IMS Participation at the Fifty-Third International Congress on Medieval Studies

Image of a king carrying a spade from a medieval manuscript

Multiple members of the IMS participated in and presented at the Fifty-Third International Congress on Medieval Studies in Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA, which ran from 10-13 May 2018.

International Congress on Medieval Studies 

The annual International Congress on Medieval Studies is hosted by the Medieval Institute at Western Michigan University, and attracts around 3,000 scholars interested in aspects of Medieval Studies. The Fifty-Fourth International Congress on Medieval Studies will take place on 9-12 May 2019. The Congress features more than 550 sessions of papers, panel discussions, roundtables, workshops, and performances, in addition to business meetings, receptions, and exhibits. 

This year's Congress, the Fifty-Third International Congress on Medieval Studies, was held from 10-13 May 2018.  

IMS Involvement at the Congress

Five Institute for Medieval Studies (IMS) faculty and PhD students represented the IMS at the University of Leeds at the Fifty-Third International Congress on Medieval Studies. Their involvement is as follows: 

  • 10 May, session 82. War and Chivalry. 'The Chivalrous Virtue of Cunning: The Military Ruse as a Manifestation of Prudence in Medieval Chronicles', presented by James Titterton (PG Researcher, University of Leeds). 
  • 10 May, session 130. Medieval Military History. 'The Problem of the Schiltrom', presented by Alan V. Murray (Senior Lecturer in Medieval Studies, University of Leeds, and International Medieval Bibliography (IMB) Editorial Director). 
  • 11 May, session 206. Alternative Aspects of Medieval Pilgrimage (A Panel Discussion). Iona McCleery (Associate Professor in Medieval History, University of Leeds), Presider. 
  • 11 May, session 326. Saints as Therapy. 'The Problem of Charisma in the Late Medieval Portuguese Cult of the Saints', presented by Iona McCleery. 
  • 11 May, session 339. Joint Reception of the Centre for Medieval Studies, University of York and the Institute for Medieval Studies, University of Leeds. Hosted by Axel E W Muller (Director, International Medieval Congress), Iona McCleery, and James Titterton. 
  • 12 May, session 358. Dante Studies I: Dante's Appeals to Classical Sources. 'Expecting the "Unexpected": Statius's Salvation in Purgatorio 20-22', presented by Rory Sellgren (PG Researcher, University of Leeds). 
  • 12 May, session 411. Dante Studies II: Corporeality, Materiality, Sin, and Suppression in the Divine Comedy. Rory Sellgren, Presider. 

IMS Perspectives of the Congress

McCleery noted this conference is a 'different experience to the International Medieval Congress (IMC) [at Leeds]', as sessions and receptions continue later into the evening, and the campus is less compact, requiring more travel time between sessions.

In particular, McCleery praised the two 'superb' keynotes, the book fair, which included 'American university presses that don't come to [the IMC at] Leeds', and multiple 'well-represented' sessions she attended on topics varying from pedagogy and public engagement to plague and/or medicine. Titterton, who was funded by the School of History and an AHC Faculty Research Dissemination Award, also mentioned the 'excellent feedback' he received from other delegates after his presentation. Similarly, Sellgren had 'a wonderful time with the Dante Society of America'. 

The CMS and IMS joint reception was a special highlight. It offered Titterton a change to discuss 'the benefits of studying for a PhD here [at Leeds] with prospective candidates', and McCleery also described the reception as 'a good place to catch up with alumni and do some White Rose networking'. 

Overall, IMS members mentioned enjoying different food, new experiences, and well-researched and informative sessions. McCleery and Sellgren both described the trip as long and tiring, but as McCleery stated, 'well worth it!'