Weapons in Society III

Date / time: 17 October, 9:00 am


Call for Papers, deadline – 9.00 am, 17 October 2022

The insight arms and armour can provide into numerous aspects of society, from contemporary notions of gender to popular forms of entertainment and culture, means they occupy a central place within historical research and the heritage sector. This conference welcomes contributions without limit of time or place that link arms, armour and society, to encourage collaborative, measured conversation on their social, cultural, and political contexts.

Demonstrating that the study of arms and armour can take many forms, this conference will bring together early career and postgraduate researchers with academic and heritage professionals to explore the relationship and intersection between society and armaments. With the Royal Armouries Museum as the backdrop, it seeks to highlight the innovative academic research currently being undertaken, and demonstrate the benefits of preserving and working up-close with collections and artefacts.

To this end, the Steering Committee invites the submission of abstracts of no more than 200 words based on original research from any perspective or discipline relating to the study of arms and armour. We particularly welcome innovative and/or interdisciplinary methodological approaches that aim to highlight the range of insights the study of arms and armour can bring. Papers should be no more than 20 minutes and themes may include, but are not limited to:

  • The development of arms and the experience of war – what can weaponry reveal about weapon cultures and cultures of violence? How can we trace social and national trends through weaponry and war?
  • Gender, emotions, and senses – how were arms and armour sensed and experienced? Did notions of gender, social status, or age shape access to specific weaponry?
  • Weapons as material culture – what can arms and armour reveal about memorial, art, currency, and popular culture? Did their meanings differ in various transnational and international contexts?
  • Heritage and public interaction – what role can museums play in showcasing and engaging the wider public in weapons, armour, and history?

The Royal Armouries welcome applications from scholars at all stages of their careers, and postgraduate/early career researchers are explicitly encouraged to submit their own papers or participate in panels. The event will be held in-person and include an opportunity to handle items from the national collection of arms and armour related to the themes of the conference.

To apply, please send a title and abstract to mark.bennett@armouries.org.uk by 9am on Monday 17th October 2022. The steering committee are also happy to answer any questions and provide assistance with submissions via the same email address. The steering committee anticipate communicating decisions on submissions by the end of October.