Dismantling the Medieval: book launch & video

(29-10-2021) New book by prof. Steven Vanderputten investigates how early modern people saw and manipulated the medieval past

Did early modern people care about the medieval past? That’s the question prof. Steven Vanderputten, an expert of medieval social and cultural history at Ghent University, tackles in his latest book "Dismantling the Medieval. Early Modern Perceptions of a Female Convent's Past" (Brepols, 2021).

He does so via a case study of Bouxières abbey, a small convent of elite women in France’s eastern region of Lorraine. Today few visual reminders survive of the site’s premodern status as a major beacon of the region’s eventful medieval past. However, up to the end of the eighteenth century it harboured countless oral stories, documents, objects, images, buildings, and even landscapes that reminded its inhabitants and visitors of the abbey’s origins as a prestigious tenth-century foundation.

Using a reversed chronology, "Dismantling the Medieval" reconstructs (the evolution of) how the canonesses saw and presented themselves, and whether they saw any use in remembering their community’s medieval past.

Below you can find an info clip in English that lifts a tip of the veil!