Social Conflicts and Conceptual Change: A Digital Humanities Approach to Medieval Sermons

Project leader

Funding source

Swedish Research Council - Vetenskapsrådet (VR)

Project Details

Start date: 01/01/2017
End date: 31/12/2019
Funding: 1800000 SEK


This project examines how the concept of social conflict was understood, presented and developed in medieval sermons before the drastic increase in popular movements in the High Middle Ages. It implements computational methods in the study of digitized texts, and aims to ascertain changes and developments in the social-religious climate during a period that was formative for the rise of a number of popular and heretical movements. The purpose of the project is to elucidate the conceptual changes prior to a period of increased social intolerance and prejudice and to test and evaluate the applicability of computational methods of digital humanities, especially vector space modelling, in the study of medieval sermons that were either produced or circulated in England from ca. 900 to 1200. Combining methods of conceptual history with digital humanities, the project will shed light on the ways people create meanings and meaningfulness in conflict situations. The topic of this project is not only historically significant, but important also to our own times, especially when thinking about the increased polarization of different social groups and the crises related to them. This project helps to understand the development and context-dependent nature of social conflicts, and thus also questions their justification and necessity.

The project takes place at the Department of history at Stockholm University, and lasts for three years (2017-2019).

Last updated on 2017-30-05 at 12:21

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