Call for Papers

54nd International Medieval Congress, Western Michigan University (Kalamazoo, May 9 to 12, 2019)

Deadline for submission of paper proposals is September 1, 2018

East meets West: Revisiting the Medieval Dichotomy of Place and Space in Asia and Europe


In light of persistent antagonisms between the Europe and Asian countries like China and Iran, the imaginary line demarcating West from East remains as powerful as ever. This roundtable delves into the nature and evolution of this geographical and ideological dichotomy as it emerges in the Middle Ages (7th through 13th c:) through an interdisciplinary lens that invites perspectives from both sides of the divide. We will explore questions such as: the origins and developments of ‘Europe’ and ‘Asia’ as textual, historical and cartological concepts; travel narratives to Central and East Asia; historical or trade accounts like the Geriza manuscripts and Carpini’s Historia Mongolorum; comparative perspectives on encounters the Crusades or Mongol invasions; Franciscan missionizing efforts to the Persians and Tang dynasty; accounts of foreigners in local courts like Rabban Bar Sauma or Buscarello de Ghizolfi; and iconic figures like Prester John of Ethiopia and St. Thomas in India. This panel thus seeks to open a more nuanced window onto the intellectual discourses and interdisciplinary communities that gave shape to the concepts of space and place in the global Middle Ages.

SUBMISSION DEADLINE: Saturday, September 1, 2018

CONTACT: David M. Reher, University of Chicago

Sponsored by ACMRS (Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies)



Call for Papers for the 54nd International Medieval Congress sponsored by ACMRS

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