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IMC 2019: Sessions

Session 1533: Materiality of Identities in Capetian France, I

Thursday 4 July 2019, 09.00-10.30

Sponsor:Medieval Prosopography / Manchester Centre for Medieval & Early Modern Studies, University of Manchester
Organiser:Alex Hurlow, Department of History, University of Manchester
Moderator/Chair:Amy Livingstone, Department of History, Wittenberg University, Ohio
Paper 1533-aThe Return of the King: Royal Diplomas in the Viscounty of Bourges, 1101-1147
(Language: English)
Niall Ó Súilleabháin, Department of History, Trinity College Dublin
Index terms: Charters and Diplomatics, Ecclesiastical History, Politics and Diplomacy
Paper 1533-bFrom Blood to Nation: The Role of Women in Familial and Ethnic Identities in Capetian France
(Language: English)
Tom Chadwick, Centre for Medieval Studies, University of Exeter
Index terms: Gender Studies, Women's Studies
Paper 1533-cFrom Capetians to Burgundians: Count Hugh of Champagne's Divorce and the Dynamics of Champenois Power
(Language: English)
James Doherty, School of Modern Languages, University of Bristol
Index terms: Charters and Diplomatics, Politics and Diplomacy

As Robert Fawtier remarked 'the French nation grew up within the bounds of space, authority and government created by the Capetian kings'. From a weak position in the 11th century to their apogee in the mid-13th century, the Capetian kings engineered the development of a centralised kingdom with a distinct Frankish identity that formed the heartland of courtly society and was the driving force behind the crusades. The developments allowed the Capetian kings to realise more easily their theoretical power over unruly barons through military, administrative and cultural means. While the Capetian achievement can hardly be disputed, such triumphant narratives feed into a teleological understanding of French national history which sees the French 'nation' and its identity emerging seamlessly from Capetian centralisation.

Yet French national identity remains a contested concept which still competes with regional identities to this day. This session seeks to explore how people, places and institutions expressed their own distinct identities within the context of growing Capetian centralisation from the 11th into the 13th century and the extent to which these identities intersected and interacted with a growing sense of French 'national' identity and Capetian royal ideology.