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
3–4 March, 2017
Indiana University, Bloomington
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.
Our Keynote Speaker for the conference will be Wendy Swartz (Comparative Literature, Rutgers) whose work focuses on cultural memory and the uses of the past in Medieval China.
Please send an abstract of no more than 300 words to firstname.lastname@example.org by January 13, 2017