CFP: Villes/Cities: 12th Annual Symposium of the International Medieval Society

Deadline:  30 January 2015

Paris, France

25-27 June 2015

Keynote Speakers: Emma Dillon (King’s College, London), Carol Symes (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign), and Boris Bove (Université Paris VIII).

The International Medieval Society, Paris (IMS-Paris) invites abstracts and session proposals for our 2015 symposium on the theme of cities in Medieval France. After the decline of late-antique cities in the course of the fifth and sixth centuries, a revival of cities began in the course of the eleventh century. This phenomenon, which profoundly transformed the dynamics of the West to our day, is a field of research that has been enriched in pace with archeological discoveries and by new technologies that offer original perspectives and approaches. This symposium will approach new lines of investigation that will deepen our knowledge of medieval cities (11th – 15th centuries) not only in their cartographic and monumental dimensions, but also political and cultural ones.

The question of the construction of urban space could be explored in a variety of ways:

– Through its material dimensions, consisting of different forms of cityscapes, its urbanism, and its architecture.
– Through uses of space and their performative function. For instance, the role of rituals and urban processions, how music and theater contribute to the establishment of urban space in its practical use and representations.

We also wish to explore urban culture, which consists of material, intellectual, or spiritual culture, including:

– The role of writing in the development of a literate, mercantile culture, and new modes of government
– The daily lives of city dwellers: their lifestyles and patterns of consumption, their culinary tastes, etc.
– The development of practices related to the rise of intellectual institutions (schools, universities, patronage, mendicants, etc.)

Finally, we wish to explore the question of visual representations of the city and in the city, notably:
– The ways in which cities were represented in the Middle Ages, and how medieval cities are represented now
– Models for cities and the role of imaginary cities in the construction of urban spaces

Proposals should focus on France between the eleventh and fifteenth centuries, but do not need to be exclusively limited to this period and geographical area. We encourage proposals and papers from all areas of medieval studies, such as anthropology, archeology, history, economic and social history, art history, gender studies, literary studies, musicology, philosophy, etc.

Proposals of 300 words or less (in English or French) for a 20-minute paper should be e-mailed to no later than 30 January 2015. Each should be accompanied by full contact information, a CV, and a list of audiovisual equipment you require.

Please be aware that the IMS-Paris submissions review process is highly competitive and is carried out on a strictly blind basis. The selection committee will notify applicants of its decision by e-mail by February 26th 2014.

Titles of accepted papers will be made available on the IMS-Paris web site. Authors of accepted papers will be responsible for their own travel costs and conference registration fee (35 euros, reduced for students, free for IMS- Paris members).

The IMS-Paris is an interdisciplinary, bilingual (French/English) organization that fosters exchanges between French and foreign scholars. For the past ten years, the IMS has served as a center for medievalists who travel to France to conduct research, work, or study. For more information about the IMS-Paris and the program of last year’s symposium, please visit our website:

IMS-Paris Graduate Student Prize:

The IMS-Paris is pleased to offer one prize for the best paper proposal by a graduate student. Applications should consist of:

1) symposium paper abstract/proposal
2) current research project (Ph.D. dissertation research)
3) names and contact information of two academic references

The prizewinner will be selected by the board and a committee of honorary members, and will be notified upon acceptance to the Symposium. An award of 350 euros to support international travel/accommodations (within France, 150 euros) will be paid at the Symposium.