CARMEN Annual Meeting in Prague is approaching! Join us in the beautiful...

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The Summer School of Medieval Studies (Letní škola medievistických studií) is held...

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After the successful reading event last year, CARMEN prepared reading for the...

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ESF project Symbols that bind and break communities: Saints’ cults

The second large collaborative project of CARMEN is funded by ESF EUROCORECODE programme and bears the title Symbols that bind and break communities: Saints’ cults as stimuli and expressions of local, regional, national and universalist identities (registered as CULTICSYMBOLS). Here, five countries are participating (Denmark, Austria, Estonia, Norway, and Hungary).
Funded by: ETF, FIST, FWF, RCN
Communities are brought together by narratives, rituals, symbols and other cultural expressions which bind their members. The Collaborative Research Project (CRP) “CULTICSYMBOLS” studies how rituals and symbols provide social cohesion asserting that a key to understanding the development of regional identities lies in the tension between formulated regional traditions and trans-regional impulses influenced by authoritative concerns of different levels.
This CRP focuses on a range of different European regions using the cults of medieval saints and their modern appropriations as a vehicle for studying changing cultural and social values. The CRP consists of five self-contained, interrelated subprojects (4 Individual Projects and 1 Associated Project) each investigating specific materials pertaining to various media and discourses, and each with its own individual methodological framework. Interactions between centre and periphery, between the medieval Latin culture and regional interests, political and cultural agendas and their reflections in different media (images, music, literature) are of primary interest to the project.
The combination of synchronic and diachronic aspects as well as an intrinsically interdisciplinary approach explicitly addressing socio-political functions of the arts make the project unique and emphasise its actuality as well as its historical foundation. Among topics to be examined across the CRP are: representations of gender; the power of symbols and rituals in creating communities; emotional engagement in social life; the influence of role models; royal and dynastic sainthood; warrior saints (and crusading); urban rituals; diversity amid the universality of the Latin liturgy.
Whereas the project adopts traditional skills in archival research, it is also based on expertise in reception theory, hermeneutics and socio-cultural construction, performativity theory, the history of daily life, mnemonics, mentalities and cultural memory. The sources studied cross a wide variety of visual, written and musical resources.

Project Leader: Dr. Nils Holger Petersen, University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Principal Investigators

  • Prof. Gerhard Jaritz, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Austria
  • Dr. Anu Mänd, Tallinn University, Estonia
  • Dr. Roman Hankeln, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway

Associated Partner

  • Prof. Gábor Klaniczay, Central European University (CEU), Hungary