Call for Papers: Conques at the Crossroads of Histories: Interdisciplinary Perspectives (Deadline: 15 February 2023)

The aim of this conference is to collectively rethink the cultural, material, and performative history of Conques-en-Rouergue. Despite being a site of major importance with a millennium of accumulated history, premodern Conques has often been the object of sectorial studies: specialists in architecture have been interested in the abbey church, historians of visual culture in the sculpted tympanum, historians of material culture in the goldsmith’s objects or in the treasure, and historians in the practical documents or in the hagiography. Musicologists have studied associated songs and liturgical performances. Philologists or literary historians have studied the famous Liber miraculorum sancte fidis, the Cançon de santa Fe and other texts related to the cult of the saint in Conques.

Beyond the premodern, the history of Conques in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries has been an object of study only for divergent fields: religious history, history of heritage and conservation, and histories of the construction of a national or European narrative. Fields such as environmental sciences, topography or historical geography have yet to be integrated in a more organic way into the history of this site. These various approaches have too rarely interacted, leaving comprehensive knowledge of this site incomplete and marred by a web of disconnected historiographies.

With this call for papers, we would like to rectify this disciplinary divide by inviting researchers to Conques to rethink the site together, through a living, organic debate that goes beyond linguistic and national borders. We welcome contributors from all disciplines but ask that their contributions be conceived in such a way that they can be understood and integrated by researchers from divergent backgrounds, which may require explication of disciplinary givens. Multi-voiced papers prepared by researchers from different disciplinary and linguistic backgrounds are particularly welcome. The expected disciplines are not limited to those mentioned above, on the contrary, participants specialized in environmental science, biology, archaeogenetics or other disciplines are warmly invited.

The symposium will be held at the Centre Européen of Conques from October 11 to 13, 2023. The organization will cover the costs of accommodation and meals, and at least part of the travel expenses (depending on actual costs). This conference is conducted within the framework of the MSCA-Rise project Conques in the Global World (

Researchers wishing to contribute are invited to send their proposal, including a title, an abstract (about 200 words) and a short biography, to before February 15, 2023.


Published by Blair Apgar

Blair (they/them) recently completed their PhD in History of Art at the University of York with Hanna Vorholt and Amanda Lillie. Their thesis focused on the role of Matilda of Canossa in the sociopolitical development of the Investiture Controversy, and its relationship to Matilda’s material patronage. As an early career researcher, their work aims to unpack the historiographic construction of powerful medieval women’s legacies. They are also interested in the representation of the Middle Ages in modern media.

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