Moving Beyond the “Land of the Three Cultures”: Re-Thinking Medieval Iberia” is an interdisciplinary symposium that will be held at the University of Notre Dame, September 13-14, 2013. This symposium seeks to challenge the received notion of medieval Iberia as a “Land of the Three Cultures” by questioning the relevance of this construct. Was medieval Iberia a land of only three cultures? Why not four, five, six or more? Despite recent calls to do away with the convivencia and reconquista paradigms, the question of how to proceed from here remains. This symposium will address the implications of cultural-religious approaches to the study of medieval Iberia by asking: How do we move beyond the “Land of the Three Cultures”? Do we want to? Can we? What are the alternatives?

The symposium will be structured around four consecutive sessions dealing with technology and material culture; law and religion; literature; and language and translation. Each session will feature two papers (20 minutes each), one presented by a graduate student and the other by a faculty member. These papers will be followed by comments from the moderator, leading into a period for questions and discussion. A roundtable session will conclude the conference, led by two discussants who will give comments and then open the floor for general discussion.

The tentative schedule can be consulted here.

This symposium is organized by Belen Vicens (PhD candidate in History) in collaboration with Olivia Remie Constable.

Photo credit: The front image for this symposium is a detail from the manuscript called the Vidal Mayor (Los Angeles, The J. Paul Getty Museum, Ms. Ludwig XIV 6, fol. 242v). Artist Unknown, Initial S: The Baptism of a Muslim, ca. 1290-1310. Tempera colors, gold leaf, and ink on parchment, 36.5 x 24 cm.


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