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?

Research Day Voluntariness

On June 3, 2024, we invite fellow researchers to discuss voluntariness as focus of their research and compare goals and challenges of their projects. The research day will start at 10 am with a casual welcome into a full-day program, completed by an evening lecture by philosopher Jule Govrin.

Voluntariness 2.0 – Local and Global Perspectives

April 2024 has been the official kick-off for another three years of voluntariness research, funded by the German Research Foundation. Seven new or continuing projects will shape the new focus of the research unit’s second funding phase.

We are Hiring…Join our Team!

A position as research assistant within the Research Unit on “Voluntariness” is available at the University of Erfurt. Historians specializing in the field of North American History may apply by May 4, 2024, at the latest.