The American Academy of Research Historians of Medieval Spain (AARHMS) is pleased to announce the organization of a panel at the 2023 International Medieval Congress in Leeds entitled “Relics and Reliquaries in Iberia, c. 1000-1400: Stories, Places, and Identities”.
This panel, within the world’s leading annual gathering of medieval experts, intends to unravel the overlooked entanglements of relics and reliquaries in the lives of medieval individuals from different social strata. Reliquaries have traditionally been seen by art historians in modern times as mere objects with an aesthetic value – described, categorized, and compared. Yet, reliquaries offer a window into the mindsets of their original audiences. The reading of the saint’s texts, the materiality of the object, and the public performance of both content and container across city streets shaped the lives of vast segments of pious medieval populations and evoked different feelings and socio-political ideologies within given contexts.
Medieval Iberia is largely and remarkably absent from recent reference works on the subject, the objects in general not being extensively studied in Spanish universities as outsiders to the grander art historical canon. The complexities of medieval Iberia in terms of art, conflicting religions, and dynamic territorial realities make the study of relics and reliquaries particularly appealing and prone to major inroads.
Papers on any topic regarding the cult of saints, their material culture, and the socio-religious history of Spain and Portugal c. 1000-1400 are welcome. Topics emphasizing overlooked gender and sexuality issues, multi-religious settings, hybridity, and violence, as well as health and disease, will be particularly appreciated.
Please send an abstract of fewer than 300 words, along with a short bio, to Dr. Jesús Rodríguez Viejo (AARHMS) to firstname.lastname@example.org before September 23, 2022.