Session Title

Muslim-Christian Relations in Pre-Norman and Norman Italy

Sponsoring Organization(s)

Haskins Society

Organizer Name

Katherine Jacka; Matt King

Organizer Affiliation

Univ. of Sydney; Univ. of South Florida

Presider Name

Joshua C. Birk

Presider Affiliation

Smith College

Paper Title 1

Muslim Peasants and Rural Resistance in Medieval Sicily

Presenter 1 Name

Timothy Smit

Presenter 1 Affiliation

Eastern Kentucky Univ.

Paper Title 2

Normans and Franks in "The Complete History" of Ibn al-Athīr

Presenter 2 Name

Matt King

Paper Title 3

Between Difference and Interdependence: Italo-Greek Hagiography and Arab-Muslim Discourse in Pre-Norman Italy

Presenter 3 Name

Kalina Yamboliev

Presenter 3 Affiliation

Univ. of California-Santa Barbara

Paper Title 4

Routes and Kingdoms: The Book of Roger in Context

Presenter 4 Name

Katherine Jacka

Start Date

12-5-2019 10:30 AM

Session Location

Bernhard 106

Description

In recent years, the Haskins Society has broadened its geographic horizons to include the study of the Norman presence in Southern Italy and Sicily, a trend most recently expressed in the “Normans in the South” conference held at Oxford in the summer of 2017. This panel will embrace this new direction by uniting scholars who study connections between Normans and local Muslim communities in the central Mediterranean. Participants in this panel will draw upon a variety of research interests and linguistic competencies to highlight these interfaith relationships. Drawing upon affect theory, Kalina’s paper will open the panel with a consideration of how Italo-Greek hagiographies constructed the Muslim Saracen as a foil to the actions of Christian holy people. Katherine will follow this with a discussion of the major geographical work known as the Book of Roger, which was written by the Muslim scholar Muhammad al-Idrisi in the Norman court. Her paper will show how this Arabic-language text played an integral part in Roger II's efforts to create a Norman state in the Central Mediterranean. Matt will also analyze the Normans through the lens of medieval Arabic sources by showing how the Normans fit into the construction of a “Frankish” identity in the Arabic chronicles of Ibn al-Athīr and Ibn Khaldun. Tim will finish the panel with a paper that will examine the intersection of interfaith relations and the relations between lord and tenant in Norman Sicily, looking at how Muslim peasants in western Sicily resisted the power of the Christian lords placed over them. When put in dialogue with each other, these four papers will analyze the dynamic relationships between the Normans in the South and Muslim communities while providing avenues of comparative research for scholars whose work emphasizes the Anglo-Normans. Nicholas Paul

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May 12th, 10:30 AM

Muslim-Christian Relations in Pre-Norman and Norman Italy

Bernhard 106

In recent years, the Haskins Society has broadened its geographic horizons to include the study of the Norman presence in Southern Italy and Sicily, a trend most recently expressed in the “Normans in the South” conference held at Oxford in the summer of 2017. This panel will embrace this new direction by uniting scholars who study connections between Normans and local Muslim communities in the central Mediterranean. Participants in this panel will draw upon a variety of research interests and linguistic competencies to highlight these interfaith relationships. Drawing upon affect theory, Kalina’s paper will open the panel with a consideration of how Italo-Greek hagiographies constructed the Muslim Saracen as a foil to the actions of Christian holy people. Katherine will follow this with a discussion of the major geographical work known as the Book of Roger, which was written by the Muslim scholar Muhammad al-Idrisi in the Norman court. Her paper will show how this Arabic-language text played an integral part in Roger II's efforts to create a Norman state in the Central Mediterranean. Matt will also analyze the Normans through the lens of medieval Arabic sources by showing how the Normans fit into the construction of a “Frankish” identity in the Arabic chronicles of Ibn al-Athīr and Ibn Khaldun. Tim will finish the panel with a paper that will examine the intersection of interfaith relations and the relations between lord and tenant in Norman Sicily, looking at how Muslim peasants in western Sicily resisted the power of the Christian lords placed over them. When put in dialogue with each other, these four papers will analyze the dynamic relationships between the Normans in the South and Muslim communities while providing avenues of comparative research for scholars whose work emphasizes the Anglo-Normans. Nicholas Paul