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XVIIIth Thirteenth Century Conference

Detail from a thirteenth-century Life of St Edward the Confessor (Cambridge University Library MS Ee.3.59) © Cambridge University Library

2-4 September 2019

Selwyn College, Cambridge

Call for papers


The Thirteenth Century England Conference, which brings together scholars on all areas of English (and latterly British and European) history, has been running every two years for over thirty years. Following discussions at the previous conference, and in the light of the increasingly broad geographical range of themes and papers in recent years, this year’s adjusted title, the Thirteenth Century Conference, has been chosen to reflect more formally this wider focus. In September 2019 the XVIIIth Conference will take place, for the third time, in Cambridge. It represents the largest forum devoted specifically to work on the Long Thirteenth Century (c.1180-c.1330) in the British Isles and continental Europe, and has over the years served to introduce many new scholars and much new scholarship to those working on the period.

The theme in 2019 will be ‘Exceptional England?’.

The organizers welcome all paper proposals that explore the exceptionality, or not, of England, in both a British and a European context; papers do not need to be presented from an ‘English’ perspective – in fact we are hoping for a broad geographical range of perspectives as well as themes – and we warmly encourage papers that consider other nations, polities or regions with the question of exceptionality in mind. We would like to see a range of themes represented in the papers, from politics and social to ecclesiastical and economic. The conference will provide an opportunity to reflect on wider questions of the relationship between England, the British Isles and European nations, and on pan-European themes and developments. The aim of the conference remains very much focused on fostering collaborative scholarship, introducing and encouraging emerging historians of the period, and hearing about new research. It also provides a forum for established researchers to reflect on new questions.

However, we also welcome proposals for papers on the long thirteenth century that do not address the conference theme directly.

There will be two paper formats at the conference - 50 minutes and 30-minutes  - with more slots available in the shorter format. It would be helpful if paper proposals were calibrated for one or the other. We also welcome proposals for sessions, consisting of two or three papers; this is particularly true for papers that are not related to the conference theme. 

The organisers, Drs Julie Barrau, Chris Briggs, Caroline Burt, Andrew Spencer and Carl Watkins greatly look forward to receiving proposals, and are glad to answer any questions. They will choose which papers to accept.

Please send to Julie Barrau ( a title and an abstract of c.150 words for each proposed paper.

The deadline for paper proposals is 5 November 2018.

People who have sent a proposal can expect an answer by December 2018.


Please direct queries to Julie Barrau ( in the first instance.