Crisis and Resilience in Medieval Africa - Navigating Political, Environmental, and Cultural Upheaval, panels at the 2024 International Medieval Congress, University of Leeds, July 1–4, 2024
The International Medieval Congress in Leeds for 2023 had announced "Crisis" as its special thematic strand. Building on last year's theme of "African Networks and Entanglements", we invite contributions for a seres of sessions titled "Crisis and Resilience in Medieval Africa - Navigating Political, Environmental, and Cultural Upheaval." We aim to investigate how diverse African realms and agents—from the Atlantic and West Africa to the Southern Mediterranean, the Horn of Africa, and the Western Indian Ocean—navigated various crises between 200 and 1600 CE.
We encourage papers that delve into the role of specific African realms, political entities, or agents at micro-. meso-, and macro level, and are interested in research that centers political, economic, religious, cultural, intellectual, artistic, or diplomatic responses.
We welcome explorations of the following questions, among others:
- How did medieval kingdoms and societies respond to crises? What mechanisms of resilience were in place?
- How were cruise represented and understood? Were there unique religious or philosophical frameworks for understanding and negotiating crises?
- What were the economic consequences of crises? Did they lead to shifts in trade networks or economic systems?
- Crises and the environment: How did environmental crises like drought, famine, epidemics, or natural disasters affect political and social structures?
- How did crises catalyze or disrupt religious and cultural interactions with different African realms and regions, as well as with the larger Afro-Eurasian world?
We encourage abstracts from scholars at all career states and from various research backgrounds, including history, art history, archaeology, philology, and religious studies.
Travel bursaries are available to support attendance of early career researchers, independent scholars, and those working outside of North America/European academe.
Abidemi Babatunde Babalola, British Museum
Andrea M. Achi, Metropolitan Museum of Art
Solomon Gebreyes Beyene, Hamburg University
Serena Krebs, Ruhr-University Bochum