Established 1976


The 29th International Conference on Medievalism: Medievalisms on the Move
(Georgia Institute of Technology, October 24-25)

Please also consider:

The 50th International Congress on Medieval Studies
(The Medieval Institute, Western Michigan University, May 14-17, 2015)

International Society for the Study of Medievalism (ISSM) --Call for Proposals

Tales after Tolkien Society (TaTS) --Call for Proposals

Medieval Electronic Multimedia Organizatino (MEMO) --Call for Proposals

International Society for the
Study of Medievalism (ISSM)

The International Society for the Study of Medievalism is sponsoring three sessions at next year’s Kalamazoo Medieval Congress:

I) Metaphysical Medievalisms

Medievalism Studies commonly explores manifestations of the medieval in popular modern diversions like television, film, and gaming. Less explored is how medievalism plays a role in asking the 'big' theological questions that continue to challenge humanity. This panel will be a conversation about existence and the role medievalism plays in imagining that existence, whether through the detachment of philosophy, the passionate attachment of faith, or more commonly, some combination of the two. We welcome papers that address some of the following questions:

—What unacknowledged debts are owed medieval thinkers in spiritual or religious conversations that follow the Middle Ages?

—How is the medieval past used as a marker of either intellectual inspiration or a 'dark age' of anti-intellectualism?

—What medieval rituals, patterns of thought, or ways of knowing the unknowable remain with us today?

—Is there wisdom in the medieval past that could inform some of the religious, spiritual, or philosophical concerns of the present?

II) Political Medievalisms

As early as Henry VIII's commission of his own portrait on the Winchester Round Table, medievalism has played a role, often a pivotal role, in political maneuvering. Today, as right-wing politicians make huge political and military gains across the globe, the language of medievalism permeates both the far-right calls for crusades and caliphates and liberal warnings about “medieval” laws that will take us back to the “Dark Ages.” We welcome submissions that move past offering historical validation or correctives and instead interrogate what medieval ‘means’ to political discourse. We also welcome submissions that analyze the uses of medievalism in a variety of time periods and geographical locations.

III) Round Table: Critical Mediations

The contemporary theoretical trends that have swept through Medieval Studies—new materialisms, aesthetics, OOO, ecocriticism, and interdisciplinary approaches involving physics, biology, computer science, and game theory—all have the potential to trouble notions of time, disciplinary borders, and traditional academic boundaries. Both medievalists and medievalismists have adopted these approaches with compelling and creative results, despite the fact that such approaches are heavily invested in their sense of themselves as contemporary, digital, postmodern, or post-human. This round table will explore what medievalism can give back to theory, asking participants to imagine how work in Medievalism Studies, which has a long history of transgressing disciplinary borders and literary periods, disrupting traditional definitions of ‘text,’ and even violating the boundary between academic and layperson, can help us reshape, enhance, or reimagine the latest innovations in theory. We welcome short (10 minute) contributions to this discussion.


Please follow the Medieval Institute’s rules governing participation and submission of abstracts:

Abstracts of no more than 300 words together with the Participant Information Form should be sent before September 15, 2014 to Amy S. Kaufman at


Tales after Tolkien Society (TaTS)

The Tales After Tolkien Society will be sponsoring two sessions at the Kalamazoo ICMS, May 14-17th, 2015: one of papers, and one round table. Twenty-first century popular culture is structured by genres; they shape its processes, products, and reception. Neomedievalisms permeate most if not all major pop culture genres, from historical, fantasy, and crime, to children’s, science fiction, and westerns. In these two panels, the Tales After Tolkien Society seeks to explore the profound ways in which genre influences contemporary representations an readings of the Middle Ages, and, conversely, how ideas about the Middle Ages might shape genres. Both sessions will ask, for example, how contemporary social and cultural trends and concerns intersect with the medieval in genre fiction.

Proposals from scholars and professionals at any stage of their careers with an interest in these topics are welcomed. People of color, LGBTQ people, and members of other marginalized groups are encouraged to propose papers. Submissions must follow the rules as set out by the Medieval Institute.

An abstract of 250-300 words accompanied by a Participant Information Form, available from the submissions website, should be sent to Helen Young at by Monday 15th September, 2014. Submissions should clearly state which of the following panels they are intended for.

Session of Papers: Martin and More: Genre Medievalisms
George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire novels are among the most visible and popular medievalist works in the present day, but they are not the be-all and end-all of genre medievalisms. The session of papers, focused on genre fiction, seeks in-depth explorations which focus on a single twenty-first-century work, series, or author’s corpus. They may consider Martin’s work, compare and contrast it with that of another author, or examine a completely different contemporary literary re-imagining of the Middle Ages. Questions which might be considered include, but are not limited to the following. How do genre conventions shape the use of medieval material and vice versa? How do technological developments and the explosion of multi-media genre products including film, television and video-gaming engage with literature? How do representations of race, gender, and class intersect with medievalism in contemporary fiction genres? Papers examining cross- and multi-genre works are welcomed, as are interdisciplinary approaches.

Round Table: From Frodo to Fidelma: Medievalisms in Popular Genres
The round table aims to compare and contrast the medievalist conventions and practices of a wide range of genres, which might include but are not limited to not fantasy, children's television, crime, role-playing games, and romance literature, examining examine genre conventions, phenomena and trends. By doing so, the session seeks seeks to identify cross-genre trends, as well as to highlight the multiplicities of contemporary medeivalisms. Presentations focussing on the medievalisms of a single genre – which may be loosely or closely defined – across a decade or more of the late twentieth and twenty-first centuries are sought. Tightly focussed explorations of, for example, medievalism and gender, violence, race, or dis/ability in a given genre or across multiple genres are also welcome. Presentations may take a single work/series/corpus as an example, but these should illustrate broader points about the given genre. Papers in the session witll be 7-10 minutes in length.


Medieval Electronic Multimedia Organization (MEMO)

Submit proposals or queries to:
Carol L. Robinson (
by September 15, 2014

Playing Medieval--A Festive Video Game Workshop and Poster Session

There will be two types of stations for this session.

(1) One type will be a multi-lead station that will explore pedagogical possibilities of playing medievalist video games, and will be involving real-time playing of a selected medievalist videogame. Game Leaders are needed to help select a particular game in advance of the conference, to set-up several avatars to be ready for use by inexperienced gamer-scholars. Presenters should be prepared to play some of the game in advance of the conference (online) and to prepare a questionare for session attendees to complete. Proposals to be a Game Leader should include a list of possible games, levels of experience playing them, and research interests.

(2) Individually run stations: each presentation will be conducted at a station that will entail both some sort of "poster" (a literal cardboard poster or a presentation that can be viewed on a laptop or hand-held device). Proposals are invited on either medievalist video games under analysis or medievalist video games under design.

SESSION OF PAPERS: The Neomedieval Image
Paper proposals are invited that explore digital iconographic imagery of the medieval, particularly the neomedieval. How does he content of such images represent the medieval? What makes it uniquely neomedieval? What are some typical, or more common, depictions? Are there distinctions between Iconology and Iconography in medievalism, in neomedievalism? What about the "authenticity" of such iconography? Explorations of genres, themes, motifs, and tropes are encouraged.

Submit proposals or queries to:
Carol L. Robinson (
Abstracts of roughly 300 words and completed Participant Information Form must be submitted by September 15, 2014


One of the great epistemological strengths of medievalism studies has been its openness to the many variants of cultural reception, including multiple linguistic, ideological, geographical, and disciplinary perspectives. For this year’s conference at the Georgia Institute of Technology, we specifically invite sessions and individual papers that will investigate the manifold transformations that happen when recreations, reinventions, and redefinitions of the “medieval” move from one cultural space and time to another. The conference ("Medievalisms on the Move")  will feature two plenary speakers.  Sylvie Kandé’s research on the migration of medievalisms from Europe and Africa to the Americas, and Kathleen Verduin’s investigation of the North American Dante reception (see below) present excellent examples of the kind of work we invite. We also imagine contributions that would show how medievalisms move between different discourses, genres, technological modes, historical periods, geographies, religions, art forms, social levels, research paradigms, etc. In addition to these contributions to the general theme of the conference, we invite any and all papers on the reception of medieval culture in postmedieval times.

Inquiries should be sent to the conference organizers at The conference will be held from October 24-25, 2014, in Atlanta, GA at the Georgia Institute of Technology. For more information, visit

The annual International Conference on Medievalism (ICOM; known as the General Conference on Medievalism until 1993) began with two meetings at the University of Notre Dame in 1986 and 1987. Subsequent conferences were organized through the Newberry Library and Northeastern Illinois University (Chicago, Illinois: 1988), the United States Military Academy (West Point, New York 1989), Burg Kaprun (jointly with the 5th Symposium on Mittelalter-Rezeption, Austria: 1990), the University of Delaware (Newark, Delaware,1991), the University of South Florida (Tampa, Florida, 1992), the University of Leeds (UK: 1993), Montana State University (Bozeman, Montana, 1994), the Higgins Armory Museum (Worcester, Massachusetts: 1995), Kalamazoo College (Kalamazoo, Michigan, 1996), Christ Church College (Canterbury, UK: 1997), University of Rochester (Rochester, New York, 1998), Montana State University (Bozeman, Montana, 1999), Hope College (Holland, Michigan: 2000), Buffalo State College (Buffalo, New York, 2001), the University of Northern Iowa (Cedar Falls, Iowa, 2002), St. Louis University (St. Louis, Missouri, 2003), University of New Brunswick (Canada: 2004), Towson University (Baltimore, Maryland: 2005), Ohio State University (Columbus, Ohio: 2006), University of Western Ontario (London, Ontario, Canada: 2007), Wesleyan College (Macon, Georgia, 2008), Siena College (Loudonville, New York, 2009), and University of Groningen (The Netherlands, 2010), University of New Mexico (Albuquerque, New Mexico, 2011), Kent State University Regional Campuses (Warren and Canton, Ohio 2012), St. Norbert College (De Pere, Wisconsin, 2013).

The conference organizers and the editorial boards of YWIM and SiM
thank everyone who participated in making these conferences successful.

Additionally, Studies in Medievalism usually sponsors sessions at the International Congresses on Medieval Studies (Western Michigan University; Kalamazoo, Michigan) and the International Medieval Congress at the University of Leeds (UK). Conference proceedings, including papers from the annual ICOM and the Kalamazoo and Leeds sessions, have been published in The Year's Work in Medievalism.


Copyright © 2005-2014, International Society for the Study of Medievalism
Richard Utz (President), Karl Fugelso (Editor of Studies in Medievalism), Amy Kaufman (Director of Conferences)
Ed Risden (Editor of The Year's Work in Medievalism), Carol Robinson (Webmaster)

LAST UPDATED: 7/15/2014