Call for Papers: Identity Abroad conference

The Centre is delighted to announce the Call for Papers for the Identity Abroad in Central and Late Medieval Europe and the Mediterranean conference which will be held in Cambridge on 7-8 January 2022.

The conference is being organised by doctoral students at Oxford and Cambridge and is supported by the Oxford Centre for Global History, the Society for the Medieval Mediterranean, CRASSH (Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences, and Humanities), the Haskins Society, and the Centre for Global Human Movement in Cambridge.

Confirmed Keynote Speakers include Professor Miri Rubin (Queen Mary University, London), Professor Roser Salicrú i Lluch (Institució Milà i Fontanals, CSIC, Barcelona) and Professor Teresa Shawcross (Princeton University)

Download Identity Abroad Conference CfP

Life in the central and late Middle Ages was characterised by high levels of mobility and migration. Shifts in political, economic, cultural and religious life encouraged and sometimes forced individuals and groups to move ‘abroad’ permanently or temporarily, to places nearby or further afield.

The position and impact of these ‘foreigners’ in societies has been widely discussed. However, what is less considered is how they understood and (re)presented themselves. This conference aims to explore the construction, expression, and practical significance of different forms of social identity among individuals and groups living ‘abroad’ in Europe and the Mediterranean in the period between the eleventh and fifteenth centuries.

Proposals are invited for 20-minute papers from graduate and early career researchers working across all relevant disciplines in the Humanities and Social Sciences. By bringing together a variety of different perspectives, the conference not only aims to consider how ‘identity abroad’ functioned in specific contexts, but also to emphasise developments, patterns, and divergences. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Individuals and groups living ‘abroad’, such as merchants, artisans, pilgrims, scholars, diplomats, soldiers, exiles, ethnic and religious minorities, and captives and enslaved people
  • Voluntary or forced, temporary or permanent migration
  • Importance of political allegiance, language, cultural heritage, and faith in identity construction
  • Means of identity expression, such as written production and material culture
  • Relations between different ‘foreign’ individuals and groups
  • Interaction and assimilation/resistance to assimilation with ‘local’ populations, institutions, and rulers
  • Impact of gender, socio-economic background, and other types of differences
  • Theoretical explorations of the concepts of ‘identity’, ‘foreignness’, and ‘abroad’ in the Middle Ages

Abstracts of 250 words and a short biographical note should be sent to by 12 September 2021. For more information, visit and follow @identityabroad on Twitter.



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*The conference is currently planned as an in-person event; this may change according to developments in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic.