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Tuesday, March 31 • 10:25am - 10:40am
Michelle Lorrainne Sauer: The Power of Memory and Manipulation in Anglo-Norman England: Symeon, St. Cuthbert, and Durham Cathedral

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One of the most interesting areas in the field of history is the phenomenon of cultural memory, the collective perception of a group on their own history. The formation and alteration of cultural memory throughout history has become an important area of interest in the field of history, as this building of identity and memory informs how cultures operate and view themselves to this day. The cultural memory of Northern England is a major part of their identity as a people, and has been built and changed throughout time by various invading groups. This project seeks to examine the ways in which the cultural memory of the Anglo-Saxon people was altered after the Norman Invasion through historical propaganda, particularly the writings of Symeon of Durham, and the building of Durham Cathedral. Symeon, a Norman monk in Durham, is a figure who shows the power of memory in the Middle Ages, as he effectively rewrote the history of the monks who came before him, giving the new Norman population of Durham an imagined history of themselves in that place. The building of Durham Cathedral was used by the Normans to consolidate power and legitimize their reign through an emphasized devotion to the religious scene in Durham. Through analysis of historical documents and religious art used as a means of manipulation by the Normans, this research examines the pre-Norman cultural memory of Durham and investigates the ways that Anglo-Saxon perception changed to include the Normans and merge the two groups into one.

Tuesday March 31, 2015 10:25am - 10:40am EDT
Civic Center - Meeting Room B - Ground Floor 505 West Pensacola Street, Tallahassee, FL 32301

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