Tag Archives: International Medieval Congress

CFP For the sessions on THE MEDIEVAL HORSE at the International Medieval Congress 2018 at Leeds, 2-5 July 2018

courtly hawkingPalfreys and rounceys, hackneys and packhorses, warhorses and coursers, not to mention the mysterious ‘dung mare’ – they were all part of everyday life in the Middle Ages. Every cleric and monk, no matter how immersed in his devotional routine and books he would be, every nun, no matter how reclusive her life, every peasant, no matter how poor his household, would have some experience of horses. To the medieval people, horses were as habitual as cars in the modern times. Besides, there was the daily co-existence with horses to which many representatives of the gentry and nobility – both male and female – were exposed, which far exceeds the experience of most amateur riders today. We cannot reconstruct or re-experience the familiar and casual communication between humans and equids of the Middle Ages – or can we? At our sessions on the Medieval Horse, we will try to deduce, describe and debate the place of the horse in medieval society.

We welcome submissions on any aspect of medieval equestrianism and engagement with horses and similar beasts of burdens, whether in military, civilian, industrial or agricultural context, from a variety of disciplines as well as papers that approach the subject using experimental and reconstruction methodologies.

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CFP: Other Spaces: Gender and Architecture in the Imagination, @IMC 2017, Leeds, July 3-6

haremason3Call for Papers: Other Spaces: Gender and Architecture in the Imagination, International Medieval Congress at University of Leeds (IMC 2017), July 3-6, 2017
Deadline: September 12, 2016

Paper Panel sponsored by the Society for Medieval Feminist Scholarship (SMFS)

Recent scholarship has drawn attention to the significant roles played by medieval women as patrons of architecture and to the ways in which gender informed the design and function of architectural sites. But what about representations of women and architecture in the medieval imagination? How do visual materials such as manuscript illuminations, paintings and tapestries, and literary works, such as dream visions, conceptualize the relationship between women and architectural space? To what degree are gender and architecture mutually constituted? What conclusions can we draw about spaces considered feminine, and how do these spaces renegotiate the divisions between private and public? Given the longstanding associations between the female body and enclosure, what is the relationship between gender roles and real or imagined enclosures? In what ways do gendered imagined spaces help reconceive real spaces, or vice versa?

Though all topics will be considered, we are particularly eager for papers that address female identity and agency as figured through architectural forms.

How to submit: Please send your name and affiliation, a paper title and abstract (200-250 words) to Boyda Johnstone (bjohnstone1@fordham.edu) & Alexandra Verini (averini@ucla.edu) by Sept. 12, 2016.

CFP: Gaming the Medieval: Medievalism in Modern Board Game Culture (Leeds 2015)

Call for Papers
Gaming the Medieval: Medievalism in Modern Board Game Culture
International Medieval Congress, University of Leeds, 6-9 July 2015
Deadline: 15 September 2014

SincCarcassonne-gamee the early 1980s, the medieval has proven to be a fertile source of narrative concept, artwork and play structure in popular board and card game culture. In recent years, games with medieval subject matter such as Carcassonne, Dominion and Shadows Over Camelot have increasingly graced the top of European and American board game award tables.

Yet the ‘Middle Ages’ of the game world is a broadly defined concept. Games taking a historical approach might chart the economical and political landscape of Medieval Europe during a set period of time, while others base their play around a specific event or series of events.  In other cases, the medieval operates as a flexible cultural genre for games set in otherwise indeterminate times and places.  Although board and card games frequently engage with concepts of medieval warfare, conquest and expansion, they also hold the ability to promote a rich understanding of medieval cultural, literary and social practices such as courtly love and chivalric narrative, Arthurian legend, guild, mercantile and political hierarchy, and alchemical motifs such as the magic circle.

While the role of the game in medieval society and literature commands a strong critical legacy (for example, in the works of Clopper, Huizinga and Vale), this session aims to evaluate what happens when the medieval is made present within modern game culture.  This is an area that has been largely neglected by studies of medievalism, which have tended to chiefly focus on the use of the medieval in computer gaming.  This session therefore intends to expand the cultural medievalism debate by drawing attention to the ways in which the materiality of board and card games produces new methods of intersecting with the medieval past.

Possible themes might include:

• What is a ‘medieval’ board game?
• Courts, cities, fields, monasteries
• Chivalry, courtly love and other ‘medieval’ ideals
• Materiality and play, medieval artwork, and the game as artefact
• Gender, power and characterisation
• Performance, roleplay, and crossplaying
• Narrative and playing structures
• Place, space and time
• Games and pedagogy – using games to teach ‘medieval’ concepts
• Figuring the medieval ‘orient’ in game culture

Please send abstracts of 250 words to Daisy Black at D.Black@hull.ac.uk and James Howard at jwhowa2@emory.edu before the 15th September 2014.

CFP: Sharing the Holy Land: Perceptions of Shared Sacred Spaces (London, June 12-13 & Leeds, July 6-9, 2015)

Call for Papers:
Sharing the Holy Land: Perceptions of Shared Sacred Spaces
International Medieval Congress, University of Leeds, 6-9 July 2015
Deadline: 12 September 2014

A symposium, Sharing the Holy Land: Perceptions of Shared Sacred Space in the Medieval and Early Modern Eastern Mediterranean will be held at The Warburg Institute, in London on 12-13 June 2015, featuring keynote speakers, Prof. Bernard Hamilton, Prof. Benjamin Kedar, and Prof. Ora Limor. See http://warburg.sas.ac.uk/events/colloquia-2014-15/sharing-the-holy-land/ for information.

Following on this, three sessions are being organized for the International Medieval Conference to be held at Leeds on 6-9 July, 2015. The three sessions seek to address how both Western pilgrims, and the indigenous Christian, Jewish, and Muslim Levantine populations perceived the sharing of religious shrines with other faiths. Of particular interest is how this sharing was described and explained in contemporary accounts and how this influenced the knowledge of other faiths among the Semitic religions. These sessions will focus on the period from c.1000 to c.1500, addressing the changing political context in the Levant and its influence on the sharing of sacred space.

Please send proposals for papers (title & 100 words abstract) to Jan Vandeburie at sharingtheholyland2015@gmail.com before 12 September 2014.

Call for Papers: Holy Heroes of Reform: Saints and their Roles in Medieval Reformation Movements, from Late Antiquity to the Protestant Reformation (Leeds 2015)

Call for Papers:
Holy Heroes of Reform : Saints and their Roles in Medieval Reformation Movements, from Late Antiquity to the Protestant Reformation
International Medieval Congress, University of Leeds, 6-9 July 2015
Deadline: 15 September 2014

Medieval-SaintsWhether involved in local reformations of monastic houses, larger-scale regional reformations such as the Anglo-Saxon Benedictine Reform and the Cistercian movement, or the global Protestant Reformation, throughout the medieval period saints played a variety of roles as monastic and ecclesiastical institutions cleaned house.  This session seeks papers that will explore the myriad ways in which saints – including ex- and would-be saints – might be implicated in the many reform movements of the Middle Ages.  Papers from a wide array of disciplines, including art history, music history, literary studies, economic history, etc will be considered, and researchers taking an interdisciplinary or cross-cultural approach will be particularly welcome.

Papers should be 20 minutes in length, delivered in English.  Proposals including abstracts of about 250 words and a CV should be sent by 15 September to Kathryn Gerry ; email is preferred: kbgerry@gmail.com but hard copy proposals will also be accepted : Kathryn Gerry, Assistant Professor of Art History, Memphis College of Art, Gibson Hall, 1930 Poplar Ave, Memphis TN 38104, USA. Informal enquiries are also welcome.

CFP: Renovatio in the East Roman & Byzantine World, 395-1453 (Leeds 2015)

Call for Papers
Renovatio in the East Roman & Byzantine World, 395-1453
Proposed Sponsored Sessions at the Leeds International Medieval Congress, 6-9 July 2015
Deadline: 20 September 2014

640px-Diptych_Barberini_Louvre_OA9063_wholeA blurred program of reform presented as renewal, renovatio was an extremely important concept for the Classical Roman Empire, and remained so for the entire history of its eastern continuation. As emperors sought to establish their legitimacy through issuing law codes, building programs, and reconquering lost lands, both the reality and the rhetoric of renovatio had a fundamental impact on the Byzantine view of themselves and their state. Evidence of these programs for restoration resonates today throughout surviving texts, coins, and art and architecture, strongly influencing our historiographical reconstructions. We warmly invite papers dealing with these issues across the full lifespan of the Eastern Roman Empire and its successor states, from all areas of Late Antique & Byzantine studies. Suggested topics include:

– Justinian and his World – Reconquest, Reform, and Renewal
– Law and renovatio from the Theodosian Code to the Hexabiblos
– Iconoclasm, the Isaurians, and the Resurgence of Byzantium
– Rhetoric in Stone – Byzantine Architectural renovatio
– A Macedonian Renaissance?
– Literary renovatio – Historiography and the Greco-Roman Novel
– The ‘Komnenian Restoration’
– Art, Politics and renovatio in the post-1204 World

To apply please send an abstract of no more than 300 words and a short academic biography to byzantine.society@gmail.com by September 20th, 2014.

We encourage as many people as possible to apply, in order to help the growth of Byzantine studies, and foster interaction with late antiquists and medievalists with different specialisations. To this end, we also intend to host a drinks reception on one of the evenings of the congress.

CFP: New Directions in the Study of Women Religious: Four Sessions and a Roundtable (Leeds 2015)

Call For Papers
New directions in the study of women religious: four sessions and a roundtable
International Medieval Congress, Leeds, 6-9 July 2015
Deadline: 15 September 2014


These sessions are designed to bring together scholars working on nuns from any geographical region and religious tradition from 300 – 1500, in order to examine the methodologies and concepts that are being used currently by scholars to interpret evidence produced by and on nuns. They are intended to reflect new research in nuns’ studies; therefore, the themes outlined below are flexible, and are there to spark inspiration rather than to be treated as prescriptive. The organisers are central- to late- medievalists and are aware that issues relating to late-antique and early-medieval nuns might be very different to the ones that we have laid out below. If that is the case, do not be deterred; get in touch with your ideas and we will try to adapt accordingly. In addition to the four sessions, we are organising a roundtable on the central issues involved in the study of women religious. What are the main obstacles (intellectual and otherwise) to fruitful research on women religious? Where do we go next? If you would like to be included as a panellist, please get in touch with a brief description (one or two lines) of what you would like to talk about. Please send paper proposals (of approx. 250 words, with proposed titles) and roundtable topics to either Kirsty Day (University of Leeds) k.day@leeds.ac.uk, or Dr Kimm Curran (University of Glasgow; HWRBI)  elcho95@gmail.comas soon as possible, but by 15th  September at the very, very latest.

Sponsored by: The History of Women Religious of Britain and Ireland (H-WRBI) http://www.history.ac.uk/history-women-religious/content/welcome

SESSION 1: Old nuns, new narratives [SESSION FULL]

SESSION 2: ‘Nuntastic studies’? Issues of terminology; medieval and modern
How far were nuns aware of what they were called, and how far did their designations shape how they thought about and enacted their vocation? What did it mean to be a Franciscan or a Cistercian nun, or a nun who followed the precepts laid out by Pachomius or Benedict? Discussions of what religio and ordo meant in their medieval contexts have taken place predominantly in the context of studies of male religious, using evidence on and by male religious only. Why has —  abundant — evidence produced by and on nuns been excluded from these discussions? Has a preoccupation with the religious orders overshadowed consideration of terminology before the establishment of the religious orders? Where, if at all, does terminology come into studies of female religious who existed before the turn of the twelfth century? Moreover, despite efforts made by those working on both male and female religious for inclusivity, ‘monastic studies’  is still not a field with which female religious are comfortably associated. Jacques Dalarun published an essay in 2011 which discussed the concept of ‘le monachisme féminin’. Terms such as this or ‘women’s monasticism’ employ a gendered qualifier that isn’t applied to their male counterparts — ‘men’s monasticism’ simply doesn’t exist  as a concept (should it exist?). This uneven application serves to naturalise monasticism as a male domain, making the presence of women’s evidence in this field seem unnatural. Is there a reason, then, why we keep using these terms (or terms such as, for instance, women’s Franciscanism)? What might work as an alternative? How far does modern terminological usage (gendered and/or otherwise) affect our understanding, categorisation, and analysis of evidence relating to female religious?

SESSION 3. Individual agency, change, and reform
In scholarly narratives involving female religious, agency for various types of change —  reform included —  is often attributed to a power external to the female religious under examination. How far did individual nuns,or individual communities, influence the changes to the rules and precepts that governed their vocations? The agency of women religious can also be traced in the rules or forms of life that women wrote for their own communities. Do rules that were written by women for women’s communities differ from those written by male guardians of women’s communities? The fact that rules or forms of life were often ultimately approved or issued by male ecclesiastics tends to obscure women’s agency in the creation of such texts. Scholarship on nuns has often been blind to where women may have written entire rules or forms of life that were then merely approved by a male ecclesiastical power, or where male religious wrote rules in response to the insistence of women religious. What methodologies can be employed to trace nuns’ agency in texts where they may appear to have had none? As the theme of this year’s IMC demonstrates, much intellectual discourse in the field of medieval religion has been formed around the issue of reform. However, evidence relating to nuns features either very little or not at all in many of the most recent surveys of monastic reform. Why has this been the case, and how can we reconcile this? What can the evidence left by women religious bring to discussions of reform in the Middle Ages? The extent to which reform is an appropriate metanarrative in medieval religiosity has been brought into question by a number of scholars. How far can we trace reform in evidence produced by and on nuns?

SESSION 4. Combining methodologies, illuminating nuns
Scholarly narratives of women religious have been created in a range of disciplinary fields, and using numberof different source types. As such, these narratives have often challenged —  albeit not always consciously — many of the problems inherent in the histories of medieval religion that are based purely on normative sources. For instance, scholarly narratives punctuated by ‘inspiration,’ ‘institutionalisation’,and ‘decline’ have found an alternative in recent studies of the history of nuns’ literacies. How might we employ a combination of approaches to ostensibly divergent source types to illuminate our understanding of medieval nuns: their place in the world of medieval religiosity and their understanding of this world; their lived experiences; their agency in shaping their vocations? Methodologies that we might use to read monastic architecture have been applied by some scholars to monastic rules, and vice versa, as a useful way of understanding the dynamics of enclosure. However, as Roberta Gilchrist has argued, histories of monastic archaeology have not escaped the androcentric biases present in text-based histories of religious communities. Is there a way of combining methodologies that have been generated in different fields as a fruitful way of understanding medieval nuns, without absorbing the problematic elements associated with these fields into new narratives of women religious?