Call for Papers/Call for Sessions:
Reform and Renewal
International Medieval Congress, Leeds, 6-9 July 2015
Deadline for paper proposals: 31 August 2014
Deadline for session proposals: 30 September 2014
The IMC seeks to provide an interdisciplinary forum for the discussion of all aspects of medieval studies. Papers and sessions on any topic or theme in the European Middle Ages are welcome. Each Congress has one particular special thematic strand on an area of interdisciplinary study in a wider context. However, this strand is not intended to be exclusive and submissions from all spheres of medieval research, in any major European language, are welcome.
The IMC seeks to provide an interdisciplinary forum for the discussion of all aspects of Medieval Studies. Paper and session proposals on any topic related to the European Middle Ages are welcome. However, every year, the IMC chooses a specific special thematic strand which – for 2015 – is ‘Reform and renewal’. The theme has been chosen for the crucial importance of both phenomena in social and intellectual discourse, both medieval and modern, as well as its impact on many aspects of the human experience.
The changes brought about by deliberate individual and collective interventions demonstrate the impact of reform and renewal on the development of spirituality, ideologies, institutional and socio-economic realities, literary and artistic expression, and a sense of shared identity amongst communities. Change could be justified by referring rhetorically to a ‘restoration’ or ‘renewal’ of a perceived former reality. Monastic and ecclesiastical groups regarded spiritual and institutional reform as closely interconnected. Secular rulers invoked divine will and natural order to validate interventions in political and socio-economic structures. Innovators in literary and artistic spheres referred to a desire to return to a more ‘authentic’ or ‘original’ intellectual, spiritual, or aesthetic experience. In reality, reform and renewal could be profoundly radical but could also be more ambiguous, remaining virtually unnoticed by contemporaries. Medieval commentators’ tendency to append positive and negative connotations to accounts of reform and renewal continues to impact upon modern discussions of both phenomena and their rhetorical uses.
Areas of discussion could include:
- Justifications for reform by ruling or dissident groups (e.g. oligarchies, heretics, parliaments)
- Memories of reform: historiographical justifications
- Changing evaluations of reform and renewal: medieval commentaries and modern scholarship
- Relevance of reform and renewal as terms to describe change across different periods, regions, social layers, and landscapes
- Renewal without reform: intentional change that was not presented as a reform
- The individual as agent of reform/renewal: charismatic leaders, innovators, and bureaucratic reformers
- Collectivities as agents of reform and renewal
- Significance and/or impact of individual, social, political, and institutional reform/renewal as well as impact on individuals and societies
- Religious and/or ideological renewal
- Reform and renewal in literary and artistic production: genre and style reforms, reformist literature
- Reform and renewal in manuscript production, translation, and dissemination
- Medieval rhetorics of reform and renewal
- Physical remains of reform or renewal: architecture, texts, iconography
- Reform as renovation or continuity: maintaining continuation of structures, continuation of knowledge, or ‘Back to basics’
- Reform in education / moral renewal
Proposals should be submitted online at www.leeds.ac.uk/ims/imc/imc2015_call.html
The online proposal form will be available from 1 May 2014. Paper proposals must be submitted by 31 August 2014; session proposals must be submitted by 30 September 2014.
The IMC welcomes session and paper proposals submitted in all major European languages. For further details please contact:
Axel E. W. Müller
International Medieval Congress
Institute for Medieval Studies, University of Leeds
Parkinson Building 1.03, LEEDS LS2 9JT U.K.
Tel.: +44 (113) 343-3614 Fax: +44 (113) 343-3616