The IMC provides an interdisciplinary forum for the discussion of all aspects of Medieval Studies. Paper and session proposals on any topic related to the Middle Ages are welcome, while every year the IMC also chooses a special thematic focus. In 2018 – the year of the 25th IMC – this is ‘Memory’.
There are many kinds of memory – personal and social, natural and artificial, political and cultural. Along the lines of this general taxonomy, memory operates in many diverse modes: as a mechanism, process, instrument, and cognitive framework relating to, and concerning recreations of, the past – the social past, the institutional past as well as the past of an individual. Central in the process of storing, retrieving, and (re)constructing the past, memory is by no means a stable entity; it is always undergoing transformation.
In recent decades, memory has become a very fashionable research topic. In Medieval Studies, the concept of memory has been studied as permeating history, literature, language, religion, science, philosophy, and other fields. In addition to treating the processes of storing and retrieving information, the study of memory now naturally also encompasses personal and communal identity and self-fashioning, conceptualization of the world, perception of time and space, intellectual cognition and emotional reactions, established patterns and creativity, continuity and discontinuity, memorization and forgetting – to name but a few conceptual domains under scrutiny. This, however, also means that the study of memory has gradually become very complex and even somewhat elusive. In this sense, this special thematic strand offers a unique opportunity for a fresh and vigorous treatment of the field of memory in its astonishing breadth and variety.
The IMC welcomes proposals in all areas of memory. Themes to be addressed may include, but are not limited to:
Personal memory, self-fashioning, and identity
Social, political, and religious memory
The art of memory, mnemonics
Memory: orality and literacy
Knowledge and education – and its dissemination
Metaphors for memory
The media, mechanisms, and methods of memory – visual, verbal, and material memory
Memory and beauty: aesthetic relevance and impact of memorization and remembering
Objects of memory
Lieux de memoire – communities and identity
Construction and reconstruction of the past
Memory: order and disorder
Memory: sense and sensibility
Commemoration and re-enactment
Memory and immortality
The arcane and daily life
Memory and virtue
Performance/drama/music – memory and playfulness
Memory: habit and improvisation
Forgetting and oblivion: natural processes vs. damnatio memoriae
Categorization in language (analogy vs. anomaly, etc.)
Etymologizing (including folk etymology)
Formulas and catalogues
Remembering the Middle Ages
The Special Thematic Strand ‘Memory’ will be co-ordinated by will Lucie Doležalová (Institute of Greek & Latin Studies, Univerzita Karlova, Praha) and Jan Cermák (Department of English, Univerzita Karlova, Praha).
All proposals should be submitted online. Paper proposals must be submitted by 31 August 2017. Session proposals must be submitted by 30 September 2017. The IMC welcomes session and paper proposals submitted in all major European languages.