The International Medieval Congress seeks to provide an interdisciplinary forum for the discussion of all aspects of Medieval Studies. Papers and sessions on any topic related to the European Middle Ages are welcome.
In 2010, to commemorate the 550th anniversary of the death of Prince Henry 'the Navigator' of Portugal the International Medieval Congress has the special thematic focus 'Travel and Exploration'.
The voyages undertaken in the name of Henry of Portugal exemplify many of the motives that had long driven people to travel and explore : the prospect of wealth, trade, and territory, knowledge and curiosity, piety and religious zeal, legends and external salvation.
The congress seeks to provide a forum for debates on the motives, processes, and effects of travel and exploration, not only by Latin Christians in the so-called 'Age of Discovery', but across cultures, and throughout the medieval period.
What motives prompted travel and exploration in the Middle Ages ? Were the factors that drove exploration and travel in and from Europe the same as in other cultures ? How do travel and exploration and their effects resonate through written, material, and visual culture ?
We welcome papers and sessions on all aspects of travel and exploration, broadly understood, including travel as a means of cultural, political, and commercial interaction, ethnography, mental travel, spiritual journeys, the literature of utopia, travel to any place in our world and beyond, journeys 'real' and 'fictitious'.
We would particularly encourage submissions with cross-cultural and comparative approaches, and in this context welcome sessions that reach beyond the conventional chronological and geographical borders of the European Middle Ages.
Aspects may include :
- Infrastructures and technologies of travel.
- Travel and trade.
- Conflict and travel.
- Travel as an everyday experience.
- Exploration as power politics.
- Religious travel : pilgrimage, crusade, mission.
- Rulers and nobility on the road.
- Travel : restrictions and encouragement.
- Exploration and discovery : concepts and historical processes.
- Migration : forced and free, human and non-human.
- Travel, exploration and the construction and communication of knowledge.
- Legends in travel and travels in legend.
- Travel, exploration, and the imagination.
- The art of travel and travelling in art.
- Metaphorical, allegorical, and spiritual travels.
- Writing travel : media, genres, motives, effects.
- Mapping travels and travelling through maps.
The IMC Online Proposal Form will be available here for session and paper proposal submission from April 2009.