Tag Archives: Gregorian Reform

CFP: 15th Annual Conference of the International Medieval Society-Paris (IMS): Truth and Fiction, 28-30 June 2018

25e58865266eadd5bdb9a530a627b0db-medieval-art-middle-agesCall for Papers: 15th Annual Conference of the International Medieval Society-Paris (IMS), Truth and Fiction
Deadline: 24 November 2017.

In the wake of the US presidential election and the Brexit referendum, the Oxford English Dictionary chose the expression “post-truth” as its word of the year. This expression underlines the growing tendency to dismiss objective facts in favor of impulsive—and often prejudicial—feelings, frequently supported by “alternative facts.” The contentious relationship between the truth and lies, or truth and fiction, which is currently playing out in the public arena has, in fact, a long-standing legacy—one which can be traced back to the Middle Ages. For this reason, this year’s IMS conference seeks to investigate the variety of different approaches to truth and fiction that existed in the Middle Ages.

One possible avenue of inquiry concerns new ideas of Truth introduced by the Gregorian reforms. On a philosophical and doctrinal level, the idea of the infallibility of the Pope, the “Doctor of Truth,” was introduced by Gregory VII who, taking up the words of Christ, contended that he was the Truth (via, veritas, et vita). From a liturgical and sacramental point of view, on the other hand, we can study contemporary tenets of Eucharistic doctrine as a challenge to common sense as a mystery of human understanding—albeit articulated in rationalist terms. Papers thus might address the manner by which the Gregorian reforms placed the question of truth at the center of the demands of society: by constructing this “ideology of truth,” but also—and above all—by implementing mechanisms like preaching, which spread Truth to Christians, and confession, which introduced the obligation to speak the truth. We are particularly interested in the place and the role of Fictions in these devices (sermons, exempla, vita, etc.).

A second approach to this theme is through language, discourse and narrative forms that aimed to produce a supposed truth. We could examine the relationships between literature and history and their ambiguity with respect to the truth. For example, fictionalized historical narratives throughout the medieval period were frequently thought to be true because they provided a means of decrypting the social order. As John of Salisbury wrote, “even the lies of poets served the Truth.” Papers might explore relationships between truth and fiction through the lens of historical and literary genres (novels, epics, etc.) and the ‘truths’ they produced, placing special emphasis on the way that it was possible to believe the facts related in these works. The importance of these historico-literary fictions—what Paul Veyne called “doctrine in the face of facts”—might also be taken into account.

Law and rhetoric also construct notions of truth. Rhetoric permits the control of the relationship between the author and the audiences of a text and the establishment of the status of a text as veridic, among other things. It can even create direct links between music and words, using metaphor as a means of approaching the truth. Papers could consider, for instance, the virtuosity of the effects of Truth produced by the dictamen or even the quaestio scholastique as a method for establishing Truth with certitude, as well as the place of fiction within these new political languages.

Images throughout the medieval period play a fundamental role in the construction or undermining of truth(s). According to Augustine, the image is not truth, but rather a means of understanding Truth. For him, the work of art renders abstractions concrete using representations hat are both specific and individualized. What is the art object’s role in dispelling truth or decrying falsehoods? Through what formal and material means does it achieve either? Papers might consider the use and forms of medieval diagrams, the role of the art object in spiritual form, etc.

Finally, the conference aims to examine the origins and development of interrogative procedures in the medieval period, in that they illustrate relationships with the truth maintained by medieval societies. We are especially interested in the uses and status of fictive facts in inquisitorial trials, the manner that fictions were revealed during trials, or even how the participation of individuals in inquisitorial trials was viewed as an instrument of legitimization of power and as a way of acknowledging those individuals’ own truths and interpretations of facts.

This great diversity of themes opens participation to researchers working in a variety of different fields and coming from a variety of backgrounds: historians, art historians, musicologists, philosophers, literary scholars, specialists in auxiliary sciences (paleographers, epigraphists, codicologists, numismatists)… While we focus on medieval France, compelling submissions focused on other geographical areas that also fit the conference theme are welcomed. In bringing together such diverse proposals, the IMS conference seeks to take a new look at the notion of Truth, its articulations, and its relationship with Fiction in the medieval world.

Abstracts of no more than 300 words (in French or English) for a 20-minute paper should be sent to communications.ims.paris@gmail.com. Each proposal should be accompanied by full contact information, a CV, and a list of the audio-visual equipment required for the presentation.

The deadline for abstracts is 24 November 2017.

Paper selections will be made by a scientific committee composed of Catherine Croizy-Naquet (Univ. Paris 3/CERAM), Marie Dejoux (Univ. Paris 1/LAMOP), Lindsey Hansen (IMS), Fanny Madeline (LAMOP/IMS), and Valerie Wilhite (Univ. of the Virgin Islands/IMS), as well as the members of the Board of Directors of the IMS.

Please be aware that the IMS-Paris submissions review process is highly competitive and is carried out on a strictly anonymous basis.

The selection committee will email applicants in mid-December to notify them of its decisions. Titles of accepted papers will be made available on the IMS-Paris website thereafter.

Authors of accepted papers will be responsible for their own travel costs and conference registration fees (35€ per person, 20€ for students, free for members of LAMOP and CERAM; 10€ membership dues for all participants).

The IMS-Paris is an interdisciplinary, bilingual (French/English) organization that fosters exchanges between French and foreign scholars. For more than a decade, the IMS has served as a center for medievalists who travel to France to conduct research, work or study. For more information about the IMS-Paris and for past symposium programs, please visit our websites: www.ims-paris.org and https://imsparis.hypotheses.org.

IMS-Paris Graduate Student Prize:

The IMS-Paris is pleased to offer one prize for the best paper proposal by a graduate student. Applications should consist of:

1) a symposium paper abstract

2) an outline of a current research project (PhD dissertation research)

3) the names and contact information of two academic referees

The prize-winner will be selected by the board and a committee of honorary members, and will be notified upon acceptance to the Symposium. An award of 350€ to support international travel/accommodation (within France, 150€) will be paid at the symposium.

CFP: The Myth of Origins. The (Re-)Making of Medieval Sacral Space through Liturgical Reform (Leeds 2015)

Call for Papers for three joint sessions to be submitted for the
International Medieval Congress, Institute of Medieval Studies, Leeds 6-9 July 2015
(special thematic strand: Reform & Renewal)
The Myth of Origins. The (Re-)Making of Medieval Sacral Space through Liturgical Reform
Deadline: 10 September 2014

Ivan Foletti, Universities of Brno and Lausanne
Elisabetta Scirocco, Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz–Max-Planck-Institut
Sponsor: Center for Early Medieval Studies, University of Brno

The Myth of Origins. The (Re-)Making of Medieval Sacral Space through Liturgical Reform
i. The Second Vatican Council and Twentieth-Century Historiography
ii. Reformation and Counter-Reformation
iii. Gregorian Reform

elevationDivided into three sections, this proposal aims to reflect the ways in which the sacred space of late antiquity is constructed in a retrospective manner, through the most important reforms in the two millennia of the Western Church. Following a diachronic process in reverse, from the twentieth century to the Middle Ages, the stages identified are: The Second Vatican Council; The Council of Trent and the Protestant Reformation; the so-called Gregorian Reform. All coincide with significant moments of crisis for the Latin Church. In each of these historical phases, the answer to the crisis is found in the mythical past, in the origins of the Early Church. In the liturgical field, this is realized in an attempt to restore some of the distinctive elements of the old liturgy, or elements that were presumed to be so. The changes are associated with a critical rhetorical frame, which legitimized the process by virtue of emphasizing the importance of its supposed “authentic” origins. Thus, the innovative dimension of the reform was often denied: in the words of the reformers, what was being done was not to create a new solution, but going back to original ideals, to a Church fair and immaculate.

The search for “antique” elements and the discourse that accompanied their introduction inevitably ended up building a new past, which is reflected heavily in objects and spaces of the sacred, and in the following historiography.

The proposed sessions focus on the manner in which these “denied” reforms actually build history. The sessions will follow a reverse chronology: (i.) the Second Vatican Council and its historiographical premises, which have their roots in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries; (ii.) the Protestant Reformation and the Catholic Counter-Reformation; and (iii.) the so-called Gregorian Reform of the eleventh century.

Participants are invited to reflect on such issues as: the methods used by the reformers to learn about the past; the manner in which the past is reconstructed and modified (consciously and unconsciously) in the texts and monuments; the impact of the “new past” on studies and on the perception of the ancient liturgy.

Papers from a historiographical and a diachronic art historical perspective are especially welcome.

Paper proposals of no more than one page, accompanied by a short CV, can be submitted by 10 September 2014 to: ivan.foletti@gmail.com and escirocco@gmail.com.