Call for Papers
Sessions sponsored by AARHMS (American Academy of Research Historians of Medieval Spain) and SSPHS (Society for Spanish and Portuguese Historical Studies) at the 43nd International Congress on Medieval Studies at Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, May 8-11, 2008.
To propose a twenty-minute paper, please send the organizer an abstract and a completed abstract cover sheet by September 15. Abstract cover sheets are available on-line through links at:
If your proposal is not accepted, you may submit to another session (before Sept. 15), or (after Sept. 15) the organizers will forward it to the Congress Committee to be considered for a general session.

AARHMS no. 1:
Early Medieval Iberia: Culture and Society (400-1050)
This session is open to a full range of proposals on culture and society in Early Medieval Iberia.
James D'Emilio
5245 La Jolla Hermosa Avenue
La Jolla, California 92037

AARHMS no. 2/co-sponsored by SSPHS:
Beyond Missionizing: the Church and Religious Minorities in Daily Life
This session addresses the timely issue of interfaith relations, a subject of increasing prominence in medieval studies. Here, we are proposing a challenge to traditional emphases upon the efforts of the medieval Church to bring Europe's religious minorities -- Muslims and Jews-- into the fold by means of polemical arguments, active proselytizing, and forcible missionizing campaigns. It is becoming increasingly clear that such "conversionary" activities often had to confront deeply entrenched social, economic and institutional structures, some of which the Church had a direct interest in preserving. We aim to draw attention to the substrata of ordinary, day-to-day interactions between the clergy and the members of religious minorities. We are especially interested in contacts that took place at the local level, where the clergy engaged their non-Christian neighbors in property transactions, sought credit from Jewish moneylenders, employed Muslim and Jewish servants and laborers, exercised jurisdiction over non-Christian communities, etc. The session is intended to bring together scholars who are interested in investigating this important but understudied aspect of interfaith relations in medieval and early modern Europe, and we will welcome studies examining similar interactions in non-European and/or early modern contexts.
Organizers: Robin Vose (St. Thomas University) and Maya Soifer (Princeton University)
email: and

SSPHS no. 1/co-sponsored by AARHMS

Spain and the Schism: the Iberian Peninsula in a Time of Crisis
This session will treat the Great Western Schism. The rupture, which lasted from 1378 to1417, is usually seen as a theological crisis, but the most recent research by Renate Blumenfeld-Kosinski, Poets, Saints, and Visionaries of the Great Schism (Penn State P., 2006), has shown that the detrimental effects of the Schism were felt profoundly in all levels of European society. Moreover, most traditional histories of the Schism focus geographically on the relationship among the rival papal curiae of Avignon and Rome, and the Iberian peninsula has received little attention in the historiography of the Schism. 
     This session would focus on the effects of the Schism on the people of the Iberian peninsula. We would consider papers on political, economic, social, cultural, religious, and intellectual history as well as interdisciplinary studies or proposals from outside history. Comparative studies or studies of other areas of Europe that might suggest a comparative dimension would also be considered. Papers might include: political and diplomatic relations between Iberian kingdoms and the Papal curiae; popular, apocalyptic preaching within the Crown of Aragon, engendered because of the Schism; commentary by Iberian theologians on the ramifications of the Schism; and artistic and philosophical developments in the Iberian Peninsula inspired by the Schism.
Organizer: Michael Ryan (Purdue University)

SSPHS no. 2
Making Meaning: Workshop Practices and the Meaning of Imagery in Iberian Romanesque Churches
This session will examine the relationship between workshop practices and the meaning of Romanesque sculpture. Traditionally, studies of workshop practice addressed questions about chronology and authorship, or focused on stylistic development. Our session invites speakers to propose diverse and fluid descriptions of the workshop -- along the lines suggested by Robert Maxwell in his recent article (2007) in the Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians -- and to consider their implications for the meaning of Romanesque imagery. We encourage speakers to look beyond familiar monuments and to consider how workshop practices shaped the meaning of Romanesque imagery in ways that go beyond traditional dichotomies of secular/sacred, laity/clergy, artist/patron. Our concern with how workshop practices may alter the meaning of familiar images in different contexts complements the attention to the plurality of meanings that is characteristic of current studies of reception.
Organizers: James D'Emilio (University of South Florida) and Tessa Garton (College of Charleston)
email: and
This session will be complemented by a special session, Making Meaning: Workshop Practices and the Meaning of Imagery in Romanesque Churches, which is designed to present material from outside of Spain and Portugal and facilitate discussion between specialists in different geographic areas.

As the contact person for AARHMS and SSPHS, my name has been listed in the Call for Papers for the entire block of sessions, but it is preferable for presenters to send their proposals directly to the individual organizers. I will forward any submissions I receive to them.
Information on the Medieval Congress and the full Call for Papers are on the web at: