Virtual lecture examines lament over the loss of Jerusalem in the medieval Mediterranean

Dr. Tamar M. Boyadjian and her book cover "The City Lament: Jerusalem Across the Medieval Mediterranean."

Dr. Tamar M. Boyadjian, assistant professor of medieval literature at Michigan State University, will present “The City Lament: Jerusalem Across the Medieval Mediterranean” at 7 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 24 on Zoom. The event is free and registration is required. 

In “The City Lament: Jerusalem Across the Medieval Mediterranean,” Dr. Boyadjian examines how various ethnoreligious cultures across the medieval Mediterranean world lamented the loss of the city of Jerusalem, and in what ways reinscribing models from the ancient world inform these lamentations. The critical objective of Dr. Boyadjian’s work is to expose cross-cultural exchange and interaction across the medieval Mediterranean through an examination of the lament tradition across Arabo-Islamic, Cilician Armenian, and Western European literary sources. She demonstrates how each of these cultures shares similar modes of lamenting cities, all of which also come from ancient prototypes. 

By understanding the loss of the city, each tradition further its political objectives of reconquering Jerusalem by simultaneously envisaging their own Jerusalem through textually surrogate geography of the city, also informed by the theological and spiritual tradition of the significance of the city for that particular faith. Through these city laments, these cultures allow for their own Jerusalems to live anew- through this very paradoxical mourning of its loss and destruction.

Dr. Boyadjian’s academic research and publications primarily focus on the intersections between Europe and the Middle East across the Medieval Mediterranean, focusing on the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia. Further research interests include representation of women across medieval Mediterranean literature; women and lamentation; Jerusalem and representations of space in literature; and queer studies and the medieval Mediterranean. She is author of the award-winning book “The City Lament: Jerusalem Across the Medieval Mediterranean.” 

For more information, contact the Armenian Studies Program at 559.278.8669.

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