Lineage, Loyalty, and Legitimacy in Iberia and North Africa (600-1600) – Call For Papers

Lineage, Loyalty, and Legitimacy in Iberia and North Africa (600-1600)
Saint Louis University
19-21 June, 2017

The Center of Medieval and Renaissance Studies at Saint Louis University in conjunction with the Medieval Iberia and North Africa Group at the University of Chicago invite abstracts for an upcoming conference, “Lineage, Loyalty, and Legitimacy in Iberia and North Africa (600-1600),” to be held at the SLU campus on June 19-21, 2017 during the 5th Annual Symposium of Medieval and Renaissance Studies. The aim of this sub-conference is to build on recent scholarship which has sought to move beyond notions of “the state” as a mode of inquiry in Iberian and North African studies, and to promote instead a more holistic, interdisciplinary approach to the study of the politics, cultural production, and religious practices of these regions. Toward that end, this conference will bring together scholars from a range of disciplines in order to facilitate conversations about the relationships between politics, historiography, art, literature, and religion in medieval and early modern Iberia and North Africa.

Preliminary guiding questions for proposals include:

  • How were kinship and patronage networks forged and negotiated, dismantled and maintained?
  • What (in)formal bonds and socio-religious rituals demonstrated (dis)loyalty, whether within families or between political actors?
  • How were institutions formed and maintained?
  • How were concepts of (il)legitimacy produced, critiqued, and perpetuated during this period?
  • What role did art, architecture and material culture play in the construction of notions of legitimacy and authenticity?
  • How did the transmission or co-production of knowledge and culture across religious boundaries contribute to medieval and early modern genealogies of knowledge? How did these processes bolster or discredit claims to epistemological legitimacy?

These questions are meant to be interpreted broadly, and applicants are invited to submit brief proposals for papers addressing the conference’s title themes. Possible topics include but are not limited to: royal and noble families; inheritance and succession; marriage; dynastic politics and genealogical narratives; oaths and fealty; jurisprudence and theology; intellectual traditions and networks; textual and artistic production, especially the “co-production” of culture across social, ethnic, and religious boundaries; document authenticity and forgery; administra9tive precedent and innovation.

We encourage submissions for 20-minute papers from a range of disciplines including: history, religious studies, literary studies, anthropology, archaeology, manuscript studies, and art history. The hope is that this conference will provide a forum for discussion and collaboration between scholars. Graduate students, post-doctoral researchers, and early-career faculty are particularly encouraged to apply.

Please submit a brief CV along with an abstract of roughly 300 words to Edward Holt ( by December 15. Direct any questions or concerns to Edward Holt or Mohamad Ballan (