April 12, 2012
French professor to give lecture on medieval literature and art today
Robert Clark, associate professor of modern languages, will give the seventh bi-annual Signatures lecture of the department of modern languages at 4 p.m. today in the Hemisphere Room of Hale Library. His lecture is titled "The Myth of Host Desecration in Medieval Aragon and Paris."
Accusations of host desecration – the assault on a consecrated communion wafer – abound in medieval Europe and constitute one of the more unfortunate chapters in Christian-Jewish relations. This presentation will focus on a few manifestations of host desecration as expressed in art and drama and as recorded in the archives. Contextualization of these episodes will allow us to see more clearly how this pan-European phenomenon was deployed in Paris and Aragon to address local anxieties over the integrity of the Christian communities when confronted with their Jewish Other.