Call for Papers: Jerusalem the Holy City

Deadline: 15 September 2019

The Stanford University Center for Medieval and Early Modern Studies (CMEMS) is pleased to announce that we will sponsor three sessions at the 55th International Congress on Medieval Studies in Kalamazoo, Michigan (May 7-10, 2020). Among these are two linked panel sessions entitled “Jerusalem: The Holy City.” The first considers medieval imaginings of a distant Jerusalem across textual, visual, and material culture, while the second considers Jerusalem as an interreligious experience among Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

We invite proposals for each of these sessions, and will consider all those received by September 15th. Proposals should consist of a short abstract (300 words max) and a completed participant information form. General submissions guidelines are available here, but please get in touch if you have any questions. As per ICMS rules, any proposals not accepted for our sessions will be forwarded to the Congress committee to be considered for inclusion in the General Sessions.

Jerusalem (I): The Holy City in Textual, Visual, and Material Culture

Organizer: Mareike Elisa Reisch, Stanford University

This panel will focus on how Jerusalem was imagined from afar in textual, visual, and material culture. As recent scholarship has shown, Jerusalem existed not only as a geographical space entangled in local and transregional politics, but also as the subject of imaginations from afar because of its importance as a sacred space in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. People integrated, for example, images of Jerusalem into their personal devotional practices when they embarked on a virtual pilgrimage. As the place of Christian salvation, Jerusalem also inspired textual, visual, and material productions for public devotional practices. The city was imagined as the ultimate acquisition for religio-political expansion, as seen during the crusades. Material objects such as pilgrimage badges and gravesites show one’s personal connections and images of Jerusalem. The different ways in which Jerusalem was imagined from afar are still traceable in textual culture in the form of pilgrimage guidebooks, devotional texts, accounts of the crusades, and literary production, in architectural structures, in visual images such as altarpieces, epitaphs, and maps. This panel welcomes papers from all fields and aims for an interdisciplinary exchange.

Please send enquiries and submissions to mreisch@stanford.edu

Jerusalem (II): The Holy City as Interreligious Experience.

Organizer: Ana C. Núñez, Stanford University

This panel will focus on the nature of Jerusalem as an interreligious space. As the home of Jews, Christians, and Muslims, as well as the destination of pilgrims, crusaders, and merchants, Jerusalem was a simultaneously shared, contested, and negotiated site. This panel will offer a forum to discuss how texts, architecture, and art reflect the centuries of contestation and negotiation from Late Antiquity to the Late Middle Ages. Pilgrimage texts from the ninth century, for example, detail the travel documents that the Christian pilgrim needed in order to visit Jerusalem under Muslim rule. The Tomb of David on Mount Zion witnessed competing claims between Jews and Christians in the fifteenth century, until in the first half of the sixteenth century Muslim control resulted in the conversion of the chapel into a mosque, and the banned entry of both Jews and Christians. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is another example of interreligious experience, in which various Christian communities—Latins, Georgians, Greeks, Armenians, and Ethiopians—vied for control and supremacy. To explore the long and multi-faceted history of Jerusalem as an interreligious space, we welcome papers from across disciplines, from anytime between Late Antiquity and the Late Middle Ages.

Please send enquiries and submissions to ananunez@stanford.edu