Christian Raffensperger and Joanna DrellAug 14, 2023
Toward a More Expansive View of Medieval Europe
Kyivan Rus and Norman Salerno in the Eleventh and Twelfth Centuries
New Books Network 2023
Focusing on gender relations, family formation, and marriage patterns in areas peripheral to the England, France, and the Holy Roman Empire, Christian Raffensperger and Joanna Drell argue for a more inclusive understanding of medieval Europe. Their conversation dwells on Kyivan Rus and Norman Salerno in the eleventh and twelfth centuries, but also the present state of medieval history and the importance of thinking beyond Western Europe and talking across language and geographical divides. Raffensperger is author of Reimagining Europe: Kievan Rus in the Medieval World, 988-1146 (Harvard UP, 2012). Joanna Drell is the author of Kinship and Conquest: Family Strategies in the Principality of Salerno during the Norman Period, 1077-1194 (Cornell UP, 2002). Her recent article “The Luxuriant Southern Scene: Textiles as Reflections of Power in the Kingdom of Southern Italy and Sicily” is also a focus of conversation. It is published in Mapping Pre-Modern Sicily: Maritime Violence, Cultural Exchange, and Imagination in the Mediterranean, 800-1700.
Stephen V. Bittner is Special Topics Editor at Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History and Professor of History at Sonoma State University.