IMC 2021: Registration opens for ‘Medieval Glastonbury’

Registration is now open for the 2021 International Medieval Congress (IMC). One of the biggest online academic conferences in the world, this year’s theme is climates.

A close up shot of a medieval manuscript.

The annual conference – dubbed the ‘Medieval Glastonbury Festival’ by delegates – runs from 5-9 July and is organised by the Institute for Medieval Studies at Leeds.

Explaining this year’s choice of theme, IMC Director, Dr Axel Müller, said: “The medieval climate is of interest to modern scientists as an indicator of how societies experience and adapt to rapid change in response to floods, storm surges, volcanic eruptions and drought.

“In the 1,200 years of the Middle Ages, climates fluctuated considerably. For example, during the 14th century, temperatures in Europe became much cooler and wetter than previously, which meant that medieval people had to amend their ways of life as a result of food shortages, animal and human disease, higher rainfall and natural disasters.”

It will be the second virtual version after the 2020 instalment was also forced to go online due to the covid-19 pandemic.

Registration for the 28th congress, which will bring together more than 1,650 speakers from 57 countries, opened at 10am today (Monday 1 March). View the full programme on the IMC website.

Dr Müller said: “Like last year, there will be plenty of interactive opportunities for delegates, and I look forward to being a part of this wonderfully vibrant community once again.”

Prestigious award

There’s an additional reason to celebrate this year after Dr Müller received a prestigious award for outstanding service to medieval studies.

Director of the IMC for 25 years, Dr Müller has received the 2021 Medieval Academy of America Committee on Centers and Regional Associations (CARA) Award, given for leadership in developing, organising and promoting medieval studies.

This is the first time in the 20-year history of the prize that it has been awarded outside of North America. 

Dr Müller said: “I am very honoured to receive this award, and I accept it on behalf of everybody who has made the IMC the success that it is.

“A sign of our strength is that we continue to make the IMC possible – whatever the restrictions worldwide. That is a credit to the fantastic team I have around me, and I want to thank them for their continued dedication and hard work.”

Rich programme of events

The virtual programme – including all academic sessions, bookfairs, exhibitions, performances and more – will be accessible on a dedicated platform.

Events will include a wide variety of activities, from a ‘hands-on’ Cyrillic calligraphy workshop to film screenings. Delegates will also be able to propose their own fringe events to make new connections with researchers around the world.

Since its inception, the IMC has brought thousands of researchers together from different countries, backgrounds and disciplines, providing professional development and networking opportunities in an open and inclusive environment.

Visit the IMC website for further information.

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