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“On the Borders of the Realm”

Fri, 4/29Sat, 4/30 ·

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“On the Borders of the Realm”

April 29-April 30, 2022
Registration and Format Information TBA

Between the years 1100 and 1300 medieval France underwent profound transformations.  One could argue that “France” came into being during these pivotal centuries as the kingdom witnessed increasing political centralization, changing social norms, an efflorescence in religious devotion and practice, and evolving artistic and architectural tastes.  “On the Borders of the Realm” will eschew the customary focus on Paris and the triumphalist narrative of the rise of the Capetian monarchy, to take up the history of medieval France from the perspective(s) of the principalities and regions which formed it and gave it definition from the outside in.  Over two days, this interdisciplinary conference, bringing together scholars from the US and Europe, will showcase the latest approaches and methods to the study of the society, politics, religion, literary and material culture of twelfth- and thirteenth-century France with papers on topics ranging from aristocratic governance, fief holding and administration, to rule, coexistence and conflict in the Crusader States of Syria, Palestine, and Greece, the transmission of relics from the eastern Mediterranean to France, the evolving artistic and architectural programs of the shrines which housed them, charity and the rise of local hospitals, and the rise of the vernacular verse and prose which so profoundly shaped the ideologies and identities of aristocrats and the culture of the royal court itself. Indeed, those lords, vassals, men and women, living in the principalities that surrounded the royal domain engaged with and contested the consolidation of Capetian authority in ways that reveal the complexity of power at work and the importance of culture as an engine of social and political change.

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