Remembering the Crusades: Myth, Image and Identity

28th Annual Conference of the Center for Medieval Studies

Fordham University, Lincoln Center, New York City: March 29-30, 2008

Geraldine Heng, Sex, Lies, and Paradise: Civilizational Identity in a Shard of Crusading Memory

The fabulation of literary memories associated with two remarkable phenomena issuing from the time and contexts of the crusades cues us to forms of cultural desire animating the politics of civilizational identity in the late medieval period. I consider how medieval literature remembers the legends of the Nizari Ismailis popularly known as the Assassins as well as the legends of Prester John, and examine how the retrieval today of specific features of the Assassins' legends mobilizes medieval memory and fable into contemporary service.



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