Speaking in Tongues: Language, Communication and Power in the Middle Ages is seeking submissions for papers of twenty minutes surrounding the issues of translation, multilingualism, and cross-lingual administration in the medieval period. The full CFP follows:
Speaking in Tongues: Language, Communication and Power in the Middle Ages
Institute of Historical Research, Senate House, London
14th of June 2013
Communication in the Middle Ages could take place within a wide spectrum of languages, dialects, and tongues. This conference, planned for the 14th of June 2013, will explore how the use and manipulation of language can contribute to our understanding of ‘real-world’ medieval cultural interaction, and investigate how complex ideas and societal mores were communicated and translated between languages. How did people overcome governmental and administrative challenges in multilingual environments? How were concepts and theories transmitted through cultures, across borders, or within the peripheries of Christendom? What kind of problems presented themselves in the realms of East-West relations, diplomatic missions, synods, and church councils?
This interdisciplinary conference, bringing together the linguistic, cultural, and historical, will be held at the IHR in central London. It will comprise of four broad thematic strands, interspersed with refreshments, a catered lunch, wine reception, and a keynote lecture, delivered by Dr Alan V. Murray (University of Leeds):
- Cultural and political interaction in central and eastern Europe.
- Ecclesiastical administration and theory
- Byzantium and the gateway to Europe
- The Latin East, crusader states, and knightly orders
Proposals for papers of 20 minutes, fitting broadly within one of the above thematic strands, are welcomed both from early career scholars, and from postgraduate students, before the extended deadline of 26th of April 2013. Further enquiries and proposals for papers should be sent to the organisers, Simon Parsons and Mark Whelan, at
Attendance at the conference is free but registration is necessary. To register please email the organisers at the above address. In order that candidates from outside London are able to attend, we hope to be able to provide limited travel expenses to speakers from outside London. Postgraduates should therefore make their status and their institution clear when submitting their proposal to achieve the best use of funds.
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