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The Medieval at Home: Domesticity in the Middle Ages
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When: Saturday, February 15, 2020
Where: United States

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The Medieval Studies Program at Cornell University is pleased to announce its thirtieth annual graduate student colloquium, which will take place on the 15th of February 2020 at the A.D. White House on Cornell’s Ithaca, NY campus.

This year's colloquium focuses on medieval domesticity. The domestic sphere includes the political, everyday, spiritual, and economic dimensions of medieval life. From the subterranean rock houses of Cappadocia to the family dynamics represented in Konrad von Würzburg’s Herzmäre, from Late Antique religious values of the household to late medieval visual representations of everyday household tasks, such as bread-making, feasting, farming, and weaving, domestic spaces and activities were driving forces in conceptualizing religion, gender, politics, sexuality, race, and family life. We also welcome papers that critique modern nationalist fantasies of a medieval “homeland.”

We invite 20 minute papers that investigate domestic space in the Middle Ages from all disciplines and perspectives. Possible topics may include:

  • Household archaeology
  • Spatial politics
  • Communal spaces
  • Domestic labor
  • Displacement from the home
  • Hospitality
  • Home as a literary motif
  • Gendering the household
  • Regulating domestic activities
  • Public and private spaces
  • Religious/spiritual homes
  • Othering of space/Othering of people
  • Political rhetoric of the household
  • Everydayness

Furthermore, we welcome submissions that expand these themes and categories of inquiry beyond Christian, Western European contexts. We invite submissions in all disciplines allied to Medieval Studies, including literature, history, the history of art, archaeology, philosophy, classics, theology, Near Eastern Studies, Asian Studies, and others. Abstracts on all topics will be considered, though priority will be given to those which address our thematic strand.

Please send 300-word abstracts by December 7th to Ryan Lawrence at

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