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Journeys: Discovery and Belonging

Australian Early Medieval Association Conference hosted by The University of Western Australia


Image: Caravan on the Silk Road, 1375, Wikimedia Commons.

Date: 30 September–2 October 2020
Venue: The University of Western Australia
Call For Papers Deadline: TBA
Enquiries: andrew.lynch@uwa.edu.augeorgina.pitt@research.uwa.edu.au, and rosemaryatwell86@gmail.com

About the Conference

In 2020, the AEMA annual conference will take place at the picturesque campus of The University of Western Australia in Perth. AEMA starts with a public lecture and reception for registrants on the evening of Wednesday September 30. It runs from October 1–2, and will include a Masterclass for postgraduates and early career researchers on the afternoon of October 2. AEMA will be followed by a joint conference of the Perth Medieval and Renaissance Group and Limina: A Journal of Historical and Cultural Studies, October 3–4.

The theme for the AEMA conference is Journeys: Discovery and Belonging. The period we study was marked by the disintegration of established political and social orders, widespread migrations and incursions, and rising competition between religious ideologies. Developing forms of inter-cultural contact and exchange gave rise to new ways of conceptualising and articulating identity and alterity. While new boundaries – physical and ideational – were established, all boundaries remained porous. People, objects and ideas continued to circulate, to take journeys.

How did existing communities and new migrants adapt to, or resist, each other?  How were institutions modified to include, accommodate or exclude new worldviews? What was the role of material culture in holding fast to the old, and in legitimising and promoting new polities, new ethnicities, and new ideologies? How did cross-cultural contacts in the early medieval period shape history?

It is hoped that participants will take advantage of the back-to-back conferences to explore new networks and different approaches. The theme for the PMRG/Limina conference is Adaptation in the Humanities: Reimagining the Past, Present and Future. Our knowledge of the world – imagined, experienced, or learned – is constantly in flux. As humans, we change, adapt, and mould the environments around us, the knowledge systems we use, and the items we create. Adaptation can be forced through the presentation of an obstacle, or it can occur symbiotically within a group.

Keynote Speaker


Call for Papers

Coming soon.