieval survey courses in Texas Colleges and Universities. Prospective members of this committee must be a member of the Texas Medieval Association and be willing to participate regularly in the collection, assessment, and analysis of qualitative and quantitative data over the next two semesters. In addition to the public presentation at the International Medieval Congress, the full findings of this study are planned for publication. Experience working in a Texas institution of higher education is preferred.

Contact: Lane Sobehrad


Deconstructing the Archpriest: Subversion, Parody, Irony, Humor, and Satire

There is no question that Juan Ruiz's collection of cantares and other poems is problematic. Few agree on the name, the author, the structure, or the objective of the collection. The fragmentary nature of the collection does not lend itself to easy explanation, facile interpretation or superficial readings. The papers in this session will address the problematic nature of the Libro de been amor, focusing on how this fragmentation destabilizes the authoritarian discourse of the archpriest by employing humor to serious subjects such as death, ecclesiastics, scholasticism, and sin.

Contact: Paul Larson


Vestiges of Movement in the Iberian Peninsula

The history of Iberia is often frames in terms of communities in-situ. This panel invites papers that explore the history of Iberia in terms of movement, migration, the displacement of artifacts, spoil, commerce, coinage, and language shift. We argue that the history of the Iberian Peninsula cannot be understood unless we take a broader perspective and understand how different peoples came to reside in large metropolitan cities such as Córdoba, Sevilla, and Told. We look at those examples of exchanges or successive movement to draw conclusion about the impact and the vestiges of those processes.

Contact: Yasmine Beale-Rivera


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