Networks and Neighbours
N&N aims to promote the study of how people and communities interacted within and without their own world and localities in the Early Middle Ages.
The journal Networks and Neighbours (N&N) is a voice of the larger, international project of scholars by the same name. The project runs masterclasses, lectures and other events including our annual symposium. The symposium rotates around the globe, thereby eliciting the work being done across academic environments, languages and traditions and providing a real face to the international network of early medievalists. In 2013 the symposium was held in Leeds, U.K. while in 2014 the N&N Symposium will be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. This international spirit is embodied in the journal N&N, and to this end we invite reports from early medieval activities worldwide and book reviews and articles in languages other than English.
The editorial board of N&N consists of established leaders in the field as well as emerging young scholars working in early medieval studies. The methodologies, styles, chosen historiographies, historical representations and theses of the board members complement each other in various ways and provide emulative models of historical research and authorship. They also represent though the firm, critical and confrontational interrogations needed to advance early medieval scholarship in radical directions and towards truly alternative ways of thinking and emerging the early medieval past.
N&N thus aims to promote the study of how people and communities interacted within and without their own world and localities in the Early Middle Ages. Our ultimate discourse is amenable to intellectual events that emerge from N&N but inceptively we set out with the view that if texts present directed meaning because they are sets of signifiers and our minds are developed so as to expect, anticipate and subsequently comprehend complex information through sets, or networks, of ideas, then we can argue that it is the respective, local topology of a past situation, or rather of its functional and malleable discourses, that can provide the modern ‘reader’, or historian, with the framework through which s/he can write a story of the past. We maintain that identity and meaning were not determined by fixed sets and integers, but by a complex network of interrelated signs. In practice, this suggests that a single person within their personal world could have travelled within various worlds and realities, identifying with various neighbours at even single overlapping points of identity; one did not encounter another as a fixed category, either of ‘self’ or ‘other’. Therefore, by ‘network’ we do not mean a fixed identifier, a singularizing category, but refer to the complex ways that individuals, groups, institutions et cetera constructed self-considered, coherent and singular existences from the multiplicity of mental activity, perceptions, ideas, and the varying confrontation with images, physical and non-human being, languages, sounds, senses, ‘discourses’ and all else that was life in the period.
These are the foundational thoughts of N&N and we welcome those interested in them but also those critical of such approaches and otherwise anyone engaged in the serious reconsideration, revisiting and re-presenting (via text, image or sound) of the historical sources, patterns, inventions, representations and historiographies about early medieval worlds to submit a piece to Networks and Neighbours.
Vol 1, No 1 (2013)
Table of Contents
The Pagans and the Other: Varying Presentations in the Early Middle Ages. Ian Wood 1-22
The Liber Historiae Francorum – a Model for a New Frankish Self-confidence Philipp Dörler 23-43
The Elusive Nature of Germanic Heroic Poetry: A Rhizomatic Model Catalin Taranu 44-66
Book Review: Konrad Hirschler, The Written Word in the Medieval Arabic Lands: A Social and Cultural History of Reading Practices (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2012) Guy Ron-Gilboa 67-71
Book Review: Luca Larpi, Prologomena to a new edition of Gildas Sapiens, De excidio Britanniae (Firenze: Edizione del Galluzzo, 2012) Jamie Wood 72- 73
Conference Report: Cultural Memory and Resources of the Past, British School at Rome Richard Broome 74-82
Conference Report: Networks and Neighbours Michael Burrows 83-93
Conference Report: Isidore of Seville Symposium Michael J. Kelly, Jamie Wood, Andy Fear 94-98
Conference Report: Spoleto April 2013 Francesco Veronese 99-102
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