IMC 2023: Late Call for Papers

How to Submit

Please submit the following information by email to

  • Session name from the Late Call for which your submission is to be considered
  • Full title of your paper
  • Abstract for your paper (up to 200 words)
  • Whether you wish to present in person or virtually
  • Up to 4 Index Terms for your paper
  • Any equipment or specialist software requirements to deliver your paper
  • Your full name, and the names of any co-authors
  • Your affiliation, including full name of your university and department
  • Contact email address
  • Contact postal address, including postal/zip code

You must include ‘Late Paper Submission for [Session Number]‘ in the subject line of the email.

Submissions not linked to one of the session proposals below will be disregarded.

Late paper proposals are considered on a first come, first served basis and will be passed directly to the relevant session organiser for review.

The late call for papers will close on Wednesday 14 June 2023, 17:00 BST.

List of Papers & Sessions With Vacancies

We are presently looking for individual paper submissions for the below session proposals, as well as session proposals to fill a small number of gaps in the programme.

Each year, the IMC welcomes papers on all aspects of medieval studies, alongside a special thematic focus. In 2023, this special thematic focus will be ‘Networks & Entanglements’.

Sessions requiring an additional paper are listed below in alphabetical order by title of the session:

Networks of Trade and Economic Entanglements in Europe and Islam

Format of Session In Person
Session No. 110
Date/Time 03 July, 11.15-12.45
Organiser IMC Programming Committee
Moderator/Chair Maya Shatzmiller, Department of History, University of Western Ontario
Paper -a Capillary Banking: Weaving the Credit Networks in 13th-Century Genoa, Skarbimir Prokopek, Laboratoire de Médiévistique Occidentale de Paris (LaMOP – UMR 8589), Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne
Paper -b The Economic Rise of the Šibenik Noble Family Divnić in the 15th Century: A Case Study, Nataša Mučalo, State Archive, Šibenik
Abstract Paper -a:

The originality of the 13th-century Genoese economy lies in the ability to tie economic links across the entire social spectrum, thus directing resources of a vast number of occasional participants to the maritime trade that dominated the city’s activity. Analysing relational data from the notarial cartularies reveals the crucial role of networking professionals such as bankers and notaries. Their institutional position providing trust, these intermediate-level agents are able to tie socially heterogeneous ties outside of the links of kinship and geography, while similar functions are fulfilled within families by specialised agents, often women.

Paper -b:
The paper deals with the economic expansion of the Šibenik noble family Divnić during the 15th century based on archival sources. The largest part of the preserved files of the family archive is a valuable source of information about the internal structure of family ties and marriage strategies, and the records in the Šibenik notary archive provide an insight into the various forms of economic activity of family members and the formation of a business network which, despite the difficult times during the Venetian-Ottoman wars, lasted until the end of the 18th century.

Entangled Burials: The Analysis of Medieval Cemeteries

Format of Session In Person
Session No. 133
Date/Time 03 July, 11.15-12.45
Organiser IMC Programming Committee
Moderator/Chair David Stocker, Institute for Medieval Studies, University of Leeds
Paper -a Early Medieval Chambered Graves from Poland in the European Arena: Connections, Discussions, and Speculations,Patrycja Godlewska, Szkoła Doktorsk Nauk Humanistycznych, Teologicznych i Artystycznych Academia Artium Humaniorum, Uniwersytet Mikołaja Kopernika, Toruń
Paper -b Genetic and Social Identity in the Vandal and Byzantine Cemeteries of Carthage, Tunisia, Morgan Reed, Department of History, Harvard University / Department of Archaeogenetics, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig
Abstract Paper -a:
The issue of early medieval chambered graves from the Polish site has generated much controversy. Earlier literature connected them with the direct presence of the Vikings. Nowadays, researchers are increasingly inclined to interpret these specific constructions differently. It was a wooden box with a roof, a kind of ‘house’ for the dead. The aforementioned constructions are also known in the Central and Eastern European regions and Northern European regions. This idea was known since prehistory. The issue arouses curiosity, as it is not known how contacts and networks took place between the various groups practicing this type of burial.Paper -b:
The early medieval history of Carthage saw the western Mediterranean’s second largest city change hands numerous times, between Vandals, Byzantines, and Arabs. Up to the time of its destruction, it remained a vital port at the centre of Mediterranean trade routes, and historical sources portray it as a hub of cosmopolitan activity. Carthage was a crucible of encounter for a wide array of cultural, linguistic, and religious groups: Romans, Vandals, Berbers, and Eastern Mediterranean populations; Latins, Greeks, and speakers of indigenous North African languages; Orthodox, Donatist, and Arian Christians. Up until now, North Africa as a region has remained a major lacuna in ancient DNA research. A new collaboration between historians, archaeologists, and archaeogeneticists examines biological ancestry and kinship patterns in light of our current understanding of social identities in the early medieval city. We present new genomes from approximately 150 5th- to 7th-century burials, representing a wide range of social identities from around the city, with extramural cemeteries, intramural cemeteries, elaborate basilicas, and isolated burials. This paper will integrate the new genetic insights into migration, ancestry, demography, and kinship in early medieval Carthage together with burial context to reevaluate the longstanding historiography of identity formation in post-Roman North Africa.This paper is co-authored by Reed Johnston Morgan (Department of History, Harvard University / Department of Archaeogenetics, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig); Najd Chalghoumi (Institut National du Patrimoine Tunisie); Hamden ben Romdhane (Institut National du Patrimoine Tunisie); Ralf Bockmann (Universität Hamburg); Harald Ringbauer (Department of Archaeogenetics, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig).

The Circulation of Commodities and Material Networks across Medieval Europe

Format of Session In person
Session No. 233
Date/Time 03 July, 14.15-15.45
Organiser IMC Programming Committee
Moderator/Chair Mohamed Ouerfelli, Institut de recherches et d’études sur les mondes arabes et musulmans (IREMAM – UMR 7310), Aix Marseille Université
Paper -a Marble Stones for Merchants’ Homes: Relief Sculptures from Medieval Venetian Palace Façades, Ella Sophie Beaucamp, Institut für Kunstgeschichte, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
Paper -b Entangled Itineraries: A Case Study of Panni Tartarici, Nan Han, School of Humanities, Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing
Abstract Paper -a:
For the IMC, I wish to explore the theme of networks and entanglements through five medieval palaces, their façades and their inhabitants in 13th century Venice. In what ways are the commercial networks of these families and their engagement in cross-cultural trade reflected in the marble decoration of their homes? The encounters of Venetian merchants with places, peoples, and objects of trade are reflected not only in the orientalising imagery of the reliefs but also in their materiality. Made of imported Greek marble they should be understood as an artistic product of the families business success and as a visual component of the cities merchant culture.Paper -b:
The rising of the Mongol empire enabled a Eurasian trade network of merchandise including luxury textiles that were highly prized among the Europeans. They can be found on multiple occasions: church treasuries, tombs, royal collections, and in documents grouped under the Latin term panni tartarici (Tartar cloth). They figured prominently in paintings, and triggered new development in Italian silk industry. By examining a particular type of panni tartarici, a velvet patterned with golden disks woven in Tabriz, both real and depicted, I hope to shed light on the way luxury textiles were transmitted, perceived, received, and repurposed in Italy during the 13th and 14th centuries.

Entanglements by Numbers: Networks of Astronomy and Mathematics

Format of Session In Person
Session No. 237
Date/Time 03 July, 14.15-15.45
Organiser IMC Programming Committee
Moderator/Chair Michaela Wiesinger, Institut für Mittelalterforschung, Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Wien
Paper -a The Destombes Astrolabe: A Mozarabic Copy from 10th-Century al-Andalus, Thomas Freudenhammer, Independent Scholar, Berlin
Paper -b Lost in Translation: The Arabic, Latin, and Hebrew Versions of Pseudo-Euclid’s Book of Mirrors, Sabine Arndt, Institut für Jüdische Studien, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster
Abstract Paper a:
The Destombes astrolabe is considered the oldest astrolabe with Latin inscriptions. The instrument is obviously a ‘translation’ of an Arabic original from Muslim Spain. Palaeographic studies have interpreted it as a work of 10th-century Catalonia. A Visigothic character on the mater of the astrolabe, however, rather suggests that it was produced by a Mozarab in al-Andalus. Further studies show that the Arabic original that served as the basis for the Latin copy must have been made in the middle of the 10th century in al-Andalus, modelled on the Oriental astrolabes. The display of higher latitudes as well as the inscription Roma et Francia place the Destombes astrolabe in the context of contemporary diplomatic missions and commercial journeys that were dispatched from al-Andalus to Francia.
Paper -b:The Book of Mirrors by Euclid is an anonymous Arabic compilation of problems in mathematical optics that can be traced back to Greek and Arabic sources. Its Latin and Hebrew translations enjoyed great popularity in the Latin West. In this paper, I explore the transmission history of the text and its accompanying diagrams. While both the Hebrew and the Latin versions seem to be word-for-word translations of the Arabic original, it is especially the mistakes they display, in both text and diagrams, that suggest these versions are closer connected than two independent translations of the same original would normally be.

Entangled Rules and Networks of Power in the Islamic and Orthodox World

Format of Session Hybrid
Session No. 238
Date/Time 03 July, 14.15-15.45
Organiser IMC Programming Committee
Moderator/Chair Sebastian Kolditz, Institut für Byzantinistik und Neogräzistik, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster
Paper -a Berbers Entangled: Power and Identity in Zirid Granada, 1038-1090, Mateusz Wilk, Wydział Nauk o Kulturze i Sztuce, Uniwersytet Warszawski
Paper -b Ruling the Εmpire through Networks in the 14th Century: The Friendship, Kinship, and Patronage Networks of John Kantakouzenos, George Michailidis, Department of History & Archaeology, National & Kapodistrian University of Athens
Abstract Paper -a:
In this paper I will discuss the complex dynamics of power in the Zirid emirate of Granada in the times of Badis b. Habbus (1038-1073) and ‘Abd Allah b. Buluqqin (1073-1090). The _taifa_ of Granada is unique in comparison to the other emirates which emerged after the fall of the caliphate of Cordoba, because we have the memoirs of the last Zirid ruler of this state, ‘Abd Allah b. Buluqqin. I will use this text to discuss the various entanglements of the ruling dynasty: the role of Berber ethnicity in the political agenda and the relationships with the Arabs, Jews, and Christians. I will also assess and the place of Granada in the Andalusi political culture of the latter half of the 11th century.Paper -b:
John Κantakouzenos (1292-1389) undoubtedly played a decisive role in several significant events of the Byzantine Empire in the first half of the 14th century. This paper aims to reconstruct a part of John Kantakouzenos’ extensive friendship, kinship, and patronage networks and portray their role during the rule of Andronikos III Palaiologos and the period of the econd Palaiologan civil war. In this context, it will be attempted to trace the ties between Kantakouzenos and the most prominent figures of the Empire and their impact during his active involvement in the state’s matters.

Clerics, Nobles, and Pilgrims: Disentangling Sensory Perceptions

Format of Session In Person
Session No. 323
Date/Time 03 July, 16.30-18.00
Organiser Karl Lysén, Historiska institutionen, Stockholms universitet, and Meike Wiedemann, Institut für Kunstgeschichte, Ludwig-Maximilians Universität München
Moderator/Chair Gregory J. Leighton, Wydział Nauk Historycznych, Uniwersytet Mikołaja Kopernika, Toruń
Paper -a ‘To tread irreverently upon with my shod feet…’: Jerusalem Pilgrims at the Stone of Unction,  Karl Lysén, Historiska institutionen, Stockholms universitet
Paper -b Clerics between Kingdom and Heaven: The Self as an Image in Swedish Hospitaller Seals, Wilhelm Ljungar, Michailidis, Medeltidsmuseet, Stockholm
Abstract There is an irrefutable relation between materiality and culture. In the same manner, as norms, values, and beliefs are echoed as objects or created places, are also the responses to these things culturally situated. This session aims to disentangle the distinct connection between the materialised and perceived. The theme is explored with three different yet specific groups in medieval society and their relations toward objects and spaces that are typical for their distinction. Clerics and their seals, nobles in their dining spaces, and pilgrims at an object of devotion.

Networks and Entanglements in Late Medieval and Early Modern Prayer Culture

Format of Session Hybrid
Session No. 521
Date/Time 04 July, 09.00-10.30
Organiser Carolin Gluchowski, Faculty of Medieval & Modern Languages, University of Oxford
Moderator/Chair Carolin Gluchowski, Faculty of Medieval & Modern Languages, University of Oxford
Paper -a Titus Brandsma and the Mystical Entanglements of the Middle Ages, Marcin Polkowski, Instytut Literaturoznawstwa, Katolicki Uniwersytet Lubelski Jana Pawła II
Paper -b Imagining the Spiritual Childhood of Jesus: Plurimediality and Prayer in a Middle Dutch Incunable, Lieke Andrea Smits, Ruusbroecgenootschap, Universiteit Antwerpen
Abstract Praying is a universal phenomenon that facilitates vertical and horizontal networks. The practice enables the earthly faithful to interact with the heavenly divine. It also connects a global community of believers across religious and confessional boundaries. This session will investigate multiple layers of networks within late-medieval and early modern prayer cultures, visible in various devotional objects, especially in manuscripts and prints from this era. Speakers are members of the network ‘Late Medieval and Early Modern Prayer Cultures’. The network is dedicated to promoting transnational and interdisciplinary research in the field of prayer studies.

Monastic Intellectual Networks from the Carolingians to the Mendicants

Format of Session In Person
Session No. 631
Date/Time 04 July, 11.15-12.45
Organiser IMC Programming Committee
Moderator/Chair Toshio Ohnuki, Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences, Tokyo Metropolitan University
Paper -a Anti-Judaism and Early Medieval Monastic Reform: A Case of Entangled Discourses? Hannah W. Matis, Virginia Theological Seminary, Alexandria
Paper -b The Reception of the Decretal Periculoso in Hospitaller Nunneries in the Iberian Peninsula in the 14th Century, Anna Katarzyna Dulska, Instituto Cultura y Sociedad, Universidad de Navarra, Pamplona
Abstract Paper -a:
In my research on the exegesis of the Song of Songs, I noted the intensifying of anti-Jewish rhetoric in certain, although not all Carolingian exegetes, and in those biblical scholars, such as Robert of Tombelaine, associated with the Gregorian Reform. In this paper, I will examine further how monastic reformers in particular employed rhetorical and polarising discourses identifying the enemies of the church, in which Jews figured as prominent targets. This language must also be understood in relation to political events, such as the Carolingian civil war under Louis the Pious. In this light, I will compare anti-Jewish language employed by Agobard with Theodulf of Orléans, Hrabanus Maurus, and Paschasius Radbertus, and compare this with Gregorian rhetoric employed by Robert and Peter Damian.Paper -b:
In 1298 the pope Boniface VIII promulgated the decretal Periculoso whereby the Papacy reinforced the enclosure of nuns ‘whatsoever community or order […] so that [they] may be able to serve God wholly separated from the public and wordly gaze’. Due to the fact that, in principle, the enclosure excluded nuns from an active exercise of care, it meant a great challenge for the female houses of the Order of St John newly created in the West in the times when the Hospitallers were struggling to survive in the East after the loss of Acre in 1291. The paper will examine the reception of the decretal in the Hospitaller nunneries in the Iberian Peninsula to see how it influenced their capacity to serve the pilgrims and to what extend it transformed the Hospitaller networks along the Way of St James.

Facets of Clerical Power in the Long Middle Ages

Format of Session In Person
Session No. 645
Date/Time 04 July, 11.15-12.45
Organiser William Campbell, Department of History, University of Pittsburgh, Greensburg
Moderator/Chair Benjamin Wand, Center for Medieval & Renaissance Studies, Saint Louis University, Missouri
Paper -a Audientia episcopalis as Instrument of Local Power and Dignity during Late Antiquity, Mohamed-Arbi Nsiri, Département d’Histoire, Université Paris Nanterre
Paper -b Caesarius of Arles: The Bishop as a Watchman, Martina Carandino, Faculty of History, University of Oxford
Abstract Bishops were entangled in networks of both secular and clerical power. They often found themselves not just ‘under two rules of law’, as Powicke described the clergy in general, but because of their high status in church and (often) state, administering both kinds of law. The papers in this session interrogate the particular complexities of bishops exercising power across the long Middle Ages.

Entanglements of Religious Practices and Narrative Networks in the Medieval

Format of Session In Person
Session No. 721
Date/Time 04 July, 14.15-15.45
Organiser IMC Programming Committee
Moderator/Chair Cosima Clara College, Christ Church College, University of Oxford
Paper -a The Medieval Narrative of the Lustful Heretic and the Reformers: An (Unconscious) Entanglement, Aneke Dornbusch, Evangelisch-Theologische Fakultät, Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn
Paper -b Clarissan Networks and Observant Entanglements: An Investigation on the 15th-Century Rediscovery of the Rule of St Clare, Andrea Mancini, Institute for Medieval Studies, University of Leeds
Abstract Paper -a:
During the medieval period, religious dissidence was commonly connected with the accusation of sexual misconduct, in folklore but also in heresy trials. With the Reformation this logic seemed to falter, as the reformers had new ideas about the freedom of conscience and sexuality. But in the end, the old tale of the sexual unbehaved heretic took hold again and was used against groups such as the Anabaptists. The Reformers were more medieval in their mindset than they thought. This paper aims to present the entanglement of the Reformers in the medieval picture of the heretic as the ‘missing link’ between medieval and modern religious persecution.Paper -b:
This paper investigates the 15th-century observant reform within the order of St Clare, and the relation of the Clarisses with the male observant movement of the Franciscan Order. The question I will try to answer concerns the when and how the rule of St Clare became entangled with the ideal of the return to the pristine traditions of the observant reformers. Was the adoption of the rule of St Clare considered a privileged means to reform the order, as is recounted in later chroniclers and documents; or was it only one of several other aspects of reform?


Entanglements of Information: Medieval Book Collections & Their Navigation

Format of Session In Person
Session No. 732
Date/Time 04 July, 14.15-15.45
Organiser René Hernández Vera, Institut for Nordiske Studier og Sprogvidenskab, Københavns Universitet
Moderator/Chair Mercedes Pérez Vidal, Departamento de Historia y Teoría del Arte, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid
Paper -a Creating a Popular Saint for a Noble Laity: Approaching Patronage and Production in the Vie de Colette, Marisa Michaud, Centre for Medieval Studies, University of York
Paper -b Textual Strategies and the Interpretive Community of Hernando Colón’s Libro de los epítomesRené Hernández Vera, Institut for Nordiske Studier og Sprogvidenskab, Københavns Universitet
Abstract This session explores how medieval readership is anything but a linear process. Marisa Michaud explores the complexities of hagiographical narratives by engaging with the dissemination and linguistic flexibility of different versions of the Vita of Colette of Corbie and its relation with their potential reading communities. René Hernández navigates through the textual strategies that lay behind the summaries of the Libro de los Epítomes, one of the multilayered navigation charts of Hernando Colón’s library.


Networked Data: Collecting, Managing, and Analysing Relational Data, I

Format of Session In Person
Session No. 735
Date/Time 04 July, 14.15-15.45
Organiser Robert L. J. Shaw, Centrum pro digitální výzkum náboženství, Masarykova univerzita, Brno, and David Zbíral, Centrum pro digitální výzkum náboženství / Dissident Networks Project (DISSINET), Masarykova univerzita, Brno
Moderator/Chair David Zbíral, Centrum pro digitální výzkum náboženství / Dissident Networks Project (DISSINET), Masarykova univerzita, Brno
Paper -a Analysing Messy Data: How to Structure Vague, Incomplete, or Ambiguous Source Material in nodegoat, Pim van Bree, LAB1100, Den Haag
Paper -b Computer-Assisted Semantic Text Modelling (CASTEMO) and the InkVisitor Environment: From Sentences in a Source to Statements in a Database,Robert L. J. Shaw, Centrum pro digitální výzkum náboženství, Masarykova univerzita, Brno
Abstract The growth of the digital humanities and the increasing accessibility of computational methods offer many tantalising possibilities for the study of the past, including the Middle Ages. But in order to deploy the analytical techniques offered by these developments, we face a fundamental challenge: the capture of structured data from and concerning our sources, whether they be texts, images or other artifacts of material culture. Given that historical study is founded on the careful, nuanced handling of sources, this represents a significant challenge. Approaches to data capture that focus on complex relationality – i.e. on the relation of elements within or concerning the source to one another – now offer new opportunities to face this challenge head on, and even to add new dimensions to source-criticism. This panel looks at a number of such approaches, how medievalists can deploy them with particular types of sources, and their advantages for study.


Pilgrim Possibilities, I: Pilgrimage and Danger


Format of Session In Person
Session No. 739
Date/Time 04 July, 14.15-15.45
Organiser Kathryn Hurlock, Department of History, Politics & Philosophy, Manchester Metropolitan University
Moderator/Chair Marci Freedman, Independent Scholar, Toronto
Paper -a By Sea and by Land: The Spiritual Benefits of Dangerous and Difficult Travel, Philip A. Booth, Department of History, Politics & Philosophy, Manchester Metropolitan University
Paper -b The Pilgrim Experience of East Roman Border Controls, Lucas McMahon, Department of History, Princeton University
Abstract The purpose of these panels is to investigate the extent to which terms ‘pilgrim’ and ‘pilgrimage’ as concepts in Middle Ages changed over time, in space, and between religions. Here we place ‘pilgrims’ and ‘pilgrimage’ at the centre of the discussion to see they were impacted by the dangers encountered on the journey. Paper one focuses on the difficulties and dangers of crossing the alps in the later Middle Ages and the problems associated with pilgrimage to Rome in this period. Paper two looks at the challenges Holy Land pilgrims faced in crossing the border between Eastern and Western Christianity and the dangers and complications that arose from travelling in areas under Byzantine control.


Service Providers?: Horses, Nurses, and Monks in Later Medieval Europe

Format of Session In Person
Session No. 741
Date/Time 04 July, 14.15-15.45
Organiser IMC Programming Committee
Moderator/Chair Alice Choyke, Independent Scholar, Budapest
Paper -a Brothers in Business: The Role of Venetian Monasteries in the Development of Maritime Trade, 950-1220, Elena Shadrina, Department of History, Harvard University
Paper -b Networks of Nourishment: Finding, Employing, and Retaining Wet-Nurses in Late Medieval Lucca, Christine E. Meek, Department of History, Trinity College Dublin
Abstract Paper -a:
The settlements established by the Venetians in the Eastern Mediterranean in the 11th century had one feature that distinguished them sharply from the fondachi of other Italian city-states: they were in large part owned and run by Venetian monastic foundations. This peculiarity was rooted in the already well-established role of the monasteries in the Venetian lagoon as foci of economic activity. Leases of land or productive assets, especially salt pans, to monasteries provided the Venetians with opportunities to garner capital and limit risk associated with maritime trade, investment in which was becoming increasingly marketized in this period. In this paper, I will investigate the economic role of monasteries in the development of Venetian trade between the 10th and the 12th centuries, focusing on the monasteries of San Zaccaria, San Giorgio Maggiore, and San Michele di Brondolo.Paper -b:
The practice of wet-nursing was widespread in late medieval Italy and was a source of anxiety, especially for prospective employers. Timing was of the essence. Breast feeding was the only way of providing for an infant’s survival, and parents needed to have their arrangements in place ahead of the child’s birth. Potential nurses too needed to have arrangements to take a baby in advance of farming out their own child in order to keep up their milk. Arrangements varied with nurses sometimes taking up residence in the parents’ household, but more usually babies were farmed out to the nurse’s home. This paper examines how parents and nurses found each other, by networks of landlords and tenants, employers, neighbours and intermediaries. It looks too at what happened when arrangements went wrong, and a new nurse had to be found quickly, via agents, neighbours and sometimes the wet-nurse herself, who might pass a baby on to a relative or neighbour, if she was unable to continue nursing.

Medievalist Movies and Media: Robin Hood and Beowulf

Format of Session In Person
Session No. 744
Date/Time 04 July, 14.15-15.45
Organiser IMC Programming Committee
Moderator/Chair Andre B. R. Elliott, Independent Scholar, Lincoln
Paper -a ‘They hate us for our freedom’: Robin Hood on Crusade,  Heather Blurton, Department of English, University of California, Santa Barbara
Paper -b Bloody Sacrifices, Rune Reading, Rituals, and Mythology: Revisiting the Theme of Pagan Worship in Historical Fiction Inspired by Beowulf, Katarzyna  Myśliwiec, Wydział Neofilologii, Instytut Anglistyki, Uniwersytet Warszawski
Abstract Paper -a:
In the Spring of 1194, King Richard I went on a sightseeing trip to Sherwood Forest, the closest he would ever come to the legendary figure of Robin Hood. Nevertheless, the two figures are inextricably linked in literature and legend, as the Robin Hood story comes to centre around the theme of the struggle for justice in England in the absence of its crusader king. This paper will examine the ways in which, across contemporary Robin Hood movies, Richard the Lionheart’s reputation as a crusading king becomes a cipher for contemporary concerns about American wars in the Middle East.Richard the Lionheart does not appear in the earliest Robin Hood ballads, but his integration into the legend over the course of the 16th and 17th centuries speaks to the importance of the theme of sovereignty, and just rule, to the evolution of the tradition. In the popular imagination Robin Hood is the quintessential outlaw; but at the same time, in supporting the good King Richard over the villainous Prince John, he is also often a spokesperson for good governance. When Richard the Lionheart is introduced into the Robin Hood legends, it is as a good but absent king whose absence allows evil – and taxation – to thrive in his kingdom. Crusading here is presented as a problem only insofar as it is the cause of the king’s absence. Richard tends to arrive at the end of the story as a deus-ex-machina who restores justice to Robin Hood and also to the English people for whom Robin stands in metonymically.Some classic movie versions, such as The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938, dir. Michael Curtiz and William Keighley) simply repeat this narrative and present the problem as one of bad governance enabled by the absent king. Here, the story is framed by the absence and return of the king, whose simple presence unifies his subjects and restores justice to his kingdom. Increasingly, however, movies such as Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991, dir. Kevin Reynolds), Robin Hood (2010, dir. Ridley Scott), and Robin Hood (2018, dir. Otto Bathhurst) use the representation of Richard’s crusading to register more contemporary cultural concerns about Islamophobia, the First and Second Gulf Wars, and the war in Afghanistan. In these versions, this paper will argue, through the ambivalent representation of Richard’s crusades alongside the representation of Robin Hood as a disenchanted crusader, these cinematic adaptations offer a limited critique of contemporary wars in the Middle East while at the same time underwriting the ideology that maintains them.Paper -b:
Beowulf has been frequently appropriated across media in the 20th and 21st centuries. This paper is interested in the manner in which modern literary retellings of the poem, often well-informed by scholarly debates, depict Norse pre-Christian forms of worship and beliefs and the onset of Christianity with the practices and ethics associated with that religion. The appropriations examined within the scope of the paper will be read both as commentaries on the poem and the status quo represented by it and reflections on the modern era expressing contemporary cultural anxiety, need for tolerance and desire for greater role of spirituality.


Medieval African Networks, IV: From Ghana to Mali to Songhai

Format of Session In Person
Session No. 811
Date/Time 04 July, 16.30-18.00
Organiser Felege-Selam Solomon Yirga, Department of History, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Moderator/Chair Verena Krebs, Historisches Institut, Ruhr-Universität Bochum
Paper -a Eunuchs, Empire, and the Culture of Power in Songhay and the Late Medieval Dār al-Islām? Mathilde Montpetit, Department of History, New York University
Paper -b The So-Called ‘Tomb’ of Askia Muhammad: Pilgrimage, Politics, and Colonial Myth, Markl Dike DeLancey, Department of History of Art & Architecture, DePaul University, Chicago
Abstract The study of European-Asian interactions or the medieval Mediterranean has long been established within the field of Medieval Studies; in more recent years, the Indian Ocean has also become the subject of increasing scholarly attention. The integration of the role of networks, realms, and agents from the extensive continent of Africa into the concept of the ‘Global Medieval’, however, remains an ongoing challenge for the field. This series of sessions brings together scholars from all career stages and diverse backgrounds to address the topic and question of ‘African Networks and Entanglements in the ‘Medieval World’’ on a micro-, meso-, and macro level. The sessions centre the role of African realms, political entities, or agents as well as the economic, religious, cultural, intellectual, artistic, or diplomatic networks from West Africa to the Maghreb and the Horn to the Western Indian Ocean region.

Roman and Sasanian Networks and Entanglements, IV

Format of Session In Person
Session No. 816
Date/Time 04 July, 16.30-18.00
Organiser Domiziana Rossi, School of History, Archaeology & Religion, Cardiff University, and Sean Strong, School of History, Archaeology & Religion, Cardiff University
Moderator/Chair Domiziana Rossi, School of History, Archaeology & Religion, Cardiff University
Paper -a Where Now the Imperator?: The Subversion of Empire through Imperial Language in The Martyrdom of Julius the Veteran? J. R. Hane, Yale Divinity School, Yale University
Paper -b Objects as Indicators of the Roles of Christians in Late Antique Regional and Long-Distance Networks, Ute Verstegen, Christliche Archäologie, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg
Abstract The role of religion in shaping the late antique world is undeniable, but how did individual people, texts, and objects shape mentalities, form ideologies, and spark conflict? This panel aims to answer some of these questions by examining case studies from the Roman and Sasanian Empires relating to Christian networks across physical, language, and spiritual borders.

Episcopal Networks and Administrative Connections

Format of Session In Person
Session No. 1034
Date/Time 05 July, 09.00-10.30
Organiser Kyly Walker, Institute for Medieval Studies, University of Leeds
Moderator/Chair Philippa Hoskin, Faculty of Divinity, University of Cambridge
Paper -a Bishop Gilbert Foliot’s Friendship and Networking and Their Relation to Episcopal Administration, Yinwen Mai, Institute for Medieval Studies, University of Leeds
Paper -b Connections in the Registers of Archbishops Wickwane and Romeyn, 1279-1296, Laura Atkinson, Department of History, University of York
Abstract This session will explore some of the ways in which networks and relationships impacted upon the development of episcopal administration in England and Konstanz. A bishop’s connections, both within his diocese and outside of it, were key aspects in how his administrative practices evolved, being a key vector for the transmission of ideas about such processes. These papers will consider how administrative expertise was acquired in the Middle Ages, demonstrating that personal friendships, pre-existing relationships within the ecclesiastical sphere, and ties to cathedral chapters all had a part to play in how a bishop set up his diocesan administration.

Digitising the Middle Ages: The Impacts of Digitized Corpora

Format of Session Virtual
Session No. 1040
Date/Time 05 July, 09.00-10.30
Organiser Gabriel Castanho, Instituto de História, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, and Eliana Magnani, Laboratoire de Médiévistique Occidentale de Paris (LaMOP – UMR 8589), Université Paris 1 – Panthéon-Sorbonne / Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), Paris
Moderator/Chair Nicolas Perreaux, Laboratoire de Médiévistique Occidentale de Paris (LaMOP – UMR 8589), Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne
Paper -a Serial Work on Digital Sources of the Parliament of Paris in the 15th Century: Historiographical Problems, Pauline Spychala, Deutsches Historisches Institut Paris
Paper -b Gifts, Networks, and Digitised Corpora: Rethinking Territorial Sovereignty in the Principality of Burgundy under John the Fearless and Philip the Good, 1404-1467, Baptiste Rameau, Archéologie, Terre, Histoire et Sociétés (ARTEHIS – UMR 6298), Université de Bourgogne
Abstract For over half a century, since R. Busa’s punch cards, medieval documents have been encoded in binary data computing systems. Currently, the digitisation and structuring of documentary corpora is an unavoidable reality for the most part of the medievalists. However, little attention has been paid to the history and historicity of these uses, as well as the impacts of these new media, on the specific field of medieval history. Reflecting on the historiographical and epistemic consequences of the use of digitized corpora of documents is necessary and the central focus of this session of papers.

Predestination, Conscience, and the Soul in Late Scholastic Thought

Format of Session Hybrid
Session No. 1047
Date/Time 05 July, 09.00-10.30
Organiser IMC Programming Committee
Moderator/Chair Volker Leppin,  Yale Divinity School, Yale University
Paper -a Conscience, Obedience, and the Making of Late Medieval Subjects in Pastoral Care, Biörn Tjällén, Institutionen för humaniora och samhällsvetenskap, Mittuniversitetet, Sundsvall
Paper -b The Body as Microcosm in a Macrocosm in Pietro Pomponazzi’s Work, Sarah Seinitzer, Zentrum für Wissenschaftsgeschichte, Universität Graz
Abstract Paper -a:
Late medieval polities placed new demands on their subjects, with increased taxation or personal contribution to war, royal jurisdiction, and growing cadres of officials stressing political obligation. Simultaneously, the church intensified pastoral care, demanding that individuals followed their conscience, guided by a moral theology that covered an increasing range of topics (including political, economic, and social) to shun sin. Focussing on works of Antoninus (d. 1459) and John Capistrano (d. 1456), this paper asks how matters of political obligation were treated in the ‘forum of conscience’ and how this shaped the subjects of the modern state.Paper -b:
The connection between the human body and the soul represents a significant debate at the end of the 15th and the beginning of the 16th century. The body, along with the soul, is an essential subject in Pietro Pomponazzi’s work. It has often been treated only concerning the soul, but the human body as the house of the soul has been disregarded. The study of Pomponazzi’s body concept opens the view of the body as a microcosm in the macrocosm. With the help of intertextual analysis, the passages quoted from ancient authorities such as Galen and Aristotle are contrasted with Pomponazzi’s text. This paper aims to show and analyse his image of the body and his sources.

Salvation and Sacred Topography in Later Medieval Europe

Format of Session Hybrid
Session No. 1201
Date/Time 05 Jul, 14.15-15.45
Organiser IMC Programming Committee
Moderator/Chair Lauren Beck, Department of History of Art, University of York
Paper -a Painting Heaven and Hell in the Wake of Plague: A Contribution to the Study of Parish Churches’ Wall Paintings in the Kingdom of Navarre, 1348-1387, Eneko Tuduri, Centre for Basque Studies, University of Nevada, Reno / ‘Historia de la economía, sociedad, poder y cultura en la Edad Media’, Universidad del País Vasco – Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea, Vitoria-Gasteiz
Paper -b Under the Protecting Cloak of Our Lady: The Role of the Illustrious Brotherhood of Our Blessed Lady in Modification of the Sacred Space of Hertogenbosch, 13th-16th Century, PAvel Bychkov
Abstract Paper -a:
In the old Kingdom of Navarre, despite the terrible odds (more than 40% population loss between 1348 and 1362 by outbreaks of Black Death), there was an extensive activity to decorate the interiors of parish churches with mural paintings after 1348. This fervent activity was possible due to the presence of talented local painters, a recently enriched local nobility, and the discovery of an azurite mine in the kingdom. My latterly finished dissertation demonstrates how these noble patrons intended to reflect through these murals the deep fear of the punishments in Hell while expecting to reach Christian salvation in Heaven.Paper -b:
In this presentation I will try to describe the changes in the sacred space of Herogenbosch in the 13th-16th centuries. Since the appearance of this city in the 1200s, it had multiple religious centres: initially the city walls did not include the cathedral of St John (St Janskerk) and there was another dominant church, but with time the cathedral became the centre of urban life, even though it was not dislocated in the heart of the town. The local cult of the miraculous statue of Virgin Mary, that was found during the reconstruction of the cathedral, formed and changed the sacred space, determined the place of multiple religious buildings and routes of religious processions. The statue of Virgin Mary was placed in the chapel of St Janskerk, it became an attraction for pilgrims all around Europe, a whole religious festival was held every year to celebrate the miraculous deliverance of the plague by the statue. These activities shaped a new religious and cultural landscape of the city, which became a new clerical centre: by the 1510s the number of churches, chapels, monasteries, and confraternities had been risen up to thirty with more than a thousand clerics. Due to the role of the city as a pilgrimage center, the Brotherhood of Our Lady (‘_Onze Lieve Vrouwe Broederschap_’), congregation dedicated to the Virgin Mary of Hertogenbosch, became the most powerful fraternity, also an honorary member of it was the famous artist Hieronymus Bosch and many other artists and aristocrats of the time.

Medieval Roman Empires East and West, III: Imperial Pasts and Futures


Format of Session In Person
Session No. 1213
Date/Time 05 Jul, 14.15-15.45
Organiser Len Scales, Department of English Language & Literature, Department of History, Durham University
Moderator/Chair Björn Weiler, Department of History & Welsh History, Aberystwyth University
Paper -a When Did the Roman Translatio imperii Take Place?: Alternative Byzantine Views of New Rome’s Exclusive Claim to Romanness in the Middle Ages, Yannis Stouraitis, School of History, Classics & Archaeology, University of Edinburgh
Paper -b Defensor ecclesiae: Narratives of translatio imperii and Its Justification in Late Medieval Latin Historiography, Lisa Rolston, Department of History, University of Canterbury, Christchurch
Abstract The session examines how continuities with imagined Roman pasts were constructed in east and west, serving not only to legitimise but to ‘future-proof’ the respective empires by locating ideas of Romanness in relation to Judaeo-Christian prophetic explanatory traditions and frames of reference. It focuses on the the Empire’s ‘translation’ as a key concept common to, but interpreted in different ways in, the eastern and western imperial traditions.

Charters and Deeds in Their Graphical Networks, I


Format of Session In Person
Session No. 1219
Date/Time 05 Jul, 14.15-15.45
Organiser Sébastien Barret,  Institut de Recherche et d’Histoire des Textes (IRHT – UPR 841), Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), Paris
Moderator/Chair Cristina Andenna, Historisches Institut, Universität des Saarlandes
Paper -a The Writing Handbook of Guillaume Flambart and the Graphical Systems of Private Deeds in Normandy in the 15th Century, Isabelle Bretthauer, Archives Nationales de France, Paris
Paper -b Graphical Networks of Charters around Marmoutiers Abbey, Claire Lamy, Centre Roland Mousnier (CRM – UMR 8596), Sorbonne Université, Paris
Abstract Charters and deeds are means of communication. They find their authority by being identified as valid within broader social, institutional, and geographical spaces, thus having to display characteristics that will be recognised and accepted in those. As such, they have to manifest their connections to more or less firm networks of interconnected signs of authority. These sessions will explore how layout, graphical signs, and writing could be used to link documents to explicit or tacit semiotic networks of charters, focusing on a choice of exemplary case studies.

New Perspectives on Networks of Work and Service in Late Medieval Cities

Format of Session In Person
Session No. 1310
Date/Time 05 Jul, 16.30-18.00
Organiser Eva Cersovsky, Abteilung für Mittelalterliche Geschichte, Universität zu Köln
Moderator/Chair Andreas  Lehnertz, Universität Trier
Paper -a Artisans and Charitable Institutions in Later Medieval Strasbourg, 1400-1600, Eva Cersovsky, Abteilung für Mittelalterliche Geschichte, Universität zu Köln
Paper -b Networks of Work and Chronicling in Late Medieval Metz: Personal Relationships behind the Chronicles of Jean Aubrion, Jacomin Husson, and Philippe de Vigneulles, Hanna Schäfer, Forschungszentrum Europa, Universität Trier
Abstract In medieval cities, working relationships played an important role for creating connections between people. Apprenticeships, collaborations on specific products and objects, service relationships, or credit and business relations bound people of differing social backgrounds, ages, professions, and genders together in social networks of work, patronage and clientage. Scholars have long approached these local, regional, or international networks from a number of perspectives.
This session seeks to add to the existing body of research by exploring important agents, modes and institutions of networking. The three papers will focus (1) on charitable institutions as centres of work, service and networking for urban artisans during the 14th to 16th centuries as well as (2) on chronicles as objects within civic professional networks and the influence these social relationships had for the writing of chronicles.

Philosophical Entanglements and Connected Concepts in the Medieval West

Format of Session In Person
Session No. 1331
Date/Time 05 Jul, 16.30-18.00
Organiser IMC Programming Committee
Moderator/Chair Jane Toswell, Department of English, University of Western Ontario
Paper -a A Survey of Neural Networks in the Early Medieval Period via Augustine’s Philosophy of Mind, Buki Fatona, Faculty of Theology & Religion, University of Oxford
Paper -b The Philosophical Entanglements of Boethius and Beowulf: Understanding Fortune’s True Self, Kristen York, Department of English, Texas A&M University
Abstract Paper -a:
In this paper, I survey and analyse St Augustine’s understanding of neuroanatomical networks via the lens of contemporary cognitive neuroscience and philosophy of mind. First, I translate and map-out Augustine’s sketch of neuroanatomy as described in his Genesi ad Litteram in which he traces the acquirement of stimuli by nerve endings to the cognitive processes he attributes to the different regions of the brain. Second, I analyse Augustine’s account of sense perception in relation to his understanding of neuroanatomy. Via this survey I offer an analysis of how the understanding of neuroanatomy in early medieval period shaped its contemporaneous philosophy of mind.Paper -b:
Temporary fame and wealth in Beowulf hearken to lessons in Boethius’ The Consolation of Philosophy. Although no evidence exists that shows that Boethius’ work directly influenced Beowulf, the heart of both works engage with life’s transitoriness, which begs an analysis of how Boethius’ renowned ideas could have influenced Beowulf. Boethius’ Lady Philosophy argues for the necessity to remember Fortune’s true self and not rely on Fortune’s temporary gifts. Through a Boethian reading of Beowulf and examination of monsters as antitheses to philosophy, I claim that Beowulf emphasises the importance of understanding the ‘true self’ of Fortune and acknowledging that fortune is inconstant.

Networks and Entanglements in Nordic Hagiography, I

Format of Session In Person
Session No. 1532
Date/Time 06 Jul, 09.00-10.30
Organiser Natasha Bradley, Lincoln College, University of Oxford & Tiffany Nicole White, Department of Scandinavian, University of California, Berkeley
Moderator/Chair Tiffany Nicole White, Department of Scandinavian, University of California, Berkeley
Paper -a The Role of Óláfsríma in the Canonisation of Bishop Guðmundr Arason, Joshua E. Harris, Department of Germanic Studies, Indiana University
Paper -b Twisted Thorns: The Ideological Potential of a Special Relic, Sabine Heidi Walther, Institut für Germanistik, Vergleichende Literatur- und Kulturwissenschaft, Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn
Abstract This panel explores the ways in which hagiography played important parts in political and administrative events in the medieval Nordic realm.

Ambiguity of Hospitality, II: Troubled Diplomacies in Eurasian Contexts

Format of Session Hybrid
Session No. 1604
Date/Time 06 Jul, 11.15-12.45
Organiser Wojtek Jezierski, Historiska institutionen, Stockholms universitet
Moderator/Chair Tim Geelhaar, Sonderforschungsbereich 1288 ‘Praktiken des Vergleichens’, Fakultät für Geschichtswissenschaften, Universität Bielefeld
Paper -a Honourable Guest or Dangerous Spy?: Contradictions of Diplomatic Hospitality in Late Medieval Italy, Edward Dettmam Loss, Dipartimento di Storia Culture Civiltà, Università di Bologna
Paper -b Koryo and the Mongol Yuan Empire: Merged in Some Areas Yet Separated in Others, Kang Hahn Lee, Korean History Department, Academy of Korean Studies, Seongnam
Abstract The dangers of hospitality are particularly visible through diplomatic missions in the later Middle Ages. This session focuses on how traveling diplomats and their hosts’ dealt with such challenges, particularly with intercultural differences that came to light during such encounters. The ‘History of Mar Yaballaha III’ sheds light on how the Mongolian ambassador Rabban Sauma tried to overcome misunderstandings and potential disagreement during his embassy in the 14th century. Northern Italian cities, on the other hand, developed different approaches towards diplomatic guests by focusing mainly on maintaining the security of the city. The respondent will bring both perspectives together into a broader discussion about ambiguities of hospitality.