CFP: 16th International Medieval Congress (Leeds); 13-16 July 2009

16th International Medieval Congress 2009
Institute for Medieval Studies, University of Leeds
13-16 July 2009


The International Medieval Congress (IMC) is organised and administered by the Institute for Medieval Studies (IMS). Since its start in 1994, the conference has established itself as an annual event with an attendance of over 1,500 medievalists from all over the world. It is the largest conference of its kind in Europe. Drawing medievalists from over 40 countries, with over 1,000 individual papers and 350 academic sessions and a wide range of concerts, performances, readings, round tables, excursions, book fair and associated events, the Leeds International Medieval Congress is Europe’s richest and largest annual gathering in the humanities.

Call for Papers/Sessions – International Medieval Congress 2009‘St Francis Releases the Heretic’, fresco from the Church of San Francesco in Assisi. Photo ©  S. Diller  2008

The IMC seeks to provide an interdisciplinary forum for the discussion of all aspects of medieval studies. Papers and sessions on any topic or theme in the European Middle Ages are welcome. Each Congress has one particular special thematic strand on an area of interdisciplinary study in a wider context. However, this strand is not intended to be an exclusive and submissions from all spheres of medieval research, in any major European language, are welcome.

In 2009, to commemorate the 800th anniversary of the launch of the Albigensian Crusade the International Medieval Congress has the special thematic focus Heresy and Orthodoxy.

Unity of the Christian faith is one of the defining features of the period known as the Middle Ages. Such was the power of the ideal that in 1209 an army could be raised purportedly to eliminate religious dissent. Once seen as a marginal question, the definitions of heretical and orthodox are now considered central to the medieval world view. The attempt to produce a single construction of heresy belies the irreducible plurality of medieval institutions and cultures. Research has made us not only better informed about religious movements such as the Cathars, Lollards, and Hussites, but also revealed the close connection between the conversion process, religious enthusiasm and dissent.

Heresy and orthodoxy also played an important part in inter-faith relations with some western Christians dismissing Eastern Orthodoxy, Judaism and Islam as heretical deviations. And yet the enforcement of correct doctrine was also a concern among all these communities and papers are particularly welcome looking at religious dissent within medieval Islam, Judaism and Eastern Orthodoxy. Finally, in the wake of heresy came persecution with the western Inquisition developing into the prototype for many modern mechanisms of ideological control.

Aspects of this theme include:
• The legacy of conversion
• Dissent in early monasticism
• Heresy and universities
• Heresy in eastern and central Europe
• Spreading ideas: networks and the diffusion of heresy
• Depicting the heretic in writing and image
• The gendering of religious dissent
• Crusading as religious enforcement
• Pastoral care and inquisition
• Heresy as ‘choice’
• The ‘left wing’ of orthodoxy
• From heresy to Reformation?
• Witchcraft and magic
• Terrorists or freedom fighters? The ‘heretic’ in modern and medieval writing.

We prefer proposals to be completed online – a quick, easy, and secure method. The online proposal form will be available from 1 May 2008. Hard copies of the proposal forms are available on request. Paper proposals must be submitted by 31 August 2008; session proposals must be submitted by 30 September 2008.

Please use the IMC Proposal Form to submit complete sessions or individual proposals. Hard copies of the form can be requested here or via the address below. Online proposals can be submitted here.

Session Proposal
Paper Proposal
Round Table Discussion Proposal
Bursary Application
Reception and/or Business Meeting Proposal

Please read the guidelines before completing your Session or Paper Proposal Form. A list of all strands and definitions can be found here.

For a [hard copy of the] Proposal Form and further details please contact:

Axel E. W. Müller
International Medieval Congress
Institute for Medieval Studies
Parkinson 1.03
University of Leeds
Tel: +44 (0)113 343 3614
Fax: +44 (0)113 343 3616

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