Medieval Globalisms: Movement in the Global Middle Ages

The Twenty-Eighth Annual Spring Symposium of the Medieval Studies Institute of Indiana University

8-9 April 2016, Indiana University, Bloomington

Keynote: Cecily Hilsdale, Department of Art History and Communication Studies, McGill University

The Medieval Studies Institute of Indiana University invites proposals dealing with any aspect of Medieval Globalisms: movement, discourse, and cultural exchange. Scholars have rigorously interrogated modern models of globalism, but what does “global” mean for the Middle Ages? This symposium aims to identify the global perspectives that emerged in this period in which people, ideas, and objects traversed the globe through travel, trade, war, and exodus, and to explore the larger geographic context in which the Middle Ages occurred. In addition to the geographic, papers might explore studies of medieval conceptions of the globe and its relation to the self. Rather than viewing medieval places through the model of center and periphery, we ask participants to consider a de-centered medieval globe in which no one locale is given preference over another and to envision the period as a time of dynamic cross-cultural interactions. We  encourage proposals about texts, traditions, and localities outside of traditional, Eurocentric medieval studies. Topics include, but are not limited to:

·  Movement of Objects and People

·  Epidemics and Disease Transmission 

·  Trade Networks

·  Reception and Translation of Texts across Cultures

·  Exoticism and Fetishization 

·  Medieval Conceptions of Geography and Mapping 

·  Ocean and Environmental Studies 

·  Cosmopolitanism and Urban Centers

·  Diplomacy, Tribute, and Gift-Giving 

·  Linguistic Interactions

·  Local and Global Knowledges 

·  Alternative Conceptions of the Self and Otherness

·  Universalizing Medieval Historiography 

·  Travel Narratives and Pilgrimage Literature

·  Encyclopedism and Technical Writing 

·  Scientific and Medical Knowledge 

·  Pedagogy and Teaching Globalisms 

·  Religion and Religious Minorities 

Please send an abstract of no more than 300 words to Miles Blizard ( by January 15th, 2016

Symposium webpage: