Lordship, Landscape, and Lineage Mini-Conference

Sponsored by the American Society for Medieval Irish Studies

The Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies at Saint Louis University, in conjunction with the American Society for Irish Medieval Studies, invites proposals for papers, sessions, or roundtable discussions for an upcoming mini-conference. We aim to bring together an interdisciplinary group of scholars to consider the sources of authority and identity in the medieval and early modern Isles. In response to the multiple hierarchies and systems of authority that coexisted and competed in this period, the ruling classes of the Isles developed strategies and mechanisms of negotiation to navigate the hybrid societies that emerged from successive waves of invasion and migration. This mini-conference seeks to explore the means by which these ruling classes claimed legitimacy and constructed their communal and dynastic identities in response to these hybrid societies.

Preliminary guiding questions for proposals include:
  • What was the relationship between individual, autonomous modes of rulership (e.g. lordship) and more centralized modes of rulership like kingship?
  • How did uses of the past contribute to contemporary claims to legitimacy?
  • How were claims of legitimacy and/or illegitimacy conceived, used, and challenged?
  • How did legal traditions and expectations of lordship intersect with actual practice?
  • What was the relationship between institutional and individual authority? How were institutions created, used, and subverted for individual or dynastic claims?

These questions should be considered as a starting point rather than as an exclusive list. Applicants are invited to submit proposals for papers or sessions addressing any of the conference's themes.

Please submit a brief CV along with an abstract of roughly 300 words to Meg Smith (meg.smith@slu.edu) by December 15.

Please direct questions to:

Thomas Finan
Director, Walter J. Ong, S.J. Center for Digital Humanities

Meg Smith
Department of History, Saint Louis University