Call for Papers: Networks – Cooperation – Rivalry, The Fourth Biennial Conference of the Medieval Central Europe Research Network, University of Gdansk

Networks – Cooperation – Rivalry

The Fourth Biennial Conference of the Medieval Central Europe Research Network

University of Gdansk (Gdańsk, Poland), 22–24 April 2020

Call for Papers

After successful conferences in Budapest (2014), Olomouc (2016) and Zagreb (2018), the Fourth Biennial Conference of MECERN ( will examine the building of networks in Central Europe, as well as between Central Europe and other parts of Europe and the wider world. It will raise the question whether this process was based on cooperation or competition, on solidarity or rivalry, and will trace the short and long-term impacts, and eventual disintegration of these networks. In other words, the conference will explore medieval Central Europe as a conglomerate of structured and interrelated, but often changeable ties. By invoking new paradigms, this approach encourages historians from Central Europe or writing about Central Europe to reject the national perspective and national myths concerning this subject.

We welcome proposals from scholars at all stage of career, researching all aspects of medieval past, from political, social, cultural, economic, ecclesiastical, urban, artistic, material, literary, intellectual and legal history. Having Central Europe as their starting point, papers and session proposals may address the following issues:

– rivalry and competition for power in Central Europe

– building Central European alliances; dynastic connections, including contacts with Western Europe and wider Eurasia

– temporary and permanent agreements or contracts of an economic, social or political nature

– network building between families, kin-groups, social groups, economic organisations; trade contacts

– Church connections and rivalry in Central Europe and beyond

– religious organisations, brotherhoods, networks of monasteries and monks

– medieval schools and universities as places of networking

– the development of the idea of networks in the Middle Ages

– networks of law; legal ties between cities

– inclusion and exclusion: developments outside the network structure

– artistic aspects of networks (the existence of artists’ networks)

– material culture and of objects – what archaeology says about networks

– modern historiography on networks; the concepts of rivalry and cooperation in the Middle Ages

Both individual and panel submissions are encouraged. Papers are twenty minutes long. In addition, the call is open for poster presentations. A poster session will include five-minute presentations from each accepted poster presented.

Deadline for submissions: 15 October 2019 Please submit a 250-word abstract and a one-page CV to

Expected registration fee: 75 EUR PhD students: reduced fee 40 EUR

Accepted participants will be notified by 30 November 2019