IMC 2007: Sessions

Session 411: Urban Literacy, III: A Round Table Discussion

Monday 9 July 2007, 19.30-20.30

Sponsor:Utrecht Centre for Medieval Studies, Universiteit Utrecht
Organiser:Marco Mostert, Onderzoekinstituut voor Geschiedenis en Kunstgeschiedenis, Universiteit Utrecht
Moderator/Chair:Marco Mostert, Onderzoekinstituut voor Geschiedenis en Kunstgeschiedenis, Universiteit Utrecht
Abstract

An important topic in recent research on medieval literacy is the growth of so-called literate mentalities. In the Middle Ages, in towns one seems to have had more chance of being confronted with writing than elsewhere. Much of the research deals with the topic of the different types of documents produced, used and kept in towns, or with the institutions using written records. This round table concludes a series of three sessions addressing urban pragmatic literacy in the context of all forms of communication available to medieval town dwellers. The use of the written word was an important (if not dominant) mode of communication in towns, and a crucial factor deciding the model of ‘urban’ culture. However, is it possible to conclude the existence of a specifically urban literate mentality? Apart from contributions by the speakers in the two regular sessions, statements will be made by Anna Adamska (Universiteit Utrecht), Michael Clanchy (University of London), Peter Johanek (Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität, Münster), and Katalin Szende (Central European University, Budapest).