After “Exploring the Middle Ages” in Bergen

According to the new strategy of the University of Bergen (UiB), specific areas of research will become the focal points upon which the University aim to occupy a world-class renown. For the Faculty of Humanities, the Middle Ages is one such area and the last week has been dedicated to a variety of events about the medieval civilization under the title “Middelalderuken”, which means in Norwegian “the Week of Middle Ages”.

Utsnittet av Scholeusstikket fra 1580-årene gir et inntrykk av Bergen i senmiddelalderen. Copyright: Universitetsbiblioteket i Bergen

Utsnittet av Scholeusstikket fra 1580-årene gir et inntrykk av Bergen i senmiddelalderen.
Copyright: Universitetsbiblioteket i Bergen

Despite the very rich program, and the side activities for schools, that the organizing committee put together and offered to both academic aprticipants and all those interested in this section of the human past, what was not offered is a translation of this page in English! Granted: the academic events concerned mainly the Nordic reality; but what about the exhibitions or the music venues that could be /are of interest to all? I see this as one aspect of the known situation that in Norway the “Middle Ages” are first and foremost understood as a European phenomenon, perhaps even solely a Nordic one. But I wonder: when research at UiB is also conducted in the medieval era of other regions, like Africa, the Arabic world, or Nubia, doesn’t such a tendency compromise the ambitions for “internationalization” of the curriculum and research at the UiB?

In any case, focal point of the “Week of Middle Ages” was a conference titled “Exploring the Middle Ages”. If you look at the program of the conference, you will realize that again there was almost nothing regarding other areas of the medieval world, but the North (mainly north-western Europe). This created of course a most fascinating and worth-attending conference for all those specialized or just interested in the North-/Northwestern-European Middle Ages. I followed one session (The Long Life of the Ancient Gods: Receptions of Pagan Mythologies) and the quality of the papers was very high and the presentations quite captivating.

Now, the only slot where the opportunity for different research topics to be presented was the posters’ sessions, where among the 62 presentations, there were a couple about the Greco-Roman world and two … from Nubia :-)

The Tsakos @ the "Mellomalderkonferansen"

I guess I do not need to introduce the agents behind these two Nubiological interventions. You can see, however, in the photo (many thanks to Magnus Halsnes for this shot!) how proud we are to showcase Nubia among the rich repertoire of studies on the Middle Ages in the UiB. And if you want to see the two posters in more details, here are the links to our academia.edu pages, where they are uploaded:

  1. The Medieval Cathedral of Sai, Sudan
  2. Religious Literacy of Christian Nubia
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