GEMS: Graduate Early Medieval History workshop

The Graduate Early Medieval Seminar (GEMS) is a friendly space for graduate students working on any aspect of early medieval history to present and share ideas, receive and offer feedback, and get to know each other.

We are an interdisciplinary forum. We host presentations on the cultures, economies, literature, material cultures, politics, thought, religions, and reception of the early medieval world, which we define as broadly as possible as the global period between c.500 and c.1050. We encourage submissions which stretch our conception of "early medieval" in time or space, from late antiquity to modern reception and from Scandinavia to the Middle East and beyond, or which deal with the methodological or historiographical practice of early medieval history.

Who can submit?

Graduate students at any stage of research are welcome to submit and we particularly encourage submissions from students who have not presented before. GEMS is a low-pressure environment for practising the art of giving papers. Our papers are either 20 or 40 minutes in length, designed to accommodate initial ideas or works-in-progress as easily as draft thesis chapters or journal articles.

Submissions are not limited only to current Cambridge students.

We publish a call for papers three times per year, in advance of each Cambridge term. You can find the calls on this page and on Facebook or Twitter.


We meet at 4pm every other Thursday during term. This academic year, all our meetings are taking place over Zoom. Our meetings consist of one long or two short papers, each followed by up to 20 minutes of questions and discussion from the floor.


GEMS collaborates with the Central and Late Medieval History Workshop (CALM) to host a blog for "relevant medievalism", Camedieval. The blog is a platform for writing about the political and personal dimensions of doing medieval history, and we encourage all our speakers and attendees to consider submitting to the blog as well as to the seminar.


All information about the seminar as well as links for joining our Zoom meetings will be sent out over our mailing list, to which you can subscribe yourself. We also publish calls for papers, termcards, blog posts, and reminders of sessions on Facebook and Twitter.

For all other questions, and to respond to our calls for papers, please contact either of the convenors: Matt Hassall ( or Joe McCarthy (