The project’s main goal is to provide a clear framework for an interdisciplinary study of CAM as a locus of intense and variegated cross-cultural entanglements by:
a) creating tools for research through producing an on-line database of sources and an interactive map
b) applying inter-disciplinary methodology that combines the analysis of textual and material evidence with digital humanities; and
c) developing a theoretical framework for the study of cultural entanglements under conditions where there was no overarching hegemonic power, single elite culture, or one unifying religious message/tradition. The incorporation of CAM in studies of Global Middle Ages is contingent upon an accurate understanding of its internal connectivities, which ArmEn aims to delineate.
ArmEn aims to trace shared features in the multi-lingual textual and artistic production of CAM and correlate them to the circulation of ideas and concepts, as well as to real-life interactions, between multiple groups, identifying the locations and agents of entanglements. The large but under-utilised body of Armenian sources to be explored together with sources in Arabic, Georgian, Greek, Persian, Syriac, and Turkish, will illuminate cultural entanglements between Muslim Arabs, Christian Arabs, subjects of the Byzantine Empire, Syriac Christians, Georgians, Caucasian Albanians, a number of Turko-Muslim dynasties, Kurds, Iranians, Western Europeans, and Mongols, that inhabited, conquered, or passed through and produced cultural goods in CAM. Evidence from manuscript illuminations and numismatics will provide a material cultural dimension to the analysis. ArmEn will, thus, create a trans-cultural vision of the CAM, bridging area studies into a unifying framework, bringing together various disciplinary approaches (philology, literary criticism, religious studies, art history, numismatics, etc.), to build a narrative synthesis in which the dynamics of cross-cultural entanglements in the CAM emerge in their spatial and temporal dimensions.