Monasticisms and Mendicancies: Workshop 1

Humanities Research Institute (HRI), University of Sheffield

Friday 22nd November 2013

The purpose of this one-day, interdisciplinary workshop is to discuss and develop a broad comparative and collaborative approach to studying religious orders – monastic and mendicant – and their context in the later medieval period. These forms of religious life are generally treated as sequential and discrete developments despite being mapped on to similar narratives of authenticity and decline. There is surprisingly little dialogue between scholars in these fields, which has obscured the shared traditions and purposes of the orders and hidden much of the richness and complexity of medieval religious life. Monks and mendicants were involved in major social and political changes of the period and acted as agents for secular and episcopal authorities. We hope that the outcome of this exploratory workshop will be a clearer sense of how we might undertake a fundamental re-appraisal of their relationships. How would we set up useful comparisons? How might collaborative investigation work? In the long run, such a project should enable us to shed new light on the religious, social, cultural, economic and political life of the great period of change in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. In questioning and reappraising the ways in which the orders are studied, we will also offer fresh approaches to our individual fields.

Amanda Power (University of Sheffield) a.power@sheffield.ac.uk
Emilia Jamroziak (University of Leeds) e.m.jamroziak@leeds.ac.uk

10:00-12.30 Session 1: The state of the field
In this session we will explore the existing state of the various areas of later medieval monastic and mendicant history, currently studied in isolation from each other. We will look at the kinds of narratives that shape enquiry, the current debates, methodologies, and areas of complacency. We will work towards identifying ways in which collaborative and interdisciplinary discussion would work in practice. In the first part of the session, there will be 10-min presentations by Emilia Jamroziak (Leeds), Amanda Power (Sheffield), Martial Staub (Sheffield), Sita Steckel (Münster) to stimulate lines of discussion. We will then break into smaller discussion groups, in which scholars of monastic and mendicant orders will be mixed together.
Lunch 12:30-13:30 (a buffet lunch will be provided)

13:30-15.30 Session 2: New questions and directions
Groups will report back, moving into a roundtable discussion on the main ideas and links emerging from the morning session. We will focus on formulating research questions, identifying coherent ‘segments’ of inquiry, major sources and interdisciplinary methodologies.

16:00-18:00 Session 3: The future of the project
This concluding session will look at how the project might be taken forwards. A representative of the White Rose organisation will be present to offer her expertise on sources of funding. We will aim to formulate the parameters and ambitions of the project, identify external partners, and discuss impact strategy and outcomes.

**The White Rose Collaboration Fund will cover the transport costs of postgraduate students attending from Leeds and York.

If you wish to attend, please let Amanda Power know by 1st November


Please note the following:

Workshop 2
In spring 2014 there will be a follow-up, one-day workshop at the University of Leeds. It will focus on more detailed exploration of the strands and themes identified during the Sheffield workshop and will feature larger number of presentations by postgraduate students.


Monasticisms and Mendicancies poster, v1.0 ALP