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Journeys: Discovery and Belonging

Australian Early Medieval Association Conference hosted by The University of Western Australia [Event cancelled]


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

Please note that due to current circumstances, the 'Journeys: Discovery and Belonging' Conference has been cancelled

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

Visit the Conference website


About the Conference

In 2020, the AEMA annual conference will take place at the picturesque campus of The University of Western Australia in Perth. 

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? 

Keynote Speakers

Dr Victoria Flood (University of Birmingham)

Call for Papers

We invite submissions on the following topics:

  • Exchange across borders- trade, culture, and human trafficking;
  • Maintaining and modifying identity;
  • Maritime exploration;
  • Invasion, settlement, assimilation;
  • Cultural geography: significant space and place;
  • The book as traveller / the reader as voyager;
  • Imagined otherworlds / imagined others;
  • The idea and material expression of homelands;
  • Emotions and journeys / emotional journeys;
  • Pilgrimage and adventure;
  • Travel narratives;
  • First contacts;
  • Reading race and ethnicity: conflict and co-existence;
  • Conversion and religious conflict;
  • Accommodation and defiance—tensions in the quest to belong;
  • Translation, adaptation, linguistic change;
  • Viewing ‘Europe’ from outside;
  • Afterlives of the early medieval in modern identity formation.

AEMA also welcomes papers concerned with all aspects of the Early Medieval period (c. 400–1150) in all cultural, geographic, religious and linguistic settings, even if they do not strictly adhere to the theme.

We especially encourage submissions from graduate students and early career researchers.

Abstracts of 150–200 words for 20-minute papers should be submitted via email to conference@aema.net.au by event cancelled.