International Medieval Congress (IMC) 2019

This year's annual International Medieval Congress (IMC) will be held from 1-4 July 2019, with the Special Thematic Strand of 'Materialities'.

IMC 2019

The IMC provides an interdisciplinary forum for the discussion of all aspects of Medieval Studies. Paper and session proposals on any topic related to the Middle Ages are welcome, and each year the IMC also chooses a special thematic focus. In 2019 this is 'Materialities'.

This year's twenty-sixth Congress will run from 1-4 July.

Special Thematic Strand: '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 materalities by art historians, archaeologists, paleographers, historians, economists, musicologists, liturgists, philosophers, philologists, and scholars of literature, critical theory, and religious studies, among other fields. 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. 

This Special Thematic Strand will be co-ordinated by Anne E. Lester (Department of History, University of Colorado, Boulder).  

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 
  • Imagined materials
  • 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
  • Gendered materialities 
  • Digital/virtual/material archives
  • Conservation and preservation 
  • Text and/as object 

The Call for Papers for IMC 2019 can be viewed in full here.

Essential Deadlines: Proposal Submission and Registration

Submission deadlines are as follows: 

Bursary applications, to help with the cost of the Registration and Programming Fee, accommodation and meals at the IMC, should be completed online and submitted at the same time as the associated paper or session proposal. 

Information about registration is not yet available.  

Further Information

For further queries, see the IMC 2019 website, or contact IMC staff: 

  • Telephone: +44 (0) 113 343 3614
  • Email: imc@leeds.ac.uk
  • Address: International Medieval Congress Administration, Institute for Medieval Studies, Parkinson Building, Room 1.03, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, UK