Shifting Paradigms: Women, Rhetoric, and Power (c. 700–c. 1300 CE) – CALL FOR PAPERS

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Date / time: 8 January, All day

University of Notre Dame in England

Shifting Paradigms: Women, Rhetoric, and Power (c. 700–c. 1300 CE) - CALL FOR PAPERS


Conference – 22 to 23 February 2024 | University of Notre Dame, London

Shifting Paradigms: Women, Rhetoric, and Power, c. 700–c. 1300 CE

Call for Papers, deadline – 8 January 2024

This conference aims to recalibrate how we study women in western Europe, the Islamic worlds, and Byzantium across the Middle Ages, revealing the manifold ways women shaped and were shaped by overlapping discourses of power. The intention is to contest and challenge singular perspectives on power as the ability to enact change, while also reassessing present concentration on gendered analysis as the primary way of understanding women’s actions in the past.

For the conference, we invite papers that broadly explore the question ‘What was power for medieval women?’ through the lens of exemplarity and exempla, that is the framing of individuals in the past as models for the behaviour of men and women in the present. Proposals from postgraduate students and early career scholars will be prioritised.

We are especially eager to receive proposals from those working on Byzantium, the Islamic worlds, or Jewish women, as well as papers that look across geographical, chronological, or disciplinary boundaries. This will be an exploratory conference, so work-in-progress papers are very much encouraged!

Confirmed speakers include: Dr Christina Laffin (University of British Colombia, Canada), Prof Julia Smith (All Souls College, Oxford), Prof Nadia El Cheikh (American University of Beirut), Dr Charles Insley (University of Manchester), and Dr Anna Kelley (University of St Andrews).

Please submit a title, abstract of c. 250 words, and short biography (including indication of career stage) to by 8 January 2023.

Ideally, speakers will be able to attend the conference in-person, although we will consider online papers. Please indicate your preference in your email. There will be bursaries available for postgraduate speakers to contribute towards accommodation and travel.

This conference is generously supported by the following: Queen’s University, Canada; The University of Edinburgh; University of Rochester; The Haskins Society; SSHRC.