Calls for Papers/Aug 15, 2017

Medieval Settlement and Landscape

Medieval Settlement and Landscape lead image

Medieval Settlement and Landscape, 53rd International Congress on Medieval Studies, Western Michigan University, May 10–13, 2018

“Medieval Settlement and Landscape” builds on the success of the three sessions organized on this theme during the previous two ICMS. The positive levels of engagement stemming from these sessions have duly encouraged us to commence working towards an edited volume that will highlight the major findings presented at ICMS. This publication will reflect the intellectually stimulating conversations provoked by the combined sessions.

The session for ICMS 2018 will engage with the dynamic interdisciplinary sub-field of medieval settlement studies. Medieval settlement and landscape studies, more generally, have combined theories and techniques from a variety of disciplines, most overtly those of history, archaeology and geography. Interdisciplinarity has to some extent become something of a buzzword in medieval studies, but it is an integral aspect of any successful academic study into settlements and landscapes. The ICMS session will bring together colleagues from the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences to strengthen collaborative efforts and assist in answering common research questions. We particularly encourage the inclusion of young scholars with innovative work in our panel.

We encourage the exploration of technology to understand the place of medieval settlements and landscapes in the modern world. These multidisciplinary approaches include digital humanities and computer applications, such as Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Lidar, and 3D printing, but also scientific contributions. Our session further engages with textual research. In particular, manuscript materials in archives still remain underutilized by practitioners. Digital scholarship will alleviate many of these logistical problems. The session will provide methodological examples of best practice for scholars with interests in applying medieval evidence sources from outside their field of study.

We aim to incorporate perspectives from across Europe, especially when considering the modern heritage issues presented by these medieval settlements and landscapes. This is an issue of serious scholarly and public concern. Today, with far-reaching economic limitations, heritage preservation is a worrying issue for all practitioners. It is beneficial for the disciplines as a whole to contemplate the efforts made by scholars from a variety of multidisciplinary fields and geographic regions in addressing these concerns. We must also remember that a further benefit of working with physical places and spaces is providing a means of engaging with the public. Presenters will be urged to consider this positioning of the medieval within the modern and to highlight the innovative contributions their research can make to this common experience.

Session organizers
Vicky McAlister
Jennifer Immich