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

MECERN Memeber appointed the Marie Skłodowska Curie Actions’ Research Fellow at the Royal Holloway University of London

Starting from July 1, Nada Zecevic, the MECERN’s Research Companion to Medieval Central Europe Managing Editor and Associate Professor in Medieval History at the Faculty of Philosophy of the University of East Sarajevo, has been appointed the Marie Skłodowska Curie Actions’ Research Fellow at the History Department of the Royal Holloway University of London. There, she will conduct her research on A Comparative Diachronic Analysis of Post-Byzantine Networks in the Early-modern Europe (15th-18th c.) (MSCA IF-EF-ST no. 747857, acronym MIGWEB), in collaboration with Prof. Jonathan Harris.

The project focuses on the emigration from the Balkans and Greece to western Europe since the fall of the Byzantine capital of Constantinople in 1453 to the mid-eighteenth century, when the Balkan region was dominated by the Ottoman Empire. It will examine how the émigrés connected with each other to build efficient networks that kept and protected their interests, but also how various émigré groups interacted with their host societies amidst changing historical conditions. In order to discern some common „patterns” of exchange and interaction that channeled the émigrés’ integration into the wider context of the early-modern Europe, the project will use an interdisciplinary approach that integrates historical, anthropological and demographic analysis, thus also reflecting upon the wider significance which the movement of people from the Byzantine and post-Byzantine East had in building the common European heritage.





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