International Medieval Congress 2018
Sword-bearing knights, falconry and dragons are among the entertainment planned for this year’s International Medieval Congress
The largest academic conference of its kind in Europe, the International Medieval Congress (IMC) is celebrating its 25th year in 2018, having moved from its original site at the former Bodington Hall to the main campus in 2013.
The historic occasion has struck a chord with medievalists. About 2,900 researchers from 60 countries are expected on campus during the four days (2-5 July), with up to 54 parallel sessions taking place at any time.
Half of these sessions will focus on the specially-selected anniversary theme of ‘Memory’, covering everything from how medieval communities remembered their dead to how popular culture remembers the Middle Ages today.
An exhibition about the IMC’s history at The Marquee in University Square will encourage delegates to share their own Congress memories, in recognition of the number of delegates who met their spouses, formed life-long friendships or developed their careers at the IMC.
In addition to its biggest ever academic programme, the IMC is running a wide range of events, fairs and exhibitions that are open to University staff and members of the public. Musical performances, the IMC Bookfair and Medieval Craft Fair are just a few of the events on offer.
Combat displays, birds of prey and craft demonstrations are among the medieval entertainment at Making Leeds Medieval on Thursday 5 July – and there will even be smoke-breathing dragons roaming University Square!
“Since 1994, when the IMC began, in excess of 20,000 people from more than 90 countries have come to Leeds to experience the Congress,” says Axel Müller, director of the IMC. “We’re very proud of the contribution the Congress makes to the University and to medieval studies research worldwide, and we’re excited to celebrate our 25th year with such an exciting and multi-faceted programme.”
“Leeds also provides the accommodation to suit a range of budgets. We required over 7,000 beds this year, but this was easily facilitated here. In addition, the city is positioned to access a range of historical landmarks, offering many opportunities for cultural visits and tourism to delegates, scoping beyond the programme. It is simply perfect!”
Claire Heap, Head of ConferenceLeeds, commented: “Leeds has become a real hub for international events and conferences, with the International Medieval Congress’s home in the city showcasing this, alongside other recent international wins. Venue space within Leeds is truly excellent and can facilitate large conference numbers. Furthermore, the city is capable of accommodating delegates in brilliant hotels and offers international visitors wonderful, unique experiences, from the Henry Moore Institute to the Royal Armouries to the Leeds Brewery Tour. There is something for everyone.”