Tuesday, May 13, 2008

CFP: The York Massacre in Context

The York Massacre of 1190 in context:
Reassessing relations between Jews and others in medieval England
An Interdisciplinary Conference


29-31 March 2010, Centre for Medieval Studies, University of York.

The mass suicide and murder of the men, women and children of the Jewish community in York on 16 March 1190 is one of the most scarring events in the history of the city, and an aspect of its past which is widely remembered around the world. Little work has been done on the Jewish community of York in recent years but there is a growing body of new scholarship on the history and archaeology of the city and in the reappraisal of wider English society and government in that period which we feel could now be brought to bear on retelling the story of the massacre and re-examining its implications.

This conference will aim to use the events of 1189-90 as a lens through which to reassess society in England in the later twelfth and early thirteenth centuries. The York massacre was not just a local event but one of a series of violent attacks on local communities of Jews across England in 1189-90. This wider conflict provides an important insight into the rapidly changing nature of English society. We therefore wish to invite papers not only on Anglo-Jewry but on the wider interpretative frameworks of scholarship on English culture, society and government within which the events of 1190 need to be located.

We are pleased to announce that our keynote speakers will be:

Professor Paul R. Hyams, Department of History, Cornell University, "Anglo-Jewry and its place in the wider society c. 1189-90".

Professor Jeffrey J. Cohen, Department of English, George Washington University, "The Future of the Jews of York"

Following the conference we aim to publish a selection of papers as a coherent volume with a major university press.

We would welcome papers treating any of the themes suggested above including:
• the events of 1189-90 in England, their antecedents and aftermath.
• new scholarship on critical bodies of primary source material which illuminate relationships between Jews and others in medieval England.
• institutional and local engagement with Jewish communities in medieval England
• defining the Jewish community in medieval England in Christian or Jewish praxis and lexis.
• the memory of the events of 1189-90 both within the middle ages and beyond

Papers should be between 20 and 40 minutes in length. Please specify the proposed length in your submission and whether you would also want your submission to be considered for publication, or not. Preliminary suggestions would be most welcome by 23 June 2008 if possible (see below). Please send full submissions (maximum one side A4), by 15 January 2009, to:

Dr Sarah Rees Jones and Dr Sethina Watson, Centre for Medieval Studies, University of York, King’s Manor, Exhibition Square, York, YO1 7EP. Email: srrj1@york.ac.uk and sw555@york.ac.uk

Preliminary workshop:

On 24 June 2008 we will be holding a preliminary small workshop in York which will focus on the current work of Hannah Meyer (University of Cambridge) and Hugh Doherty (University of Oxford), as well as Sarah Rees Jones and Sethina Watson (University of York). This will be a small informal occasion for us to share ideas about our current projects and discuss the conference and volume in more detail. It would be extremely helpful to us if we could have preliminary expressions of interest for participation in the full conference by that date, or suggestions of contacts. We will of course still welcome later expressions of interest if this is not possible. If you happen to be in York you would be most welcome to attend the workshop, but we will try to restrict participation to around 20.

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