The CeSMA IMC Road Trip, or Four Merry Pilgrims Take Leeds!

IMC Party Boy and Gals
The Four Merry CeSMA Pilgrims about to hit the road. Foreground, L-R Ian Styler, Beth Spacey. Background L-R Claire Harrill, Janine Bryant

Sunday July 5th Designated driver (and pilgrimage expert) Ian Styler picks up the rest of the merry band and we hit the road for Leeds. Despite some pesky roadwords and a raincloud that looks like the apocalypse, we arrive safe and sound, and ready for the IMC!

Monday July 6th 

The Four Merry Pilgrims discover the Breakfast Buffet
The Four Merry Pilgrims discover the Breakfast Buffet

The first full day of the IMC begins! First-timer Claire Harrill gives a paper on St Margaret of Scotland and fictions of eleventh-century Church reform as part of a Legal and Religious reform panel alongside Lucy Hinnie of Edinburgh and Jen Hough of Liverpool Hope.  We make a valorous but ultimately unsuccessful attempt at the IMC pub quiz as a post-panel celebration.             

Tuesday July 7th

The IMC Bookfair, a.k.a. Temptation Station
The IMC Bookfair, a.k.a. Temptation Station

Both Ian Styler and Janine Bryant brave the 9am slot. Jan’s panel features the lovely Emily Rozier – also of Birmingham – on the galaunt and attitudes to youth in 15th century England. The q&a features trivia on the swimming abilities of people in the middle ages (given that so many of them seemed to have drowned) and Jan is assured by a lady from Australia that pigs were responsible for deaths there too. So it seems that Orwell was right… Ian’s paper is part of an East-Anglian saints special, and Æthelthryth has to compete for attention with St Edmund of Bury St Edmunds. A very well-behaved Claire resists pointing out in the q&a that St Margaret is obviously superior to all other saints. Our collective restraint wavers in the face of the IMC Bookfair (or as I like to call it, temptation station). Though we weren’t the only ones who succumbed… spotted

Wednesday July 8th

Claire and Beth have a jolly yet dignified time at the disco.
Claire and Beth have a jolly yet dignified time at the disco.

2015 marks Beth Spacey’s third consecutive year at Leeds IMC. She gives her paper on the role of the miraculous in Fourth Crusade narratives on the Wednesday morning, during the first of five panels which she has co-organised, entitled ‘Constructing the Crusades: Representation, Reinterpretation and Memory’. To take a look at the tweets from Beth’s panels, check out the Storify of the sessions. In the evening the CeSMA IMC team brave the (in)famous IMC disco to great success. This year the dance featured a live covers band and all of the best disco classics, including “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” and “Total Eclipse of the Heart”.

Thursday July 9th IMG_0279Thursday is the last day of the IMC, and today’s activities (along with the last of the panels) include ‘Making Leeds Medieval’, featuring a birds of prey display and a medieval craft fair with demonstrations. Beth goes to the final three of the ‘Constructing the Crusades’ panels, which were very well attended despite kicking-off in the 9am post-dance time slot! Then it’s time to get back in the Ianmobile and head back to Brum accompanied by the music stylings of car DJ Beth and her “Now That’s What I Call Disney” CD. Thanks, IMC!


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