Mendicant on the Margins,
University College Cork,
27 June 2018
A one-day symposium will take place on 27 June 2018 at University College Cork, on the theme of ‘Mendicants on the Margins’.
The Irish Augustinian and Carmelite friars, in comparison to their Franciscan and Dominican counterparts, have been rather neglected by scholarship, finding themselves on the ‘margins’ of mendicant studies in Ireland. In mendicant studies across Europe a similar pattern of marginality is evident, placed opposite to the perceived existence of core centres. These include geographical centres of mendicancy (i.e. countries where the orders first appeared); topographical centres with the ‘typical’ model of mendicant foundations located in urban areas with non-urban foundations regarded as peripheral; or the historiographical centrality given to the Franciscan and Dominican male orders rather than other mendicant orders and female branches; and a greater historiographical emphasis on royal and aristocratic patronage versus focus on support from local communities and the friars’ impact on the wider society.
In recent years, a number of publications, research projects and conferences have tackled aspects of mendicant studies on the margins of these various core centres, but there still remains a need for a discussion on whether there is a recognisable mendicant model, on potential differences and similarities between various models, the extent of divergence or adaptation, and on the links and contrasts between geographical areas.
This one-day symposium seeks to address these issues by bringing together researchers working on aspects of mendicant orders traditionally considered as ‘marginal’, be it geographical, topographical, gendered or historical. The aim is to go beyond the artificial construct of centrality and marginality in order to get a fuller understanding of the impact of the mendicants on all levels of medieval society across Europe.
The programme includes scholars from America, France, Greece, and of course Ireland, which will cover a variety of aspects relating to the general themes of Mendicants on the Margins, from mendicant orders in geographical margins, the lesser-known orders that are the Augustinian friars, female communities and the Franciscan Third Order, to mendicant communities in the margins of the traditional model of urban mendicancy, such as foundations in non-urban environments, and aspects of mendicant studies challenging the traditional historiography of mendicant orders.