IMC 2012: Sessions

Session 503: Representing Medieval Race: Ambiguity, Conflation, and Conversion

Tuesday 10 July 2012, 09.00-10.30

Sponsor:Glasgow Centre for Medieval & Renaissance Studies, University of Glasgow
Organiser:Victoria Turner, Department of French Studies, University of Warwick
Moderator/Chair:Emma Campbell, Department of French Studies, University of Warwick
Paper 503-aImagining Race in Medieval Art: Ethiopians, Jews, and Visual Ambiguity
(Language: English)
Debra Higgs Strickland, Glasgow Centre for Medieval & Renaissance Studies, University of Glasgow
Index terms: Art History - Painting, Hebrew and Jewish Studies, Social History
Paper 503-bSaracens, Heretics and Hungarians: Conflation of Religious/Racial Others in the Occitan Life of St Honorat
(Language: English)
Huw Grange, University of Oxford
Index terms: Hagiography, Language and Literature - French or Occitan, Pagan Religions
Paper 503-cSpace, Place, and Medieval Race: The Case of Evalach in the Estoire del Saint Graal
(Language: English)
Victoria Turner, Department of French Studies, University of Warwick
Index terms: Language and Literature - French or Occitan, Mentalities, Pagan Religions
Abstract

Medieval race is in no way an easily defined concept. In both literature and art, representational conventions are frequently ambiguous: Saracens may be black, Ethiopians may be blue and both may possess monstrous physiognomy. Religious traits are similarly conflated, with idolatry and polytheism becoming stock features of Islam. This session will therefore adopt a comparative approach to explore race in the Middle Ages through representations of various other figures in text and image. It will focus specifically upon the ambiguity inherent in the construction and use of racial-religious identity, as well as upon the reflection of social attitudes and ideologies of difference.