Illinois Medieval Association 

Serving Illinois Medievalists since 1983

Medieval Selves and Communities: Identities, Discourses, and Connections

Sessions running late September through early March

As we have seen with the COVID-19 pandemic, the human response to trauma and tragedy takes a variety of forms: searching for and creating community, memorializing, lashing out, satirizing, and private mourning among them. In the aftermath of trauma and tragedy—be it a natural disaster, pandemic, revolt, or outbreak of violence--the acts of healing and rebuilding can take substantial time and require focused energy. Those living in the medieval past were, of course, no strangers to pandemics, natural disasters, and political and religious upheavals. How did they (and we) attempt to heal and rebuild after such events? How did traumatic and tragic events encourage medieval individuals and communities to balance concepts of self-identity with civil discourse, foster positive social interaction, and engage in community building? When might their responses to such events have led to negative outcomes that deepened the pain of those disasters, and what might we learn from their mistakes? The inaugural year of the Illinois Medieval Association Symposium seeks to explore these and related issues to shed light on how the study of the medieval period can inspire creative solutions to contemporary regional, national, and global concerns.

The symposium will replace our usual two-day conference which traditionally occurred each February. Instead, IMA will host a set of virtual paper sessions throughout the year, along with sponsored sessions at selected conferences. The conference will be free. Papers presented during the symposium are eligible for submission to the Illinois Medieval Association’s peer-reviewed proceedings journal, Essays in Medieval Studies. We are currently targeting a range of dates from late September through early March so that we do not conflict with other conferences.

We are now accepting individual paper and full session proposals. Review of proposals will begin in mid-July and continue until all presentation slots are filled. Please email proposal (MS Word file) of no more than 300 words to mwgeorge.51@gmail.com.


English Department, Millikin University, 1184 W. Main St., Decatur, IL, 62522

Phone: 217-362-6465

Email: mwgeorge.51@gmail.com

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