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Mediterranean Connections and their Asymmetries: Medieval and Early Modern German Literatures in the Context of the Mediterranean World

Sep 07, 2022 | 09:30 AM - 05:30 PM

International Workshop with Sharon Kinoshita (University of California, Santa Cruz)
Organized by Antonia Murath and Falk Quenstedt (B02)

In historical and art historical disciplines of recent medieval studies, the Mediterranean region has established itself as a heuristic model. It facilitates the examination of transcultural interconnections that transcend common dichotomous parameters such as 'East and West' or 'Orient and Occident'. The Mediterranean comes into view as a contact zone that favors processes of exchange and transfer. Especially for cultural practices of the nobility, research has shown a 'shared culture' (Oleg Grabar) of spatially distant as well as linguistically and confessionally heterogeneous, but nevertheless interconnected groups.

Sharon Kinoshita has taken up and further developed this new perspective on cultural history with her concept of "Mediterranean literature" from the perspectives of literary studies and Romance studies. The workshop will explore the productivity of this model for understanding German-language texts of the premodern period. For the objects of Germanic medieval studies are also linked to literary and epistemic traditions, settings, actors, and institutions of the Mediterranean. The aim of the workshop is to bring colleagues from the field of German Medieval Studies, whose research is concerned with postcolonial studies, with questions of transculturality, and with references to the Mediterranean, into conversation with Sharon Kinoshita and with each other. The central and starting point here is the observation of a tension within the research field of transculturality or the 'Global Middle Ages' itself: On the one hand, the criticism that the reconstruction of processes of entanglement tends to harmonize and to hide asymmetries; on the other hand, the accusation that a concentration on the investigation of constructions of the 'other' leads to neglecting historical interconnections.
The workshop is held with the support of the Dahlem Humanities Center in connection with a project within the Dahlem Junior Host Program.


9.30  Welcome and Introduction
9.45  Michael R. Ott (Ruhr-Universität Bochum):
Transferring the Mediterranean to Central Europe – Postcolonial Moves of the Teutonic Order
10.15  Doriane Zerka (University of Cambridge):
Iberia and the Mediterranean
10.45  - Coffee Break -
 11.00  Esther von Stosch (Universität zu Köln):
Transcultural Conventions of Material Hybridity in Persian and German Medieval Literature
 11.30  Antonia Murath (Freie Universität Berlin):
Mediterranean Matters: Material Poetics
 12.00  Coffee Break -
 12.15  Falk Quenstedt (Freie Universität Berlin):
A Shared Culture of Constructing the Religious Other? Wil(d)helm von Österreich and the Sīrat Sayf ibn Dhī Yazan 
 12.45  Sharon Kinoshita (University of California, Santa Cruz):
How to do Things in the Medieval Mediterranean: The View from the Far West
 13.15  - Lunch Break -
 14.00  Joint Discussion of Primary and Secondary Texts (Reader)
 15.30  - Coffee Break -
 16.00  Joint Discussion of Primary and Secondary Texts (Reader)
 18.30  Joint Dinner

Time & Location

Sep 07, 2022 | 09:30 AM - 05:30 PM

Freie Universität Berlin
SFB 980 Episteme in Bewegung
Schwendenerstraße 8
14195 Berlin