Over the past fifteen years, the International Medieval Society-Paris (IMS-Paris) has promoted interdisciplinary intellectual exchange among international scholars of medieval studies and colleagues in France. A bi-lingual non-profit association founded in Paris in 2002 by Meredith Cohen (UCLA) and Danielle Johnson (Wells College, Paris), the IMS-Paris has grown to count a dynamic group of art and architectural historians, historians, musicologists, and literary scholars from all over the world among its members. We organize a number of activities throughout the year to benefit medievalists who are carrying out research in France, and to help French academics gain visibility at international conferences in Europe and the Americas.
Throughout the year, the society organizes monthly meetings in Paris where scholars can present their research. This is incredibly beneficial to those from abroad who are visiting France to work in libraries and archives, and offers them an opportunity to share their works in progress for discussion, and exchange ideas socially. Those taking part in our monthly activities include graduate students, junior and senior scholars, and independent scholars. While our meetings tend to draw many visitors who are in France temporarily, a number of French scholars take part in our activities. This network offers ideal opportunities for help with any number of questions an international scholar might face while doing research in French institutions. The first meeting of the year gives an overview of research resources in Paris, which is incredibly important for those doing work there for the first time. This meeting is also very beneficial for more seasoned researchers, as it provides the most up-to-date information.
One very important series of activities taking place throughout the year, the Campus Condorcet, is organized in conjunction with the Laboratoire de médiévistique occidentale de Paris (LAMOP) of Paris I-Sorbonne, with whom we have been affiliated since 2009. This series of seminars, sponsored by a consortium of Parisian universities, features internationally recognized scholars from all fields, and it is attended not only by IMS members, but also by students and scholars from institutions throughout the Paris region and beyond. This year’s theme was Les Techniques Digitales au Moyen Âge, which featured three full days of workshops, including a visit to the medieval galleries of the Louvre with a thematic talk on gestures.
In addition to our monthly activities, the society organizes an annual three-day international interdisciplinary symposium on a designated theme every June. The symposium normally accepts abstracts primarily on French or francophone topics, but also has accepted submissions from other areas in medieval studies as they fit the theme. Our 2018 symposium is on Truth and Fiction, with keynotes Maureen Boulton (University of Notre Dame) and Patrick Boucheron (Collège de France). Published proceedings from several of our conferences include: Difference and Identity in Francia and Medieval France (Routledge, 2010), Memory and Commemoration in Medieval Culture (Routledge, 2013), L’Humain et l’Animal (Brill, 2014), and Space in the Medieval West (Routledge, 2014).
An equal part of the IMS-Paris’ mission is to help French and other foreign researchers in France gain an audience in the United States at the International Congress on Medieval Studies at the University of Western Michigan in Kalamazoo. Most recently, we have had a number of French scholars participate in our co-sponsored sessions with the Centre d’Etudes Supérieures de Civilisation Médiévale (CESCM) of the Université de Poitiers. Equally important to our international presence are our sponsored sessions in the UK at the International Medieval Congress at the University of Leeds. In addition to providing an opportunity to present at these conferences, the IMS helps these researchers navigate the application process, and can help to assist as an orientation mechanism for officially collaborating with research structures in the United States and the UK.
The International Medieval Society-Paris is a cooperative association that relies on the participation of its members to achieve its goals. Membership is open to all scholars with a specialization in the Middle Ages. We welcome anyone who might find themselves in the Paris region to take part in our activities. For more information on our activities, workshops, meetings, and publications, consult our website: http://www.ims-paris.org/#
Dr. Sarah Ann Long, President
Assistant Professor of Musicology
Michigan State University