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Upcoming symposiums and congresses: Issue 17, December 2016
Call for Papers: "Uses of the Past: Cultural Memory in and of the Middle Ages". The Twenty-Ninth Annual Spring Symposium of the Medieval Studies Institute of Indiana University
How is the past used (and abused) in the Middle Ages? To what purposes is it deployed in personal, social, religious, and political formation? And how has the medieval served as a foundational past for identities and practices in post-medieval periods? Recent scholarship demonstrates the importance of the past in the creation of medieval identity. In the words of Walter Pohl and Ian Wood, the past could be used "to create legitimacy, explain inclusion and exclusion, establish precedent, provide orientation, exemplify moral exhortation, inspire a sense of what was possible and what was not, to negotiate status, to argue about the right norms or to imagine the future." Moreover, the medieval past has become a touchstone of current cultural memory, deployed in constructing the past of our own present moment.
The Medieval Studies Institute of Indiana University welcomes scholars from a range of disciplines and objects: history, literature, music; material artifacts and spaces; religion, politics, and law. We are especially interested in papers that explore global perspectives on cultural memory and the use of the past.
Please send an abstract of no more than 300 words by December 21, 2016 (contact details available in the full issue of MMR).
Grave disturbance in early medieval Europe. International symposium 2017
You are warmly invited to an international symposium on grave disturbance in early medieval Europe. 09:00-17:30, Thursday 12th January 2017, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies, Stockholm University.
One of the most intriguing chapters in early medieval archaeology is an outbreak of grave disturbance which stretched from Hungary to England, peaking in the 7th century AD. Thousands of recent burials were reopened and rifled, with grave-goods and human remains removed or scattered. Traditionally labelled as grave-robbery, this early reopening has been recognised since the 19th century, but until recently little comparative work had been carried out between sites or regions, and there was almost no systematic research into its causes.
Now this has changed: substantive empirical research is being carried out in England, Germany, France, the Low Countries, and Austria. Results so far include significant new findings about the date, extent, and nature of the practice. We can now see that this is by no means straightforward robbing for material gain. Understanding reopening can shed new light on burial rituals themselves: new interpretations explore attitudes to death, decay, commemoration, possessions, and ancestors.
This will be the first conference on the fascinating phenomenon of Merovingian-period grave disturbance since 1977. With the support of Riksbankens Jubileumsfond, the symposium will bring together researchers working on reopening evidence in five areas of early medieval Europe, plus an advisory panel of scholars based in Europe and the US.
Contact: Dr Alison Klevnäs (details available in the full issue of MMR)
Attendance is free but registration is required. For more information, please see the symposium webpage: http://reopenedgraves.eu/events/
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This page was last updated on: December 16th, 2016
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March 6th, 2012:
The ninth issue of Medieval Memoria Research is now available! In this issue you will find many new book announcements and information on projects dedicated to digitising memorial registers.