IMC Leeds 2020
CFP Medieval Catastrophe and Community
Although natural disasters -- an earthquake, flood, or plague --and man-made catastrophes, --defeat in battle, bad government, or factional discord-- were often presented in medieval sources as phenomena that wrought destruction and chaos, they can also be understood as catalysts for creating communities with a set of well-drawn boundaries. These boundaries might be jurisdictional or administrative, confessional or kin-based, local or transregional, real or imagined, and expressed in image, text, or action. Whether experienced by one person and then generalized to a larger group, or experienced by many, the shared nature of catastrophe could be used readily to define a larger collective. The communities that emerged in reaction to a catastrophe either called upon existing rationales for group belonging or were crafted specifically to respond to the crisis at hand. We are looking for papers that consider the role of catastrophe in creating or solidifying group boundaries and are interested in investigating the dynamic of disaster and community demarcation from any medieval setting or source-base.