CFP: More is More: Maximalism, Materiality, and the Medieval Aesthetics of Embellishment (ICMS 2024, Kalamazoo, MI, May 8-10, 2024)

deadline for submissions: 
September 15, 2023
full name / name of organization: 
Grace Catherine Greiner (Cornell University) and Jennifer Rabedeau (Cornell University)
contact email: 

More is More: Maximalism, Materiality, and the Medieval Aesthetics of Embellishment
International Congress on Medieval Studies (May 8-10, 2024, Kalamazoo, MI)

Deadline for abstracts: September 15, 2023 (on the ICMS submission portal)

Post-pandemic, one mantra reigns in contemporary art, fashion, and design: “more is more.” Maximalist, medieval-inspired prints by William Morris et al. grace modern furnishings, while fashion’s influencers–like Amans stitching up his sleeves for a springtime jaunt in Le roman de la rose–have emerged from the work-from-home sartorial doldrums with flamboyance and flair. Medieval people, of course, were no strangers to a maximalist aesthetics. Across medieval manuscript borders, tapestries, textiles, cathedrals, romances, dream visions, and theological and rhetorical texts, the aesthetics of “more” proliferates. Accordingly, this session seeks papers that explore the many medieval spaces where–like now–maximalism and materiality fantastically collide.

This session invites papers that explore the many spaces and places where the idea that “more is more” circulated in the medieval world. Participants are encouraged to think creatively at the theoretical nexus of maximalism (as articulated in contemporary design, medieval grammar and rhetoric, etc.) and materiality (as used in contemporary theory, medieval manuscript and/or material culture studies, art/book history, etc.). Papers that apply this approach to medieval art, architecture, literature, grammar, rhetoric, philosophy, theology, cosmology, and the natural sciences are encouraged. Meditations on post-medieval (e.g., Victorian medievalist) forms of medievalist/maximalist/material(ist) productions also welcome.

Session organizers:

Grace Catherine Greiner (

Jennifer Rabedeau (