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Fringe Events, Discussion & Making the Most of IMC 2021


As medievalists, our lives have changed immeasurably as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. From lockdown closure of archives to getting to grips with wholly virtual teaching, no area of our practice has been unaffected by the pandemic.

Delegates socialise on the crowded University Square during the outdoor reception at IMC 2019.

Between 5-9 July, this year’s IMC will, of course, be held online. This year, there will be no chance meetings over lunch in the Refectory, no enjoying the sunshine on University Square while hastily finishing tomorrow’s paper (!), and even browsing the various discounts at the Bookfair will feel, well, different.

We are delighted, however, to share with you some of the ways to make the most of this ‘new normal’. Our event platform, Pathable, allows all registered delegates to invite friends and colleagues to private video chat meetings at any time throughout the event. We hope many of you will take this opportunity to share ideas and discuss papers beyond the academic sessions, to network and discuss future projects, or simply to take lunch together and catch up with friends.

This feature will be available from mid-June when we first open the platform to speakers and will continue for some time after the Congress week in order to facilitate conversations and discussion among delegates taking advantage of extended access to recordings of IMC 2021 sessions.

We recognise that the scale of in-person IMC means there are always chance meetings to be had, wherever you are on campus. Therefore, we will also be making available virtual social spaces throughout the event where you can meet other delegates and find out more about their research. We hope this will be a valuable tool, especially for those of you who haven’t been to an IMC before!

There will be other opportunities to socialise and meet friends and colleagues through the Fringe Events programme. Any delegate can host a Fringe Event which is an opportunity to bring together like-minded colleagues to discuss a promising avenue of research, to connect over a shared interest, or to socialise and generally have a good time!

This year’s fringe programme includes sessions hosted by a variety of academic societies, publishers and others. From Meet and Greets and Happy Hours to book launches and bespoke publisher events, as well as opportunities to find out more about the work of various scholarly networks, we’re sure there will be something for everyone at this year’s IMC.

Our Bookfair and Craft Fair exhibitors will also be getting involved, with a range of drop-in and scheduled events taking place throughout IMC 2021. Further details of these, and the full fringe events programme, will be available on our website shortly.

While we all look forward to brighter days in the future when we can gather together again, we hope that these features help you make the most of IMC 2021 online.