Women and Warfare in the Medieval World – CFP

An online Workshop, to be held in February 2022 (specific dates TBA).

The medieval period has long been regarded as inherently violent, an epoch of multiple wars and conflicts, shifting borders, and political transformations. Traditional interpretations of warfare and its outcomes have focussed on these political implications, the development of military institutions, and the male actors within the military sphere. However, warfare was not exclusively the concern of the men who directed and participated in military conflict, and warfare’s and outcomes had widespread consequences that impacted upon the lives of warrior and non-combatant alike, regardless of gender. Despite this, the contributions of women within the military sphere have been overlooked in favour of their male counterparts, or constructed as ‘exceptional’ despite the numerous examples across the medieval period. Moreover, warfare’s influence on the lives of women is all too frequently neglected, giving the impression that war and violent conflict did not have wider-reaching consequences amongst the populations that practiced them.

This workshop aims to bring together a series of papers to broaden this perspective by considering women and their relationship to the military sphere across the medieval world, c.500-1500 CE. Interdisciplinary approaches are most welcome from the fields of history, archaeology, literary studies, art history, etc.

We are interested in papers on, but not limited to, the following themes:

  • Women and crusades
  • Female military leadership and power
  • Women and weapons
  • Women as perpetrators or victims of violence
  • Slavery and sexual violence
  • Emotion and trauma
  • Family or motherhood in times of war
  • Commemoration and memory

All questions and proposals for 20-minute papers including a title, abstract (250 words), and contact details are due by 31 October 2021, and should be sent to the organisers.