IMC Leeds, UK

  • 02 Jul 2018
  • 05 Jul 2018
  • Leeds, UK

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
  • Forbidden memory
  • Manipulative memory
  • Categorization in language (analogy vs. anomaly, etc.)
  • Etymologizing (including folk etymology)
  • Formulas and catalogues
  • Remembering the Middle Ages

The Special Thematic Strand 'Memory' is co-ordinated by will Lucie Doležalová (Institute of Greek & Latin Studies, Univerzita Karlova, Praha) and Jan Cermák (Department of English, Univerzita Karlova, Praha).



Photo credits: The Battle Between Arnault de Lorraine and His Wife Lydia (Excerpt), written 1463 - 1465; illuminated 1467 - 1472, The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, Ms. Ludwig XIII 6, leaf 11. Digital image courtesy of the Getty's Open Content Program.

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Site last updated on: May 24, 2018

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