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Thursday, November 17, 2016
5:00 pm

HSS 50th Anniversary Lecture: Kate Craig

On the Trail of Medieval Relics: Tracking Sacred Journeys

Kate Craig, Assistant Professor, Department of History, Auburn University

After receiving her BS in Applied Physics and History at Caltech in 2008, Craig went onto pursue a Ph.D. in the humanities, specifically medieval history at UCLA. New to her teaching position at Auburn, Craig offers a unique perspective on the interplay of the humanities and sciences informed by the ways her HSS studies helped shape her career path. Her research interests include the religious cultures of early and late medieval Europe, travel and mobility within the premodern world, and the application of natural scientific and digital techniques to medieval history.

For her talk, Craig explains: "From the Buddha's tooth to the Liberty Bell, sacred objects play important roles within the societies that venerate them.  Although we may think of these objects as fixed in place, surrounded by museum glass and guards, many have surprising histories of movement that helped establish their significance." Craig will follow several medieval relics (the physical remains of holy Christian men and women) on their journeys to explain where, when, and why they traveled. The story of relics "on the road" reveal unexpected levels of religious tension and challenge the common idea of the medieval period as an age of unquestioned faith.

This lecture is part of a series honoring the 50th anniversary of Caltech's Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS).

Contact Sini Elvington elvington@caltech.edu at 626-395-1724

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