The Material World of the Early Middle Ages

Call for Papers

Pacific University, Forest Grove, Oregon
October 7–9, 2016

Keynote Speakers:SEMA-2016-Call for Papers
Paul Edward Dutton (Simon Fraser University)
Robin Fleming (Boston College)
Thomas F. X. Noble (University of Notre Dame, Emeritus)

Scholars have long relied upon material evidence in order to understand the early Middle Ages. With the “material turn” of recent years in Medieval Studies, we invite early medievalists of all disciplines and specialization to a conference meant to examine, question, and build upon recent work on materiality. We seek to explore the whole world of the early Middle Ages by including papers that discuss the ways in which early medieval people experienced, altered, and were transformed by the material. By “material,” we include objects, artworks, buildings, texts, and other tangible items that survived as well as the “materials” discussed in texts or found in the natural world that we know existed but have been lost to time, decay, and change. We welcome a range of papers that will investigate this “world” expansively from a variety of vantage points such as the natural world, the materiality of the human body, the built environment, society, religion, and the imagination.

Please send an abstract of 250 words and a CV to Valerie Garver ( or Lynda Coon ( via email attachment. On your abstract please provide name, institution, and the title of your proposal.

Abstracts are due June 1, 2016.