The 59th International Congress on Medieval Studies—taking place in a hybrid format Thursday, May 9, through Saturday, May 11, 2024—is hosted by the Medieval Institute at Western Michigan University.

Session Types

The academic program of the Congress consists of three types of sessions:

  • Sponsored sessions are organized by learned societies, associations, institutions and research projects. The organizers set predetermined topics, usually reflecting the considered aims and interests of the organizing group.
  • Special sessions are organized by individual scholars and ad hoc groups. The organizers set predetermined topics, which are often narrowly focused.
  • General sessions are organized by the program committee at the Medieval Institute. Topics include any area of medieval studies, with individual session topics determined by the topics of paper proposals submitted and accepted.

Session Formats

Sessions may take various formats, including sessions of papers, roundtables, poster sessions, workshops, demonstrations, and performances. All sessions last 90 minutes, regardless of format.

  • Sessions of papers consist of at least two and no more than five papers relating to a given topic or theme. The papers themselves are to occupy no more than 60 minutes of the 90-minute session.
  • Roundtables include at least two and no more than seven discussants. They are usually less formal than sessions of papers and may be scheduled more loosely. They may resemble a conversation more than a series of talks.
  • Poster sessions showcase the work of at least two and no more than ten poster authors. Poster authors do not deliver formal presentations, but they are expected to be present to answer questions from attendees viewing their work during the 90-minute session.
  • Workshops are typically interactive, with some expectation of audience participation.
  • Demonstrations generally involve some kind of live exhibition or practical presentation with commentary, along with a discussion.
  • Performances may involve music, drama, dance, spoken word and other media, in any combination.

Organizers determine the personnel for workshops, demonstrations, and performances, generally by invitation. All other session formats are open to proposals.


Refer to our calendar of key dates and deadlines for the Congress.