This paper proposes an examination of the manner in which episcopal networks interact with the administrative and jurisdictional borders being developed by and imposed on the church during the 4th century. These borders, reflected in the ecclesiastical canons composed between AD 325-381, were produced by large synodical gatherings in response to the ongoing political and theological struggles of the century. They demonstrate a serious attempt to confine church conflicts within their provincial borders. Yet, they are the joint effort of large episcopal (social) networks that seemingly transcend such physical boundaries. The connectivity of episcopal networks across physical borders is the question being addressed.
Monastic reform in late 10th-century England is often seen as a centralised movement based on ‘nationalistic traditionalism’ aimed at restoring a lost English golden age. This way of seeing the reform is based on the dominance in the evidence of a single voice, that of Æthelwold of Winchester. This paper proposes that by refocusing study of the reform onto an important but often overlooked leader, Oswald of Worcester, we can recover a sense of the internationalism that lay at the movement’s roots through Oswald’s attempts to import Frankish monasticism into England thus casting a pivotal period in a new light.
As the 2020 IMC prepares to investigate the subject of borders, we are proposing a presentation that explores various approaches to digitally documenting and interpreting the monastic landscape of Norman Sicily. Informed by work that has been done by a team that includes a medieval historian, an earth scientist with specialization in cultural stone assessment, a curator of digital images, a senior software engineer in the private sector and a cadre of both graduate and undergraduate students, this presentation will include a discussion of approaches to combining, analyzing, and presenting multidisciplinary data on the web, a process that can reveal visually communities and their margins. The paper will also include discussions of the necessity of documenting provenance of information while at the same time considering its arrangement to best inform the viewer. The kinds of data that will be addressed include categorical information (monastic order, status, gender, etc.), coordinates for geolocation, images taken during field visits, and sustainability-related observations with an eye toward the most pressing dangers to medieval remains. It will also explore ways to include the voices of local stakeholders in a project directed from beyond the society’s borders.