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.


IMSSS Council Election Results

We are delighted to announce that the first electronic election of the International Medieval Sermon Studies Society has been a success. Out of 85 members eligible to vote, 69 members voted. Anne Thayer has been reelected to the Council, and Jessalynn Bird, Pietro Delcorno, and Patricia Stoop have been newly elected.

The new Council has also met to elect its officers. Here is the new Council:

President: Anne Thayer

Vice Presidents: Linda Gale Jones and Patricia Stoop

Secretary: Jessalynn Bird

Treasurer: Pietro Delcorno

Councilors: Nirit Ben-Aryeh Debby, Beata Spieralska-Kasprzyk

Beginning in January 2021, Marjorie Burghart and Holly Johnson will replace Jonathan Adams and Ralf Lützelschwab as co-editors of Medieval Sermon Studies.

A big thank you to everyone who participated in our first electronic election and for your commitment to the IMSSS, and a big thank you to Kim Nguyen and Kim Rivers for making our first electronic election a success!

Update about the Symposium

Updated January 2021

2021 Léon Symposium Update

Conversions and Life Passages through the Mirror of Medieval Preachers

We are delighted to announce that there WILL BE an IMSSS Symposium this summer! It will include a full program organized by Linda G. Jones and Oriol Catalán.

If possible, we will use a hybrid mode.

July 16-20, 2021

Papers will be pre-recorded and/or given live in Léon in the late afternoon and early evening (Madrid time) at the Dominican Casa de Espiritualidad y Ejercisios in Léon. Discussions will take place via Zoom or similar format.

Otherwise, it will be fully virtual.

July 15-30, 2021

Presentations and discussions will be scheduled over a period of two weeks, from July 15 to July 30, using Zoom or similar format.

Taking global health considerations into account, a final decision on the mode will be made around April 1, 2021.



It is with great sadness that the Council of the International Medieval Sermon Studies Society has decided to reschedule the 22nd IMSSS Symposium (2020, Jul. 17th – 21th, León, Spain), as a result of the outbreak of coronavirus (Covid-19). The 22nd IMSSS Symposium has not been cancelled, but it has been postponed until July 2021. We'll meet back in León next year, free at last. Meanwhile, however, the foreseen balloting to elect the new Council will be carried out regularly thanks to eVoting. More information will be provided shortly.


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

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