23rd Medieval Studies Day: “Representations of East and West in the Middle Ages"

23rd Medieval Studies Day 2017

23ste Mediëvistendag 2017


27 October 2017; 10:15 – 18:00 h.

Radboud University Nijmegen

Montessorilaan 3; Spinoza building SP3; Thomas van Aquino building 8.00, 12-14

Cenakel Church, Heilig Land Stichting
Language: English


Please register for theday by sending an e-mail to ozsmed@rug.nl, before 17 October 2017, mentioning ‘Medieval Studies Day 2017’. Please also mention in your registration message whether you will attend the afternoon tour and reception at the Cenakel Church.


You are requested to pay your contribution of €10 for coffee, tea, and lunch before 20 October 2017 to the account: NL62INGB0002333985, with the reference “kostenplaatsnummer 2380533”, in the name of Stg. KU –Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen FDL, Postbus 9103, 6500 HD, NIJMEGEN


The easiest way to reach the campus of the Radboud University is by bus. If you arrive by train take bus no. 10. When you leave the station, bus no. 10 stops in front of the bicycle and taxi stand at your right hand. Get off at bus stop Spinozagebouw/Tandheelkunde. If you arrive by car, you will find a car park close to the Spinoza Building.




Spinoza building, SP3

10:15 Registration (with coffee/tea)
10:30 Welcome
10.35 Catrien Santing (Director of the Dutch Research School for Medieval Studies)
10.45 Daniela Müller (Radboud University Nijmegen), ‘Ex oriente periculum’. Heresy as infectious disease from the East in the perception of Latin Christianity.

Thomas van Aquino building 8.00
11.45-12.45  Parallel sessions

room 12
• Jo Van Steenbergen (Ghent University), The Mamlukisation of the Mamluk Sultanate II. Historiography, Political Order and State Formation in 15th-century Egypt. ERC Consolidator.
• Els Rose (Utrecht University), Citizenship Discourses in the Early Middle Ages, 400-1100. NWO VICI.
room 13
• Marlisa den Hartog (Leiden University), “Il piacer che si prende nel letto”. Perceptions of Sexual Desire and Sexual Identity in Italy, 1450-1550. PhD research.
• Arend Elias Oostindiër (University of Amsterdam), “Die rechte pael es mi onbekent”. Boundaries and the Limits of Territory in Fourteenth-Century Brabant. PhD research.


12.45-13.45  Lunch (Refter Radboud University)


Spinoza building, SP 3

13.45 Remke Kruk, The wrong side of the Mediterranean: facts and fiction.

14.30 Break (with coffee/tea)

Thomas van Aquino building 8.00, Montessorilaan 3

14.45-15.45 Parallel sessions
          (programme to be announced)

room 12
• Anna Dlabacova (Leiden University), Leaving a Lasting Impression. The Impact of Incunabula on Late Medieval Spirituality, Religious Practice and Visual Culture in the Low Countries. NWO VENI.
• Suzette van Haaren (University of Groningen and St. Andrews), Encoded Parchment: the reproduction and preservation of medieval manuscripts in digital environments. PhD research.
room 13
• Ivo Wolsing (Radboud University), The Reinvention of the East: Classics, High Medieval Discourses on the Orient, and the Formation of a European Identity. PhD research.
• Loes Scholten (Radboud University), Hieronymys Bosch and BoschDoc; a scientific catalogue of art historical souces. PhD research.
room 14
• Nadine Kuipers (University of Groningen), Husbandry Books in Manuscript and Print. PhD research.
• Jeanet Hulleman (Leiden University), La Bible des sept estaz du monde by Geufroi de Paris. A critical edition of the Conception Nostre Dame till the Passion du Christ. PhD research.

15.45 Break

16.00 Bus to Heilig Land Stichting (Of course you can also go on your own bike or by car to the Cenakel Church)
16.30 Start of tour in the Cenakel Church
17.15 Reception in Cenakel Church


Perceptions of East and West in the Middle Ages

No one today will deny the importance of mutual knowledge and understanding between East and West. The 23rd Medieval Studies Day 2017 in Nijmegen will address perceptions of East and West in the Middle Ages. Throughout the Middle Ages the three main heirs of the Roman Empire – the European, Byzantine and Islamic Worlds – fought in war and met through pilgrimage, diplomatic and scholarly exchanges and trade. Their experiences and perceptions were written down in a wide variety of sources. They were informed by mutual animosity, but also by interest and curiosity. On the Medieval Studies Day we will explore the diverse and sometimes contradictory perceptions of East and West.


During the morning’s general session, Daniela Müller (Radboud University) will reflect on (perceptions of) relations between heresy and the East in medieval Europe. In the afternoon’s general session Remke Kruk (Leiden University) will explore medieval Arabic views on Europe in geographical texts and popular epic literature. During the parallel sessions, we have a chance to hear about research currently carried out by PhD’s and new projects on the Middle Ages. We will then move to the Cenakel Church, a unique building inspired by Eastern architectural styles. The Medieval Studies Day will end with drinks in the church. All papers will be presented in English to allow all scholars, PhD students and Research MA students to take part.



                                                                            23nd Medieval Studies Day

                                            ‘Perceptions of East and West in the Middle Ages’

                                                                           Nijmegen, 27 October 2017



                                                                    RESEARCH MASTER'S ASSIGNMENT 


This assignment is part of your participation in Medieval Studies Day within the framework of the Research Master’s degree programme offered by the Netherlands Research School for Medieval Studies (student workload: 1 ECTS).

You are expected to write a report and a brief essay (in Dutch or English) and submit these to Sven Meeder (s.meeder@let.ru.nl)  before 27 November 2017.


1. Attend the day.


2. Write a brief report on the two plenary lectures (by professors Müller and Kruk) and four of the presentations held by PhD students during the parallel sessions.


3. Write a 2 to 3-page essay on the question of ‘how the perceived divide between East and West shaped the reception of ideas, objects or persons from the other side’, incorporating views from a selection of the literature listed below, from the plenary lectures held at the Medieval Studies Day, and views that may not have been aired that day. In your essay, you should at least discuss how you think perception influenced practice and vice versa.





  • Akbari, Suzanne, Idols in the East: European Representations of Islam in the Orient, 1100-1450
  • Attar, Karina F. and Lynn Shutters (eds), Teaching Medieval and Early Modern Cross-Cultural Encounters, The New Middle Ages (New York, 2014) [articles of your choice]
  • Classen, Albrecht and Marilyn Sandidge (eds), East Meets West in the Middle Ages and Early Modern Times: Transcultural Experiences in the Premodern World (Berlin/Boston, 2013) [articles of your choice]
  • Rubiés, Joan-Pau (ed.), Medieval ethnographies: European perceptions of the world beyond (Farnham, 2009) [articles of your choice]
  • Southern, Richard, Western Views of Islam in the Middle Ages (Cambridge, MA, 1962)
  • Tolan, John, Saracens: Islam in the medieval European imagination (New York, 2002) or articles from Tolan, John, Sons of Ishmael: Muslims through European eyes in the Middle Ages (Gainesville, 2008)


Please don’t hesitate to contact Sven Meeder if you have any questions or comments. 






23rd Medieval Studies Day 2017

23ste Mediëvistendag 2017

Nijmegen, 27 October 2017



On 27 October 2017, the Netherlands Research School for Medieval Studies, together with the Flemish Medievalist Association, will be holding the annual Medieval Studies Day, this time in Nijmegen. The organisation is in the hands of the medievalists of Radboud University.


One of the main aims of the annual Medieval Studies Day is the exchange of information about recent developments in the field via presentations of research projects in the field of Medieval Studies (including at least all new projects), and via short presentations by PhD students (including at least all new students).


The presentations on the Medieval Studies Day by newly appointed PhD students are a fixed part of the training programme for the research school. We are of course aware that these and other research projects may still be in the early stages, but it is always a good idea to inform a wider academic audience about research plans early on. You can make your project known via a short PowerPoint presentation and use the opportunity to get to know colleagues interested in your research. Your presentation should include information about your line of approach, the general research question, and a brief description of your material.


Presentations of other (new and ongoing) research projects in the field are also highly appreciated by the audience.



In order to arrange the programme in good time, we would appreciate receiving your proposal by 10 October. Please send an e-mail message to Maaike van Berkel (m.vanberkel@let.ru.nl), mentioning your name, affiliation, and the title of your presentation.

Presentations will be organised into parallel sessions. Each presentation may last up to 20 minutes, leaving ample time for discussion.


As soon as we know how many presentations there are, you will be sent more precise information.


Please do not forget your ‘normal’ registration as a participant in the Medieval Studies Day by sending an email to ozsmed@rug.nl!

Kind Regards,

Maaike van Berkel