Periodic Reporting for period 3 - BeyondtheElite (Beyond the Elite: Jewish Daily Life in Medieval Europe)
Reporting period: 2019-11-01 to 2021-04-30
Four main strands are examined and combined:
1. An outline of the strata of Jewish society, better defining the elites and other groups.
2. A study of select communal and familial spaces such as the house, the synagogue, the market place that have yet to be examined as social spaces.
3. Ritual and urban rhythms especially the annual cycle, connecting between Jewish and Christian environments.
4. Material culture, as objects, were used by Jews and Christians alike.
Aspects of material culture, the physical environment and urban rhythms are often described as “neutral” are mined to demonstrate how they exemplified difference while being simultaneously ubiquitous in local cultures. The deterioration of relations between Jews and Christians provide a gauge for examining change during this period. The final stage of the project will include comparative case studies of other Jewish communities. I expect our findings will inform scholars of medieval culture at large and promote comparative methodologies for studying other minority ethnic groups.They also will provide insight for similar problems in contemporary modern society related to religious and ethnic minorities.
We have developed a website, a teaching website for teachers, held 7 conferences/strands at larger events, delivered dozens of talks at conferences, and public events and published over 30 articles at this point. Our first joint volume has just appeared. We are also editing 4 volumes and planning a volume for each strand that will be completed at the end of the project.
We travelled to Europe for a week long trip and this expanded our networks and horizons as a group. In addition individual group members have lectured in Europe and North America.
These developments are indications of the necessity of our studies and we hope to further enhance our public and academic presence by the end of the project.
By the end of the project we expect to have 4 group volumes, 3 volumes published under our auspices as well as a number of individual monographs and dozens of articles. We also plan an exhibit open to the public (summer 2021) and a catalogue that will accompany it. We hope to further our teaching website as well.