TitleThe Fluid Boundary between Christianity and Islam
Date/TimeTuesday 5 July 2022: 16.30-18.00
OrganiserIMC Programming Committee
Moderator/ChairFozia Bora, School of Languages, Cultures & Societies - Arabic, Islamic & Middle Eastern Studies, University of Leeds
Paper 823-a Sayyidatina: The Cult of Mary/Maryam and the Sharing of Sacred Shrines in the 13th-Century Levant
(Language: English)
Jan Vandeburie, School of History, Politics & International Relations, University of Leicester
Index Terms: Islamic and Arabic Studies; Religious Life
Paper 823-b 'I have lost my faith, I have kept the infidel fasts…': Identity, the Other, and Traversal of the Intimate Boundaries in Late Medieval Literature and Art, 14th-15th Centuries
(Language: English)
Pavel Bychkov,
Index Terms: Anthropology; Daily Life; Language and Literature - Comparative; Sexuality
Paper 823-c Frontier Palaces?: The Last Days of the Nasrid Munà
(Language: English)
Sandra Suárez García, Independent Scholar, La Coruña
Index Terms: Economics - General; Economics - Rural; Islamic and Arabic Studies; Social History
AbstractPaper -a:
Awaiting abstract.

Paper -b:
'I have lost my faith, I have kept the infidel fasts…' - those words were written down in the moment of great sorrow by the Russian merchant and explorer Afanasy Nikitin. Although he was praying, eating, living with Muslims and even had an intimate relationships with Indian women, he considered that as a betrayal of his culture and religion. Nevertheless, Nikitin gives us a quite humanistic view of a 'foreigner', who automatically was perceived by the Europeans as an unattractive, threatening, and extraneous. Black or merely darker skin was an indicator of danger and something unknown; darkness was associated with night and evilness. The phenomenon of perceiving culture-bearers that differ from the conventional was described by M. Bakhtin and M. Foucault as the Other - marginalized and despised. The further away the 'foreigner' lived, the scarier he was: the very end of the world was inhabited with monsters, which are depicted in texts/illustrations of Latin and Slavonic versions of Alexander Romance and Prester John's letters. Though medieval scholars dehumanised non-European culture-bearers, it's intriguing to examine what happened the other way round, when a Christian traveler was outnumbered and placed in an alien culture? How did he respond to the traversal of the physical borders by the Others and how did he perceive their bodies? Different sources, including Mirabilia, Mandeville's Travels, Embassy to Tamerlane, Travels of Nicolo Conti, and Journey Beyond the Three Seas, explore such cases of extreme communication between West (sensu lato) and East and can give us a perspective of a European, cut off from the world that he knew. The comparative analysis of the two types of sources - from the outside and deeply included in the culture of the Other - could uncover new dynamic relationships between the Islamic/Indian world and Christian Europe.

Paper -c:
The Nasrid Kingdom of Granada (1238-1492) lived its last years marked by constant pressure from the Crown of Castile to conquer its territory. At the end of the 15th century there was little more than the Vega of Granada, the peri-urban area of the capital of the Kingdom, to be conquered. In this area the king and members of his family owned large properties that fulfilled leisure, cultivation, and production functions. Among these owners, the women of the royal family stand out (mother, sisters, aunts, wifes, daughters of the emir, etc.). We will explore how the status of 'last frontier' forced the royal family as a whole to use its properties to foster the resistance of the emirate.