Monday, February 20, 2012

Call for Applicants: NEH Summer Institute (Barcelona, July 2012)

Call for Applications

1 March 2012 - Email and postmark deadline for applications.

Networks and Knowledge in the Medieval Muslim-Christian-Jewish Mediterranean*

The Mediterranean Seminar announces the opening of  applications for a four-week NEH Summer Institute to be held on in  Barcelona, Spain, July 2-27, 2012.

This Institute, funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities,  with the collaboration of the the Mediterranean Seminar/UCMRP and the  support of the Institute for Humanities Research at the University of  California Santa Cruz, will bring together 24 college and university  faculty and graduate students for an intensive 4-week course, directed  by Sharon Kinoshita (Literature, UC Santa Cruz) and Brian A. Catlos (Religious Studies, University of Colorado Boulder/History, UC Santa Cruz).

The aim is to introduce college and university instructors to new approaches to the medieval Mediterranean (c. 1000--1500) and its role in  the emergence of the modern world. As a region whose history of  connectivity goes back two and a half millennia, the Mediterranean is currently the object of innovative scholarship in various disciplines. Where traditional accounts cast the Middle Ages as the lull between the loss of the culture of classical antiquity and its "rebirth" in the Renaissance, rethinking the Middle Ages through the optic of the medieval Mediterranean emphasizes questions of religious and ethnic pluralisms, cultural contact, transculturation, and the negotiation of identities.

This is the third program of this type organized by Kinoshita and Catlos, and follows up on the successes of their 2008 and 2010 NEH Summer Institutes.

The 2012 Institute focuses on the medieval Mediterranean as a zone of cultural, scientific, and technological innovation. The facility with which ideas and technologies traversed the Mediterranean is testament to the commonalities underlying the apparent contrasts between ethnic and religious groups. The Institute's distinguished multidisciplinary Guest Faculty examines the circulation of knowledge and shared practices through topics including:

"Mobility and Communications" (Peregrine Horden),
"Changing Christian Attitudes towards Muslim Food and Foodways" (Olivia 
Remie Constable),
"The Topography of Translation" (Charles Burnett),
"Networks of Literary Transmission" (Karla Mallette),
"Medical Knowledge and Daily Life Experience" (Fernando Salmón).

Studying the circulation of medieval Mediterranean knowledge and practices, this project redefines  medieval inter-religious interaction so that "Holy War" is revealed not as the dominant mode of, but as only one pole of a spectrum that includes co-existence, accommodation, and cooperation. It reveals that many "modern" ideas and technologies (municipal republics, double-entry accounting, neo-Aristotelian logic, vernacular literature, paper, rice cultivation, universities, etc.) first crystallized in the medieval Mediterranean, thus calling into question established teleological meta-narratives, and geo-historical 
and cultural paradigms, in order to contribute to a revised understanding of the "rise" of the Modern West.

For general information and in order to apply, see the NEH website 
( <>).

Detailed information regarding this and our previous Institutes (2008 
<> & 
please see the Mediterranean Seminar website 
( <>)

NOTE: The Mediterranean Seminar and the UCSC Center for Mediterranean Studies sponsor many projects open to international scholars and eagerly collaborate with non-US institutions. This NEH Summer Institute, however, is primarily intended for US citizens and residents. Please consult the Mediterranean Seminar website's pages (NEH 2012 >> FAQs) for details.

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