Premodern Digital Ecologies | 59th International Congress on Medieval Studies (May 9-11, 2024)

deadline for submissions: 
September 15, 2023
full name / name of organization: 
Aylin Malcolm & Andrew Richmond (Co-Organizers), along with Digital Philology: A Journal of Medieval Cultures

The intersection of the digital and environmental humanities speaks to our current moment: we live amid ecological changes that we seek to understand, mitigate, and publicize through new technologies. Medieval studies has long been at the forefront of the digital humanities, while ecocriticism and environmental history have advanced our understanding of how medieval people conceived of the nonhuman world. Recently, these threads have come together in adapting modern digital tools to study premodern experiences of local and evolving environments. Our panel centers this exciting area of study in anticipation of a forthcoming issue of Digital Philology on the same topic.

This session explores how digital tools and approaches can help us to model and explore environments from across the medieval world. What changes about our experiences of medieval materials and ecosystems when we interact with them through a digital medium? How can digital tools enable work in the public humanities? What do digital models reveal about the relationships between local, regional, and global environments in medieval conceptions of the world? How can we build on the lessons of premodern digital ecology to understand our contemporary ecological moment? And how do we account for the inherent environmental costs of digital methods?

Papers might consider topics such as:

  • digital modeling or exhibitions of medieval landscapes;
  • the implications of biocodicological analyses of medieval manuscripts and materials;
  • the environmental impact of digital tools;
  • pedagogical applications of these technologies in courses dealing with medieval environments;
  • the potential for digital tools to enable an interconnected view of the global Middle Ages;
  • and the need for both digital and ecological fields to reckon with their participation in systems of oppression while engaging with justice for marginalized and racialized peoples

Please submit abstracts of 300 words here:

  • We’re under “Sponsored and Special Sessions of Papers”

Participants are also strongly encouraged to submit proposals for the related special issue of Digital Philology; please email Aylin Malcolm ( and Andrew Richmond ( for more information.