Event: Indigenous ideas and foreign influences, Helsinki, Finland, Sept 2013

Interaction among Oral and Literary, Latin and Vernacular Cultures in Medieval and Early Modern Northern Europe,
 Helsinki, Finland,
September 26-27 2013.

International Workshop

The Medieval and Early Modern periods in Northern Europe (ca. 600-1600), defined broadly to include both Scandinavia, the Baltic, the British Isles and the Hanseatic areas of the southern coast of the Baltic Sea, were characterized by the simultaneous existence of oral and literary as well as Latin and vernacular cultures.  Worldviews, ideas, beliefs, customs and norms were neither purely Christian nor purely pagan. Instead, the surviving sources show traces of various cultural layers as a result of cultural blending; sometimes the different elements are easily discernible, but sometimes they are so intermingled that they cannot be distinguished.

The syncretism applies to both religious and secular texts; the coexistence of Latin and vernacular sometimes appears literally in manuscripts that combined both Latin and vernacular content or used different vernacular languages in parallel. Moreover, some texts (defined in the broad sense of the word) were never written but remained oral, manifesting themselves in later folklore. The workshop Indigenous Ideas and Foreign Influences will offer an arena for discussion of the interaction between oral and literary and the Latin and vernacular
cultures in Medieval and Early Modern Northern Europe.

The seminar will take place on Thursday 26 September and Friday 27 September 2013, in Helsinki, Finland, at the House of Science and Letters (Tieteiden talo), Kirkkokatu 6. The programme for the event will consist of workshops and keynote lectures. Suggested preliminary themes for the workshops included, but are not limited to:

  • Latin and Christian influences in vernacular sources
  • The relationship between Latin and vernacular: multilingualism in sources
  • Practical skills of vernacular culture vs. Latin artes
  • Indigenous elements and foreign influences in beliefs, conceptions and practices
  • Interaction between oral and literary cultures
  • The physical context of oral performance of the Latin or vernacular texts
  • The role of language in the modes of textual transmission and performances

Further information and details: http://www.glossa.fi/iifi/


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