CFP: ‘Premodern Parchment’, IMC Leeds 2023, deadline 12 September 2022

Leeds, International Medieval Congress, 3–6 July 2023
Organised by Caroline Danforth, National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; and Megan McNamee, University of Edinburgh

Parchment is a familiar medium to medievalists. Animal skin, specially prepared, and employed primarily as a substrate for written communication, it is a substance that many researchers across fields of study regularly scrutinise and handle. There is now no shortage of scholarship that refers to parchment’s experiential qualities—its varied textures, smell, even sound—and its symbolic, especially Christological, significance as skin when bound in books. We seek proposals for papers that build on and move beyond this work, focusing on aspects of the medium that have been somewhat taken for granted including its (quasi) two-dimensionality, sidedness, relative opacity, colour and pliability; and/or delving into the uses of parchment outside the codical context. Our aim is to better understand the perceived possibilities and limitations of parchment in the premodern world and the qualities for which it was valued. We plan for the session to be in-person and for papers to be 15–20 minutes long. Proposals from individuals in the academic, museum and library sectors; at any stage of their careers and from all disciplines and fields are welcome. 

If interested, please send an abstract of no more than 250 words along with your CV and the information below (required by IMC) by 12 September 2022 to Megan McNamee:

Information to include with abstract and CV:

  • Full name
  • Email address
  • Postal address
  • Telephone number
  • Full affiliation details (department, institution)
  • Title (e.g. Dr, Ms, Mr, Mx, Professor etc)

Link to PDF of announcement: 


Published by Roisin Astell

Roisin Astell received a First Class Honours in History of Art at the University of York (2014), under the supervision of Dr Emanuele Lugli. After spending a year learning French in Paris, Roisin then completed an MSt. in Medieval Studies at the University of Oxford (2016), where she was supervised by Professor Gervase Rosser and Professor Martin Kauffmann. In 2017, Roisin was awarded a CHASE AHRC studentship as a doctoral candidate at the University of Kent’s Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Studies, under the supervision of Dr Emily Guerry.

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