Call for papers: Ruralia XII Conference (11th-17th September 2017, Kilkenny, Ireland)

25/8/16 .-


“Transitions and Transformation in the Medieval and Early Modern Countryside”

Kilkenny (Ireland)
11th – 17th September 2017

DEADLINE for paper submission 12th SEPTEMBER

RURALIA is an international association for the archaeology of medieval settlement and rural life. It provides a European-wide platform for the scientific exchange on current problems in rural archeology in order to strengthen comparative and interdisciplinary studies. The conference covers the period from the Early Medieval to the Early Modern Period, the centuries from 500-1700 AD. The conference languages are English, French and German.

RURALIA XII will take place in Kilkenny, (County Kilkenny, Ireland) a city in the south-east of Ireland. The theme will be: “Transitions and Transformation in the Medieval and Early Modern Countryside”.

In addition to the papers given from Monday to Friday, one half-day and one full day excursion and an optional two-day study trip will be offered.

The conference is jointly organized by the Niall Brady, Terry Barry, Mark Gardiner, Kieran O’Conor and Claudia Theune, with the financial support of The Heritage Council, National University of Ireland Galway, Queen’s University Belfast, Roscommon County Council, Trinity College Dublin as well as the National Monuments Service of the Department of Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht, and Kilkenny Corporation.

Transitions and Transformation in the Medieval and Early Modern Countryside

The idea that the past was an era with long periods of little or no change is almost certainly false. Change has always affected human society. Some of the catalysts for change were exogenous and lay in natural transformations, such as climate change or plant and animal diseases. Others came from endogamous processes, such as demographic change and the resulting alterations in demographic pressure. They might be produced by economic changes in the agrarian economy such as crop- or stock-breeding or better agricultural husbandry systems with the resultant greater harvests. Equally, they might be from technological developments in industry and manufacturing affecting traditional forms of production. We should also note changes in ideology within society and even between principal groups, such as secular and ecclesiastical bodies. We need to consider the impact of politics and warfare.
These innovations, transmissions and transformations had profound spatial, economic and social impacts on the environments, landscapes and habitats evident at micro-, meso- and macro-levels. Changes, alterations and modifications may affect how land was worked, how it was organized, and the nature of buildings and rural complexes (homesteads, work buildings, villages, monasteries, towns and landscapes). We are interested both in the causes of changes and its manifestations.
RURALIA invites contributions that focus in particular on such transmissions and transformations in a longue durée perspective, such as from early medieval times (c. 500AD) to the High Middle Ages (c. 1000/1200 AD), and from medieval to post-medieval and early modern times (1700). We are not concerned with change as such, but with its manifestations in the rural environment and the reasons for such change over the long term. Any case studies should be set within the wider framework of national and international developments.

Topics might include:

• The shrinking and disappearance of settlements
• Changes in rule and authority
• Social change and form
• Developments in the agrarian economy
• The shift from handwork to manufacturing
• Demographic change
• The transition from the early medieval to High Middle Ages (500 to 1000/1200)
• The transition from the High Middle Ages to the early modern period (1000/1200 to 1700)
• The transition from the early modern period to modern times (1700 to 1900)

Titles and abstracts of not more than 200 words, with the name and affiliation of the contributor should be sent to Niall Brady ( before 12th September 2016

Getting to Kilkenny

The main conference will be based in the Newpark Hotel, Kilkenny city. The hotel is located on the north side of the city, on the Castlecomer Road.

There are two options to get to Kilkenny from Dublin Airport by public transport:

1. Private bus company JJ Kavanagh operates daily scheduled services from the airport with a drop-off at the Newpark Hotel. The buses are comfortable, the travel time is approximately 2-2.5 hours, and the prices are inexpensive. See

2. By rail. There is no train station in the airport. You must take a bus from the airport to the train station in Dublin city (Dublin Heuston) (approximately 30 minutes). There is a scheduled train service from Dublin Heuston to Kilkenny (approximately 2 hours). On arrival in Kilkenny. The station in Kilkenny is approximately 5 minutes taxi to the hotel (1.5km). See

If your travel plans are different, please contact Niall Brady in advance so that we can assist with identifying the most effective journey for you.

Publication of the proceedings

The proceedings of RURALIA conferences are published in the RURALIA volumes, which appear every two years. The volumes are subject to full peer review. It is expected that all presenters (papers and posters) will submit a paper for consideration in the volume. Papers will be new research and will not be previously published. Papers will not exceed 5000 words. Full instructions to authors are available on the RURALIA website,

Papers and posters accepted for the conference cannot be considered for publication if the presenter is not in attendance at the conference.

Timeline of the conference

• 12th September 2016 Abstracts due, papers and posters.
• 30th September 2016 Decisions on submissions made.
• 1st November 2016 €100.00 non-refundable deposit per person and conference registration required.
• 1st May 2017 Balance of conference fee due
• Cancellations accepted between May 2017 and 1st August 2017 will be refunded at 70%, excluding the non-refundable deposit fee. Cancellations advised after 1st August 2017 cannot be refunded.
• 31st January 2018 Finished versions of papers to be submitted to the National Representative for peer review

Full instructions are available on the RURALIA website

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