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Institute of Advanced Study

Culture, Imagination and Memory: Medieval Narratives of Time

Time in conversation with Dr Giles Gasper

Time in conversation with Dr Giles Gasper

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This seminar series builds on and extends the theme of the IMRS’s 2010-11 Seminar Series, ‘Through a glass darkly’, particularly the last strand of that series, which centred on the themes of time, art and memory, and via a series of papers by visiting speakers, began to explore the process of past, present and future; the necessary placing of the concept of the future within the larger notion of time; and the relation of temporal and eternal worlds.  

The new series which will run across 2012-13, has two chronological points of focus: the first the extraordinary efflorescence of cultural activity in the central medieval period, 1000-1250, the second the equally extraordinary cultural pre-conditions of Northumbrian society in the seventh century. One of the most iconic productions that stemmed from this internationally recognised period of imaginative intellectual and artistic output was the Lindisfarne Gospel book.   Exploring the construction and interpretation of cultural narratives in relation to confronting and making sense of time, both in the past and in the present, this seminar series will include visual narratives (books, images and artefacts); narratives mapping the mind and memory; theological, astrological and cosmological narratives; historical narratives (past and present); and literary narratives.  The role of the imagination and memory – individual and cultural - in shaping narratives will be of particular interest.  

This project links closely to the three month period in which the Lindisfarne Gospels will be housed at Durham, and the IMRS’s activities in relation to the exhibition. The specialist knowledge of invited external speakers and members of the IMRS, combined with the particular emphasis of the IMRS on interdisciplinary research, dialogue and collaboration, the profound relevance of the theme to the remit of the Institute, and the exciting synergies with ongoing projects, will ensure that the seminar series yields exciting new collaborations and research outputs that are at the forefront of their field.  Contributors have been chosen for their wide-ranging and interdisciplinary interests, which span archaeology, social and cultural history, literary studies, theology, art history and history of the book. 

Confirmed speakers include Professor Svein Gullbekk (Oslo University), Professor Greti Dinkova-Bruun (Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, Toronto), Dr Heather Pulliam (Edinburgh University) and Professor Eric Stanley (Oxford University).

Michaelmas Term Series Title - Time and Culture in the Central Middle Ages

Epiphany Term Series Title - Lindisfarne: The Imagination of Time

Easter Term Series Title - Lindisfarne, Time and Memory: Legacies and Narratives

For additional information please contact Jacky Pankhurst at administrator.imrs@durham.ac.uk

For full details of all the events please visit the Events Listing