The general trend in the scholarship surrounding the crusades in the last half-century has been one which considered this period solely from the perspective of Western Europe, neglecting to acknowledge material in Armenian, Arabic, Greek, Hebrew and other traditions as valuable resources to the study of the period. As a result, a majority of the scholarship surrounding the crusades has set the narratives of Western Europe in opposition to those of the “east,” contributing to the understanding of this period as solely antagonistic. In an attempt to break away from and argue against compartmentalized readings of crusading texts, my talk will begin with an assessment and evaluation of crusading scholarship, as well as a commentary on the classification of literary and historiographic narratives as “crusading” texts. By providing a brief survey and analysis of Armenian sources, the second section will then move to a discussion of the contribution of the Armenians to the to the study of the crusading period. Drawing attention to one of these primary sources, the talk will conclude with a discussion of the “Lamentation over the capture of Jerusalem” by the Catholicos Grigor Tlay, and will contextualize this lament within the greater narrative of the genre of lament, the Crusades, and Mediterranean Studies.
Co-sponsors: Center for Middle Eastern and North African Studies, Medieval and Early Modern Studies, Mediterranean Topographies Workshop.
Tamar M. Boyadjian is a CLIR Postdoctoral Fellow and she teaches courses at UCLA. She received her Ph.D. in Medieval Studies from the UCLA Department Comparative Literature in 2010; her M.A. in Near Eastern Languages and Cultures from UCLA in 2006; and her B.A. in English literature from UCLA in 2002. Her research interests include: crusading literature, city-laments, Jerusalem in medieval literature, medieval historiography, European and Near Eastern Cultures in the area of the Levant, East and West in the Middle Ages, Medieval Urban Space, and the Medieval Mediterranean. She has published several articles in scholarly journals and has been the recipient of a number of university awards, including the Collegium of University Teaching Fellowship at UCLA. Her interests in comparative paleography and codicology have resulted in her involvement in a number of digital humanities projects, such as the St. Gall Manuscript archive at UCLA and the UCLA Minasian Collection Digitization project. She was recently awarded the distinguished Transdisciplinary Seed Grant from the Office of the Vice Chancellor at UCLA for the project entitled, “Comparative Text Classification and the Literary Geography of Otherness, 1100-1500.”