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Call for papers: After the Conquest: Converging Approaches to the Study of the Iberian Reconquista

24th October 2017

Papers are being sought for "After the Conquest: convergent methodologies and divergent practices in the study of the Iberian Reconquista, 9th-14th centuries", a conference organised by the Woolf Institute, University of Cambridge, to take place on 12-14 February 2018.

Popularly known as the Reconquista, the Christian conquest of al-Andalus in theIberian Peninsula has long been a popular area of research. Although there have been some major breakthroughs over the past thirty years, an historiographical impasse has hindered transnational collaboration between different scholars and schools of thought. 

A fundamental aim of the proposed workshop is to go beyond the dominant narrative of conquest, that has framed the Christian military advance in terms of change versus continuity: whether the Christian takeover amounted to a military, feudal conquest breaking with the Islamic past; or whether Latin rule was mitigated by surrender treaties, hybrid ethno-cultural institutions and pragmatic tolerance or coexistence, known as 'convivencia' among scholarly circles and in popular culture. 

The workshop starts from the premise that this debate has become somewhat sterile, and hopes that in bringing advocates from different scholarly camps, we can go beyond the established paradigm. The two-day gathering will thus bring together a variety of archaeologists, historians and art historians to discuss different types of evidence, approaches and methodologies, during the different stages of theChristian conquests of Islamic Spain.

The 20-minute papers may address the following suggested themes, but not exclusively: • The relationship between space, local communities and political allegiance  • Changes in urban and rural structures • The evolution of institutions and socio-economic systems  • Contrasting pre- / and post-conquest pools of evidence (written and archaeological) • Non-Christian perspectives on the Latin conquest  • Representations of conquest and transition: for instance, narratology (particularly narratives of crusade/jihād), biology and demography (from anthroponymy to isotope analyses), or iconography (images of power, both secular and religious). • Different theoretical approaches in framing the Christian takeover ('postcolonial studies', 'emotions', frontier studies, feudalism...)

There is no registration fee for this conference. Interested participants are encouraged to submit a 200-300 word abstract to Rodrigo García-Velasco (rig25@cam.ac.uk). The deadline for submissions is October 30th, 2017.

 



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