The organizers of the annual New England Medieval Conference, to be hosted by Dartmouth College on November 19, 2016, invite papers that address the 2016 theme "Lives and Afterlives in the Middle Ages." Whether one studies historical figures, relics, art, literature, theology, music, or myriad other topics, the notion of "life and afterlife" serves as an almost universal conceit through which to interpret the Middle Ages. Some of the questions that might be addressed by speakers at the conference include: how did the awareness of mortality condition medieval beings? How did time change the appearance, reception, and meaning of events or artifacts? Why and how did medieval works endure and remain relevant in cultural contexts far removed from that in which they first existed? The advantages to framing the Middle Ages in this fashion include the ability to ponder biography and hagiography; the value of life and the matter of death; the promise of paradise and the specter of damnation. Likewise, from the perspective of a cultural historian, this year's theme encourages synchronic and diachronic approaches that might address the making and reception of cultural artifacts or other key moments in an artifact's life-history.
This year's keynote speaker will be Paul Freedman, the Chester D. Tripp Professor of History at Yale University.
Paper proposals of circa 400 words should be sent by June 15th to the attention of Morgan Swan and Nicola Camerlenghi at NEMC.firstname.lastname@example.org. For more about the New England Medieval Conference, visit http://newenglandmedieval.org.