Call For Papers – IMC Leeds 2022 Panel: In the Middle of What? Period Boundaries in Medieval Studies

The idea underlying ‘the Middle Ages’ is by now well-known: it was the backwards middle period between the glories of Antiquity and the advances of Enlightenment. As this perception took hold, such periodisation became entrenched and the fields that studied each era so fossilized that hardly any communication took place between them. This state of things, however, is increasingly being challenged, and the boundaries are becoming more and more porous. This has been accelerated by the inadequacy of the Eurocentric ‘Middle Ages’ of describing cultures outside of Europe in the same timeframe. How do we move beyond the boundaries of time and space imposed upon us by the terms ‘medieval’ and ‘the Middle Ages’? This topic invites participants to explore these boundaries, and encourages the deconstruction, or indeed wholesale destruction of boundaries to ‘the Middle Ages’. Paper topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • The boundaries of ‘the Middle Ages’ in time and space
  • The degree to which our identity as scholars hangs on concepts like ‘medievalists’ or ‘the Middle Ages’
  • How to work productively across traditional periodizations (e.g. classical and medieval)
  • Perspectives on Medieval Studies from outside the traditional (or stereotypical) boundaries of the field
  • How to best break the boundaries of space without re-inscribing Eurocentric positions.

Abstracts of no more than 250 words should be emailed to no later than 20 September. 

Featured Image: Hamburg Bible, Royal Danish Library, GKS, MS. 4, 2° f. 183v.