Call for Papers/Sessions – International Medieval Congress 2019 (‘Materialities’)
The twenty-sixth International Medieval Congress will take place in Leeds, from 1-4 July 2019. Paper proposals must be submitted by 31 August 2018. Session proposals must be submitted by 30 September 2018.
The IMC provides an interdisciplinary forum for the discussion of all aspects of Medieval Studies. Proposals on any topic related to the Middle Ages are welcome, while every year the IMC also chooses a special thematic focus. In 2019 this is ‘Materialities’.
Recent attention to objects, artefacts, matter, and material culture has reshaped scholarship in many fields. This strand seeks to address the impact of this new interest in things, theories, and methods as they relate to an expansive understanding of ‘materiality’. The study of materiality brings together a host of scholarly and theoretical concerns and puts them into dialogue to understand how conceptions of matter, and matter itself, shaped the creation of the material world, regimes of labour and supply, connectivity, entanglements, trade networks, movements of things and people, concepts of agency and network theory, and constructed notions of the sublime, of replication, and of ‘reality’, as an abstract concept and category during the Middle Ages.
This strand seeks to bring into conversation recent work on materialities by art historians, archaeologists, paleographers, historians, economists, musicologists, liturgists, philosophers, philologists, and scholars of literature, critical theory, and religious studies, among other fields. Material objects and practices served as markers of cultural difference, but could also – simultaneously – become part of a shared culture of consumption, proximity suggesting gender and class affinities. Material dynamics were embedded in the making of objects, the trade in raw materials, and the roles of men and women in the fabrication of things spanning the luxurious to the mundane. Materialities shaped cultures of consumption, created regimes of circulation, and informed networks that defined both subjects and objects. Materialities encompass interactions between peoples both near and far and offer an analytical framework that suggests the unity of the medieval world across religious, ethnic, and spatial distances and differences.
Themes to be addressed may include, but are not limited to:
Material culture and consumption
Materiality and the archaeological record
Agency of people and things
Medieval ‘thing’ theory
Material connections: regimes of circulation
Materialism and the Middle Ages
Labour and production of things
The social life of things
Fabrication: production of specific objects
Replication and reproduction
Materiality of coins, money, and circulation
Manuscripts: material and making
Material textual and writing cultures
Soundscape: material and musical culture
Light and form
Representing the material
Body and spirit: spirituality and the material
Space and materialities
Materials: mundane (e.g. wood, water, dust) and luxurious (e.g. gold, silver, gems)
Intimacies of things
Abundance and/or scarcity
Material landscapes: urban, suburban, rural
Loans, debts, credit
Materialities of power/empire
Race and subjectivity
Transformations: recycling, reuse, destruction
Material religions: beliefs and practices
Materials and memory
Materialities and/of conflict
Conservation and preservation
Text and/as object
The Special Thematic Strand ‘Materialities‘ will be co-ordinated by Anne E. Lester (Department of History, University of Colorado, Boulder).
All proposals should be submitted online. Paper proposals must be submitted by 31 August 2018. Session proposals must be submitted by 30 September 2018.
The IMC welcomes session and paper proposals submitted in all major European languages.