Call For Papers: Other Animals and Humans in Medieval Art, Kalamazoo 2014

Call for Papers: Other Animals and Humans in Medieval Art, Kalamazoo 2014

Session to be held at the 2014 International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, Michigan, May 8-11, 2014. Sponsored by the International Center of Medieval Art (ICMA).

Corine Schleif (Arizona State University, Phoenix, Arizona)
Martha Easton (Seton Hall University, South Orange, New Jersey)


For some, “animals are good to eat.” For others, “animals are good to think with” (Levi-Strauss). Medieval art and society could not have existed without nonhuman animals. Human knowledge of animals is and was produced and exchanged largely through images (Berger)—albeit differently during the Middle Ages than today. hyena-eating-corpsePapers may address the ways in which humans defined themselves against animal others in and through visual images or the ways in which interspecies relationships were prescribed and proscribed pictorially. We welcome not only papers in which animals are absented and employed as signs for persons and things outside of themselves, but also and especially studies that interrogate “real” animals (Fudge, Hobgood-Oster) as sentient beings with agency as well as filaments within tangled interdependent networks (Haraway, Latour).

Participants may explore relationships that manifest themselves in art in terms of companionship, communication, entertainment, food, clothing, energy, gift giving, or liturgical rituals.

Panelists may wish to examine intersections with issues of gender, class, race and breed. Papers may question critically the manner in which art functioned ideologically on behalf of human hegemony, as well as ways in which animals were perceived to “look back,” to be privy to divine omniscience, to utter otherwise hidden truths, and to rise to the level of the holy.

Deadline for Paper Proposals: September 15, 2013

Paper proposals should consist of the following:

– Abstract of proposed paper (300 words maximum)
– Completed Participant Information Form (available here).
– CV with home and office mailing addresses, e-mail address, and phone number
– Statement of ICMA membership status
– Funds may be available to defray travel costs of sponsored session participants.

All Proposals & Inquiries Should Be Directed To:
Corine Schleif:
Martha Easton:


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