Tuesday, January 15, 2008

From our friends at Leeds

Please find below the latest instalment of the Leeds International
Medieval Congress Newsletter. The newsletter is also available online
at . We hope through the
newsletter to keep in touch with IMC participants past and present,
and to inform them of forthcoming IMC events.

We would appreciate if you could print out this leaflet and display
it in your institution or department/school.

We aim to make this newsletter a regular occurrence - if you prefer
not to receive this newsletter in the future please let us know by
return email. We always appreciate your feedback, so do please feel
free to suggest improvements to this newsletter, and to let us know
what you would like to see included in future issues.

With best wishes for the New Year,

Axel E. W. Müller
Director, International Medieval Congress

International Medieval Congress
January 2008 Newsletter

Section 1: IMC 2008, 7-10 July 2008
1.1 Academic Programme
With over 350 sessions relating to many key areas of the study of the
European Middle Ages, this year's Congress programme promises to be
just as innovative and rich as ever. We are, again, expecting more
than 1400 participants to attend. For registration information, visit

The Congress in 2008 is going green! Across the world many societies
are increasingly concerned about the state of the planet, natural
world, and the environment. After the IMC special thematic strand
'The Natural World' had been chosen, it was announced that 2008 was
also going to be the United Nations' 'International Year of Planet
Earth', which aims to investigate human-induced changes to our
planet. The IMC is contributing to this aim by having 160 sessions
exploring a wide range of aspects of the Natural World, the
interaction of nature with human civilisation, and the changes of
nature throughout the period. This year, the Congress will open with
two plenary lectures, each of which aims to prompt a debate that we
hope will run all the way through the Congress. Oliver Rackham
(University of Cambridge) will lead off with a lecture entitled 'What
Was the Natural World in Medieval Europe?', followed by a lecture by
Richard C. Hoffmann (York University) on 'Nature and Culture, Culture
and Nature in the Middle Ages and Medieval Studies'. In addition to
that, there will be a number of lunchtime lectures focussing on the
changing faces of nature in the medieval period and in a wider
historical context.

The Natural World is only one of the many focuses of the IMC, and
discussion and events at this year's Congress will be by no means
limited to this theme: a total of 180 sessions and 13 round table
discussions and workshops will focus on the many aspects of medieval
studies not covered by the special thematic strand. We are, as
always, pleased to welcome the Medieval Academy to the IMC. This
year, Patrick J. Geary (University of California) will present the
annual Medieval Academy Lecture, entitled 'Language and Power in the
11th Century', which will be followed by a Medieval Academy reception.

1.2 Events and Excursions:
This year's selection of events includes workshops for singers and
dancers, musical and dramatic performances representing a range of
cultural backgrounds, and both a medieval food tasting and an ale and
beer tasting. For the first time, the IMC will host hands-on
workshops recreating medieval manuscript images and herbal remedies.
Excursions are led by experts in their field and often give
privileged access to areas not usually open to the public. This
year's excursions include visits to Bede's World, Bolton Castle,
Lincoln, Rievaulx, and the brand new Leeds Discovery Centre, as well
as an exciting post-Congress tour of South Wales and its dramatic
castles. Full details of all events and excursions are available in
the programme and through our website. Although Congress participants
will be given precedence, as all events and excursions are open to
the public, early booking is essential.

1.3 Post Congress Tour:
'From Gawain & Gerald to Glyndwr & Gothic!' - The Castles of South
Wales (11-14 July 2008, Ticket Price £445 for 4-days all inclusive)
Following the success of our two previous memorable tours of 2004
('The Welsh Castles of Edward I') and 2006 ('Scotland the Brave!: The
Castles and Battlefields of Central Scotland') this year we return to
Wales and the lands of the Marcher Lordships within which lie some of
the greatest castles in Britain. Kelly DeVries, Professor of the
Department of History, Loyola College, Maryland, and Robert C.
Woosnam-Savage, Curator of European Edged Weapons, Royal Armouries,
Leeds, are pleased to be able to offer another tour and will act,
once again, as guides for this excursion. This four day tour will
provide an opportunity to visit some of South Wales' finest built
medieval heritage, examining how it is both set apart and is yet
still part of 'The Natural World'. The itinerary includes: Carreg
Cennen, Barri Castle, Caerphilly Castle, Castell Coch, Pembroke
Castle, and Chepstow Castle amongst others. Prices include expert
guides, transport, entry to sites, individual site guide books, three
nights' accommodation (en suite), as well as breakfast, dinners and
packed lunches. This tour is open to Congress participants as well as
members of the public. We recommend that you reserve your place on
this excursion as early as possible.

1.4 Exhibitions & Book Fair
Once again, the Congress will feature more than 80 stands showcasing
the publications and other output from publishers, booksellers, and
academic departments from around the world in our annual four-day
Book Fair. Following the growing success of the Antiquarian and
Second-Hand Book Fair, it returns for another year. Delegates will
have the opportunity to browse the stalls on Sunday 6 and Monday 7

1.5 Craft Fair
This year the Congress will also host an exciting one-day Craft Fair
on Tuesday 8 July. Come and browse the unique selection of hand-made
items on offer!

1.6 Historical and Archaeological Societies Fair
Also for the first time, there will be an opportunity to meet some of
the many independent societies that work tirelessly within the UK to
preserve local and national history and archaeology. Representatives
will be on hand to discuss their work on Wednesday 9 July.

1.7 Printed Programme
The printed programme will be ready in February and a copy will be
sent to everybody actively involved in the IMC2008. A
publicly-available and fully-searchable online programme is
accessible at . The online
programme includes abstracts of all sessions.

Section 2: Looking Ahead
2.1 IMC 2009: 13-16 July 2009
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

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. Paper proposals must be submitted by 31 August 2008;
Session proposals must be submitted by 30 September 2008. The IMC
welcomes session and paper proposals submitted in all major European

2.2 IMC Diary Dates
? IMC 2008 Registration Deadline: 14 May 2008
? IMC 2008: Special Thematic Strand 'The Natural World': 7-10 July 2008
? IMC 2009 Paper Proposals Deadline: 31 August 2008
? IMC 2009 Session Proposals Deadline: 30 September 2008
? IMC 2009: Special Thematic Strand 'Heresy and Orthodoxy': 13-16 July 2009
? IMC 2010: 12-15 July 2010
? IMC 2011: 11-14 July 2011
? IMC 2012: 9-12 July 2012
? IMC 2013: 8-11 July 2013

Section 3: About the Institute for Medieval Studies at the University of Leeds
3.1 Teaching and Research
Having just celebrated the 40th anniversary of medieval studies in
Leeds last year, the IMS continues to go from strength to strength.
IMS research spans all across Europe, from Late Antiquity to the end
of the Middle Ages, from Iceland to Africa and the Middle East. Areas
of specialisation include liturgy and music; the Mediterranean
(Islam, the Crusades); cultural history of the post-Roman period;
mission, monasticism, ecclesiastical history, and archaeology;
historical topography; art history, and critical theory. Leeds is
noted for medieval languages and their associated literatures: in
addition to Latin and Old English, Leeds caters for Old Norse,
Arabic, Hebrew, Old High German, Italian, French, and Spanish
. The Institute's links with
the Royal Armouries provide a rich environment for teaching and
research on chivalry, arms, armour, tournaments, medieval warfare,
and the archaeology of battle.

The Institute's community includes some forty scholars from
constituent Schools and partner institutions, together with a nucleus
of medievalists within the Institute who work alongside the
interdisciplinary teams that produce the Bibliography and organise
the Congress. The Bibliography and Congress attract international
visitors and lecturers, who contribute to the Institute's lively
programme of seminars, lectures, and a year long programme of
excursions and events . The
co-location of postgraduate teaching and research with the
International Medieval Bibliography and Congress provides a milieu
wherein students have the opportunity to gain practical as well as
academic experience. Links with heritage bodies and museums enable

Leeds University's Brotherton Library is one of the UK's leading
resources for medievalists, including a substantial holding of
medieval manuscripts . On the
campus edge is the archive of the Yorkshire Archaeological Society,
which contains a rich collection of regional medieval material. For
students of architecture and landscape, the great Cistercian abbey of
Kirkstall is nearby, whilst the castles, abbeys, landscapes, and
settlements of Yorkshire itself are on the city's doorstep.

3.2 International Medieval Bibliography: Call for Contributors
The International Medieval Bibliography (IMB), based at Leeds since
1967, is a multi-disciplinary database of Medieval Studies which
helps underpin the work of the IMC. Now, after the implementation of
the IMBOnline, the bibliography is working to greatly expand its
coverage of publications. To this end, the editorial team is looking
for individuals or organisations to become contributors to join its
existing range of partners throughout the world. Contributors take
responsibility for identifying and cataloguing publications relating
to specific subject or geographical areas, and are rewarded with free
subscriptions to IMB (online or print), other free publications and
other benefits. Contributors are sought who are based in the USA,
France, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Russia, Portugal, Israel, Lithuania,
Greece, Cyprus, Latvia, Romania, and the Arab world, particularly
with interests in archaeology, art, regional and local history, and
vernacular languages. If you are interested in becoming a
contributor, contact the editor, Dr Alan V. Murray, at

3.3 Membership of the Institute
Membership of the IMS offers medievalists priority access to IMC
information and bookings and discounts on IMC registration and titles
produced by Brepols academic publishers. Members also receive one
free book per year from the Brepols back catalogue. There are two
levels of membership: Affiliate and Associate. Associate members can
avail of access to the IMB, either on-line or in a printed edition.
For full details and how to join today, visit

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