The Medieval Association of Place and Space invites paper proposals for three sessions at the Medieval Congress at Kalamazoo, May 11–14, 2017. The deadline for proposals is September 15, 2016. Please submit all proposals to Matthew Boyd Goldie, indicating in which panel you would be interested participating.


Virtual Mappa (British Library), DM (University of Pennsylvania), Outremer (Fordham), Early Medieval Maps (University College London), Pelagios, and other projects have begun to show the diversity and utility of digital maps of various kinds. Congress attendees are eager to learn about the practical, theoretical, and pedagogical implications of digital projects; these sessions are in part a response to interest expressed at the 2016 Congress. These two linked sessions will explore the rapidly developing role of geographic information systems (GIS) in medieval studies, both the geospatial presentation of data and the digitization of medieval maps and other visual media.

Geoinformatics I: Practices, Successes, and Challenges of GIS and Digital Images (workshop): The first workshop session will offer overviews and (where feasible) hands-on demonstrations of established digital projects and ones in development. The benefits will be for attendees to learn about the projects, interact with developers, and gain an understanding of the ways they may go about beginning their own large or small geoinformation projects. The workshop’s goals will however go beyond introductions to the projects in order for workshop participants to discuss the challenges in building GIS and other platforms and to outline the benefits for researchers and teachers. Submit your proposal here.

Geoinformatics II: Implications of Medieval Geodata and Digital Maps (panel discussion): The aim of the second panel discussion will be to examine, theoretically and otherwise, the approaches and results of geoinformation for the Middle Ages. Papers may explore how GIS and other digital projects can produce new findings as well as investigating any potential shortcomings. Analysis in terms of theorizations of geoinformatics, space more generally, and geographical and imaginary spaces are particularly welcome. Questions panelists might address include: What are medieval data? How qualitatively rich can digital information be, and what kinds of texts can or should be mapped? How is the visual presentation of data different from a written account? Are there useful ways to map non-specific or non-geographic spaces, and are there compelling reasons to do so? Submit your proposal here.

Space Oddities (panel discussion):

Research into spatial phenomena in historical, literary, and visual sources has revealed many of the intellectual and cultural underpinnings of the often unique ways the Middle Ages considered space and the contents of real and imagined places. Scholars have furthered our understandings of ideas about the cosmos, non-European cultures, non-human creatures, the ars memoriae, and more. This panel seeks to extend this work by focusing on the more peculiar ways that space was addressed and the very different phenomena it could contain. Panelists will present on outlandish, internally inconsistent, eccentric, and other spatial entities that present challenges and do not conform to current understandings of geospace or expectations of what they would encounter. Submit your proposal here.


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