Memories of the Holy Land

Torre

The Tower of David, Jerusalem. Photograph by Michele Campopiano, April 2013.

A post from Imagining Jerusalem network member Michele Campopiano (University of York), on some of the upcoming activities of his project with the Universiteit van Amsterdam, ‘Cultural Memory and Identity in the Late Middle Ages: the Franciscans of Mount Zion in Jerusalem and the Representation of the Holy Land (1333-1516)’.

Call for Papers: An interdisciplinary conference: ‘Memory and Identity in the Middle Ages: The Construction of a Cultural Memory of the Holy Land (4th-16th centuries)’ (Amsterdam, 26 & 27 May 2016)

Session at the International Medieval Congress: ‘Memory, Identity, and Renewal in the Late Middle Ages: The Franciscans of Mount Zion in Jerusalem and the Representation of the Holy Land, 14th-16th Centuries’ (Leeds, 6 July 2015)

The Holy Land has played an important role in the definition of the identities of the so-called Abrahamic religions. Constitutive narratives about the past of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam were largely bound to this shared and contested space. As put forward both by Maurice Halbwachs and Jan Assmann, memory adheres to what is ‘solid’: it is stored away in outward symbols. The Holy Land is a focal point around which the shared memories of these different groups formed, and has been crucial for defining their identities. Our project: ‘Cultural Memory and Identity in the Late Middle Ages: the Franciscans of Mount Zion in Jerusalem and the Representation of the Holy Land (1333-1516)’ is trying to analyze the role of the Franciscans in the construction of a cultural memory of the Holy Land. In the Late Middle Ages, when pilgrimage to the Holy Land experienced an extraordinary blossom, the Franciscans welcomed, helped and guided pilgrims in the Levant. We also aim to place our research in a broader cultural and religious context. We have therefore organised two different meetings in order to stimulate further exchange of ideas among different scholars of the Holy Land. In chronological order, the first will be our session at the International Medieval Congress in Leeds: ‘Memory, Identity, and Renewal in the Late Middle Ages: The Franciscans of Mount Zion in Jerusalem and the Representation of the Holy Land, 14th-16th Centuries’ (Monday 6 July 2015).

We are however also organizing an interdisciplinary conference in Amsterdam (26 & 27 May 2016). With this conference, we are hoping to work with an even broader range of specialists in different disciplines and periods about the connection between the Holy Land as site of memory and the formation of religious and political identities from Constantine to the Ottomans. The contribution of specialists in Jewish and Islamic studies, as well as that of students of Eastern Christian Churches, is particularly welcome. The period between the age of Constantine and the late Renaissance was formative for constructing this memory. It saw the valorisation of Christian holy places under Constantine, the birth of Islam, the construction of an important Jewish scholarly community in the Holy Land, the Crusades, the massive growth of late medieval pilgrimage involving Jewish, Christian and Islamic groups, as well as other crucial events. The conference aims to bring together scholars who study the memories of the holy places within these religious galaxies from various disciplinary perspectives, in order to achieve a constructive exchange of ideas. Scholars of all so-called Abrahamic religions are invited to submit proposals, including scholars of Western and Eastern Christianity, Judaism and Islam. The call is open for historians, art historians, literary scholars, theologians, philosophers working on topics ranging from Late Antiquity to the Renaissance.

This conference is organised by me and the other members of the team of the research project ‘Cultural Memory and Identity in the Late Middle Ages: the Franciscans of Mount Zion in Jerusalem and the Representation of the Holy Land (1333-1516)’: Valentina Covaci, Guy Geltner and Marianne Ritsema van Eck. The project is funded by the Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (NWO).

We are looking for papers about 30 minutes long, and will be followed by 15 minutes of discussion. Participants are asked to send an abstract of 300 words to memory.and.identity.conference@gmail.com before 1 December 2015, together with information concerning their academic affiliation. Travel costs and two nights of accommodation will be financed by the project.

For further information, please download the call for papers here.

If you have other question about our session at the International Medieval Congress in Leeds or our Conference in Amsterdam, feel also free to contact me (michele.campopiano[at]york[dot]ac[dot]uk). All comments on this website are welcome: we are looking forward to engaging the broader public in our multidisciplinary research!

Michele Campopiano

University of York

Universiteit van Amsterdam

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Ottoman Cosmopolitanism Masterclass on Transcultural Ottoman Memories, London, 29 November

The AHRC-funded Ottoman Cosmopolitanism network is hosting a masterclass for postgraduate and early career researchers on the topic of ‘Transmedial/Transcultural Memories: Points of Convergence’, which may be of interest to researchers working on Ottoman Jerusalem. The deadline for applications is 15 October, so get writing!

The following is reblogged from the Ottoman Cosmopolitanism blog:

Transmedial/Transcultural Memories: Points of Convergence

London, Saturday 29 November 2014

The Ottoman Cosmopolitanism Network is pleased to present a free half-day masterclass on the topic of transmedial/transcultural Ottoman memories for postgraduate students and early career researchers (who have completed their PhD for no more than 3 years), led by theorist of postmemory, Marianne Hirsch (Professor, Columbia University) and archivist/creator of aka Kurdistan, Susan Meiselas (Magnum photographer). The class will focus on the ways in which transcultural memories becomes crucially translated across various media, including trans-modal forms, e.g. in combination with websites and books, films and exhibitions. The class will also explore the nature of disputed memories and representations of particular attachments to land and place in spite of histories of trauma and exile. While not mandatory to attend, the second half of the day will be dedicated to performances by storytellers and cultural activists who practise differing creative modalities of articulating transcultural Ottoman memories.

Due to the interactive nature of the masterclass, there are only 25 positions available. In order to apply, please fill out the below application form. If accepted, you will be expected to produce of a poster (A4 size fine) which best represents your research and its relation to the central themes of the class. The poster (which will be shared in the class) must include (a) a maximum 300-word description of your current research and how it relates to the topic of the class, and (b) any kind of visual representation of your research: images, diagrams, etc. You may choose to include your poster as part of your application. Applications are encouraged from any field of discipline and do not need to be practice-based. Applicants should also be aware that there will be a small amount of required reading by Hirsch and Meiselas (which will be provided through email) before the class.

Click on the following link for the Ottoman Masterclass Application Form, which is due by 15 October 2014. For a pdf version, click here.

Call for Papers: The Politics of Visual Translations of Jerusalem, History of Art, University of York, March 2015

The History of Art Department at the University of York is hosting a cross-period, interdisciplinary conference in March 2015 on ‘The Politics of Visual Translations of Jerusalem’. The Call for Papers is below, and you can download it as a PDF here.

Access to and sovereignty over the holy places of Jerusalem is a frequent source of political tension amongst the three Abrahamic faiths, while further discord has developed over the religious and secular identities of the city. There is no question that contemporary visualisations of Jerusalem are concerned with the political status and symbolism of Jerusalem as a divided city, disputed state capital and key issue for the peaceful resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. However, despite acknowledgment of the deep historical roots of contemporary political conflicts in the Middle East, the political significance of earlier visual translations of Jerusalem has often escaped scholarly attention. This conference aims to address this important issue. It seeks to look across different historical periods, geographical boundaries and religious traditions to bring out the range of political ideas and agendas which underpin architectural translations, visual representations and physical relics of Jerusalem in Europe and beyond. Considering the ways in which Jerusalem and its holy places were imagined, visually represented, and replicated across the medieval, early modern and modern periods, the conference will ask: What political interests or regimes have become invested in the recreation of Jerusalem? How have local or wider political events impacted on Jerusalem translations and their histories, for example with regard to iconoclasm and politically motivated acts of vandalism and destruction? As such, the conference will examine political dimensions in the construction, use, appropriation, and reception history of visual translations of Jerusalem, seeking to establish a productive scholarly dialogue between place, period and political agenda.

Keynote lectures will be given by Achim Timmermann (University of Michigan) and Antony Eastmond (Courtauld Institute).

Papers are invited from researchers in the fields of history of art and architecture, politics, history, literature, religion, archaeology, and other relevant disciplines. Areas of particular interest include:

Jerusalem recreations and the definition of nations, states, empires, cities and peoples

Political regimes: the recreation of Jerusalem at centres of power and within political territories; the importance of Jerusalem for the self or public image of rulers

Current events: the role of visual translations of Jerusalem in political debates, polemics, propaganda, and political movements; Jerusalem sites as places of political resistance or rebellion

The politics of performance, exhibition and consumption

The use or reuse of Jerusalem sites as memorials

The politics of loss: destruction or neglect of Jerusalem translations

Please send an abstract of up to 300 words to Laura Slater (jerusalemeuropeconference@gmail.com). Deadline for submission of proposals is 10 October 2014. Limited funding is available to help cover external speakers’ travel and accommodation expenses. Please let us know in your email if you require funding. The conference is organized in the context of the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/20072013)/ ERC grant agreement no.249466.

For further information see: https://www.york.ac.uk/historyofart/ visualtranslationsjerusalem/

CFP: ‘Remembering Jerusalem: Imagination, Memory, and the City’, London, 6-7 Nov. 2014

Remembering Jerusalem: Imagination, Memory, and the City
6th-7th November
King’s College London

Organised by the AHRC-Funded Research Network ‘Imagining Jerusalem, 1099 to the Present Day’

Keynote speakers: Professor Anthony Bale (Birkbeck), Professor Eyal Weizman (Goldsmiths).

Further keynotes TBA.

Perhaps the world’s most iconic city, Jerusalem exists both as a physical space and as a site of memory, ideas, and re-memberings. In art, literature, film, and history writing; in acts of public and private worship; and in communities across the globe, memories of Jerusalem have, for centuries, been created, invoked, and relived. This cross-period, interdisciplinary conference invites paper and panel submissions on the theme of Jerusalem and Memory, c. 1099 to the Present Day. Topics may include, but need not be limited to:

– techniques of memorialisation / techniques of memory
– place, space, and memory
– souvenirs, mementoes, and memory aids
– the materiality (or immateriality) of memory
– memory and sensation
– memory, land and environment
– memory and warfare
– memory and governance
– forgetting, false memory, and fictional remembering
– narrative and memory
– memory and the archive
– national, local, and transnational memories
– memory and community
– ethnography as remembering
– ritual, repetition, and performance
– sacred and secular memory

The organisers are particularly keen to receive panel submissions which address a shared theme across more than one discipline and/or historical period.

Abstracts of c. 300 words for single papers and c. 1000 words for panels consisting of three papers should be sent to imagining-jerusalem@york.ac.uk by 1st July 2014. For more details or inquiries, please contact the same address or visit the Network website: https://jerusalems.wordpress.com/

This conference is organised by the lead members of the Network: Dr Anna Bernard (KCL), Dr Michele Campopiano (York), Dr Helen Smith (York), Dr Jim Watt (York), and the Network Coordinator, Hannah Boast (York).

Download the Call for Papers.

Imagining Jerusalem – reflections on our first workshop

Our first meeting as a network took place last month in York. We were really pleased to see our early hopes of making cross-period and interdisciplinary connections realised in some fascinating and thought-provoking conversations during the two days of the workshop, and hugely grateful to all the members who were able to make it, especially those who travelled long distances to join us.

I’ve tried to condense some themes from the workshop in the following post, but if you were at the workshop, please do comment with any further recurrent topics that you noticed. If you weren’t, we’d love to hear the ideas that you think we could explore in future.

We began the first day with 5-minute presentations from members on their interest in Jerusalem – an exercise that worked surprisingly well, with everyone keeping to time and offering some thought-provoking questions and ideas! This quick-fire conversation uncovered some interesting points of connection between different periods, geographical contexts and disciplines, and highlighted exciting new areas of research.

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Ottoman Cosmopolitanism Network workshop: Visualising the Ottoman City

Following on from our last post on narratives of Ottoman Jerusalem, those who are interested in this period might like to attend the next workshop of the AHRC-funded research network Ottoman Pasts, Present Cities: Cosmopolitanism and Transcultural Memories.

The workshop is called ‘Visualising the Ottoman City’ and will take place at Birkbeck College, University of London on 28 March 2014. The workshop is the third in a series.

Further details about the workshop can be found here. The workshop is free to attend, but registration is required.