Women and Violence in the Late Medieval Mediterranean, ca. 1100-1500

luttrel psalter violent women

The last decades have witnessed an increased interest in research on the relationship between women and violence in the Middle Ages, with new works both on female criminality and on women as victims of violence. The contributions of gender theory and feminist criminology have renewed the approached used in this type of research. Nevertheless, many facets of the complex relationship between women and violence in medieval times still await to be explored in depth. This conference aims to understand how far the roots of modern assumptions concerning women and violence may be found in the late medieval Mediterranean, a context of intense cultural elaboration and exchange which many scholars have indicated as the cradle of modern judicial culture. While dialogue across the Mediterranean was constant in the late Middle Ages, occasions for comparative discussion remain rare for modern-day scholars, to the detriment of a deeper understanding of the complexity of many issues. Thus, we encourage specialists of different areas across the Mediterranean (Western Europe, Byzantium, and the Islamic world) to contribute to the discussion. What were the main differences and similarities? How did these change through time? What were the causes for change? Were coexisting assumptions linking femininity and violence conflicting or collaborating?

The conference is sponsored by The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities, Oxford Medieval Studies, the Maison Française d’Oxford, the UMR Orient- Mediterranée Monde Byzantin, and the Royal Historical Society.

Registration

Attendance is free of charge and open to all. To secure your place to attend this conference, please register here

Programme of the conference (click on the link to download a PDF version)
Day 1 - Friday 27th September

 

9:30-10:00 Registration

 

10:00-10:15 Opening remarks

 

10:15-11:15 First Keynote lecture 

Gender expectations and women's strategies of retribution in late medieval Italy

Carol Lansing, University of California Santa Barbara

 

11:15-11:30 Coffee Break

 

11:30-13:00 Session 1 - Gendered Crime

Chair: Sophie Marnette, Oxford

 

A silent violence. Veneficium as a gendered crime in Late Medieval Italy (Emilia Musumeci, Teramo)

"Under his Eye": abortion and the gendering of crime in Byzantium (Stephanie Novasio, Birmingham)

Negotiating Violence and Consent: Sex Workers in Later Medieval France and Burgundy (Lucia Akard, Oxford)

 

13:00-14:00 Lunch

 

14:00-16: 00 Session 2 - Women and War

Chair: Vivien Prigent (CNRS - Paris 1)

 

"Both General and Lady": The 1135 Defence of Gangra by its Amira (Maximilian Lau, Tokyo)

Representations of women’s violence in the epic: the old French Guillaume d’Orange cycle, the Byzantine Digenis Akritis and the Persian Book of Kings by Ferdowsi (Nina Soleymani Majd, Grenoble)

À l’épreuve des guerres seigneuriales. Des rôles féminins dans la trame de l’Histoire de Corse (Lucie Arrighi, Corsica)

Reflections on Women and Warfare in Communal Italy (XII-XIII centuries) (Alberto Luongo, Siena)

 

16:00-16:30 Coffee Break

 

16:30-18:00 Session 3 - Legal Theory

Chair: Hannah Skoda (Oxford)

 

The Criminality of Women in Late 15th-Century Ottoman Legal Theory (Fatma Gül Karagöz, Galatasaray)

Les droits des femmes dans le Kanun albanais (Kostanca Jorgji, Limoges)

Lascivious crimes and legitimate proofs: women and the juridical transformation of Norman and Staufen Sicily (Philippa Byrne, Oxford)

 

18:00-19:00 Drinks reception

 

19:30-21:30 Dinner for speakers and chairs

 

Day 2 - Saturday 28th September

 

9:15-10:15 Second keynote lecture

La parrèsia, violence specifique de la femme à Byzance

Élisabeth Malamut, Aix-Marseille

 

10:15-11:15 Coffee Break

 

10:30-12:30 Session 4 - Conflict and Peace-making

Chair: David Zakarian, Oxford

 

A queen, a sister and a mother. The role of Elizabeth of Aragon, Queen of Portugal, as a sponsor of Iberian peace (1300-1305) (Diana Martins, Lisbon)

With her aid, direction, and fervor": Women and the Politics of Lordship in Fourteenth-Century Tuscany (Joseph Figliulo-Rosswurm, University of California Santa Barbara)

"She Wanted to Trample the Land of Her Enemies": Queen Isabel of Castile’s Chivalric Fondness for Violence (Samuel Classen, California Lutheran University)

A likely transfer of Mediterranean influence on performance of a Hungarian noblewoman. The case of Elizabeth Szilágyi (c.1410-1483) (Melina Rokai, Belgrade)

 

12:30-13:30 Lunch

 

13:30-15:00 Session 5 - Violence Against Women

Chair: Miri Rubin, Queen Mary's University

 

Violence against Women in T‘ovma Mecopec‘i’s History of Tamerlane and his Descendants (15th c.) (David Zakarian, Oxford)

Medieval Verbal Harassment: Harassing Women and Women harassed in the Italian criminal court records (Bologna 1350-1400) (Chloé Tardivel, Paris Diderot)

Legal regulation of sex crimes in medieval Serbia and its Mediterranean communes (Nina Kršljanin, Belgrade)

 

15:00-15:30 Coffee Break

 

15:30-17:00 Session 6 - Women at the Margins

Chair: Philip Booth, Oxford

 

Jewish women in the Crown of Aragon and intra-community violence - 14th century (Chloé Bonnet, Perpignan)

Aristocracy, Slavery, and Violence on Women in Renaissance Central Italy (Loek Luiten, Oxford)

"Weak Little Women": The Presence of Gendered Strategies in Early Fourteenth-Century Inquisitorial Courts (Delfi I. Nieto Isabel, Barcelona)

 

17:00-17:30 Conclusion

 

Annick Peters-Custot, Nantes

 

Registration

The conference is open to the public and attendance is free of charge. Information on how to register will be released soon.

 

Queries

For further information, please email the organisers lidia.zanettidomingues@stx.ox.ac.uk, lorenzo.caravaggi@balliol.ox.ac.uk & giulia.paoletti@exeter.ox.ac.uk.

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