Call for Papers: Leeds IMC 2024, 1-4 July 2024

The Experience of Local Officialdom in Europe and the Mediterranean, c.1000-1500: Between Order and Disorder

Local officeholders and petty officials were integral components of medieval political life across Europe and the Mediterranean, central to the configuration and experience of power but whose presence and absence could also signify crisis and confusion. Modern scholarship and medieval sources alike have acknowledged that local officers could just as easily be sources of disorder as order, generators of crisis as well as crisis managers. This strand builds on such insights to consider local officers in relation to order and disorder within their immediate local and broader sociopolitical contexts. Our approach is broad, encompassing a variety of officers—civic, royal, ecclesiastical, seigneurial, etc.—as well as challenges to the notion of ‘officialdom’. It proposes a social and experiential history which highlights the roles, profiles, and possibilities of a range of officers in their individual as well as institutional and social contexts, by considering how they supported or challenged models of political and social order prevalent in their communities or promulgated by their superiors.

Proposals of around 250 words including a brief biography, full contact information, academic affiliation, and an indication of whether you would be participating virtually or in-person should be sent to Charlie Steinman at and Nathan Meades at by Friday 8th September 2023.

Proposals might like to consider but are not limited to:

– Questions of justice, jurisdiction, authority
– Formulations and conceptions of office and officialdom, both theoretical and practical
– Prosopographical and biographical studies of local officers
– Accountability, both financial and in the sense of holding officers to account
– Relations between officers and local communities, including reactions, resistance and dissent
– Officers in explicit crisis situations (political, economic, social)
– Notions of corruption, morality and the ethics of officeholding
– Officers as mediators or brokers between ‘centre’ and ‘periphery’

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