Call for Papers

55th International Congress on Medieval Studies

Kalamazoo, MI
May 7 - May 10, 2020

Deadline: September 15, 2019

A Cook’s Apprenticeship: Hands-on Workshop on Experiential Learning with Medieval Food -- Practical Challenges and Classroom Management

Mens et Mensa has in recent years sponsored several sessions demonstrating how scholars have incorporated experiential learning with food and foodways into medieval studies courses. While many attendees have been excited by the possibilities, they have also hesitated when considering the practical and classroom management aspects of practice. For this workshop, Mens et Mensa is recruiting instructors who have already used experiential learning with food in the classroom to lead teams of session attendees through the design and execution of a hands-on activity creating one element of a medieval meal. At the conclusion of the exercise, team leaders and participants will re-convene to sample the results, but also -- and most important – to discuss what they learned about managing such an expereintial activity in their classroom. Because we intend the workshop to help instructors overcome lingering inhibitions and add experiential learning with food to their teaching toolkit, we will survey participants at the start of the workshop and follow up with them one year later.

A Mirror to the Middle Ages: Using Food and Foodways to Raise Engagement with Medieval Studies

Medievalists as instructors have learned the value of engaging students through the use in the classroom of examples relevant to their lives. Food and foodways, a basic element of survival, but also a theatre of cultural practice and status display, represent a rich domain from which to draw relevant examples: trade, manners, literature, morality (theology), law and many other areas of human activity manage or comment on foodways, medieval and modern. For this paper session, Mens et Mensa seeks papers that discuss how instructors have used medieval food and foodways in learning activities that exploit the relevance of the material to students’ lives in order to increase their engagement. Because we intend the session to provide examples of the range of ways in which food and foodways enter medieval studies, we especially encourage submissions that go beyond literature and theology. If we end up with 5 or 6 submissions of sufficient breadth, we will convert the session to a round table.

Submit an abstract, CV and the completed Congress Participant Information Form by September 15, 2019, to: John A. Bollweg,