BETWEEN MEMORY AND IMAGINATION I:
MEDIEVAL RELIGIOUS ENCOUNTERS FROM THE “SILK ROAD” TO THE INDIAN OCEAN
Sponsor: Arc Humanities Press Organizer: Shannon Cunningham Moderator: Alexandra Cuffel Respondent: Adam Knobler
The “Silk Road” and the sea and land routes connecting the peoples living and traveling along the Mediterranean, Red Sea and Indian Ocean are well known as loci for the exchange in goods, skills, and ideas, as well as political and religious encounters. Scholars, when examining issues of cultural memory for many of these regions have tended to focus on how it functioned within a single culture in the creation of a cohesive identity, for example, the “recollection” of a heroic past for Persian kings. Yet the manipulation of the past was also an important tool in religious encounter, polemic and identity construction. For example, in their polemic against Coptic scribes during the Mamluk period, Muslims created narratives of Copts’ treacherous dealings with their overlords from pharaonic times. For this panel we invite paper proposals which focus on ways in which various inter-‐connected religious communities imagined one another and created patterns of memory about members of other communities. Of particular interest are the manners in which polemical tropes, stories, and images of the religious other were changed over time or in different contexts. The geographical scope envisioned in this panel encompasses the “Persianate” world, including Central Asia, as well as the Caucasus, the Eastern Mediterranean, the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean regions. The latter is understood to include Ethiopia as well as the East African and South Indian Coasts, Sri Lanka, and areas of East and South East Asia involved in interactions via sea and overland trade and travel through Central Asia. Religious groups may include but are not limited to Zoroastrians, Manichaeans, Jews, Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Jains, Buddhists or indigenous religious communities.
BETWEEN MEMORY AND IMAGINATION II:
JEWISH ENGAGEMENTS FROM THE “SILK ROAD” TO THE INDIAN OCEAN
Sponsor: Arc Humanities Press Organizer: Shannon Cunningham Moderator: Alexandra Cuffel
The history and representations of Jews, real or imagined, and Jewish interactions with non-‐ Jews, while studied for Western Europe, Byzantium, and parts of the the Middle East, is relatively neglected for other regions along the “Silk Road” and routes connection the Mediterranean and Indian Ocean. Even for the Middle East research on how Jews related to, remembered or were remembered by others has focused on Muslim-‐Jewish or Rabbinate-‐Karaite connections, rather than the rich and complicated ways in which memory and its construction functioned in Jewish-‐ Christian encounters in this region. Despite rich source material, the issue of “spectral” or constructed Jews in Ethiopia, Georgia, and Armenia, or the recollection of Jewish history and encounters between Jews and non-‐Jews in these lands, or in South Asia, and Arabic-‐ and Persian-‐ speaking regions remains an open field in need of further research. We invite papers which engage one or more of these issues.
ENGAGING VISUAL MEMORY IN MEDIEVAL JEWISH ENCOUNTERS
Sponsor: Arc Humanities Press Organizer: Alexandra Cuffel Moderator: Malin Drees
In recent years, art historians as well as scholars interested in Jewish-‐Christian encounters in other fields have turned their attention to the ways in which manuscript illumination, marginalia, both Jewish and Christian, cathedral sculpture and other forms of church decoration constitute an essential aspect of Jewish-‐Christian encounter and imagination of the other. In this panel, scholars, not only of medieval Europe, but other regions for which Jewish encounters with non-‐ Jews has left a material trace, are invited to examine the role of the visual in Jewish memory of their relations with non-‐Jews and/or non-‐Jewish communities’ memory of and relations with Jews.
ENGAGING THE OTHER IN JEWISH CULTURES OF MEMORY IN
MEDIEVAL AND EARLY MODERN MEDITERRANEAN AND NORTHERN EUROPE
Sponsor: Arc Humanities Press Organizer: Alexandra Cuffel Moderator: Irven Resnick
Scholars such as Susan Einbinder and Elisheva Carlebach have recently demonstrated the significance and rich body of sources relating to Jewish memory and self-‐identity during the medieval and early modern periods, yet much remains to be investigated. Scholars are invited to submit proposals which examine the ways in which various Jewish communities used memory of their own and others’ past in their dealings with other Jews outside their local communities and in their dealings with non-‐Jews in the Mediterranean and Northern Europe. Of particular interest are the ways in which medieval Jews used the ancient past and early modern Jews used their medieval and ancient past.
Alexandra Cuffel, Ruhr University, Bochum, Germany