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Swords and scholarship

Sword-bearing knights, paradigm-shifting debate and the Iron Throne all featured as part of this year’s International Medieval Congress in July. Founded in 1994, the world-renowned annual conference attracts over 2,300 medievalists from all over the world.

The next conference, to be held in July 2018, will be particularly significant as it marks the 50th anniversary of Medieval Studies at Leeds and the 25th Congress. “We often think of the Middle Ages as a period without much diversity,” says Axel Muller (MA History 1996), the Congress’s Director. “In fact, it was full of complex and fast-changing societies with huge amounts of social interaction.” Since 1967, Leeds has been home to an internationally renowned community of medievalists. Professor John Le Patourel led a group of pioneers to form a Centre for Medieval Studies and so the IMS (Institute for Medieval Studies) was born. Concurrently, Professor Peter Sawyer established the International Medieval Bibliography, the leading compilation of medieval scholarship, available in print and digital formats. Today the IMS is home to over 70 staff, postgraduate students and associates.