Not to ‘represent the past’, but to ‘represent it in accordance with current interests and needs’: this is the aim of institutionalized memory.
The etymology of recordare is indicative of the role that memory has in a society. In fact, the selection and omission that take place in memory formation only emphasize the constructive nature of memory: “Only the significant past is remembered, only the remembered past is significant” (Assmann 1992:97). This chiasmus underlines the question of power and its relation to knowledge: Who remembers? Who decides what to remember? Why? How?
Seen from our point of view, a millennium later, the number of media in the Middle Ages that overcame the ephemeral nature of the present moment
was rather small. Letters, images, and their combinations were the dominant medieval media through which it was possible to re(create) and (trans)form
the official memory.
Literature was a very powerful medium of medieval memory. Due to restricted access, literature – as well as the other forms of art – should not be seen as individualistic, but rather understood as works composed and received within the patronal frame. Within that model of literary communication and constellation, those expressions were active participants in the continuous process of self-contemplation and self-reflection of those societies.
Medias in res: the title of the conference is used metaphorically in a double sense. First, it is used in the temporal sense, to determine the period of the 11th-13th centuries in Spain as a general thematic frame. This intense period includes the growth of population, socio-economic development, ecclesiastic reform, rise and codification of chivalry, development of the court and centralizing royal tendencies in the Iberian Peninsula. Secondly, the term medias in res is used to limit the thematic frame geographically: Castile and its gradual consolidation, reflected in the predominance of Castilian in the official discourse, form another focus of the conference, which does not exclude the complex relations with other kingdoms and centers of power, within and outside the Iberian Peninsula.
This interdisciplinary conference aims to explore specific topics in order to correlate and confront them on a theoretical and methodological meta-level in a way that is consistent with the analyzed period. Literature, historiography, history of art, linguistic situation, manuscript illumination, codicological analysis of manuscripts are only some of the possible ways to explore the many changes of the period in question.
We are pleased to announce that internationally renowned medievalists and hispanists have chosen this conference to present their current projects.
This conference will also be a unique opportunity to establish dialogue between these distinguished scholars and early career researchers/PhD students dedicated to the Middle Ages
in the Iberian Peninsula.
Both 20-minute papers and debates are expected to be held in Spanish or English.
Poderes y memoria histórica en los reinos occidentales de la Península Ibérica durante los siglos XI a XIII
'Fama regis conclusit mare': la memoria y las letras en el 1200 castellano
Recordando San Ildefonso: de Sevilla a Toledo
Martin of Leon: a Spanish Crusade Preacher in the Late Twelfth Century
Memory, Oblivion, and Transformations of the Past in Medieval Catalan Genealogies
El parto sin embarazo. Experiencia y memoria según Gonzalo de Berceo
Ficción y sentidos corporales al servicio de la memoria religiosa en los Milagros de Berceo: a propósito del prólogo
Paisaje monumental, spolia y memoria en la construcción de identidades: Al-Andalus y Castilla en la España medieval
Ekphrasis and Allegory: Views on Santiago de Compostela
La ciudad en la literatura castellana del siglo XIII
Dead Voice, the Science of the Soul, and Intermediality
Problemas de la invención de un pasado para un nuevo reino: sobre la poesía épica castellana entre 1158 y 1230
El poder de la comunicación simbólica en la materia cidiana
La Glera de Burgos y otros lugares de memoria en la Castilla medieval
De las Nobiles concubinas a la damnatio memoriae en las fuentes hispanas (XI-XIV)
La literatura sapiencial y su función en la España tricultural: desde la Disciplina clericalis de Petrus Alfonsi al Conde Lucanor de Juan Manuel