Kalamazoo ICMS 2020: Migration, Exile, Displacement (roundtable)
Medieval refugees’ stories can be difficult to access, but our own encounters with contemporary refugee crises may hint at the disruption that accompanied mass displacement in the Middle Ages. As millions across the globe continue to be uprooted, what can we learn about the experience of displacement in the medieval world? Persecution, war, plague, poverty, and other factors all contributed to forced migration and exile, as seen in the expulsions of Jews from England and France; the expulsion of Andalusi Muslims during Spain’s Reconquista; displacements caused by the Mongol invasions; and in the migration of peoples escaping the Black Death. Some medieval sources, like those that reimagine the Flight from Egypt, portray exile as an injustice, while others, like Bede, understand it as divine punishment. On the other hand, authorities who created such crises are often silent about their motives.
In this roundtable, we invite papers that explore experiences of forced migration or displacement from multiple perspectives and disciplines. Potential topics include literary narratives and visual representations of exile and migration; native responses to large-scale migration; criminal, political and legendary exiles; legal practices of sanctuary and exile; theological and typological explanations of migration; modern reclamations and appropriations of medieval narratives; and theoretical explorations of the effect of displacement upon identity formation.
Please submit an abstract of no more than 300 words and the participant information form to firstname.lastname@example.org by September 10th. Thank you!