- Edited by Elma Brenner, Wellcome Library, UK, Meredith Cohen, UCLA, USA and Mary Franklin-Brown, University of Minnesota, USA
In medieval society and culture, memory occupied a unique position. It was central to intellectual life and the medieval understanding of the human mind. Commemoration of the dead was also a fundamental Christian activity. Above all, the past - and the memory of it - occupied a central position in medieval thinking, from ideas concerning the family unit to those shaping political institutions.
Focusing on France but incorporating studies from further afield, this collection of essays marks an important new contribution to the study of medieval memory and commemoration. Arranged thematically, each part highlights how memory cannot be studied in isolation, but instead intersects with many other areas of medieval scholarship, including art history, historiography, intellectual history, and the study of religious culture. Key themes in the study of memory are explored, such as collective memory, the links between memory and identity, the fallibility of memory, and the linking of memory to the future, as an anticipation of what is to come.
Contents: Introduction, Elma Brenner, Meredith Cohen and Mary Franklin-Brown; Part I Memory and Images: Images and the work of memory, with special reference to the 6th-century mosaics of Ravenna, Italy, Jean-Claude Schmitt (trans. Marie-Pierre Gelin); ‘Images gross and sensible’: violence, memory and art in the 13th century, Martha Easton; Beyond the two doors of memory: intertextualities and intervisualities in 13th-century illuminated manuscripts of the Roman de Troie and the Histoire Ancienne, Rosa María Rodríguez Porto. Part II Commemoration and Oblivion: The making of the Carolingian Libri Memoriales: exploring or constructing the past?, Eve-Maria Butz and Alfons Zettler; Status and the soul: commemoration and intercession in the rayonnant chapels of Northern France in the 13th and 14th centuries, Mailan S. Doquang; Ritual excommunication: an ‘ars oblivionalis’?, Christian Jaser. Part III Memory, Reading and Performance: The Speculum Maius, between thesaurus and lieu de mémoire, Mary Franklin-Brown; The memory of Roman law in an illuminated manuscript of Justinian’s Digest, Joanna Fronska; ‘Quant j’eus tout recordé par ordre’: memory and performance on display in the manuscripts of Guillaume de Machaut’s Voir Dit and Remede de Fortune, Kate Maxwell; Acrostics as copyright protection in the Franco-Italian epic: implications for memory theory, John F. Levy. Part IV Royal and Aristocratic Memory and Commemoration: Changes of aristocratic identity: remarriage and remembrance in Europe 900-1200, Elisabeth van Houts; Longchamp and Lourcine: the role of female abbeys in the construction of Capetian memory (late 13th century to mid-14th century), Anne-Hélène Allirot (trans. Lewis Beer); Louis IX and liturgical memory, M. Cecilia Gaposchkin. Part V Remembering Medieval France: Pierre Loti’s ‘memories’ of the Middle Ages: feasting on the Gothic in 1888, Elizabeth Emery; Celebrating the medieval past in modern Cluny: how popular events helped to shape collective memory for a small French town, Janet T. Marquardt; ‘A mere patch of color’: Isabella Stewart Gardner and the shattered glass of Reims cathedral, Shirin Fozi; Index.
About the Editor: Elma Brenner is resident Specialist in Medieval and Early Modern Medicine at the Wellcome Library, UK. Her research focuses on medical history and religious culture in medieval Normandy, and she is completing a monograph, Leprosy and Charity in Rouen, c.1100-c.1400.
Meredith Cohen is Assistant Professor in the Department of Art History at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and the President of the International Medieval Society, Paris. Her research interests include medieval architecture, sculpture and urbanism, as well as nineteenth-century medievalism, particularly in France. In addition to her publications on the Sainte-Chapelle and medieval Paris, she has co-edited the anthologies Difference and Identity in Francia and Medieval France (2010) and Space in the Medieval West: Places, Territories, and Imagined Geographies (forthcoming) for the International Medieval Society, Paris.
Mary Franklin-Brown is Associate Professor in the Department of French and Italian at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. She has published on Old French romance, the troubadours and encyclopedism. Her monograph, Reading the World: Encyclopedic Writing in the Scholastic Age, was published in 2012.
Reviews: 'Aimed at students of the Middle Ages, this richly documented and well-illustrated volume provides provocative perspectives on the subjective role of remembrance of things past. The subjective memories of earlier times that are created are then transmitted down through the ages to enhance the understanding of the modern medievalist.'
'The volume has a cohesive unity not always found in collections from conference origins, and together the essays present an understanding of memory that is both multivalent and wide reaching. … this is a well-organized volume with thoughtful essays that will prove of interest for scholars of medieval memory, both seasoned and new.'
Catholic Historical Review
'The editors are to be commended for their excellent introductory essay which clearly articulates a coherent vision for the volume as a whole.' Sehepunkte
'This wide-ranging volume makes an important and timely contribution to the burgeoning field of memory studies… it is a welcome presence on this medievalist’s shelf.' Peregrinations
'The presentation of new research, particularly by Porto Rodríguez, Levy, Fronska, and Gaposchkin, is remarkable. It is a sign of the anthology's success to state with certainty that every chapter is illuminating and memorable. As a whole, this multi-disciplinary volume greatly enhances our comprehension of medieval cultural history in France.' Reviews in History
Meredith Cohen's profile page on the Department of Art History at UCLA website.
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