Call for Papers: ‘Utopia’, 2022 NYU MARGIN Graduate Symposium (Deadline 11th April 2022)

The Medieval and Renaissance Graduate Interdisciplinary Network (MARGIN) is pleased to announce a call for papers for the 2022 MARGIN Symposium on Friday, May 6th, to be held virtually (via Zoom). The theme of this year’s symposium is UTOPIA, and our keynote speaker will be Dr. Karma Lochrie, Provost Professor of English at Indiana University and author of Nowhere in the Middle Ages. 

We invite graduate students to submit papers that participate in a larger discussion of utopian (and dystopian) thinking in medieval and Renaissance cultures. The theme is intended to encourage wide-ranging papers from a multitude of universities and departments, including those that have been underrepresented in medieval and Renaissance studies. We especially welcome topics with a focus on non-European or non-Western material from the fifth to seventeenth century. 

Submissions may focus on topics including, but not limited to:

  • The relationship between utopia and dystopia in the Middle Ages and Renaissance
  • Sacred geography, cartography, and the unmappable
  • Social utopias (monastic, political, etc)
  • Conceptual utopias (Szforzinda, Cockaigne, etc)
  • The Garden of Eden in art and literature
  • Creation, apocalypse and time outside of time
  • Theologies of heaven and hell
  • Journeys to the otherworld and mental pilgrimage
  • Islamic conceptions of jannah in art and poetry
  • Medieval and Renaissance cosmology and cosmography
  • Manuscripts, utopias, voids, and other unexpected spaces
  • Visualizing utopia and utopian/dystopian spaces
  • Modern responses to medieval/early-modern concepts of utopia/dystopia

Please submit a 250-word abstract with a 50-word bio to with “Symposium submission” in the subject line by April 4th. Applicants will be notified by April 11th.

If you do not currently have a paper related to Utopia, but do have another project that you would like to present or workshop, please note that there is still an open Call for Papers for MARGIN’s Works-In-Progress series. 


Published by charlottecook

Charlotte Cook graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor’s degree in European History from Washington & Lee University in 2019. In 2020 she received her Master’s degree in History of Art from the Courtauld Institute of Art, earning the classification of Merit. Her research explores questions of royal patronage, both by and in honor of rulers, in fourteenth- and fifteenth-century England. She has worked as a researcher and collections assistant at several museums and galleries, and plans to begin her PhD in the autumn of 2022.

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