Exile and Expulsion in Medieval Europe

AHA Session 11
Medieval Academy of America 1
Friday, January 2, 2015: 1:00 PM-3:00 PM
Murray Hill Suite B (New York Hilton, Second Floor)
William Chester Jordan, Princeton University

Session Abstract

Over the course of the Middle Ages, exile and expulsion entrenched themselves as distinctive, pervasive features of European political culture, yet the medieval landscape of exilic practices, and especially the interconnections between them, is only beginning to be mapped. The three papers in this session will focus on how medieval authorities and intellectuals, inspired by classical precedents, Biblical precepts, and contemporary pressures, conceptualized practices of exile and expulsion. How was the highly-articulated Roman vocabulary of exile revived to serve Carolingian political ends? How did high medieval understandings of Jewish exile among both Christian and Jewish intellectuals shape shifting social realities? And when thirteenth-century economic change sparked widespread anxieties about influxes of foreign usurers, how did secular and ecclesiastical authorities develop rhetorical strategies to demand and justify their expulsion? In keeping with the conference’s theme of “History and the Other Disciplines,” the papers focus on how contemporaries used law and theology to stake their claims about the function and necessity of expulsion and exile. This session is expected to attract an audience not only of specialists in medieval history, but also of scholars interested in the history of law and justice, religious history, Christian-Jewish relations, and modes and discourses of exclusion in premodern societies.

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