Integrating Studies From Different Disciplines
Integrating studies from different disciplines and chronological periods as well as from both Eastern and Western Europe might in fact shed new light on the knowledge around the legacy of Islam and the construction of religious, cultural and political relations, and will produce advance in several research fields.
The central hypothesis of the Action is that this integration of the different regional and academic traditions that concur in the subject can be achieved by posing questions about common historiographic problems.
This work method (joint discussion of common questions) will show the limits of the previous regional and academic traditions and will open new ways for the study beyond the state-of-the-art.
Particular attention has been paid to the selection of these common questions and problems as a means to ensure the viability of scientific exchange and the coherence of results despite the confluence of different academic traditions.
The articulation of a trans-Mediterranean debate around selected historiographical problems that bring together different traditions and disciplines is a methodological novelty that has not been raised until now.
As can be seen, it is not only a matter of sharing knowledge generated in different disciplines, about different time periods and about different geographical areas, but a matter of subjecting this knowledge to common questions that may serve to widening the frames of reference that inform research and for creating new paradigms.
This is not only because it creates the possibility of designing projects in comparative or connected history, which are currently non-existent, but also because the Action will make it possible to draw universal conclusions, which at present rely on much dispersed analysis.
Importantly, this opening up of territory will allow Christian-Muslim relations to be considered as a bi-directional phenomenon, instead of the traditional interpretation of these relations, which confines itself to the effects on Europe.
Using research procedures from the digital humanities will open up new approaches to classical research questions. Data mining will be carried out to create a thesaurus of historical terms related to the construction of the Muslim’s otherness in Europe.
To do this, new models of information extraction, interpretation and text mining (semantic domain modelling and semantic search methods using linked data) will be applied to 15th–18th-century literary and documentary sources.
Moreover, a microsite will be created that will be devoted to mapping the geographical and temporal distribution of the relationship between literary and visual sources on the perception of Muslims in Europe during this period.
This will be a domain-expert data population based on mining different literary and iconographic sources.
The research will create a catalogue of images including metadata for the images’ geographical and chronological provenance, circulation and reception.