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Grant number like: FEL-267927-20

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Anne Elisabeth Lester
Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore, MD 21218-2625)

Research Programs

[Grant products]

$55,000 (approved)
$55,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2021 – 11/30/2021

Fragments of Devotion: Relics, Remembrance and Material History in the Aftermath of the Fourth Crusade

Research and writing leading to a book on the circulation and reception of relics in Western Europe after the Fourth Crusade (1202-04).

Drawing on an array of archival texts, letters, inventories, manuscripts and material objects, Fragments of Devotion traces the reception and transformative effects of hundreds of relics carried from Byzantium into northern France, Flanders and Germany in the aftermath of the Fourth Crusade (1202-04). The book elucidates how relics were used to tell and retell many different histories, evoking through their materiality ineffable ideas and associations, while embodying the transformation of capital, power, and royal ideology. Methodologically, Fragments of Devotion demonstrates the powerful challenge that materiality poses to traditional narrative accounts of the crusades and past experiences more broadly. Collections of relics and the texts, spaces, and individuals that framed them and gave them meaning, offer another kind of archive, one that opens up a richer accounting of the experiences of war and loss, encounter and cultural appropriation, divine presence and commemoration.