York 1190: Jews and Others in the Wake of Massacre was organised by Sarah Rees Jones and Sethina Watson of the Centre for Medieval Studies and the Department of History.

The conference was supported by the British Academy, the Jewish Historical Society of England and the Royal Historical Society. The Borthwick Institute republished the essays of Barrie Dobson on anglo-jewish history for the occasion: The Jewish Communities of Medieval England . We are publishing a collection of essays relating to the theme of the conference and developing further related research projects.

Thursday, 29 April 2010

What next?

It has taken me a month to get back to 1190 - ('events, events' is possibly the best explanation of that) - but that has also given Sethina and I a chance to reflect on the conference and consider better what to do next.

The importance of holding the conference in York struck us more forcibly during the conference than it ever had done even in the two long years planning it - and the patterns, interconnections, and even tensions that emerged between the papers really did mean that for us the 'whole was more than the sum of its parts'. So - we both found the conference immensely thought-provoking - but also, can I say, good fun, making firm friends (we hope!) with so many people who had just been names before.

The most immediate answer to the question of 'what next?' is publication. We have identified one or two gaps in the programme which we think need filling in the book, but we are writing to people individually about that. So if you have not heard from us already, you will very soon!!

Otherwise our plan is to move ahead slowly (ish).  We both feel that the social life of towns, and of neighbourliness, in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, and of the intersections of faith with other sources of identity and change, deserve more work - and we intend to build on that after the conference book is completed. We will certainly want to think about the 'impact' that has in terms of the profile of 1190 in York as well as outside (and Ian Bloom's piece below is very useful for cautioning us about how to think about that). We'd welcome your thoughts and suggestions, discussion, ideas, comment.

Otherwise we're very happy for you to use the blog for any discussion or comment of your own.

The picture is of Sopron, Hungary - famous for its twelfth-century fire tower, and synagogue, among many historic monuments (and which i hope to visit soon!).

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