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CARMEN Annual Meeting 2013 Report

CARMEN: The Worldwide Medieval Network, Porto, Portugal 13-15 September 2013
The seventh CARMEN Annual Meeting took place in the beautiful premises and grounds of the Engº António de Almeida Foundation, Porto. The whole event was masterfully organised by Cristina Pimenta and CARMEN and generously supported by CEPESE (Centre for the Study of Population, Economy and Society- http://www.cepese.pt/portal/instituicao-en).

The meeting was another successful networking event attracting 65 registrations from 22 countries. A full programme of discussions included an overview of research in the Portuguese context, meetings of current projects and developing projects that are currently seeking partnerships and funding and a meeting of the CARMEN Forum for National Associations where 14 countries provided representatives from their national associations or affiliated bodies of medieval scholars. CARMEN was able to assist the visits of participants from Chile and Argentina, Russia and Bosnia. The meeting also included a number of representatives from CARMEN's "Eurocorecode" projects whose 3-year funding is now concluding:

• Symbols that bind and break communities: Saints’ cults as stimuli and expressions of local, regional, national and universalist identities (CULTICSYMBOLS)

• Cuius Regio. An analysis of the cohesive and disruptive forces destining the attachment of groups of persons to and the cohesion within regions as a historical phenomenon. (CURE)

• Unfamiliarity as signs of European times: scrutinising historical representations of otherness and contemporary daily practices in border regions (Unfamiliarity)

The theme of the meeting was the "social impact" of medieval research. Iona McCleery (Leeds) presented a project on food and disease which brought medieval research to inform the current diet of challenging former mining communities in West Yorkshire. Pam King (Glasgow) presented experiences of partnerships outside academia with medieval drama-based festivals.

A representative of HERA – Humanities in the European Research Area, Julia Boman, attended the first day of the meeting and provided a presentation entitled ‘Defining and evaluating impact in the Humanities’ - Julia’s presentation is now available on the CARMEN web site. Other papers on the opening day presented the status quaestionis of medieval studies in Portugal and Portuguese research and teaching links with Brazil and other former colonies particularly in India and China.

Over a dozen meetings during three time-slots allowed groups to develop new or existing collaborative projects. The Market Place had stalls from almost twenty partners.

The meeting elected a new Executive Committee. It also approved an initiative for a new academic press operating under the auspices of a CARMEN Publishing Committee chaired by Christian Kroetzl (Tampere).
The 2014 CARMEN Annual Meeting will be in Stirling (Scotland) on 12-13 September; the 2015 meeting will take place in Sarajevo.