Banners on campus welcoming delegates to the International Medieval Congress

Otherness and the International Medieval Congress 2017

The thematic strand of “Otherness” for the 2017 IMC provided a focal point for important discussions about diversity and inclusiveness – in the medieval period, at the Congress, and in medieval studies as a whole.

We welcome the fact the debate continues even after the IMC has ended, and the team has begun going through feedback from this year’s Congress.

We are grateful for the constructive feedback already received and will be reviewing it as part of our determination to improve future events, build positive ways forward and work with the widest possible community of scholars to help shape medieval studies for the better.

Delegates still wishing to complete the post-Congress online survey can do so here before Sunday 23 July: leeds.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/imc2017

Update: 31st July 2017

We are grateful to everybody who has taken the time either to complete our survey or to contact us directly regarding this year’s special thematic strand of ‘Otherness’, which has contributed to an important and valuable debate about diversity and inclusion in medieval studies.

The IMC is committed to creating an open, accessible, and inclusive environment. We are listening to the complex and ongoing discussions surrounding both the IMC and medieval studies as a whole. As part of our review to improve the IMC each year, we have been discussing both short-term and longer term plans to address the lack of diversity and encourage medievalists from under-represented groups.

Our next newsletter will outline some of our plans for the 2018 IMC and beyond and will continue to keep medievalists informed over the coming months.

Aside from the keynote speakers, who are proposed by the co-ordinator of the special thematic strand, every session at the IMC is either proposed by individuals or collated from papers that were submitted individually. We are keen to receive proposals from the widest possible community of scholars, and we would be grateful for any suggestions on how we can encourage this diversity.

The IMC also takes the principles of dignity and mutual respect very seriously, and we are sorry for any offence caused by comments made during the introduction to Monday’s opening lecture. This year we introduced our policy on dignity and mutual respect, which we will be reviewing to find better ways of supporting delegates who wish to report any incidents to IMC staff. We are determined to create and encourage a positive, inclusive event for all medievalists to enjoy.

This year we welcomed over 2,400 delegates from 56 countries. Next year, at the 25th annual IMC, medievalists from around the world will share their ideas on the special thematic strand of ‘Memory’. We hope these important conversations will help medievalists to keep broadening, deepening, and growing the field of medieval studies.

Further suggestions and feedback can be emailed to [email protected], or via direct message on Facebook or Twitter.

Axel Müller, Director, International Medieval Congress