Call for Papers: Edited Cluster on Medieval Minds and Matter

Elemental Diagram
Description: Diagram of the four elements: fire, water, air, earth. British Library MS Harley 3017 f. 92. Public Domain.

This proposed collection considers the diverse descriptions, theories and accounts of minds found in a variety of medieval sources in order to advance our knowledge of medieval minds and materiality. Through a flexible publication format we hope to create an ongoing conversation, presenting clusters with editorials and response essays as well as a forum to explore and enlarge the definition of the medieval mind, medieval materiality and the notion of the ‘medieval’ itself in a global context, as well as the paradoxical, ambiguous, and slippery relationships between the material and immaterial.

The scope of the collection begins with an established set of essays on the early medieval and European, but will be expanded to include an anticipated cluster of c.12 essays in 3 clusters of 4-6 essays spread across multiple issues. Accepted essays will appear in a cluster in one of the following issues and one one of the following timescales:

1) Medieval Worlds 16 (article submission: 1 June 2022, publication: 1 December 2022)

2) Medieval Worlds 17 (article submission: 1 December 2022, publication: 1 July 2023)

We welcome abstracts for papers on themes related to ‘Minds and Matter’. This call for papers is particularly interested in abstracts covering the non-Christian—the Islamicate world and Judaism, for example—and the non-European, subscribing to a broadly-conceived comparative notion of a global Middle Ages. We also hope to receive abstracts specifically focused on material culture. We look forward to contributions helping us explore the intersections between medieval minds and materialities, and bringing together new theoretical approaches to mental landscapes, medieval and medievalist.

Please send an abstract of no more than 500 words to James L. Smith (james.smith [at] and Merel Veldhuizen (mev1g13 [at] The deadline for Medieval Worlds 16 abstracts is 27 August 2021, but submissions for issue 17 are also being accepted at this time.

[Please note the extended submission deadline]