Call for Papers: Networks – Cooperation – Rivalry

The Fourth Biennial Conference of the Medieval Central Europe Research Network

Online, organized by the University of Gdańsk, 7–9 April 2021

After successful conferences in Budapest (2014), Olomouc (2016) and Zagreb (2018), the Fourth Biennial Conference of MECERN (postponed from 2020 and moved to an online format) 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.


Due to the move to the online format, the Organizing Committee has decided to open the
possibility for new applicants to propose papers for a short additional period. 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: 23 January 2021

Please submit a 250-word abstract and a one-page CV to  mecerngdansk21@gmail.com
Expected registration fee: 30 EUR, PhD students: reduced fee 20 EUR

Accepted participants will be notified by 15 February 2021