On the occasion of the 800th Anniversary of the Convent of Santa Cruz La Real (Segovia), IE University and IE Humanities Center will host the International Conference on the Birth of Universities in the Peripheries of Europe: “From the Scriptorium to the Library”  on June 10-12, 2019 at the Campus of Santa Cruz la Real (Segovia)

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.

Registration is now open. If you wish to attend please click here

Conference Program

June 10th

10:30: Inauguration of the Conference by Salvador Carmona, Rector of IE University

Inaugural Plenary Lecture: A. C. Grayling, New College of Humanities, London: Oxford and the origins of the universities.

14:00 – 16:30: Paradigms of Universities in Western Europe

Chair: Prof. Miguel Larrañaga (IE University)

David Moshfegh, IE University

The Emergence of the Global University: Schemas for Understanding the Evolution of the University from the Medieval Past to the Present

Soledad Atienza, IE Law School

The use of Comparative Law in Legal education: a bridge from medieval Bologna to 21st century

17:00 – 18:00 Round Table, moderated by Miguel Larrañaga.

Pilar Herráiz Oliva, Istanbul Medeniyet University

Censorship at the Universities of Paris and Oxford (1210-1277)

Francisco José Díaz Marcilla, Instituto de Estudos Medievais (U. Nova de Lisboa)

Universities and the Power of Ideas: Production of Political Philosophical Texts within the Iberian University Context (14th-15th centuries)

June 11th

10:00 – 11:30: The model of the Eastern Empire: Byzantium and its continuators

Chair: Fernando Dameto, Executive Director of Humanities Center, IE

David Hernández de la Fuente, Universidad Complutense de Madrid

Poetry and University Schools in the periphery of the Eastern Empire: from Alexandria to Gaza and Beirut (4th-6th cc.)

Roland Marti, Universität des Saarlande, Saarbrücken

The Slavonic letters are holier and more venerable”: Scriptocentrism and its Consequences for Learning in the Slavia orthodoxa

Susana Torres Prieto, IE University

Monastic scriptoria in Kievan Rus’: the ideological and literary translatio imperii

12:00- 13:00: The Russian Model across time

Chair: Susana Torres, IE University

Sergei Bogatyrev, University College London

The Residence of Ivan the Terrible at Alexandrova Sloboda as a Cultural Centre

Dmitrii M. Bulanin, Russian Academy of Sciences (St. Petersburg)

Struggle for Professor Vacancies in the First Moscow Academy

15:00 – 16:00: The Iberian model

Chair: Soledad Atienza, IE Law School

Miguel Larrañaga, IE University

The cultural and intellectual impact of the Dominican convent of Segovia in Medieval and Modern times

Antonio Guijarro-Donadiós, Worcester State University

Notes on the Role of the Monastery of Uclés in the Literary and Military Education of the poet Garcilaso de la Vega

16: 30-17:30: Round Table, moderated by Soledad Atienza

June 12th

10:00 – 11:00: Women in nunneries: the parallel model

Chair: Celia de Anca, IE University

Renáta Modráková, National Library of the Czech Republic

Medieval Libraries from Bohemian Benedictine Nunneries on the Eastern European Borders

Liudmyla Sharipova, University of Nottingham

On The Survival of Double Monasteries in The Eastern Church

11:00 – 11:30 Coffee Break, served in the Cloisters

11:30- 13:00 Models in the fringes of Europe and beyond

Chair: David Moshfeg, IE University

Celia de Anca, IE University

Al-Ahzar University in the Classical Period: the effort in the search of knowledge

Synnøve Midtbø Myking, Institut de recherche et d’histoire des textes, Paris

Learned literature in medieval Norway

Steffen Hope, Centre for Medieval Literature, Odense

The learned canon in the North – three case studies from twelfth-century Scandinavia

13:00-14:00 Round Table moderated, by David Moshfegh



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