Call for Papers. Place and Space in the Medieval World Conference

Call for Papers. Place and Space in the Medieval World Conference

29th-31st May 2015

University of York

Detail of a miniature of Christine and the Sibyl standing in a sphere of the cosmos, with the moon, sun and stars surrounding, in 'Le chemin de long estude'. ‘Space’ and ‘Place’ are terms that have had a ‘renaissance’ within medieval scholarship in recent decades, becoming increasingly employed to describe the cultural and intellectual landscape of the Middle Ages. However, despite the widely recognised importance of these terms, of late, various factions of scholars have begun to debate whether one has primacy over the other in terms of its agency and usefulness in determining how we conceptualise and discuss the medieval world. While taking into account these vagaries, this conference will extend the conversation surrounding these terms and ideas, considering the extant visual and textual sources alongside the contemporary scholarly discussions of this milieu.

Ideas of space and place as applied to the Medieval are flexible and pervasive, affecting discussions such as those of cultural agency and development. These ideas are inseparable from discussions of human geographies, of local landscapes, of inscribing human agency upon the earth, of intellectual engagement with architectural spaces and structures, and of cultural identities, as well with the visual objects, artefacts and texts produced in this period. The perception, use, and representation of space and place can be seen as an essential dimension of medieval life – all of which create inter-relational ideas that often serve to present one place (or space) while allowing the imagining of others. This conference considers the possible theoretical and conceptual approaches to space and place in their widest contexts, through examining written, archaeological, pictorial, architectural, geographical, cartographical and liturgical material in order to shed new light on the uses, understandings, and transformations of space and place in the Middle Ages and to investigate the ‘the spatial turn’ in the pre-modern world, asking; where were they then and where are we now?

We invite abstracts up to 250 words to be submitted by the 15th of January 2015 which deal with the broad theme of ‘Place and Space’ in the medieval world as addressed in ArtHistory, History, Literature, Archaeology, Museology, Theology, Philosophy and other related disciplines.

To submit proposals please send by email to Heidi Stoner & Meg Boulton at

Click here to download a PDF of this Call for Papers

Sign up to get a Weekly Email from

* indicates required

Sign up for our weekly email newsletter!