Call For Papers, Sessions and Roundtables
Jewish Borders in the Middle Ages
IMC 2019, University of Leeds, 6-9 July 2020
The 2019 International Medieval Congress at Leeds, focusing on medieval materialities, featured two keynote presentations, and thirteen panel sessions devoted to topics in Jewish studies plus at least seven additional panels with individual papers on Jewish topics, making the IMC an ideal venue for scholars working on any topic relating to medieval Jewish history, literature, art, or archaeology throughout Europe, Asia, and Africa, to come, present their work and exchange ideas.
Next year’s Medieval Congress at Leeds (July 6-9, 2020) will feature “Borders,” broadly conceived, as its special strand. See the general CFP at: https://www.imc.leeds.ac.uk/imc2020/ for further information and instructions how to submit papers or panels. Not all proposals must address this topic in order to be considered, however, it seems an especially rich one for scholars working on Jewish topics.
Explorations of various types of medieval borders have often begun with or centered on Jews in some way: Jewish relations with non-Jews as examples of negotiating the borders between religious communities and representing religious difference in the written and visual cultures of the Middle Ages; the role of Jews in securing or establishing political borders, for example in medieval Iberia or Khazaria; Jews as intermediaries between multiple cultures of learning; Jews as traders, travelling across the borders of land and sea, and in the process, political, cultural, linguistic and economic borders as well; Jews as part of the symbolic imaginary of Christians or Muslims in their representations of not only actual Jews, but of everything from animals, other forms of social, religious, or gendered difference, or eschatology
Jews, of course had their own borders. Even as Christians represented Jews literally or symbolically on the borders of their illuminated manuscripts, choir stools or churches, so too did Jews express their views of Christians in their own manuscript images, and of internal boundaries of gender, age, and social status within the Jewish community. In addition to having to negotiate the boundaries between themselves and other religious communities, they also had to contend with difference within the Jewish community; the most obvious being between Rabbanite and Karaite, but other internal differences based on variations in customs, legal interpretations and liturgy across geographical borders, or between different social strata within the Jewish community. Geographic boundaries, borders between the divine and earthly realms, between human and animal likewise feature in Jew literature. Much has been made of the imaginary or hermeneutical Jew in Christian writings and to a lesser extent Muslim ones, yet one may also ask what if any imaginaries did medieval Jews themselves use as tools with which to interpret the world around them?
Scholars are invited to contemplate and contribute proposals to any of these subjects or others relating to borders and medieval Jewish cultures, or to other aspects of medieval Jewish life, history, or cultural production.
Deadline for individual papers: August 31, 2019 https://www.imc.leeds.ac.uk/proposals/proposal-forms/paper-proposal-form-2020/
Deadline for panels: September 30, 2019
Deadline for roundtables: September 30, 2019
Questions regarding the Jewish studies strand at the IMC, contact: Alexandra Cuffel email@example.com