Call for papers
International Medieval Congress, University of Leeds, 6-9 July 2020
Reassessing the Boundaries of Kinship in the Late Middle Ages
Sponsor: Marie Skłodowska-Curie action project: GenALMA – Kinship Alliance and Urban Space: The Genoese alberghi in the Late Middle Ages (c. 1150 – c. 1450)
Organiser: Denise Bezzina, Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow, CNRS – Centre Roland Mousnier (Sorbonne Université), firstname.lastname@example.org
Recent scholarship on kinship has evidenced that family structures experienced major modifications along the high to late medieval centuries, eventually leading to the stabilisation of patrilineal kin-groups on the threshold of early modernity. This implies that the boundaries of kinship were more flexible than previously assumed, and that kinship patterns tended to vary from context to context. Studies have likewise nuanced the idea that “blood is thicker than water”, calling attention to other forms of relationships which could influence family structures. In order to evaluate the limits of family in the Late Middle Ages, therefore, we must also take into account those connections which went beyond biological kinship and genealogical relations.
Drawing inspiration from this recent wave of scholarship, this session aims to discuss the different configurations of kinship. Suggested topics for papers include (but are not limited to):
- How sources can be used to evaluate the boundaries of kinship.
- Kinship and interfamilial alliances.
- Forms of “fictive” kinship.
- The boundaries of kinship as defined by the law.
- Practices and rituals that characterised family bonds.
- Cultural and symbolic representations of kinship.
- Relationships that defied “accepted” concepts of family.
Please send abstracts of about 250 words to Denise Bezzina (email@example.com) not later than September 15, 2019. Proposals should include an abstract and full title of your 20-minute paper, your name and affiliation, short bio and full postal and electronic contact details.