Archive for May, 2015

2015 La corónica International Book Prize

Sunday, May 24th, 2015

Winner of the 2015 La corónica International Book Award

Ryan Szpiech

Book DisplayRyan Szpiech, Associate Professor of Spanish, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, studies the cultures and literatures of medieval Iberia, focusing especially on cultural interaction, exchange, and conflict. His interests converge around the concept of translation (of languages, alphabets, styles, beliefs, identities, and ideas) as a tool for defining the relations between Jews, Muslims, and Christians.

Conversion and Narrative: Reading and Religious Authority in Medieval Polemic (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2013) draws on a wide body of sources from Christian, Jewish, and Muslim polemics to investigate the place of narrative in the representation of conversion. Making a firm distinction between stories told about conversion and the experience of religious change, Szpiech’s book is not a history of conversion itself but a comparative study of how and why it was presented in narrative form within the context of religious disputation. After considering the late antique paradigms on which medieval Christian conversion narratives were based, Szpiech juxtaposes Christian stories with contemporary accounts of conversion to Islam and Judaism. The monograph emphasizes that polemical conflict between Abrahamic religions in the medieval Mediterranean centered on competing visions of history and salvation. By seeing conversion not as an individual experience but as a public narrative, Conversion and Narrative provides a new, interdisciplinary perspective on medieval writing about religious disputes.

Szpiech receives award

Jonathan Burgoyne, Editor of La corónica, presents the 2015 La corónica International Book Prize to Professor Ryan Szpiech at the 50th International Congress of Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, Michigan