CMEMS Conference 2024

11.00am 06 - 06 | 10.00am 07-06

Borders and Boundaries

University Museum Groningen

The conference's theme is based on the book "Physical and Symbolic Borders and Boundaries and How They Unfold in Space". The book attempts to unravel the processes and structures that construct, unravel, and reconstruct physical and symbolic borders and boundaries in various geographies and histories.In defining borders as boundaries as separate entities, it strives to provide theoretical approaches to the concepts in varying contexts and explain how they intersect with space. Its purpose is to understand the construction, interaction, and interplay between borders, boundaries, and spaces.


Day 1

11.00 Doors Open
11.35 Opening Talk
11.50 Charlotte Nolan
12.15 Sjoerd-Louwe Oosterhoff
12.40 Lunch
13.40 Rolin Legêne
14.05 Q & A Session
14.20 Xiaofei Zhao
14.45 Coffee Break
15.00 Gerjan Borneman
15.25 Q & A Session
15:40 Simone Pekelsma MA
16.25 Q & A Session
18.00 Dinner

Day 2

10.00 Doors Open
10.30 Opening Talk
10.40 Dr Nelleke Ijssennagger
11.25 Q & A Session
11.40 Jorris Kingma
12.05 Lunch
13.05 Luke Talman
13.30 Hannah Jonkers
13.55 Q & A Session
14.10 Coffee Break
14.25 Anouk van der Meer
14.50 Nouschka van der Meij
15.15 Q & A Session
15.30 Closing Talk

Keynote Speakers

Simone Pekelsma MA

Managing Director Future Food Utrecht | PhD Candidate Radboud

Simone Pekelsma is a Project Manager at the department of Human Geography and Planning in Utrecht University and a PhD candidate at Radboud University, Nijmegen.
Her research focuses on the dynamic practices, relations and networks shaping contemporary gated communities with a particular focus on Istanbul, Madrid, Rotterdam and London.
She is the co-editor of the keystone text for this conference.

Dr Nelleke Ijssennagger

Managing Director of Fryske Akademy

Nelleke IJssennagger-van der Pluijm has been Managing-Director the Fryske Akademy since March 2021. Previously she was Regional Curator in Cornwall at the National Trust in England and Curator of Mound Culture and Middle Ages at the Fries Museum.
Her research focuses on Early Middle Ages Frisia, as well as Vikings in the coastal regions of North Western Europe.

Student Speakers

Gerjan Borneman

BA History, Philosophy of a Specific Discipline | Ancient Greek Religion, Philosophy of History

Borders, Boundaries, and Cognition: A Case Study of a Visit to the Vari Cave Sanctuary

A religious experience in a cognitive event, wherein the body releases neurotransmitters to react accordingly, which is then deemed religious. I will combine cognitive science with the idea of boundaries by applying it to the process of entering the Vari Cave near Athens, a sanctuary dedicated to the nymphs. We may observe boundaries between light and dark, mundane and sacred, and open and enclosed. The process of going to and entering the sanctuary will be examined using concepts borrowed from cognitive sciences, and I shall explain that the concoction of neurotransmitters leads the pilgrim to have a profound religious experience.

Marieke Jager

BA History | Gender & Religion in the High and Late Middle Ages

Blurring Boundaries in the Anchorhold: A Living Martyr at the Heart of an Urban Community in the Life of Margaret the Lame

Enclosed within a cellar for life, medieval anchoresses withdrew from the outside world to turn inwards, to God. Paradoxically, anchorholds were often situated at the heart of urban settlements. How did an anchoress interact with the community outside her cellar? In her talk, Marieke will delve into the relationship between an anchoress and the urban community through the case of Margaret ‘the Lame’, a charismatic, headstrong, disabled young woman whose enclosure enabled her to transcend social boundaries by serving as a spiritual advisor to the urban community of Magdeburg.

Hannah Jonkers

BA History | Cultural contact between the Greco-Roman world and the ancient Near East

The liminal character of the composite creature and cultural transmission in the ancient eastern Mediterranean

Objects, ideas and knowledge cross the man-made boundaries all over the world, fighting for priority in our conceptions of the world around us. Processes of intercultural exchange and transmission confront people with foreign ideas and influences. This paper will focus on the ancient eastern Mediterranean, in which networks of trades facilitated exchange and transmission of objects, ideas, and even the ways of looking at these two. It will explore the negotiation between what is familiar and what is new by examining the hybrid creature and the way in which its liminal character facilitates easy transmission and its use in the expression of local identity.

Jorris Kingma

BA European Studies | Environmental- and Cultural History of Medieval Frisia

Want dyc ende lond hert to gader: an epistemological study of dike building and border making

In medieval Frisia, the large-scale construction of sea dikes increased around the eleventh century. Whereas the physical history of the sea dikes has been studied extensively, little attention has been paid to underlying mentalities that motivated their construction. In this epistemological study, Jorris will theorize the sea dikes as borders that as part of the human cognition are instrumental to define, sense and understand the surrounding world and their construction as an embodied and intersubjective process of perception and imagination.

Rolin Legêne

BA History | Late eighteenth political and cultural history and press

Women in the Dutch Patriottentijd (1780-1787): boundaries of political space

Between 1780 and 1787, public opinion in the Dutch Republic was heavily divided. The political situation was discussed extensively in coffee houses, on the streets, and in political opinion papers. However, men and women did not have equal access to this public debate.
In his talk, Rolin Legêne will investigate invisible boundaries that in- and exclude women from the political debate. With a combination of digital methods and close reading, he uses five different opinion papers published between 1780 and 1787 to reconstruct public opinion on how women are expected to participate.

Anouk van der Meer

BDes Illustration Design, BA History | Visual culture of medical and scientific knowledge production in the sixteenth-century German lands

Challenging boundaries of copying authorship: Walther Hermann Ryff’s (1500-1548) medical and scientific plagiarism in sixteenth-century Germany

The Oxford English Dictionary defines plagiarism as: “The practice of taking someone else’s work or ideas and passing them off as one’s own.” Between 1538 and 1548, Walther Hermann Ryff published over 40 books on medical and scientific subjects. Ryff copied all content from others and claimed it as his own. However, the pre-modern concept of plagiarism was different from ours. While there was no official definition of plagiarism, there were boundaries to copying authorship. In her paper, Anouk van der Meer argues that Ryff challenged these boundaries and that research into his work provides insights in the notion of sixteenth-century plagiarism.

Nouschka van der Meij

BA Art History | Late Medieval Art and Material Culture

Changing the borders of the medieval body: amputation and prosthetics.

This paper will examine the borders of the medieval body in light of amputation and prosthetics. The medieval idea of the body and its borders is somewhat different than that of current medical science. In the medieval period, the exterior of the body is seen as a reflection of a person’s character. Next to this, the resurrection by Christ’s second coming complicates the view on the medieval body. Visual and archeological evidence is interpreted to examine the medieval view on prosthetics as a part of the body.

Charlotte Nolan

BA History | Classical Athenian Politics and Religion, Queerness in Greek Myth

Male and Female, Begetter of War: a comparative analysis of gender nonconformity in the maidens of greek myth

Classical Athenian society had strict gendered ideas on what was and was not appropriate gendered behaviour. In spite of this, the city's patron goddess transgresses the boundaries of the appropriate behaviour of a maiden (parthenos) throughout her mythos. Charlotte will be presenting a talk on gender nonconformity of maidens in Greek myth, and how the recurring themes of their defiance of gender roles can shed light on the more permeable areas in the classical Athenian boundary between man and woman. She will use the case studies of the two goddesses Artemis and Athena, as well as the hero Atalanta and compare their various myths to uncover the shared themes of gender-nonconformity.

Sjoerd-Louwe Oosterhoff

BA History, Philosophy of a Specific Discipline | The cultural and intellectual history of premodern gender and sexuality.

Clothes make the (wo)man: Analysis of how Medieval crossdressers challenged the medieval ‘Gender system’ and what this tells us about the boundaries of said system

Sjoerd-Louwe will be presenting a talk on crossdressing in the Middle Ages. He will do this in order to investigate how flexible or rigid the boundaries between ‘maleness’ and ‘femaleness’ were within the all-encompassing medieval system of gender classification and how this system dealt with stress due to non-gender conforming behaviour. One or more historical examples of crossdressing will be taken as case studies to illustrate how crossdressing challenged gender boundaries in the Middle Ages.

Luke Talman

BA History | Eighteenth-century political culture and press history

Press and Propaganda in a Puppet Republic: The Coup of 18 Fructidor’s Cross-Border Impact

As one of the Sister Republics instated by the First French Republic, the Batavian Republic kept close political and cultural ties with the French. It is barely a surprise that many Dutch revolutionaries looked across the border at their big sister as an example. So did the Frisian* newspaper the Friesche Courant, when it portrayed the Coup of 18 Fructidor, the republican purge of monarchists in the Directory, as the heroic suppression of an evil royalist uprising and as an example to be followed by all ‘well-thinking’ Batavians.
In his talk, Luke Talman will consider the role of the newspaper, the political culture of the Batavian Republic and the discrepancy between historical and reported reality, to explain why a local Frisian newspaper twisted the facts of the Coup of 18 Fructidor to impose their own political agenda.
*Frisian in the geographical sense.

Xiaofei Zhao

BA Philosophy, MA World History | Classical reception, Comparative studies between Ancient Rome and China

Boundaries in Historical Video Games set in Antiquity: Games and Their Players

During the presentation, Xiaofei will discuss the existence and formation of boundaries in ancient historical video games. Taking a boundary theory perspective, he will combine classical reception theory and game studies to elaborate on an invisible boundary shaped by classical historical games. This "boundary" is shaped between the reconstructed historical facts and the real ancient historical facts. It separates classical history games from traditional historical narratives while also linking them. This presentation will also focus on how the players constantly cross this "boundary" during gameplay and how they are influenced by it.

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