The University of Leeds is hosting its 18th International Medieval Congress (IMC), the largest academic gathering of medievalists in Europe. The schedule for the IMC has now been released, which details the four-day programme of sessions, workshops, round tables, and special lectures, and is complemented by a range of daily excursions, workshops, concerts, dramatic performances, receptions, bookfairs, craft and societies fairs.
Axel E. W. Müller, Director of the International Medieval Congress, said,”This year’s Congress promises to be one of the largest yet. With over 400 sessions relating to many key areas of the study of the European Middle Ages, and 1370 active participants, this year’s Congress programme promises to be just as innovative and rich as ever.”
The theme for this year’s congress is Travel and Exploration. Over 180 sessions explore the meaning of space and distance, and how different nations and peoples perceived the world and each other. The Congress will open with two plenary lectures: Patrick Gautier Dalché will begin with a lecture on ‘Maps, Travel, and Exploration in the Middle Ages’, followed by a lecture by Dionisius A. Agius entitled ‘’In these seas, horrors beyond count befell [us]’: Travel in Medieval Islam’.
In addition, there will be four special lectures. Michael McCormick will present a lecture on ‘From Aachen to Jerusalem and Back: Mediterranean Communications, Charlemagne’s Survey of the Holy Land Churches, and Post-Roman Christianity in the Middle East’, Felipe Fernández-Armesto will be speaking on ‘The Sea and the World’, Kevin A. Leahy will be talking about the remarkable and recently discovered ‘Anglo-Saxon Treasure from Staffordshire’, and Markus Vinzent will be looking into the ‘Rediscovered ‘Parisian Questions’ of Eckhart’.
The IMC also includes workshops for singers, as well as musical and dramatic performances which represent both the travel of cultures and imagined travel. There will also be opportunities to participate in hands-on workshops on calligraphy and tablet weaving, as well as an exploration of the use of spices across the globe in cooking, medicinal, and other uses. In addition there will be a demonstration in the making of beautiful lamp work beads.
Several excursions are also available for congress attendees to participate in. This year’s excursions include visits to the castles of Richmond, Helmsley, and Middleham, the monastic sites of Byland, Mount Grace, and Rievaulx, as well as city trips to the centre of Leeds, to York, its Minster, and Durham Cathedral.
A special post Congress tour has also been organized: Castles of the Welsh Marcher Lords will be led by Kelly Devries and Robert C Woosnam-Savage. This four day tour will explore the turbulent history of the Welsh borders and the changing face of its defensive architecture. Sites visited will include the castles of Montgomery, Whittington, Clun, Stokesay, and Ludlow, as well as Hereford Cathedral, Old Oswestry hill fort, Offa’s Dyke, and the town of Chester.
The International Medieval Congress takes place from July 12-15, 2010