Skip to main content

NetMAR Formally Launched During a Kick-Off Meeting on 11 & 12 February

CML is one of the three partners in the new international Network for Medieval Arts & Rituals which was launched in February via an online event

The Kick-off Meeting of NetMAR took place via Zoom over two days (11 & 12 February). The event formally launched the Network for Medieval Arts & Rituals, the new, EU-funded, international interdisciplinary network dedicated to the study of medieval arts and rituals. The network brings together scholars, researchers, and students from different countries, institutions, and disciplines and reaches out to various stakeholders. It is made up of three major partners – the University of Cyprus (UCY) and its newly-created Centre for Medieval Arts & Rituals (CeMAR); the Centre for Medieval Literature (CML) at the University of Southern Denmark (SDU); and the Centre for Medieval Studies (ZeMas) at the University of Bamberg (UNI BA) – and is funded by the European Union Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement no. 951875).

The first day of the event featured welcomes from several dignitaries, a keynote lecture by NetMAR’s Project Coordinator, Dr Stavroula Constantinou (UCY), as well as presentations by the Team Leaders of SDU and Uni BA: Prof. Lars Boje Mortensen and Prof. Ingrid Bennewitz. The first day concluded with a short Q&A session. The second day of the event featured several presentations on all five Work Packages, as well as presentations by EU representatives. The launch event was attended by a combined total of 130 participants and was by common agreement a great success.

Opening the event on the afternoon of Thursday 11 February, the Honourable Minister of Education, Culture, Sport, and Youth of the Republic of Cyprus, Mr Prodromos Prodromou, welcomed the launch of NetMAR and explained how NetMAR’s aims – chiefly to contribute to Cyprus R&I capabilities and to bridge the gap between academia and industry – are perfectly aligned with the current government’s policies and aims.

Along the same lines and in the same spirit, the Honourable Deputy Minister of Tourism of the Republic of Cyprus, Mr Savvas Perdios, reaffirmed his Ministry’s full support to NetMAR and wished everyone involved success in their tasks ahead.

The President of the Cyprus Research and Innovation Foundation, Dr Mastroyiannopoulos, then took to the screen to congratulate all the NetMAR partners. Dr Mastroyiannopoulous praised the ability of researchers at the University of Cyprus to attract international funding, and spoke passionately about the role of the humanities in the R&I field of Cyprus and beyond.

Ms Anna Panagopoulou, on behalf of the European Commission, expressed enthusiasm for the project, and laid out in some detail the different ways in which the European Commission stands by researchers and projects like NetMAR, which are both interdisciplinary and seek to speak to those outside academia.

In their welcomes, the Rector of the University of Cyprus, the President of Bamberg, and the Head of the History Department of SDU, congratulated the partners for their achievement and endorsed the collaborative and interdisciplinary nature of the project.

In her plenary talk, Dr Stavroula Constantinou presented the premise, rationale, aims and ambitions of NetMAR, explaining also why a research centre for the study of medieval arts and rituals – such as the one recently established at the University of Cyprus (CeMAR) – is timely and important. Drawing on Wagner’s idea of the total artwork, and of the way art has over the years been dismembered from social fields of cultural production, Dr Constantinou explained how arts and rituals overlap and feed off each other.

The SDU partners – Prof. Lars Mortensen and Dr Nils Holger Petersen – shared their own experiences of setting up a world-class journal and a world-class research centre respectively, while the leader of the Bamberg team, Prof. Ingrid Bennewitz, presented in detail the fascinating work being done at the Centre for Medieval Studies (ZeMas) at Uni BA.

The second day opened with presentations from Ms Nataša Kuručki, Policy Officer, DG Research & Innovation, European Commission, Ms Lia Keune, the NetMAR Project Officer based at the Research Executive Agency, and Ms Françoise Dradin, the project’s Finance Officer, also based at the Research Executive Agency. Our European colleagues presented in thorough detail the Horizon 2020 management rules and expressed their willingness to work with all NetMAR partners to ensure the successful management of the project.

Dr Marios Demetriades, Head of the UCY Research & Innovation Service, presented his vision for the field of R&I at the UCY and, explaining how NetMAR fits into that vision, vowed to support NetMAR carry out its aims and goals but also to support the Centre for Medieval Arts & Rituals at UCY in generating new funding.

Finally, the various Work Package leaders presented in detail the rules, regulations, frameworks, and ambitions of each of NetMAR’s five Work Packages, as follows:

  • Pavlos Michaelides – WP1: Project Management
  • Prof. Lars Boje Mortensen and Dr Nils Holger Petersen – WP2: Knowledge Transfer in R&I and Management of Research Projects
  • Dr Detlef Goller – WP3: Networking and Training
  • Dr Christos Hadjiyiannis – WPs 3&4: Networking and Training & Involvement of ESRs
  • Dr Stavroula Constantinou – WP5: Dissemination, Exploitation, and Communication

The Project Coordinator, Dr Stavroula Constantinou, thanked everyone for their hard work and everyone involved expressed their eagerness to press on with the various exciting events and actions NetMAR has planned in the months ahead.

Editing was completed: 22.02.2021