People, Places and Possessions, 1350-1550

Deadline:  24 April 2016

University of Oxford, Oxford, UK — 3 September 2016

A one-day symposium at the University of Oxford, ‪in association with Oxford Medieval Studies, sponsored by the Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities (TORCH)

Keynote Address, Dr Felicity Heal

Spatial and material culture based approaches to the medieval and early modern world are now well established, with researchers from a range of disciplines and scholarly perspectives using objects, buildings and landscapes to explore the ways in which past social relationships were created, enacted, maintained and negotiated. The rise of digital humanities and the development of online repositories such as the Portable Antiquities Scheme have also encouraged new ways of thinking about the material world, offering fresh approaches and sources for the study of aspects such as gender, memory and social status. More recently, the increasing drive to extend the threshold of the middle ages to 1550 has seen medievalists and early modernists brought into dialogue with one another, while the strengthening dialogue between academic institutions and the heritage sector has highlighted the rich potential for future collaborative initiatives.

This interdisciplinary one-day symposium will bring together academic researchers and representatives from the heritage sector, to consider the value of objects, places and spaces for understanding the social, cultural, economic and political landscape of the period 1350-1550. The aim of this symposium is to provide a forum for speakers and participants to reflect upon and anticipate new avenues for material culture studies.

Paper topics might include but are by no means limited to:

– The Materiality of Gender, Sexuality and Emotions

– Objects and Sites of Power, Exclusion and Privilege

– Places, Possessions and Memory

– Literature as Material Culture and Material Culture as Literature

– Object, Building and Landscape Biographies

– Identity formation through the Material World

– The Materiality of the Gift

– Documentary Archaeology

We invite prospective speakers to submit proposals of no more than 250 words for 20 minute papers, along with their paper title and affiliation and by Sunday 24th April 2016.


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