Gentes trans Albiam conference

International Conference “Landscapes and Societies in Ancient and Medieval Europe East of the Elbe. Interactions between Environmental Settings and Cultural Transformations”

26-27 March 2010

Fourth International Conference of the Interdisciplinary Association “Gentes trans Albiam – Europe East of the Elbe in the Middle Ages.” To be held on the Keele Campus of York University, Toronto, York Research Tower 519.

Organized by the Department of History of York University, the Graduate School “Human Development in Landscapes” (Christian-Albrechts-Universität Kiel) and the German Historical Institute in Warsaw.

Landscapes can be defined, in the words of Denis E. Cosgrove, as “visibly distinct regions.” Landscapes can be understood as the natural environments in which a society is embedded, or as the set of representations with which members of a society observe and describe a region and give it significance. The idea of landscape is dependant on the one hand on the material reality of a given region, on the other hand on the sense attached to it by human beings beholding it.

Medieval Europe east of the Elbe presents a particularly interesting field for the investigation of landscape transformations. The area is characterized by many features that clearly distinguishes it from the Mediterranean regions throughout the Middle Ages – absence of Roman traditions, late appearance of Latin culture, colonization movement, chartered towns. There were generally independent developments concerning society, economy, and religion which led to the creation of a distinct cultural area. All of this makes this part of the European continent attractive for a consideration of large-scale and longue durée interactions between landscapes and societies.

The programme includes keynote addresses by Professor Piotr Górecki (University of California Riverside) and by Professor Jüri Kivimäe (University of Toronto), as well as 21 papers by presenters from Germany, Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Canada and the US in the fields of history, archaeology, palaeobotany, palaeozoology and musicology.

For information about the programme and registration please see the website of “Gentes trans Albiam – Europe East of the Elbe in the Middle Ages” (

Main sponsors: Graduate School “Human Development in Landscapes” (Christian-Albrechts-Universität Kiel), German Historical Institute in Warsaw, Social Sciences and Humanities Council of Canada.

Conference Committee: Sunhild Kleingärtner (, Sébastien Rossignol (,  Donat Wehner (

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *