CeSMA’s own Naomi Standen is off to Fernuniversität Hagen in Germany next week to provide some much-needed global context at the conference “Troubling Europe: Connecting Contested Pasts from ‘Rome’ to ‘Europa’” run by Felicitas Schmieder, Univ. of Hagen and Elizabeth Tyler, Univ. of York:
Cultural memory, including memories of the medieval past, has been important for creating national identities for at least two hundred years. This project shifts the focus to Europe to pursue the subject of medieval narratives of community which extend beyond peoples, kingdoms and nations (such as being descendants of the Trojans) and how we study those narratives in the context of contemporary Europe. The aim is to contribute to research on European identity in the Middle Ages, while also interrogating the contemporary politics which drives an interest in a specifically European past. We are interested in interrogating the tension between a small, exclusive Europe and a wide, hegemonic one, in confronting issues of Eurocentrism and in opening up the complexities and contradictions involved in the misfit between medieval and modern ideas of Europe. We encourage research on modern narratives of Europe and on medieval narratives of communities; already established research on national narratives will provide us with methodology and possible starting points but will not be in the core of our interest. This project will involve an integration of basic research with public outreach and impact. We also aim to apply for a COST action on the subject of medieval Europe.