On the occasion of the 800th Anniversary of the Convent of Sta. Cruz La Real (Segovia)

Segovia, 10-12 June 2019

Abstract: The model of the birth of universities in Europe has long been established taken as a model the developments that occurred in continental Western Europe particularly as a result of well-known processes: the Carolingian Renaissance, the vernacularisation of culture, the increasing relevance of cities, the empowerment of new social groups. Nevertheless, in large parts of what today is considered Europe, let alone Eurasia, the social and intellectual factors that defined this emergence of universities were often not present, or not all of them. In areas where the process of Christianization, and sometimes also literacy, had taken place later, or where the role of monasteries as the only centres of learning and literary activity lasted longer, or where a more or less permanent warfare existed, or where the adequate social environment had not yet been developed, the scriptoria and the libraries of monasteries and convents kept learning and cultural traditions for longer, often against all odds.

The aim of the present conference is to discuss and analyse, among others, aspects and questions such as:

  • What was the role of royal patronage in pushing forward this model of transmission of knowledge?
  • What is the impact of manuscript techniques (vis à vis the printing press) in the intellectual history of these areas?
  • How did the monastic environment conform the literary/philosophical/scientific/theological canon?
  • What was the educational role of these institutions?
  • How the knowledge transmitted was censored or slanted, if it was?
  • What social impact did these monastic learning communities have in their respective social environments?
  • How was the process of creation of universities in these areas, when and by whom?
  • In which respects, if in any, were nunneries different from the male counterparts?

Call for papers

The International Conference is organised by the Centre of Humanities if IE University on the occasion of the 800th Anniversary of its site in Segovia, a former Dominican foundation protected by the Spanish crown. A call for papers to participate is now open. Please send your title and abstract (200-300) to Susana.torres@ie.edu by November 30th, 2018.


On-campus accommodation and meals for speakers will be covered by the Centre of Humanities of IE University. Attendance for those wishing to attend without presenting a paper is free.


Papers will be published in an extraordinary volume of the peer-reviewed, indexed journal Oppidum.


Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

We use both our own and third-party cookies to enhance our services and to offer you the content that most suits your preferences by analysing your browsing habits. Your continued use of the site means that you accept these cookies. You may change your settings and obtain more information here. Accept