Appel à contribution – Status, Rank, or Office? Social Boundaries in England, 900-1200

Call for Papers:

« Status, Rank, or Office? Social Boundaries in England, 900-1200, » a 3-day conference at Durham University, July 8–10, 2023

ABSTRACT DEADLINE: December 1, 2022.

Status and the social order were changing and becoming more complex in the tenth and eleventh centuries, signaled by increasing conspicuous consumption and an ecclesiastical interest in tracts on status. This conference explores where status ended and office began in pre-Conquest England and how status and office changed under the Normans. In a world where the secular and spiritual were often so closely intertwined, what can those who gained status and office in the ecclesiastical sphere tell us about those who obtained the same thing in the secular world? Among the laity, what can a discussion of the lowest thegns contribute to our understanding of the men who held the office of reeve or earl? What about the status of women? In both spheres, what insights can be revealed on social and political regional variation in England in the ninth through twelfth centuries through research on status, rank and office?

By asking these and other questions, this conference aims to continue the discussion fostered by fruitful sessions at Leeds IMC and Kalamazoo ICMS and further a multifaceted understanding of the period and its people through addressing the many questions that arise.

Papers that comparatively approach different statuses or offices are welcome, as are topics that focus on only one. Cross-channel comparisons are also encouraged. We are eager to receive submissions representing a variety of perspectives, methodologies, and disciplines on any aspect of Early Medieval English social status and office from the ninth century through to the long-term aftermath of the Norman Conquest

We encourage papers from scholars at all stages, particularly PhD students and ECRs on a variety of perspectives and methodologies. ECRs and postgraduate speakers will be able to apply for bursaries to assist with costs relating to travel and conference attendance.

Please submit a 250-word proposal by December 1, 2022.

Please email abstract and contact details to organizers Mary Blanchard, Chelsea Shields-Más and Charlie Rozier at: with subject line ‘Durham 2023 Abstract’.

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