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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We Welcome Mitchell Dean as Mercator Fellow 2023!

What Else Is New?

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.

Voluntariness as Political Practice – Work in Progress and Upcoming Talks

In order to explore how voluntariness functions as a resource for political participation and civic recognition in the US, our subproject in North American History provides a critical reexamination of the yellow fever outbreaks between 1793 and 1820 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and highlights first results.

Voluntariness in Recent and Global History – Upcoming Talk

The current work in progress of our historical subprojects explores voluntariness in local historical contexts, in negotiations surrounding migration, in postcolonial settings as well as in different time periods or world regions. In the upcoming summer term, team members will discuss their crucial questions with experts from the respective fields of research.