Voluntariness in Medieval History – Workshop and Talks

On April 20, 2023, our subproject in Medieval History, „Martyrdom and Voluntariness,” welcomes historians Sara M. Butler (Ohio State University) and Steffen Hope (University of Oslo) to Erfurt for a workshop entitled “Dying voluntarily in the Middle Ages”. Together, we will explore various forms of voluntary death and their medieval discourses.

Steffen Hope’s talk “Willingness and Unwillingness in the Death of Holy Kings – Examples from Latin Hagiography” will address Northern European royal saints’ special relationship with violence, both inflicted on others and endured by themselves during martyrdom.

Sara M. Butler will introduce us to legal cases wherein the accused specifically chose a certain execution method through “rock crushing” to attain a form of martyrdom instead of dying as a convicted felon. Her talk is entitled “Choosing Peine Forte et Dure: Silent Martyrdom in Late Medieval England.”

Together with Markus from our martyrdom subproject, they will discuss how medieval discourses of voluntary death relate to voluntariness as an ethical category and the research unit’s larger themes. The workshop will take place from 12 to 5:30 pm at the International Meeting Center Erfurt (IBZ; Michaelisstraße 38, 99084 Erfurt). Please send an email to markus.dolinsky@uni-erfurt.de to register for the event.

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What Else Is New?

Programm Konferenz in Graz

Conference on Solidarity and Volutnariness in Graz

On September 12 and 13, 2023, two co-investigators from the research unit will be speaking at the conference “Solidarity and Voluntarism in State-Socialist Societies” at the University of Graz, Austria. For a panel on Friday Carolyn Taratko and Elena M. E. Kiesel will be presenting aspects of their research projects on voluntariness in Ghana and the GDR.

Workshop – Reflect Yourself!?

On July 13 and 14, 2023, the workshop titled “Reflect yourself!?” will take place at the University of Erfurt. Exploring the research field of public history and its potential for (self)reflection in historical scholarship, both established scholars, junior researchers and students come together to discuss the topic in regard to their daily work and historical research.

We Welcome Mitchell Dean as Mercator Fellow 2023!

In summer 2023, we welcome Professor Mitchell Dean as Mercator Fellow of the Research Unit on Voluntariness. The political sociologist will support the projects of the research unit from April to July 2023 as a renowned expert in the field of governmentality studies.