Simon Barton Postgraduate Conference Prize

Society for the Medieval Mediterranean offers grants to assist postgraduates with the financing of small conferences, symposia and workshops.

These grants are named and awarded in the memory of the Society's President, Prof. Simon Barton, during whose tenure and on whose initiative the awards were established.

The value of grants awarded in this scheme will be up to £1000.

Applications are currently invited with the closing date of 1st December 2019. The proposed research event organized by a postgraduate applicant may include conferences, symposia and workshops, which should align with the aims and scope of the Society. The event should be dedicated to explore any aspects of Mediterranean history and culture from the fifth to the fifteenth centuries C.E.


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Previous awardees

simon barton conference prize 2018

The 2018 Simon Barton Conference Prize was awarded to the workshop ‘After the Conquest: converging approaches to the study of the Iberian Reconquista, 9th–14th centuries’ organised by Rodrigo Garcia-Velasco (University of Cambridge, Woolf Institute)

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Popularly known as the Reconquista, the Christian conquest of al-Andalus in the Iberian Peninsula has long been a popular area of research. Although there have been some major breakthroughs over the past thirty years, an historiographical impasse has hindered transnational collaboration between different scholars and schools of thought. 

A fundamental aim of the workshop was to go beyond the dominant narrative of conquest, that has framed the Christian military advance in terms of change versus continuity: whether the Christian takeover amounted to a military, feudal conquest breaking with the Islamic past; or whether Latin rule was mitigated by surrender treaties, hybrid ethno-cultural institutions and pragmatic tolerance or coexistence, known as 'convivencia' among scholarly circles and in popular culture. 

The workshop started from the premise that this debate has become somewhat sterile, and aimed to go beyond the established paradigm by bringing advocates from different scholarly camps together. The two-day gathering comprised archaeologists, historians and art historians discussing different types of evidence, approaches and methodologies, during the different stages of the Christian conquests of Islamic Spain.