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2020 Conference CFP

The Court in the World; the World in the Court

16-17th April 2020

University of Cambridge

Building on the success of the 2019 international congress in Exeter, which explored notions of courtly communities and networks, the 2020 meeting of the ICLS British Branch focusses on the theme of the court in its global contexts, asking: what can medieval literary texts tell us about the place of the court in the world and, concomitantly, the place of the world in the court? What are the court’s connections to the wider world? How are we to conceptualise them? What are the roles played by narratives, texts, manuscripts, and other cultural artefacts in making and maintaining these networks? What are the religious and secular dimensions of this global court, and how do they interrelate? What is the relationship between the court and the material world (ecologies, landscapes, etc.)?


Proposals are invited for 20-minute papers addressing the following themes:

  • Diversity in the courtly world
  • Ecologies and landscapes of the courtly world
  • Courtly knowledge and science
  • Religious networks of the court
  • Representations of the world and otherworlds
  • Encounters with others in the court
  • Porous boundaries of the court
  • Multilingualism and multilingual encounters in the courtly world
  • Translation in the court
  • Courtly cosmopolitanism


We particularly welcome proposals for full panels (of 3 to 4 papers) in order for the programme to represent a wide range of languages and disciplines. Please send proposals to Dr Matt Lampitt ( by 13th December 2019.*

Thanks to generous support from St John’s College, Cambridge, we are delighted to be able to provide a number of grants for postgraduate, retired, and unwaged speakers. Please indicate if you would like to be considered for this funding.

The programme will also feature a visit to St John's College Library Special Collections for a guided tour of the Old Library and the chance to see a selection of manuscripts.

*Please note that speakers are required to be members of a branch of the ICLS. For joining details, please contact Dr Matt Lampitt (