Past, Present, Future 2024

Rituals, Ceremonies and Symbols of the Croatian Middle Ages in the European Context (800-1600)

The Departments of History of Pula and Rijeka are organizing a joint medieval conference as a crossover of two biennial conference series: the Past, Present, Future in Pula, and the Medieval Scholarly Workshop in Rijeka. The joint conference is a part of the Project “Rituals, Ceremonies and Symbols of the Croatian Middle Ages in the European Context (800-1600),” financed by the Croatian Science Foundation.

The aim of the conference is to explore the vast and complex world of rituals, as well as their associated ceremonies, and symbols in the so-called “long Middle Ages,” the period from the first mentions of Croatian dukes as vassals of the Frankish Empire until the beginning of Early Modern Times with Croatia under Habsburg rule. Since symbolic communication is typically ambiguous and contextual it is necessary to use a broader (geographical) perspective and an interdisciplinary approach to understand and analyze these themes within the wider framework of the European Middle Ages. While the Project focuses on Croatia and the surrounding regions, the Conference welcomes and encourages contributions from scholars dealing with rituals in other European regions in the Medieval and Early Modern period, as these can serve as comparative examples to inspire new avenues of study of the Croatian Middle Ages.
The Conference invites proposals within the following thematic strands (although applicants are free to propose other topics related to the broader study of rituals):

I Rituals of Power: Secular, Religious, Civic
II Media of (Self)representation: Textual, Visual, Performative
III Clash of Rituals and Meanings: Individuals and groups
IV Materiality of Rituals: Spaces and Objects
V Cultural Transfers of Rituals: Regions, Ethnicities, Languages, Dynasties

There will be an opening roundtable discussion on the theories and methodologies of the study of rituals, as well as a daily evening discussion summarizing and commenting on the sessions of the day. Moreover, we will have three distinguished keynote speakers:

  1. Zbigniew Dalewski, Tadeusz Manteuffel Institute of History Polish Academy of Sciences
  2. Nina Glibetić, University of Notre Dame
  3. Dušan Zupka, Comenius University in Bratislava

We welcome individual and panel submissions from scholars at every stage of their research career working inside or outside Higher Education, as well as doctoral students. Proposed panel submissions are welcome to suggest a moderator. The delivered papers should be twenty minutes long. We support hybrid sessions but will exclude entirely virtual sessions. Please send your paper proposals (up to 1500 characters with spaces) with an accompanying brief biographical note to (or The working language of the conference is English. Meals and refreshments will be provided by the Organizers.

Registration fee is 60 EUR / 30 EUR for PhD students.
Application deadline: April 15, 2024.

We are looking forward to your proposals and your participation at the conference.

Robert Kurelić,
Head of the Organizing Committee