2006: 3rd International Symposium on Medieval and Early Modern Culture

3rd International Symposium on Medieval and Early Modern Culture, University of Arizona, Tucson, 2006





Interdisciplinary Approaches to a Neglected Topic

University of Arizona, Tucson, Thursday, April 27-Sunday, April 30, 2006
Organized by Albrecht Classen, Dept. of German Studies

Location: Conference Room of Special Collections, University of Arizona Library

For further information, please contact:

Prof. Albrecht Classen, Dept. of German Studies, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721

aclassen@u.arizona.edu; tel.: (520) 621-1395


The topic of Old Age in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance ideally allows for true cross-disciplinary and comparative research, bringing historians of medicine, art historians, literary scholars, anthropologists, and sociologists to the same table.  The key questions that we will address concern the historical changes affecting people’s attitude toward old age and old people, the integration, or lack thereof, of old people into their families and society at large, and the respect and admiration, perhaps also ridicule and contempt, of old people throughout the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.  There is no doubt that we are dealing with a highly complex issue that was treated both with a positive and a negative attitude throughout times.  Many of these issues probably are at work even today, and I believe that our symposium will allow us to establish most important connections between various major fields of investigation, such as the Humanities, Medicine, Anthropology, and Sociology.  The planned international symposium promises to yield highly fertile results for future interdisciplinary research.

To study Old Age from this interdisciplinary perspective means a major step forward in historical-cultural terms, opening up new layers of meaning in premodern texts and visual objects.  The symposium will also establish a new awareness of the discourse of Old Age in past times as well as in the present.  Humanities prove to be the key foundation for a broad-based investigation of a basic human experience practically everyone will go through at one point in his/her life, both yesterday and today, and tomorrow.

For a conference report on a related topic, see: https://hsozkult.geschichte.hu-berlin.de/tagungsberichte/id=876

Hotel Accommodations: I will help you to arrange for the accommodations for you, but please make the reservations yourself and then let me know where you will stay.  I have made a special arrangement with Riverpark Inn (formerly Pueblo Inn),  $60./night.  Transportation to and from the symposium (at the University of Arizona Library, Special Collections), will be provided.  All meals , refreshments, and receptions will be covered.  The hotel also offers a free shuttle from the airport, but they have only one van.  Call them, and if they are available, they will pick you up, free of charge. On Sunday, April 30, 2005, there will be an excursion to a desert garden and art gallery (Ted de Grazia), and to one of the oldest churches in town, St. Philips in the Hill (or alternative sites).  The costs for this excursion will also be covered.  Languages accepted at the symposium: English, French, German, and Spanish.  Abstracts of all papers will be posted well ahead of the symposium.

de Gruyter has already invited me to publish a selection of papers with them!

The financial support for this symposium by the Vice President for Research and Graduate Study, University of Arizona, the departments of Anthropology, Sociology, Spanish and Portuguese, German Studies, Russian and Slavic, UAMARRC,

The topic for the 2007 International Symposium will be:

Sexuality in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance

Preliminarily, I am thinking of the topic “The City as a Cultural Center in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance” for 2008.