Friday, January 23, 2009

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 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

About the IMC
The International Medieval Congress is now in its 16th year and has
established itself as an unrivalled forum for intellectual debate in
all areas of medieval studies. Hosted by the Institute for Medieval
Studies at the University of Leeds, the IMC is held in Leeds every
July, and now attracts more than 1500 medievalists from around the
world every year. Papers and sessions are selected for the IMC by an
international committee of 35 leading medievalists. The IMC is unique
in that it welcomes papers in any major European language. The IMC is
based around a four-day programme of sessions, workshops, round
tables, and special lectures, and is complemented by a range of daily
excursions, workshops, concerts, dramatic performances, receptions, a
bookfair, craft and societies fairs, and the Congress dance.

The IMC offers so much to medievalists worldwide. Come and see for
yourselves at the IMC 2009!
I look forward to seeing you there.

Axel E. W. Müller
Director, International Medieval Congress

Section 1: IMC 2009
1.1 Academic Programme
With over 380 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 1600 participants to attend. For registration information, visit

The IMC is going heretical in 2009! The IMC special thematic strand
'Heresy and Orthodoxy' is set to show that orthodoxy has always been
as controversial and as hard to pin down as heresy. 190 sessions
explore every possible permutation of the controversies of faith,
both internal and external, and how different nations and believers
dealt with threats, perceived or real, to their beliefs. 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. John H. Arnold (Birkbeck College, University of London)
will begin with a lecture entitled 'Heresies and Rhetorics', followed
by a lecture by Jeffrey J. Cohen (George Washington University) on
'Between Christian and Jew: Orthodoxy, Violence, and Living Together
in Medieval England'.

Heresy and Orthodoxy 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 186 sessions plus 10 round table
discussions and workshops contribute to continuing debates in many
aspects of Medieval Studies. We are, as always, pleased to welcome
the Medieval Academy to the IMC. This year, Herbert L. Kessler (Johns
Hopkins University) will present the annual Medieval Academy Lecture,
entitled 'Against the Jews, Saracens, and heretics who say we adore
idols': Art as Orthodoxy, which will be followed by a Medieval
Academy reception. In addition, there will be two special lectures.
María Isabel Fierro (Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas,
Madrid) will present a lecture, supported by Santander Universities,
entitled 'Heresy and Political Legitimacy in Muslim Spain and
Portugal' and writer Alan Garner will give a lecture entitled 'By
Seven Firs and Goldenstone: An Account of the Legend of Alderley'.

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 a medieval banquet featuring a decorated
boar's head. There will also be hands-on workshops in calligraphy,
braiding and textiles, as well as cosmetics and perfumes. 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 the abbeys of Fountains, Kirkstall and Byland Abbey,
medieval sites in Beverley and Pontefract, as well as Conisbrough and
Skipton Castle. 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:
Running from sea to sea, part of a frontier that stretched for 150
miles, Hadrian's Wall is one of the world's great monuments. Led by
Ian Wood and Richard Morris of the University of Leeds, this
three-day tour will explore the continuing significance of Hadrian's
Wall and the Roman frontier zone in the early middle ages. Sites
visited will include Lindisfarne, Jarrow, Hexham, as well as the
Roman forts at Arbeia, Birdoswald, Vindolanda, and Bewcastle.

1.4 Exhibitions & Bookfairs
Once again, the Congress will feature more than 70 stands showcasing
the publications and other output from publishers, booksellers, and
academic departments from around the world in our annual four-day
Main Bookfair. Following the growing success of the Antiquarian and
Second-Hand Bookfair, it returns for another year. Delegates will
have the opportunity to browse the stalls on Sunday 12 and Monday 13

1.5 Craft Fair
For the second year running the Congress will also host an exciting
one-day Craft Fair on Tuesday 14 July. Come and browse the unique
selection of hand-made items on offer! Buy something unique, ranging
from lampwork beads and replica pottery to hand forged metalwork.

1.6 Historical and Archaeological Societies Fair
Also returning for a second year, 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 15

1.7 Printed Programme
The printed programme will be ready in February and a copy will be
sent to everybody actively involved in the IMC 2009. 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 2010: 12-15 July 2010
In 2010, to commemorate the 550th anniversary of the death of Prince
Henry 'the Navigator' of Portugal, the International Medieval
Congress has the special thematic focus 'Travel and Exploration'.

The voyages undertaken in the name of Henry of Portugal exemplify
many of the motives that had long driven people to travel and
explore: the prospect of wealth, trade, and territory, knowledge and
curiosity, piety and religious zeal, legends and external salvation.
The Congress seeks to provide a forum for debates on the motives,
processes, and effects of travel and exploration, not only by Latin
Christians in the so-called 'Age of Discovery', but across cultures,
and throughout the medieval period.

What motives prompted travel and exploration in the Middle Ages? Were
the factors that drove exploration and travel in and from Europe the
same as in other cultures? How do travel and exploration and their
effects resonate through written, material, and visual culture? We
welcome papers and sessions on all aspects of travel and exploration,
broadly understood, including travel as a means of cultural,
political, and commercial interaction, ethnography, mental travel,
spiritual journeys, the literature of utopia, travel to any place in
our world and beyond, journeys 'real' and 'fictitious'. We would
particularly encourage submissions with cross-cultural and
comparative approaches, and in this context welcome sessions that
reach beyond the conventional chronological and geographical borders
of the European Middle Ages.

Aspects may include:
* Infrastructures and technologies of travel
* Travel and trade
* Conflict and travel
* Travel as an everyday experience
* Exploration as power politics
* Religious travel: pilgrimage, crusade, mission
* Rulers and nobility on the road
* Travel: restrictions and encouragement
* Exploration and discovery: concepts and historical processes
* Migration: forced and free, human and non-human
* Travel, exploration, and the construction and communication of knowledge
* Legends in travel and travels in legend
* Travel, exploration, and the imagination
* The art of travel and travelling in art
* Metaphorical, allegorical, and spiritual travels
* Writing travel: media, genres, motives, effects
* Mapping travels and travelling through maps

We prefer proposals to be completed online - a quick, easy, and
secure method. Paper proposals must be submitted by 31 August 2009;
Session proposals must be submitted by 30 September 2009. The IMC
welcomes session and paper proposals submitted in all major European

2.2 IMC Diary Dates
? IMC 2009 Registration Deadline: 14 May 2009
? IMC 2009: Special Thematic Strand 'Heresy and Orthodoxy': 13-16 July 2009
? IMC 2010 Paper Proposals Deadline: 31 August 2009
? IMC 2010 Session Proposals Deadline: 30 September 2009
? IMC 2010: Special Thematic Strand 'Travel and Exploration': 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
Formed in 1967, 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 will
gain access to the IMBOnline. For full details and how to join, visit


Unknown said...

I encourage people view the PDF. There are some great photos in there, including one of the Green Chapel.

Anonymous said...

I agree , there are some great pics in the pdf.

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