Session call for IMC2019: Stranger Things? Uncanny Encounters as Expressions of Societal Tensions across Medieval Worlds/Traditions

Geoffrey Humble's picture

The International Medieval Congress (1-4 July 2019), an annual conference running continuously since 1994, is the biggest humanities event in Europe, attracting almost 2900 delegates in 2018. This session seeks to trace the fringes of the normative as defined by diverse societies and groups in their recording of the uncanny and the strange during the period broadly defined by European Middle Ages. Such accounts, which probe the boundaries of the credible, the orthodox and the fantastic, locate the edges of both the mundane and the permissible, and hint at the alignment of both canonical assumptions and underlying tensions within the societies producing them.

We are very keen to incorporate contributions across methodologies and disciplines, and across and beyond Europe’s fuzzy bounds - the panels build on the growing presence at Leeds of scholars working on geographical and cultural contexts across Europe, Africa and Asia to offer further opportunities for fruitful exchange and cross-cultural comparison.

Topics may include, but are not limited to:

The monstrous, ghosts and hauntings, the didactic use of horror, uncanny people, dragons and other uncanny creatures, unicorns / abada / qilin / kirin / shadhavar, etc., djinns, bahamuts, ghouls, changelings, uncanny landscapes, exorcism, aja’ib marvels, magical or strange objects, shapeshifting, were-animals, dream warnings, miraculous or demonic birth, magic and magical skills, guardian spirits and genius loci

The session organisers are Rose Sawyer, Kaan Gorman and Geoff Humble (University of Leeds)

Please send paper titles and brief abstracts (no more than 200 words) to Geoff Humble no later than 10 August 2018.

The call for papers for IMC 2019 can be found here: