May 16th, 2013
Winner of the 2013 La corónica International Book Award
Michael Vargas is Associate Professor of Medieval History at the State University of New York at New Paltz. He teaches courses encompassing many aspect of medieval Iberian society including Medieval Spains, Kings and Kingdoms, Inquisition, Medieval Traveler, and Jihad and Crusade.
Taming a Brood of Vipers: Conflict and Change in Fourteenth-Century Dominican Convents (Brill, 2011) draws from a rich trove of administrative records from the Province of Aragon of the Order of Friars Preachers. It shows mendicant friars in northeastern Iberia engaged in an internal fight over the meanings and functions of their lived religious experience. Dominican convents were complex communities (homes, schools, and workplaces all at once) that encouraged conflict while idealizing the quest for cooperation. While the boozing and womanizing of the Order’s undisciplined friars in the fourteenth century is legendary, the bad-boy friar stereotype does not adequately explain a range of behaviors that badly fit our assumptions about those who promised themselves to a religious profession. Vargas accepts that the Order suffered from the cataclysms of the period – economic disruption, war, plague, and schism – but older histories asserting that the friars were contaminated by factors beyond their control cover the truth in moralizing whitewash. Evidence of demographic, administrative, and attitude changes inside the Order suggests a slow intrusion of conflicted identities and competing loyalties. By the fourteenth century there were plenty of good reasons to confront the demands of an organization growing increasingly bureaucratic and legalistic.
March 8th, 2013
Call for Papers
First International Conference of Mens et Mensa Society for the Study of Food in the Middle Ages
October 24-25, 2013
Conference Theme: Foods and Communities in the Later Middle Ages (1000-1500 CE)
The acquisition, preparation and consumption of food is a basic human need that provides a lens through which scholars can explore relationships among economic, religious, literary, legal, political, cultural and social activity. Scholarly study of food, as well as its surrounding ideas and practices, illuminates the boundaries and nexus of material and mental exchanges that are so fundamental to human experience that they often escape a culture’s nominal categories to occasion the crossing of social and political borders. We are seeking papers devoted to the cross-disciplinary and crosscultural scholarship on ideas, practices and artifacts concerning food in the Middle Ages. Send one-page paper or panel proposal and short C.V to: CFPBarcelona2013@mensetmensa.org by May 20th, 2013.
For more information feel free to contact us:
Montserrat Piera firstname.lastname@example.org
John Bollweg email@example.com
March 2nd, 2013
Medieval Hispanic Languages, Literatures, and Culture.
Call for Papers for the 2014 MLA in Chicago
1. The Wisdom of Translation
This session will explore the role of medieval Iberia as a center for linguistic, literary, and cultural translation. Please send abstracts by the deadline. by 20 March 2013; Ryan Giles (rdgiles@indiana)
2. New Currents in Medieval Hispanic Studies
New work, issues or approaches in medieval Hispanic or Iberian studies. Abstract, CV by 15 March 2013; Benjamin M. Liu (firstname.lastname@example.org)
3. Representing Passion Narratives in Varied Linguistic Registers in the Iberian Peninsula: Mirroring or Conflicting Versions of Affective Piety?
Invites cross-linguistic, cross-disciplinary approaches to medieval Iberian Passion texts. Abstract, brief CV by 15 March 2013; Montserrat Piera (email@example.com)
4. Making Community in Vulnerable Medieval Times
Roundtable to discuss how people made community in medieval Iberia. See blog on La corónica website. Submit proposal for a brief presentation by 15 March 2013; Jean Dangler (firstname.lastname@example.org )
February 18th, 2013
To view comments, click here.
In keeping with the theme of next year’s MLA Convention 2014 in Chicago, “Vulnerable Times,” I would like to propose a special session in a roundtable format about “Making Community in Vulnerable Medieval Times” with a focus on Iberia. If medieval times are vulnerable by definition because the period from 500 to 1500 CE fails to represent stable conditions or times, then the idea of community during those 1000 years must be equally shifting.
Taking this up in a roundtable format rather than the standard presentation of papers enhances dialogue among presenters and our own academic community at the MLA. To that end I wanted to begin the discussion here, to ask you to weigh in on the kinds of discussions you would like addressed by the panel and to contribute your ideas on the topic. I plan to solicit abstracts and ask panelists to speak on their specific topics for a brief five minutes, leaving significant time for discussion.
Here are some initial questions and thoughts:
How did people make community in medieval Iberia? María Rosa Menocal and others have suggested that religion was not as dominant a point of individual or group identification as scholars maintain. Did people think about and create communities around a combination of different criteria, such as religion, social rank, and kinship, or can we be more specific? Was the idea of community important to people in medieval Iberia, and if so, did its importance and manifestations depend on sociohistoric and sociopolitical contexts? How did literature and song contribute to making community in medieval Iberia?
Associate Professor of Spanish and Medieval Iberian Studies
Department of Spanish and Portuguese
302 Newcomb Hall
New Orleans, LA 70118
January 30th, 2013
Volume 41.1 is now available.
Critical Cluster on:
Religion in Late Medieval and Early Modern Spain
Guest Editor: Cynthia Robinson, Cornell University