Session Title

Traveling Selves: Creating the Pilgrim Persona

Sponsoring Organization(s)

Special Session

Organizer Name

Suzanne Yeager

Organizer Affiliation

Fordham Univ.

Presider Name

Anthony Bale

Presider Affiliation

Birkbeck College, Univ. of London

Paper Title 1

The Journey of Rabbi Petahia: A Medieval Jewish Pilgrim's Persona

Presenter 1 Name

Shamma Boyarin

Presenter 1 Affiliation

Univ. of Victoria

Paper Title 2

Passing as Pilgrims: The Place of Crusading in a Poetics of Pilgrimage

Presenter 2 Name

Suzanne Yeager

Paper Title 3

The Note-Taker as Hero

Presenter 3 Name

Shayne Aaron Legassie

Presenter 3 Affiliation

Univ. of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

Start Date

15-5-2015 1:30 PM

Session Location

Fetzer 1060

Description

Travelling Selves: Creating the Pilgrim Persona

Organized by Suzanne Yeager (Fordham University) and Anthony Bale (Birkbeck, University of London)

This session offers three papers that explore pilgrim identity by querying the use of narrative voice and the creation of “traveling” personae. Shamma Boyarin’s “The Journey of Rabbi Petahia: A Medieval Jewish Pilgrim’s Persona,” examines Petachia’s complex authorial voice, showing descriptive methods and choices influenced by Petachia’s position as a male Ashkenazi Jew and his connection to Rhineland Jewish mysticism. In “Passing as Pilgrims: The Place of Crusading in a Poetics of Pilgrimage,” Suzanne Yeager explores pilgrim writers' habits of creating associations with influential crusading narratives; through these complex relationships with past events, Yeager illustrates the porous nature of pilgrimage and crusading travel genres. Shayne Legassi, in “Note-taker as Hero,” brings to light the watershed changes of paper technologies on the role of pilgrim writing, and the ways in which this new accessibility dramatically changed the portrayal of the pilgrim persona.

By focusing on the narrative voice of the pilgrim, we hope to uncover the important role of the traveler as he or she crafted his or her persona, and to interpret pilgrim narrative as a way of producing the self which blended aspects of personal biography, the souvenir, lived experience, authoritative cultural narratives, intertextuality, scribal culture, intermedial productions, and other strategies. We hope that our session will invite our colleagues to join us in exploring whether or not the pilgrim’s identity mattered in the account, and under what, if any, conditions.

-Suzanne Yeager

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May 15th, 1:30 PM

Traveling Selves: Creating the Pilgrim Persona

Fetzer 1060

Travelling Selves: Creating the Pilgrim Persona

Organized by Suzanne Yeager (Fordham University) and Anthony Bale (Birkbeck, University of London)

This session offers three papers that explore pilgrim identity by querying the use of narrative voice and the creation of “traveling” personae. Shamma Boyarin’s “The Journey of Rabbi Petahia: A Medieval Jewish Pilgrim’s Persona,” examines Petachia’s complex authorial voice, showing descriptive methods and choices influenced by Petachia’s position as a male Ashkenazi Jew and his connection to Rhineland Jewish mysticism. In “Passing as Pilgrims: The Place of Crusading in a Poetics of Pilgrimage,” Suzanne Yeager explores pilgrim writers' habits of creating associations with influential crusading narratives; through these complex relationships with past events, Yeager illustrates the porous nature of pilgrimage and crusading travel genres. Shayne Legassi, in “Note-taker as Hero,” brings to light the watershed changes of paper technologies on the role of pilgrim writing, and the ways in which this new accessibility dramatically changed the portrayal of the pilgrim persona.

By focusing on the narrative voice of the pilgrim, we hope to uncover the important role of the traveler as he or she crafted his or her persona, and to interpret pilgrim narrative as a way of producing the self which blended aspects of personal biography, the souvenir, lived experience, authoritative cultural narratives, intertextuality, scribal culture, intermedial productions, and other strategies. We hope that our session will invite our colleagues to join us in exploring whether or not the pilgrim’s identity mattered in the account, and under what, if any, conditions.

-Suzanne Yeager