International Medieval Congress, Leeds University, 13-16 July 2009
Session sponsored by the International Center of Medieval Art
Shaping Reception of Medieval Sites: What are we doing?
Organized by: Janet T. Marquardt, Eastern Illinois University
With the eleven-hundredth anniversary of the Abbey of Cluny's
foundation in 910 approaching, it seems timely to evaluate our
current understanding of medieval monuments as cultural patrimony.
We have seen two centuries of rising awareness to the historical
importance, cultural meaning, and tourism potential of medieval
structures in Western Europe. They have changed from outdated and
neglected ruins past fashionable appreciation to picturesque relics
claiming large investments toward their restoration. Yet some
countries have too many historical monuments to maintain and the
oldest represent the largest resource drain. How relevant are
medieval sites today and why should modern administrations continue
to market them as "authentic" representatives of culture? Who
determines popular views of the past in our society and are they
merely following formulae initiated in the nineteenth century? Why
are we still commemorating anniversaries of medieval institutions
This session would ideally be composed of papers about sites that
have been reevaluated or which have been recently "rediscovered,"
their reception and commemoration, as well as how their role in the
past and towards the future continues to be shaped.
Please email paper proposals of no more than 300 words to
2008 and indicate whether you would require a digital data or
traditional slide projector.