Today, we formally launch the ‘scambi medievali’ website to the large community of scholars and students of the Middle Ages that exists all over the world. ‘Scambi medievali’ is Italian for ‘medieval exchanges’ and this site will also serve as the offical site for our Leverhulme Trust funded Research Project entitled ‘Medieval Cultures in Contact: Merchants, Objects and Exchanges in Southern Italy’. We are Dr Patricia Skinner, Reader in Medieval History, and Tehmina Goskar (née Bhote), PhD student of Medieval History, and are based in the Centre for Antiquity and the Middle Ages at the University of Southampton.
Next week, Birkbeck College (University of London) will be hosting an exciting conference called: Past Presented: Uses of the Past in Medieval European, Byzantine and Islamic Material Culture on 23 – 24 March 2006. The themes of the confernce are: ‘Identification’, ‘Topography’, ‘Constructing’ and ‘Inventing’. See the preliminary programme for details of the papers that will be given.
Following the publication of Y. Hen and M. Innes (eds.) 2000, The Uses of the Past in the Early Middle Ages (Cambridge: CUP) which primarily deals with the evidence from documentary sources, this conference will hopefully fill many ‘gaps’ in our knowledge of the uses and understanding of the past and demonstrate the crucial value of material culture (in all its various guises) in all aspects of medieval studies.