Invitation to the conference ‘Papal Communications: Responses and Receptions (c.1100-1300)’

Invitation to the conference ‘Papal Communications: Responses and Receptions (c.1100-1300)’

A crucial instrument of maintaining and extending papal authority in the Central Middle Ages was the ability of popes and the papal curia to effectively communicate with a wide and diverse range of peoples, institutions, and cultures.


28.06.2018 - 29.06.2018


This conference examines this important and expansive topic from the perspective of the recipients and focuses on the ways in which different local communities responded to and engaged with these papal messages. 

Our conception of papal communications is broad and varied. We encourage submissions that analyse papal messages in a range of media, verbal and non-verbal, from a variety of disciplines, and in a broad set of geographic contexts that include the Byzantine and Islamic worlds as well as Latin Christendom between the years 1100 and 1300.

Several questions and issues will be central to this conference. For example, to what extent did the papacy modify its communications according to the type of audience? Or did the medium of the message trump issues of receivership? Equally, how did recipients respond to different modes of papal communication? How did various groups imitate, mock and reject papal messages?

Above all, we are interested in the patterns that may emerge concerning different types of communities and cultures, and in varying geographic locales across the period in question. Our aim is for individual papers to work on a precise, local-scale that will allow us to trace wider strands in the communication and response to papal messages during this period.

Please submit abstracts of no more than 400 words to Dr Iben Fonnesberg-Schmidt ( by 15 February 2018. We request that all papers are delivered in English. The conference will be held in Aalborg, Denmark, on 28-29 June 2018. The number of conference spaces is limited; abstracts are by the organisers who will inform you of their decision no later than 15 March 2018.    

This conference is hosted by the Department of Culture and Global Studies at Aalborg University; it is part of a collaborative and interdisciplinary project (‘Papal Communication and Authority in the Central Middle Ages’) supported by the Danish Research Council for Independent Research (DFF-YDUN grant). Accommodation will be provided as well as some financial support for travel.


Department of Culture and Global Studies at Aalborg University


Aalborg University



Department of Culture and Global Studies
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9220 Aalborg East

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