Call for Papers – CEMERS Conference Medieval Cultural Heritage Around the Globe: Monuments, Literature, and the Arts, Then and Now

Call for Papers: CEMERS Conference
Medieval Cultural Heritage Around the Globe:
Monuments, Literature, and the Arts, Then and Now
Binghamton University, October 23-24, 2020

The field of cultural heritage has experienced a great increase in scholarly and media attention in recent years. Events such as the removal of Confederate monuments and memorials have made evident how controversial cultural heritage can be, and the central role it plays in defining communal identities at all levels, from small villages to multi-state entities, such as colonial empires or, more recently, the United States and the European Union. This interdisciplinary conference, hosted by the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies (CEMERS) at Binghamton University will explore cultural heritage, broadly conceived, as it relates to the global Middle Ages (c.500 – c.1500). Topics will range from medieval approaches to the cultural heritage inherited or claimed by medieval societies, to the transformation of medieval heritage through the centuries, to the yearning for medieval times that has inspired, in the modern era, the architecture of university campuses, the rebuilding of Japanese castles to assert communal identity, and the revival of traditional crafts, among others.

This conference aims to bring together scholars from a range of backgrounds whose work sheds important new light on our relationship with the medieval past. We hope to foster conversations across traditional disciplinary and geographic boundaries about the definitions, cultural significance, and use of cultural heritage in disparate parts of the medieval and modern worlds. How does examining conceptions and problems related to cultural heritage inform our understanding of medieval cultures? How does modern engagement with the medieval past shape debates about power, identity and belonging? What determines how heritage is defined and what merits preservation? What is the state of medieval heritage today?

We invite papers from a variety of disciplinary and methodological perspectives on any topic related to cultural heritage and the Middle Ages, including:

  • Medieval heritage and identity in the early modern and modern worlds
  • Trafficking in and questions surrounding the restitution of cultural artifacts
  • Heritage across borders and global diasporas
  • Cultural heritage sites connected to legends, literature, and theater
  • Pilgrimage and tourism
  • Issues of representation and exclusion
  • UNESCO and the handling of medieval cultural heritage
  • Literature and film tourism at heritage sites
  • Violence, atrocity, and difficult heritage
  • Heritage-making and cultural appropriation
  • Heritage and communities
  • Cultural heritage in the digital world

Abstracts for individual papers and for sessions are invited. We particularly encourage scholars working in different disciplines to organize panels together. Papers should be 20 minutes in length. Send abstracts and CVs to For information, contact Roberta Strippoli ( Deadline: May 1, 2020.

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