Identity Abroad in Central and Late Medieval Europe and the Mediterranean
(A Two-Day Interdisciplinary Conference for Postgraduates and Early Career Researchers)
7-8 January 2022, Cambridge
Keynote Speakers: Prof. Miri Rubin (Queen Mary University, London),
Roser Salicrú i Lluch (Institució Milà i Fontanals), Teresa Shawcross (Princeton University)
Life in the central and late Middle Ages was characterised by high levels of mobility and migration. Developments in manufacturing, trade, education, and diplomacy, as well as political and religious conflict and persecution encouraged and at times forced various individuals and groups to move ‘abroad’, permanently or temporarily, to places nearby or further afield. Each had their own different socio-economic background, political allegiance, language, cultural heritage, and faith.
The position and impact of these ‘foreigners’ in societies across Europe and the Mediterranean has been widely discussed. However, what is less discussed is how these individuals and groups understood and (re)presented themselves. Our conference seeks to explore the construction, expression, and practical significance of different forms of ‘social identity’ among individuals and groups living ‘abroad’ in Europe and the Mediterranean in the period between the eleventh and the fifteenth century.
We invite abstracts for papers of up to 20 minutes from graduate and early career researchers working across all relevant disciplines. By bringing together a variety of different perspectives, the conference aims to consider not only how ‘identity abroad’ functioned in specific contexts, but also to identify and emphasise developments, patterns, and divergences. This will allow us to reflect more broadly on how the topic can be approached in the pre-modern period and beyond, speaking to current social challenges in a world which is more mobile than ever.
Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:
- Individuals and groups living ‘abroad’, such as merchants, labourers and artisans, pilgrims, students, intellectuals, diplomats, courtiers, soldiers and crusaders, exiles, ethnic and religious minorities, and captives and enslaved people
- Voluntary and forced migration
- Temporary and permanent migration
- Relations between different ‘foreign’ individuals and groups
- Interaction and assimilation/resistance to assimilation with ‘local’ populations, institutions, and rulers
- Impact of gender, socio-economic background, and other types of differences
- Expressions of identity, such as textual production and visual and material culture
- Theoretical explorations of the concepts of ‘identity’, ‘foreignness’, and ‘abroad’ in the Middle Ages
To submit a proposal, please send an abstract of up to 250 words and a short biographical note to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than 12th September 2021.
(Image: detail from Bibliothèque nationale de France, MS. Espagnol 30, Abraham Cresques, Atlas de cartes marines (c.1375) )