ISSEME Conference 2021

Image: Public Domain photo of 7th-century Disk Brooch (The Metropolitan Museum of Art; source)


“Contributions” will be the theme of the twentieth biennial conference of the International Society for the Study of Early Medieval England. Under this broadly conceived and inherently positive rubric, we have invited papers that focus on individuals, groups, sources, events, artifacts, and phenomena that have contributed and/or continue to contribute to the study of early medieval England.  We intend this theme both to highlight and to celebrate the spirit of collaboration, interdisciplinarity, and dialogue between diverse parties that has typified our field at its best. Alongside scholarly contributions, we wish to celebrate contributions from outside traditional academia including, for example, creative work by Seamus Heaney and Maria Dahvana Headley, heritage sites like the West Stow Anglo-Saxon Village and Jarrow Hall, and popular media like The Last Kingdom and Vikings that have sparked greater interest in our field, especially among undergraduate students.  Likewise, we wish to celebrate contributions of those who travelled to England and those who carried English learning abroad, such as Adomnán, Hadrian of Canterbury, Theodore of Tarsus, Boniface, Willibrord, Leoba, Alcuin, and Asser.

By focusing on contributions—academic and popular, medieval and modern, English and non-English, Anglophone and non-Anglophone—we hope this conference will help to dispel myths of an early medieval England that was exclusionary, isolated, and culturally homogenous and contribute to building a more inclusive and constructively pluralistic field.

The conference will take place fully online.

Keynote speakers

  • ISSEME Winchester – Michael Wood
  • ISSEME Montréal – Maria Dahvana Headley
  • ISSEME Adelaide – Stephanie Trigg + Samantha Leggett (ECR Keynote)
  • ISSEME Leiden – Sara Pons-Sanz

Preliminary Programme

A preliminary programme with 63 papers and 5 keynotes is available here:

Fees and Registration

There will be a conference fee to help pay, e.g., for technical support before and during the conference and registration will be required. More information about this will be made available here shortly.

Professional Behavior Policy

ISSEME is committed to protecting all members of our community; we therefore ask everyone to read and abide by our Professional Behavior Policy.


An ISSEME mentorship scheme is planned and a formal notice and signup will be going out to participants in the near future.


For any queries, please contact the organizers via the following e-mail adresses:

Conference committee

  • Conference coordinating committee: Lilla Kopár, Thijs Porck and Chelsea Shields-Más
  • Winchester committee: Carolin Esser-Miles, Eric Lacey, Ryan Lavelle and Katherine Weikert
  • Montréal committee: Bruce Gilchrist and Christopher Vaccaro
  • Adelaide committee: Matthew Firth, Cassandra Schilling and Erin Sebo
  • Leiden committee: Marcelle Cole, Judith Kaup, Elise Louviot and Thijs Porck