A conference on 'Mobility and Space in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe' will be held on Friday 23rd June 2017 at the University of Oxford.
The application of spatial paradigms to the study of late medieval and early modern societies is now well underway. In contrast, the so-called ‘mobility turn’ has struggled to find its way from the social sciences to the humanities and particularly to disciplines concerned with the study of the past. This conference proposes to bring the two together by exploring how everyday mobility contributed to the shaping of late medieval and early modern spaces, and how spatial frameworks affected the movement of people in pre-modern Europe.
In focusing on these issues, the conference also intends to relate to current social challenges. The world is now more mobile than ever, yet it is often argued that more spatial boundaries exist today than ever before. The conference hopes to reflect on this contemporary paradox by exploring the long-term history of the tension between the dynamism of communities, groups and individuals, and the human construction of places and boundaries.
Prospective speakers are invited to submit proposals of no more than 300 words for 20-minute papers. Papers may engage with questions of mobility and space at a variety of levels (regional, urban, domestic) and interdisciplinary approaches are particularly encouraged.
Potential sub-topics may include, but are by no means limited to:
Performing space through movement (urban processions, revolts on the move, border patrols & frontier trespassing)
Mobile practices in public spaces (itinerant courts & diplomatic exchanges, periodic markets & temporary fairs, travelling performances)
Narrating movement, imagining space (pilgrimage guides, merchant itineraries travel diaries, maps & portraits)
Digital scholarship in exploring the intersections between mobility and space (network analysis, flow modelling, GIS-based research)
We plan to edit a volume which will include selected papers from the conference. Thanks to the generosity of our sponsors, we may also be able to provide some travel bursaries to PhDs and ECRs not in receipt of institutional support.
This conference is in association with TORCH Oxford Medieval Studies programme.