The medieval in museums: Leeds International Medieval Congress July 2024

deadline for submissions: 
September 18, 2023
full name / name of organization: 
Dr Fran Allfrey / University of York
contact email: 

We invite 15-minute papers examining presentations of the medieval in museum and heritage contexts. We invite interrogation of the social, political, historical, and cultural effects of museum and heritage work, including: 

  • practices of acquisition, curation, display, and interpretation; archives, record-keeping, and databases

  • education and community projects

  • digital presences

  • outreach or knowledge exchange activities run by field archaeologists or academics

  • performances or reenactments

  • artworks or events commissioned as part of museum or heritage programming.

Catherine Karkov (2020), Alexandra Sterling-Hellenbrand (2021), and Karen Jolly (2022) have argued that museums reflect and construct national and local identities, which, intentionally or unintentionally, may prop up myths of ethnogenesis or ethnonationalism. Joshua Davies (2018), Clare Lees and Gillian Overing (2019), and Beth Whalley (2023) have directed attention to the workings of creative medieval heritage broadly conceived. We invite a similarly expansive approach to the medieval and to museums.

We encourage reflection on the stakes of representing the medieval at a time of increased public awareness of how museums and heritage are entangled with histories of European imperialism, calls for decolonisation, and matters of social justice. 

We also encourage attention to written medieval sources (histories, poems, or other texts): how manuscripts are displayed or interpreted in conjunction with other visual or material culture, places, or landscapes.

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To apply: please send an abstract of no more than 150 words explaining your approach to the medieval and museums and/or heritage to Fran Allfrey and Maia Blumberg, fran.allfrey@york.ac.uk; m.blumberg@qmul.ac.uk 

Deadline for you: 18 September 2023. The session organisers will submit the complete session by 29 September 2023. 

Please include the following: 

  • details of your academic affiliation (if appropriate), email, and postal address. 

  • a short abstract for the paper of no more than 150 words, in the language in which you want to present your paper.