Contact | Touch


After more than a year of distancing, the Sewanee Medieval Colloquium is pleased to announce our theme, Contact|Touch, for the 47th Colloquium, which will take place in-person, April 8-9, 2022, on the campus of the University of the South in Sewanee, TN.

We encourage proposals for papers and subthemes from all medieval disciplines and geographic areas. Topics include (but are not limited to) contact between cultures, disciplines, or languages, philosophical and medical approaches to sensation, healing or holy touch, the practice of sculpture, epistolary form, the relationship of touch and sound or music, explorations of erotic or sexual touch, and the experience of relics and holy objects. These are just suggestions, however; the Colloquium will happily consider any proposal that deals broadly with the theme.

Colloquium Format: One of the unique elements of the Colloquium is its use of a respondent-format. Papers for each panel are pre-circulated to a selected respondent 1 month before the conference meeting. The respondent takes this time to read each paper and create a response that addresses the individual papers and poses questions for the panelists. This guarantees that each presenter has the opportunity for an established scholar to engage with their work, and the responses set the initial terms for the questions and conversation at the end of each panel.

Commenters are generally established figures in the field with a significant record of publication; participants in the Colloquium are generally limited to holders of a Ph.D. and those currently in a Ph.D. program. 

Conference Details

Plenary Speakers

We have three exciting plenary speakers for this year's event. Our two plenary lectures will come from Dr. Hussein Fancy and Dr. Elina Gertsman. As a special event this year, Jos Charles will be offering a reading from her work, with conversation to follow. 


Here is where you can find information about the sub-themes that have been organized as part of the Colloquium for 2022. You may submit to one of these themes, or to the general call for papers.

Ways to Participate

How to join the conversation this year:

Submit a Paper Abstract (Due: Nov 1)

Proposals for papers can touch on any aspect of the general theme, and we encourage proposals from medievalists of any discipline and any geographic area. Scholars can apply to the general call, or to specific sub-themes (available here). We accept proposals from anyone with a Ph.D. or who is in the process of gaining a doctorate. Abstracts should be submitted by November 1st, 2021.

Propose a Panel (due: Nov. 1)

We also invite participants to submit whole panels of papers, that is, a pre-organized panel. Professional organizations often submit panels from among their membership, but individuals or institutions are also invited to do the same. To submit a full panel, you need to send a description of the panel, a CV and abstract for the papers you would like to include, and suggestions for possible respondents. Panel proposals are due November 1st, 2021


Submit abstracts and proposals through our online form

You may also submit by email, if you prefer. 


Travel Info