IMC 2020 session proposal deadline approaches

The session proposal deadline for IMC 2020 is fast approaching on 30 September 2019; the deadline for individual paper proposals has now passed.

The International Medieval Congress (IMC) provides an interdisciplinary forum for the discussion of all aspects of medieval studies. Papers 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 2020 this is ‘Borders’. 

Bringing together medievalists from over 60 countries, with more than 2,000 individual papers as well as public concerts, performances, excursions, book fairs, and more, the IMC is Europe's largest forum for sharing ideas in medieval studies. 

Special Thematic Strand: 'Borders'

Medieval borders have preoccupied scholars for several decades in various guises.

The term 'border' designates a wide variety of phenomena: physical geographical limits, that can be signalled by border markers or natural features, points where toll has to be paid, political boundaries, that vary from points in space to linear and fortified military fronts, ways of controlling space, frontier zones, borderlands, porous zones of encounters and contact, ways of limiting community and identity, ideological and metaphorical delimitation including discourse and representation, bordering practices, the process of creating and performing borders, and borderscapes to capture fluidity and change over time. 

This strand seeks to bring together medievalists of all fields interested in both the theory and practice of borders in all their variety, from physical boundaries and material borders to dynamic social and spatial relationships. 

Borders can be linked to power and the formation of states, to definitions of self and other, to violence and military engagement, to belonging and becoming, to material and symbolic construction, to relational and perspectival production of space, to mapping and discourse, to experience and theory, to negotiation and performance. Borders can also be found in frescoes, textiles, clothing, ceramics or coins, with practical, symbolic or aesthetic functions. Borders are also subject to evolution and significant change over time not just between the medieval and modern, but within the medieval period. 

Themes to be addressed may include, but are not limited to: 

  • Political and military borders
  • Living in border zones
  • Medieval and Modern perceptions, descriptions, and conceptualizations of borders
  • Delimiting borders, border markers
  • Border maintenance
  • Encountering and experiencing borders
  • Bordering practices
  • Borderscapes in the longue durée
  • Symbolic borders
  • Belonging and exclusion

The full list of themes and complete CFP can be accessed here. 

This strand will be coordinated by Nora Berend (Faculty of History/St Catharine's College, University of Cambridge). 

Proposal Deadlines

The deadline for individual paper proposals has passed; session proposals can be submitted online until 30 September 2019. 

Recently tweeted Calls for Papers for IMC 2020 can be viewed here.

Before submitting, read the Proposal Guidelines

The IMC welcomes session and paper proposals submitted in all major European languages. Proposals can discuss any aspect of the Middle Ages, or can address the themes indicated in the Special Thematic Strand. 

University of Leeds Session Proposals 

Calls for Papers for sessions at IMC 2020 from University of Leeds PGR researchers which are still open for submissions include: 

This session proposal can be viewed in more detail at Calls for Papers 2019. To submit a session proposal for inclusion, send a Call for Papers to

Further Information

For further queries, visit the IMC 2020 website, or contact the IMC team: 

  • Telephone: +44 (0) 113 343 3614
  • Email:
  • Address: International Medieval Congress, Institute for Medieval Studies, Parkinson Building 1.03, University of Leeds, Woodhouse Lane, Leeds LS2 9JT, UK