Accessibility in the Middle Ages

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Cornell Medieval Studies Student Colloquium
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The graduate students of Cornell's Medieval Studies Program are pleased to announce their twenty-sixth annual Student Colloquium, which will take place on Saturday, February 20th at the A.D. White House. This year's colloquium will be focused around the concept of 'accessibility,' its connotations, and consequences in the medieval world. The Middle Ages are conventionally seen as static and hierarchical, marked by impermeability of social, geographic, and cultural boundaries. This conference seeks to foreground the dynamism and fluidity of the Middle Ages by focusing upon the points of access by which these borders were negotiated and blurred.

We very much look forward to welcoming Professor Jonathan Hsy, George Washington University, as our keynote speaker whose talk will explore how digital media enable new modes of crafting disability history.

In addressing our theme, papers may consider topics including (but not limited to):

● Access to education and knowledge production
● Ethnicity, identity, and access to power
● Identity politics
● Travel and trade
● Diplomacy and diplomatics
● Modern modes of accessing 'the Medieval'
● Memory, authority, and the ethics of reading
● Accessing the Divine

We invite graduate students to share papers focusing on Late Antiquity, the Middle Ages, or the Early Modern Period in Western Europe and beyond. We welcome submissions in all disciplines, including literature, history, history of art, archaeology, linguistics, musicology, paleography, philosophy, and theology.

Abstract submissions (c. 300 words) for 20-minute presentations must be received by November 13th, 2015 in order to be considered. They may be submitted by e-mail attachment to with the subject line MSSC CFP.