CfP, ‘Jewish Materialities’, IMC 2019, University of Leeds (1-4 July, 2019)

CfP: Jewish Materialities (IMC 2019, University of Leeds, 1-4 July 2019)

Next year’s International Medieval Congress will feature an exciting special strand: “Materialities”.

General CfP:

The “material turn” of the last two decades has affected not only the traditionally “material-ist” disciplines such as archaeology and art history, but also others, as we attend not only to artefacts and the materiality of books and other forms of text, but also to bodies and environments.

Were there Jewish parallels to the “animation” of religious objects, as analysed by Caroline Walker Bynum in European Christian culture (

What cultures of materiality or, “immateriality” did medieval Jewish communities in other parts of the world develop?

How did medieval Jewish people sense the material world, in relation to the immaterial? How did gender play a role in ideas about the senses?

How might we analyse medieval Jewish theologies, philosophies, and sociology of materiality?

How did Christians, Muslims and others who were not Jewish perceive the connections between Jews and matter?  Or in turn, to what extent did Jews create counter-narratives to suggestions that they were more bound to the literal, physical world? Is there something new we can say about medieval perceptions of Jewish “carnality”?

Whether you work with objects or with texts that mention objects, whether you work on Jewish and inter-communal spaces, or on architecture, with manuscripts or early printed books, the actual materials of our research are paramount. In our time of digital resources and virtual communities, we should not forget the material middle ages. Paper proposals on all aspects related to medieval Jewish materialities are invited.


NB: Alongside the special strand, all other topics in Jewish Studies are also welcome!

Can’t come? Send your (advanced) Ph.D. students! And spread the word!

Deadline for individual paper submissions: 31 August 2018.
Deadline for panels/sessions or roundtables: 30 September 2018.

Submission is online via:

Looking forward to seeing you in Leeds,

Alexandra Cuffel, IMC programming committee 2019-,

Eva Frojmovic, ex-programming committee,

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