'The Future of Medieval Studies' Symposium

All are welcome to a two-day symposium on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the Institute for Medieval Studies (IMS) held at the University of Leeds.

'The Future of Medieval Studies

Date: 31-05-2018 until 01-06-2018

Thursday, 31 May – Friday, 1 June 2018

Download the poster here

Medieval Studies has developed enormously over the last fifty years. This conference marks the fiftieth anniversary of the Leeds Institute for Medieval Studies by exploring current developments in the field. Of particular importance for the future of Medieval Studies is how we can enrich and expand the themes of our research, the environments and methods of our research, and the diversity of researchers. How can Medieval Studies be made more engaged and better reflect the world of the present and the future?

The symposium will explore three closely-connected topics:

The diversity of the Middle Ages

What were different medieval people's experiences of social and cultural diversity, in terms of factors such as race, class, ethnicity, gender, religion, ability, foreignness, and sexuality? How did these factors intersect? And how can perceived medieval experiences of homogeneity/diversity meaningfully be related to people's experiences of diversity today?

The diversity of Medieval Studies

How does Medieval Studies and its constituent disciplines investigate the diversity of the medieval past? What have been the major contributions to wider historiography and theory, and where is there room for development? What interdisciplinary methodologies are open to us to explore our research questions, or what challenges do we face? In what ways has Medieval Studies promoted or inhibited our understandings of social and cultural diversity?

The diversity of medievalists

How do the curators, researchers, students, teachers and re-enactors of Medieval Studies today reflect the diversity of our present societies? What ought our aspirations for diversity be, and what have been our successes and our failures? How does professional teaching, research, and public engagement reflect or shape the diversity of medievalists?

Proposals were invited for hour-long sessions of participatory activities such as:

· Seminar-style discussions

· Focused analyses of primary evidence

· Several very short presentations (maximum of 5-10 mins) followed by discussion

· Developing policies/strategies for improving diversity

· Structured small-group activities

· Assessments of critical frameworks/methodologies

· Structured debates

Registration for this symposium is free. Lunch and refreshments will be provided, and there will be some financial support available to support the attendance of a limited number of participants. Please direct all submissions, expressions of interest or questions to MedievalStudiesFuture@leeds.ac.uk.

The proposal deadline for this conference has been extended to 30 March 2018.

Organising committee:

Fozia Bora, School of Languages, Cultures, and Societies

Alaric Hall, School of English

Emilia Jamroziak, School of History/Institute for Medieval Studies

Iona McCleery, School of History/Institute for Medieval Studies

Axel E. W. Müller, Institute for Medieval Studies

Joanna Phillips, School of History

Contact details:


Location: University of Leeds
Cost: Free