CFP: Material Culture of War, IMC Leeds 2019

A call for papers from our colleague Allan Murray at Leeds:

 Call for Papers — International Medieval Congress, Leeds 2019 

THE STUFF OF WAR: Material Cultures of Medieval Warfare 

[download as a PDF]

Scholars have (rightly) dedicated much time and attention to the study of immaterial aspects of medieval warfare, such as organisation, strategy, tactics, generalship, finance and ideology. Yet all of these elements were dependent upon material culture; the actual ‘stuff of war’ comprised not only weapons and armour, but constructions, siege machinery, ships, wagons, horses, medical equipment, clothes, tents, banners, musical instruments and any number of other objects. Much scholarship studies the form and typology of weapons and armour; yet it is equally important to study the use and functionality of such objects, and similar considerations apply to a wide range of phenomena relating to warfare. The theme of IMC 2018, ‘materiality’, presents an opportunity for scholars to bring together research on these dimensions of military history. Submissions are invited for a series of sessions which will seek to examine practical, pragmatic and functional aspects of the materiality of warfare in the central and later Middle Ages (1050–1500). Papers of 20 minutes’ length from historical, literary, archaeological, art historical and interdisciplinary perspectives are all welcomed. The organisers intend to publish a volume of essays based on the sessions. 

Possible topics for discussion could include (but are not limited to) the following broad headings and detailed topics within them: 

  • Landscape – the impact of topography and geography on warfare; fortifications and other constructions. 
  • Logistics – transport, shipping, provisioning and supply, horses, payment, booty. 
  • Arms – functionality and use of weapons, armour and artillery. 
  • Injury ‒ wounds and their effects, medical care and medicine, medical equipment, disability aids. 
  • Acoustics ‒ communications, music and song, musical instruments, war-cries, the soundscape of battle. 
  • Visual Culture ‒ insignia, banners, heraldry, badges, camouflage and disguise. 

Abstracts of up to 200 words should be sent to either of the organisers by Monday 10 September 2018. Please include personal and contact details (including academic affiliation), paper title, abstract, and A-V requirements. 

Alan V. Murray, Institute for Medieval Studies, University of Leeds, 

James Titterton, Institute for Medieval Studies, University of Leeds, 

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