The Middle Ages themselves seem to be the “Other” – people, events or ideas that are in a past that we may never really grasp. There are concepts of the Middle Ages that create an image of binaries: sets of male/female, Christian/Muslim, Norman/Anglo-Saxon or simply Free/Unfree have had an impact on our point-of-view, research and popular culture. Developments in postcolonial studies, gender and queer studies, social studies or disability studies as well as individual concepts, ideas and approaches have changed and challenged the way the Middle Ages are approached and researched.

As an informal network of PhD Students, early career and independent scholars from universities in the UK and Germany, we are currently organising some sessions for the IMC 2017 that explore these new approaches in light of the IMC 2017 special thematic strand “Other” and are looking for papers that address some of the below questions:

Gender in the 9th to 12th centuries

  • How did constructs and concepts of Gender evolve in the Middle Ages?
  • How was Gender expressed in medieval material culture or medieval thought?
  • Are there set markers to differentiate genders at all or are there fluid transitions?
  • Is there a clear-cut notion of Gender as the “Other/Otherness”?

Group & Individual Identity in the 9th to 12th centuries

  • How was “the Self/the Other” constructed in medieval concepts of Nation and Individual?
  • Are there markers of identity to differentiate between “the Self” and “the Other” for Groups and the Individual in medieval material culture?
  • Is there a precise idea of Groups and Individuals as the “Other/Otherness”?

Comparative approaches, the “Other” and World History in the 9th to 12thcenturies

  • May we gain insights from drawing comparisons between events, movements or ideas from our Eurocentric Middle Ages and contemporary events, movements or ideas in world history?
  • Are there similarities in contemporary social concepts, identities or other?
  • What about “the Other” that takes place outside our Eurocentric Middle Ages?


Feel free to contribute a paper to our sessions if you feel that your research, your own ideas or side projects touch on these questions or may even provide an answer. We especially encourage scholars of gender, queer, postcolonial, social and disability studies to present new approaches.


Abstracts of no more than 250 words (excluding title) and the usual info on affiliation and current career stage should be send to daniel.alistair.brown [at] until September 3rd.

For more information: