The Medieval Colloquium will host Steven Kruger as part of its Speaker Series. He will discuss "The Space and Time of Medieval Conversion."
"In my ongoing book project, The Space and Time of Medieval Conversion, I consider the ways in which written work by and about medieval converts reveals culturally significant modes of conceiving time and space. In the piece of the project I will present at Columbia, I look especially at how the timing of an individual’s conversion intersects with larger—historical and institutional—senses of time. My medieval example here is Paul of Burgos (also known as Pablo de Santa María; born Solomon ha-Levi), an Iberian convert of the 1390s who ultimately became Archbishop of Burgos; his exegetical Scrutinium Scripturarum, though written 45 years after his conversion, continues to be strongly marked by that experience, and I argue that it foregrounds a particular intersection of personal and historical temporalities. I will also glance toward a twentieth-century representation of a moment of conversion—in Allen Ginsberg’s Howl—which by contrast to the Scrutinium helps reveal some of what is at stake in Paul of Burgos’s constructions of time."