Leaving Home

deadline for submissions: 
July 15, 2022
full name / name of organization: 
New York University, Medieval and Renaissance Center
contact email: 

Keynote speakers

Daniel Jütte, NYU, Department of History
Olenka Pevny, Cambridge University Faculty of Modern & Medieval Languages

New York University’s Medieval and Renaissance Center invites proposals for papers for its annual conference to be held November 3-4 2022. The conference theme is “Leaving Home.”

Setting aside the well-known and studied premodern metaphors that cluster around the concept of homo viator—that human life is a pilgrimage, that we are born homeless, exiles from our native country—the organizers of this conference posit that the lives of medieval and early modern peoples were centered around real homes as well as a sturdy sense of home. Given that premise, we invite papers that concern the act of leaving home. Papers might consider the provocations for leaving home, whether as a rite of passage, to enter monastic life or attend university, to go on a pilgrimage or to war, to escape a plague, to search for better opportunities; or because of expulsion or of destruction of one’s home; or as part of a population’s migration. Papers might also examine the effects of leaving home, such as nostalgia, cross-cultural encounter, enrichment, or discovery of “new” or “other” worlds. Technologies of leaving home are also of interest, including routes, equipment, conveyances, as well as strategies for preparing to depart, whether physical, mental, or emotional. Papers concerning impediments to leaving home are welcome as well along with examinations of the character of homes that are left: home languages, lands, ecologies, fragrances, sounds, and more.

Papers from every sub-discipline of medieval and Renaissance Studies are welcome. Please send abstracts (250 words maximum) to Martha Rust (at martha.rust@nyu.edu) by July 15, 2022.

It is the conference organizers’ hope that this conference will be held primarily in person. That said, we anticipate that some speakers will need to participate remotely. The Medieval and Renaissance Center will be able to offer assistance with travel and accommodation to conference participants living outside New York City.