Tag Archives: refugee

CFP: Gender and Medieval Studies Conference 2019: GENDER AND ALIENS, Durham University, 7th–10th January 2019

In recent years discourse around ‘aliens’, as migrants living in modern nation-states, has been highly polarised, and the status of people who are technically termed legal or illegal aliens by the governments of those states has often been hotly contested. It is evident from studies of the past, however, that the movement of people is not a recent phenomenon: in the medieval west, one of the Latin terms applied to such people was alieni (‘foreigners’, or ‘strangers’), and it is clear from the surviving evidence that there were many people in the Middle Ages who could be, and indeed were, identified as aliens.

This conference aims to stimulate debate about the ways in which gender intersected with and related to the idea of such aliens – and, more broadly, alienation – in the medieval world. Social, political and religious attitudes to aliens and the alienated were not constant over the centuries from c. 400 to c. 1500, and nor were they uniform across the whole world. Some foreigners, as aliens, might end up integrated into the societies they entered; others might find themselves marginalised, lonely or alone; or oppressed, as outlaws, outcasts, or slaves. Gender might exacerbate or mitigate this, depending on time, place and context. Authors or artists depicting parts of the world far from and alien to their own often filled them with people or beings not like them, demonstrating the imaginative power of alterity, while the reactions of those who encountered people from distant places and observed or participated in their customs could include recognition of similarity as well as difference. Foreigners were also not the only people who might find themselves alienated from, or within, certain societies or cultures: the medieval world included many marginalised groups. The issues of aliens and alienation may be differently construed in the modern world, but they are certainly not new. The relationship of gender to these topics is complex, variable and significant.

The conference aims to enable discussion of these issues as they relate to the whole medieval world from c. 400 to c. 1500. The organisers welcome proposals for papers on any topic related to gender and aliens or alienation, broadly construed, and encourage submissions relating to the world beyond Europe. Papers might consider issues such as:

  • refugees, immigrants, emigrants
  • inclusion and exclusion
  • alterity and difference
  • outlaws, the law, legality
  • marginalised or disenfranchised groups
  • non-normative bodies, illness, disability
  • acculturation
  • imagined geographies
  • borders and frontiers
  • ethnicity and identity
  • slavery and slaves

In addition to sessions of papers, the conference will also include a poster session. Proposals for a 20-minute paper or for a poster can be submitted at https://tinyurl.com/gms2019submit by September 30th 2018. The conference organisers are also happy to consider proposals for other kinds of presentation: please contact the organisers at gmsconference2019@gmail.com to discuss these. Some travel bursaries will be available for students and unwaged delegates to attend this conference: please see http://medievalgender.co.uk/ for details.


Images: The Emperor and the Court Lady, from ‘Nüshi zhen’ (Admonitions of the Instructress to the Court Ladies), text composed by Zhang Hua (c.AD 232-300); 6th-8th century. (C) The Trustees of the British Museum

God casts out Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden, in the ‘Old English Hexateuch,’ London, British Library, Cotton Claudius B.iv, f. 6v, 11th century. (C) British Library

 

 

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CFP: Moving People, Shifting Frontiers: Re-contextualising the Thirteenth Century in the Wider Mediterranean

CfP ICMA Kalamazoo 2018 Moving People Shifting FrontiersCall for Papers: Moving People, Shifting Frontiers: Re-contextualising the Thirteenth Century in the Wider Mediterranean, International Congress of Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, May 10-13 2018
Deadline: 10 September 2017

Organizers: Katerina Ragkou (University of Cologne) and Maria Alessia Rossi (The Courtauld Institute of Art)

Every day we witness people moving, with them objects and skills, knowledge and experience; either forcibly or willingly; for work or for pleasure. The communities living along the shores of the Mediterranean and the hinterlands of the Balkans during the thirteenth century share many of the characteristics of our contemporary world: military campaigns and religious wars; the intensification of pilgrimage and the relocation of refugees; the shifting of frontiers and the transformation of socio-political orders.

The transformations of the thirteenth century span from east to west, from northern Europe to the Byzantine Empire and from the Balkans to the Levant. The geographic breadth is paralleled by crucial events including the fourth crusade, the fall of Acre, the empowerment of the Serbian Kingdom and the Republic of Venice, the loss and following restoration of the Byzantine Empire, and the creation of new political entities, such as the Kingdom of Naples and that of Cyprus, the Empire of Trebizond, and the Principality of Achaia. Eclectic scholarly tradition has either focused geographically or thematically, losing sight of the pan-Mediterranean perspective. These societies had multifaceted interactions, and comprised a variety of scales, from the small world of regional and inter-regional communities to the broader Mediterranean dynamics.

This session aims to address questions such as which are the various processes through which military campaigns and religious wars affected the urban landscape of these regions and their material production? Is there a difference in economic and artistic trends between “town” and “countryside” in the thirteenth-century wider Mediterranean? What observations can we make in regards to trade, diplomatic missions, artistic interaction and exchange of the regional, interregional and international contacts? How did these shape and transform cultural identities? How did different social, political and religious groups interact with each other?

This session welcomes papers focused on, but not limited to: the role played by economic activity and political power in thirteenth-century artistic production and the shaping of local and interregional identities; the production and consumption of artifacts and their meaning; the transformation of urban and rural landscapes; religious and domestic architecture and the relationship between the private and public use of space.

Proposals for 20 min papers should include an abstract (max.250 words) and brief CV. Proposals should be submitted by 10 September 2017 to the session organizers: Katerina Ragkou (katerina.ragkou@gmail.com) and Maria Alessia Rossi (m.alessiarossi@icloud.com).

Thanks to a generous grant from the Kress Foundation, funds may be available to defray travel costs of speakers in ICMA-sponsored sessions up to a maximum of $600 ($1200 for transatlantic travel). If available, the Kress funds are allocated for travel and hotel only. Speakers in ICMA sponsored sessions will be refunded only after the conference, against travel receipts.