Remembering Communities and Others in Early Medieval Europe
(Leeds 2-5 July 2018)
‘Hearing these complaints and others like them continually, I commemorate the past, in order that it may come to the knowledge of the future.’
Gregory of Tours, Preface to Decem libri historiarum
Following the success of the ‘Creating Communities and Others’ sessions at the IMC 2017, we seek to continue our investigations of these concepts within the context of the special thematic strand of the IMC 2018: ‘Memory’. As the organisers note, there are many kinds of memory, which permeate the writing of history, for modern scholars as much as our medieval predecessors. In these sessions, we seek to examine how memory can be put to use as a tool for creating or perpetuating ideas of community and otherness.
The purpose of these sessions is to investigate the use of memory in the construction and dissemination of notions of community and otherness in early medieval Europe. Both communities and Others could exist on a variety of levels, from the community of a monastery to the community of a kingdom, or from a group of heretics to non-Christian peoples in lands near or far. But what were the histories behind such groups? What were their origin stories, and how were these used? Why were some members of the community remembered, while others were forgotten? How were contemporary communities and Others connected to imagined distant places and times? How were the historical relationships between different groups remembered? What particular factors contributed to memories of community and otherness, and how were these altered or retained during the Early Middle Ages?
We hope to bring together papers that address these and related questions in order to examine the cultures of early medieval Europe as seen through the ways in which inhabitants of the region understood their place in the wider world. Paper proposals are welcome from all disciplines, including history, art history, archaeology, literary studies and manuscript studies.
Possible topics and themes may include but are not limited to:
- Continuity and change in writing about communities and Others
- The impact of political events on memories of community and Otherness
- Shared histories for networks of communities
- Memories from the peripheries
- Class, Community and Otherness
- Gender, Community and Otherness
- Religion, Community and Otherness
- Memories of relations between the West and the Byzantine and Muslim worlds
- Uses of material culture in the remembrance of communities and Others
After the IMC, we hope to publish the contributions to these sessions as a volume of collected essays through our sponsor Kısmet Press.
Please send abstracts of no more than 300 words to Ricky Broome (firstname.lastname@example.org) by 3 September 2017.