Call for Papers: ‘Medieval Art History: Are We Post-Theoretical?’, ICMS 2019 (Deadline: 15 September 2018)

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Session:  Medieval Art History: Are We Post-Theoretical?

Organizer:  Gerry Guest gguest@jcu.edu

Session description:  The philosopher and blogger Levi Bryant has written that theory “is a sort of strange work that precedes anything true, allowing that which does not appear to appear.  There is never a simple gaze or seeing, but rather there is always an apparatus that allows something to appear that would not otherwise appear.  And there is no looking nor acting that doesn’t presuppose an apparatus of appearance.”  If we follow this line of thought, then all medievalists are theorists.  Yet, in the 21st century, historians of medieval art seem largely indifferent to the field of critical theory, which profoundly marked the study of the humanities in the 20th century.  If a generation ago scholars were concerned with defining something called “the new art history,” where do we stand now?  Are we now working in a post-theoretical age or can a renewed engagement with theoretical issues enliven the field?

This session seeks position papers and case studies that reflect on these questions.  Participants should feel free to define “theory” however they choose.  Engagement with established theorists (Foucault, Butler, Jameson, etc.) is as welcome as investigations inspired by newer work in fields such as queer studies, gender studies, and post-colonialism.

For consideration, please send a one-page proposal to gguest@jcu.edu by September 15, 2018. 

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Call for Papers: ‘Light and darkness in pre-modern visual cultures’, Courtauld Institute of Art, London, Friday 23rd November 2018

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Courtauld Institute of Art, London
Deadline: 15 September 2018

Organisers: Stefania Gerevini and Tom Nickson

The staged lighting of modern galleries, heritage sites and publications has significantly altered understanding of the roles of light and darkness in the design and reception of pre-modern objects and spaces. Despite sophisticated systems to manage artificial and natural light, pre-modern experiences of the visual were shaped greatly by daily and seasonal rituals and contingencies. In turn, those experiences informed, and were informed by, diverse theories about vision, light and illumination.

This one-day workshop of lightning talks offers participants opportunities to explore their own encounters with issues of light and darkness in pre-modern cultures, and set them within broader scholarly frameworks. How did pre-modern cultures conceptualise, respond to, and manipulate light and darkness and their interactions in urban, domestic and religious settings? How were natural and artificial light managed? What role did they play in the design of individual artworks, architectural spaces, ephemera and rituals, and to what extent did different light levels affect perceptions of objects and spaces? What vocabulary was used to think about light and darkness, and how was this language transformed by the advent of new technologies of illumination? How did pre-modern cultures deploy light/dark, day/night, to cogitate on God and the cosmos, and to visualise them?

Lightning talks should be no more than 5 minutes and 5 slides, and will be ‘curated’ for maximum variety and visual interest. They may relate to any region or culture, and ‘pre-modern’ is here very broadly defined as the period before the adoption of gas or electric lighting. Papers might focus on single objects, rituals or spaces, or on groups thereof. All disciplinary perspectives are welcome, provided they focus predominantly on visual culture.

Papers might consider:

  • The language of light and darkness: science, theology, literature and daily life
  • Light, darkness and the senses
  • Rituals, objects and spaces by night
  • Science, technologies and visual culture
  • Theologies of light/darkness
  • Daily/annual cycles of light and dark
  • Street life and the experience of urban spaces and architectures by day and night
  • Natural ‘spotlights’ on objects or buildings
  • Provision for lighting of various kinds
  • The agency of patrons or creators in shaping lighting conditions
  • Reconstructions of original lighting conditions
  • Restaging of medieval objects in early modern contexts
  • Deliberate darkness or blinding light
  • Refraction and reflection
  • Materiality and immateriality

Abstracts of 200 words should be sent to lightanddarkness2311@gmail.com together with 100-word participant biographies. The deadline is Saturday 15th September 2018. Please note that given the brevity of papers and large number of participants, The Courtauld cannot cover travel or accommodation costs (though lunch, refreshments and a subsidised supper will be provided).

Organised by:

Stefania Gerevini (Bocconi University, Milan)

Tom Nickson (Courtauld Institute of Art, London)

Call for Papers: ‘Moving Images: the Badge in Medieval Christendom’, ICMS 2019 (Deadline: 15 September 2018)

collection.54th International Congress on Medieval Studies
Kalamazoo, MI, May 9 – 12, 2019
Deadline: Sep 15, 2018

Organisers: Lloyd de Beer and Amy Jeffs

The phrase “moving images” invites applicants to apply ideas of motion and mobility to the medieval badge. These insignia helped define communities: they marked and traversed territorial boundaries; they were worn by religious devotees, military retainers and groups that shared the same jokes and stories. What do badges reveal about medieval visual culture? What is the impact of scale, variety and proliferation on our understanding of these emblems’ multifarious purposes?

The term “medieval badge” is ambiguous. Is it a pewter token worn on clothing, such as a livery badge or a pilgrim souvenir? Does it not also describe the prestigious Dunstable Swan Jewel at the British Museum or the image of the white hart worn by the figures of the Wilton Diptych? Likewise, it can mean an emblematic image, in any medium. These often appear in manuscripts, paintings, architecture, sculpture, and a host of more fragile objects, such as embroidered banners. Larger works of art could become miniature signs, such as the depiction of St Thomas Becket’s head reliquary reproduced on Canterbury pilgrim souvenirs. Inversely, emblematic metal badges appear as trompe-l’oeil in virtuosic paintings. Their geographical and material flexibility calls out for scholarly exploration.

This session invites proposals which will consider the medieval badge in its widest theoretical contexts, using ideas of motion and mobility as a starting point. Session participants will give a 20 minute paper discussing the “moving image” as it is manifest in the badges of medieval Christendom.

Please send a 250-word abstract and a completed Participant Information Form (available via the Congress Submissions website: https://wmich.edu/medievalcongress/submissions) by September 15 to Lloyd de Beer (ldebeer@britishmuseum.org) and Amy Jeffs (aj383@cam.ac.uk). More information about the Congress can be found here: https://wmich.edu/medievalcongress.

Call for Papers: ‘Wounds Visible and Invisible in Late Medieval Christianity’, ICMS 2019 (Deadline: 15 September 2018)

31333806172_4c82f814f2_b54th International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, May 9 – 12, 2019
Deadline: 15 September 2018

This session examines the many valences of wounds in late medieval Christianity, focusing on themes surrounding wounds and wounding both visible (corporeal and/or material) and invisible (rhetorical and allegorical). The image of the wounded body held a central place in late medieval Christian practice and material culture; the wounds of the crucified Christ were tangible reminders of his Passion and served as foci of veneration, while stigmatic saints and maimed martyrs were marked as holy by means of bodily trauma. Papers may also consider the Christian response to physical injury, in the form of saintly intervention through healing miracles and medical intervention through the establishment of hospitals and provision of care by religious orders.

Moving beyond the ample possibilities for discussion stemming from the theme of “visible” wounds in medieval Christianity, this session also encourages a broad examination of “invisible” wounds within the late medieval Christian context. Examples might range from the accusations of metaphorical violence levied against the mendicant orders by antifraternal critics, to the conceptualization of the Western Schism as a wound to the Church. By exploring wounds both “visible” and “invisible,” this session elicits the perspectives of scholars of history, art history, literature, and theology and seeks to expand conceptions of wounds and injury within a late medieval Christian framework.

Please send a brief proposal (300 words max) and a participant information form (currently available at https://wmich.edu/medievalcongress/submissions) to Hannah Wood at Hannah.wood@mail.utoronto.ca and Johanna Pollick at j.pollick.1@research.gla.ac.uk by 15th September 2018.

As per ICMS rules, any abstracts not accepted for our session will be forwarded for consideration for General Sessions.

Call for Papers: Art, Science, and the Natural World, ICMA 2019 (Deadline: 15 September 2018)

360px-treadmillcraneSponsored by the International Center of Medieval Art (ICMA) Student Committee

Organized by Sophie Ong (Rutgers University) and Robert Vogt (Johns Hopkins University)

54th International Congress on Medieval Studies, May 9-12, 2019
Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI

Many medieval images and objects indicate an interest in and demonstrate specific understandings of the natural world. Rendered as visual and material witnesses, technologically complex works and those in scientific treatises feature prominently in histories of transmission and translation, not only across cultures, but also from text into image/object. In recent years, art historians have begun to question the implications of these transfers by rethinking the modes of such works’ making and reception. Accordingly, the relationship between artistic practice and scientific knowledge, a given work’s scientific or technological qualities, and the engagement with the natural world beyond its mere illustration are coming into sharper focus.

This panel aims to engage with conceptions of and the relation between science, technology, and the natural world in medieval art. We seek papers that explore how artworks mediated knowledge and structured experiences of the natural world, and/or that consider the function of artistic practice in the construction of scientific knowledge during the Middle Ages. Among others, we invite papers on medical and anatomical images, herbal and lapidary topics, medieval maritime or celestial maps, hybrid bodies and wondrous creatures, naturalism in architectural decoration, as well as objects such as time-keeping devices, astrolabes or automata. We also encourage submissions that are concerned with issues of technological and material manipulation (i.e. paint and pigments, stone carving, weaving, etc.), as well as sensory knowledge and perception.

We welcome submissions for 20-minute papers from graduate student ICMA members. To propose a paper, please send a title, abstract of 300 words, CV, and completed Congress Information Form to Sophie Ong (sophie.ong@rutgers.edu) and Robert Vogt (rvogt4@jhu.edu) by 15 September 2018.

Thanks to a generous grant from the Kress Foundation, participants in this ICMA-sponsored session are eligible to receive funds to defray travel and hotel costs.

The International Center for Medieval Art Student Committee involves and advocates for all members of the ICMA with student status and facilitates communication and mentorship between student and non-student members.

Call for Papers: Mary Jaharis Center for Byzantine Art and Culture session, IMC Leeds, 2019 (Deadline: 1 September 2018)

hb_17-190-678To encourage the integration of Byzantine studies within the scholarly community and medieval studies in particular, the Mary Jaharis Center for Byzantine Art and Culture seeks proposals for a Mary Jaharis Center sponsored session at the 26th International Medieval Congress, University of Leeds, July 1–4, 2019. We invite session proposals on any topic relevant to Byzantine studies.
The thematic strand for the 2019 IMC is “Materialities.” See the IMC Call for Papers (https://www.leeds.ac.uk/ims/imc/imc2019_call.html) for additional information about the theme and suggested areas of discussion.
Session proposals must be submitted through the Mary Jaharis Center website (https://maryjahariscenter.org/sponsored-sessions/26th-international-medieval-congress). The deadline for submission is September 1, 2018. Proposals should include:
**Title
**100-word session abstract
**Session moderator and academic affiliation
**Information about the three papers to be presented in the session. For each paper: name of presenter and academic affiliation, proposed paper title, and 100-word abstract
**CV
Successful applicants will be notified by mid-September if their proposal has been selected for submission to the International Medieval Congress. Successful applicants will be notified by mid-September if their proposal has been selected for submission to the International Medieval Congress. The Mary Jaharis Center will submit the session proposal to the International Medieval Congress and will keep the potential organizer informed about the status of the proposal.
The session organizer may act as the moderator or present a paper. Participants may only present papers in one session.
If the proposed session is approved, the Mary Jaharis Center will reimburse a maximum of 4 session participants (presenters and moderator) up to $600 maximum for European residents and up to $1200 maximum for those coming from outside Europe. Funding is through reimbursement only; advance funding cannot be provided. Eligible expenses include conference registration, transportation, and food and lodging. Receipts are required for reimbursement.
Please contact Brandie Ratliff (mjcbac@hchc.edu), Director, Mary Jaharis Center for Byzantine Art and Culture with any questions.

Call for Papers: ‘Intersectional Medievalisms’, ICMS 2019 (Deadline: 15 September 2018)

acar-rashaad-newsome-0254th International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, May 9 – 12, 2019
Deadline: Sep 15, 2018

Organizers: Bryan C. Keene (The J. Paul Getty Museum) and Benjamin C. Tilghman (Washington College)
Sponsored by The J. Paul Getty Museum

The close ties between medieval revivalism and the construction of cultural identities have long been recognized. The appropriation of the medieval past by white supremacist and nationalist groups has especially attracted comment over the past two years, and many scholars of medieval studies have traced those appropriations and highlighted the myths and misconceptions upon which they are built. The association of medievalism with the construction of normative (white, heterosexual, cisgender, Christian) identity has come to be so strong that it is often assumed that those who fall outside such identity groups would (or even should) have little or no interest in the Middle Ages. That this belief, which can troublingly be found in in the scholarly community just as much as the general public, is patently false could readily be seen at The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s 2018 “Heavenly Bodies” Gala. But similar to the invocation of the medieval past by such artists as Kehinde Wiley and Ron Athey, the medievalism of the Met Gala was treated somewhat superficially, with more concern for the glamour of the event than the complex coding of the fashion and its wearers. These sessions will consider the important, if often unmentioned, intersectional practice of medievalism in contemporary culture through papers and discussion about the use of medieval motifs and themes in contemporary works in any media by writers, performers, musicians, and artists of color and by queer and trans-identifying creators. As such, these sessions seek to be a first step towards a fuller consideration of medievalisms that range outside the
customary assumptions about to whom the Middle Ages presents a usable past.

Intersectional Medievalisms I: Creators of Color
Even as medievalists have become much more attuned to the presence of people of color in medieval Europe, they have yet to fully consider the presence of the Middle Ages in the art, poetry, music, and other cultural expressions of contemporary people of color. While the references to medieval (and early modern) culture in such works as Kehinde Wiley’s paintings and Jay-Z’s Magna Carta… Holy Grail have been widely recognized, the arguably more complex reworkings of medieval culture by , RAMMΣLLZΣΣ, and Derrick Austin have thus far gained little notice. What is the medieval in the work of these artists? A contested source of oppression? A tool for cultural renegotiation and redefinition? A seductive space of myth and beauty? Must their use of the medieval past be understood necessarily as a pointed appropriation, or can it be seen as the mining of just another source of raw cultural material? Speakers are encouraged to consider not only the stakes of medievalism in this particular cultural moment, but also other aspects of these creators’ intellectual projects, such as the explorations of semiotics, phenomenology, intermedia creation, ornament and surface, and temporality that run through many of these works.

Intersectional Medievalisms II: Queering the Medieval
The scholarly approach of “queering” the past has revealed otherwise invisible, erased, or censored facets of medieval identity and relationships. This methodology also disrupts the cisgender and heteronormative binaries that all-too-often remain pervasive in the academy and in the popularly imagined Middle Ages. LGBTQ+ artists have also addressed these issues, at times turning to broadly-conceived medievalisms. Ron Athey, Gabriel Garcia Roman, and others evoke the cult of saints in their work, a poignant commentary about acceptance by the Catholic (and broader Christian) community. The relationship between medieval chant and the vocal performances of Meredith Monk and Oblivia deserves greater attention, as does the architectural and advertising medievalism of queer clubs, lounges, and Pride events (a project begun by the late Michael Camille). By focusing on the relationship between a creators’ identity and their conception of the medieval, we encourage speakers to consider how medievalism is practiced in contemporary culture and how to open the academy or museum as spaces of greater inclusion and dialogue.

While the two sessions will be split to allow for a sharper focus on the role of race and of gender and sexual identity in contemporary creative medievalism, the aim of these sessions is for all the work presented to be resolutely intersectional, looking to trace and illuminate connections rather than delineating borders.

To propose a paper, please send a one-page abstract and a completed Participant Information Form (available via the Congress website) by September 15 to Bryan C.
Keene (BKeene@getty.edu) and Benjamin C. Tilghman (btilghman2@washcoll.edu). More information about the Congress can be found here: https://wmich.edu/medievalcongress