Update about the Symposium

Updated 6 May 2021

2021 Symposium Is Now Virtual

Conversions and Life Passages through the Mirror of Medieval Preachers

The IMSSS Symposium this summer will be held fully online due to global health concerns.  While we are disappointed not to be meeting in Léon, Spain, we look forward to the rich program organized by Linda G. Jones and Oriol Catalán.

Presentations and discussions will be scheduled over a period of two weeks, from July 16 to 21, using Zoom or similar format. Please mark your calendars!

Instructions for the virtual symposium. 

Link for event


Updates about Symposia and Kalamazoo

Dear IMSSS Members,

I am delighted to have two exciting updates to report.

First, our virtual Symposium this summer, “Conversions and Life Passages through the Mirror of Medieval Preachers,” will take place via Zoom, 16-21 July. It will include keynote addresses by Francisco Gimeno Blay (Universitat de València) and Tahera Qutbuddin (University of Chicago), many interesting papers, a round table discussion on Sermons and Digital Humanities, and a poster session. Most events will take place between 17:00 and 20:00 Madrid time (11:00 and 14:00 New York time). The Symposium is free, but registration is required. Beginning May 15, simply send an email to [email protected] to request the Zoom link. Included here are the provisional program and information for participants. For more information, visit

Second, planning is getting underway for a 2022 Symposium at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota, under the leadership of Steven McMichael. Over 50% of our members participated in our electronic voting, and 71% of those voting were in favor of this proposal. The tentative dates are July 22-26, 2022.

I hope to see many of you at our Kalamazoo International Congress on Medieval Studies sessions and business meeting, May 13-15. Details are available on the Society’s website.

Best wishes,

Anne Thayer


Preaching and New Worlds: Sermons as Mirrors of Realms Near and Far

Publication of a collection of essays, from the 2016 IMSSS Symposium

The collection of essays that came out of the 2016 IMSSS Symposium has been published:

Preaching and New Worlds: Sermons as Mirrors of Realms Near and FarRoutledge Studies in Medieval Religion and Culture, 1st Edition, by Timothy J Johnson  (Editor), Katherine Wrisley Shelby (Editor), John D Young (Editor)

book cover

55th International Congress on Medieval Studies Cancelled

Dear colleagues,

The Medieval Institute appreciates your concerns and patience regarding the 55th International Congress on Medieval Studies as we have carefully considered emerging information and discussed how best to proceed. The health and safety of our attendees and our community are our first priority. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak and the most recent recommendations of the CDC and the WHO regarding social distancing and public gatherings, we have made the difficult decision to cancel the Congress, which was scheduled for May 7-10, 2020.

Please see the Congress website for information about refunds, special and sponsored sessions approved for 2020, and other important details (

We look forward to seeing everyone next year.

Jana K. Schulman
Director, Medieval Institute
Western Michigan University

Virtual Research Workshop

Virtual Research Workshop

Medieval Preacher

Doctoral and Postdoctoral Researchers Virtual Research Workshop: Call for Proposals

The International Medieval Sermon Studies Society (IMSSS) promotes and fosters the study of medieval sermons and preaching in Latin and vernacular languages within their social, literary, religious, intellectual, theological, catechetical, political, and historical contexts.

The current Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in lost opportunities for lively discussion of research projects that are often vital to the progress of early career scholars. In light of this, IMSSS seeks to provide a forum for doctoral and postdoctoral researchers to receive input on their projects from peers and senior scholars in a virtual format.

We invite current PhD students and postdoctoral researchers to submit proposals for the first IMSSS Virtual Research Workshop.

 The purpose of the Workshop is two-fold:

  • to assist PhD students and postdoctoral researchers in developing and improving their research projects
  • to assist PhD students and postdoctoral researchers in building an international network of fellow students and renowned faculty

Early career scholars will have the opportunity to present their current research projects – or any aspects related to preaching – for discussion by their colleagues and senior faculty. One or two designated respondents, chosen for their topical expertise, will provide initial feedback and questions for further consideration. Open discussion will follow.

We invite proposals in two different categories: 

  • Thesis Proposals: appropriate for advanced PhD students who have decided on a thesis topic and desire feedback on their proposals and broader ideas for their continuing work.
  • Research Papers: appropriate for those with projects at any stage toward completion, from initial conception to completed studies. 

Candidates interested in attending and presenting their research should submit a brief statement of interest by November 30, 2020 to the Secretary of the Society: Jessalynn Bird ( [email protected] )

This statement should contain:

  • name
  • affiliation
  • name(s) of advisor(s)
  • project title
  • brief project description (250 words)
  • indication of current level of completion of degree and/or project

After receiving the proposals, we plan to organize two virtual workshops, tentatively in January and March. Those chosen to participate will be asked to send a more substantial project description to the designated responder(s) at least 2 weeks prior to the event.