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 invite 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.

We anticipate that the conference will take place either in a hybrid fashion (online and in-situ) or fully online. This means that it will always be possible for you to attend and/or deliver your paper online; if circumstances allow it, you will be able to attend one (or more) days on location.

Keynote speakers

  • ISSEME Winchester – t.b.a.
  • ISSEME Montréal – Maria Dahvana Headley
  • ISSEME Adelaide – Stephanie Trigg + Samantha Leggett (ECR Keynote)
  • ISSEME Leiden – Sara Pons-Sanz

Call for papers

Every venue welcomes papers on specific themes related to the overall theme of ‘Contributions.’ For the local CFPs of the four venues, please see below:

All abstracts will be subject to blind peer review. You do not need to be a member to submit an abstract, but all conference presenters and attendees will be expected to be members of ISSEME. Exceptions may be granted to local student attendees. The deadline for all CFPs is 15 January, 2021 (late submissions will be considered until 29 January, 2021). Notifications of acceptance will be sent out in February, 2021.

Abstracts are submitted via GoogleForms (see links above); if you have any issues with GoogleForm please contact the local organisers (see below).

Non-thematic abstracts and project reports

YOu can find an open CFP for non-thematic abstracts and project reports here (deadline: 29 January, 2021).

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