Call for Papers: Moving Body Parts: Transcendence of Time and Space


Call for Papers: Moving Body Parts:

Their Transcendence of Time and Space in Pre-Modern Europe

Munich, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, April 11 – 12, 2014

Deadline: Jan 10, 2014

According to Jean-Claude Schmitt, “the dead have no existence other
than that which the living imagine for them” – and sometimes, the
living not only force them to exist in their memory but also to persist
materially. By keeping the mortal remains above the earth, by dividing
them, manipulating them and moving them to different places, the
deceased are assigned a very active role within the world of the
living. The title of this workshop includes, however, also a second
“species” of migrating bodily fragments, namely body parts that are
imagined to be moving by themselves. We are not sure whether the
movement of real, physical body parts can reasonably be linked with the
stories of actively wandering body parts as they can be found in
hagiography, secular badges and popular literature of the time, but
from our perspective it seems worthwhile to think about it, the more so
as for some years now there has been developing a broad area of
research on objects that move and migrate. Within our workshop the
following perspectives on body parts in pre-modern Europe might be

– the reasons why body parts were moved
– the way in which they were moved
– how they were visualized
– the nature of the transport media, both visual and material
– the benefits of body parts transcending space and time
– which body parts could be imagined to be moving

Romedio Schmitz-Esser (Historisches Seminar der LMU München)
Urte Krass (Institut für Kunstgeschichte der LMU München)
Munich Research Center Foundations of Modernity

We welcome paper proposals from a variety of fields, including art
history, history, archaeology, philosophy, cultural history, visual
culture, and medieval literature.

Please submit an abstract (with a maximum of 2.500 characters) plus a
brief CV along with your contact information in one PDF document by
January 10, 2014 to Romedio Schmitz-Esser (Historisches Seminar,
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Geschwister-Scholl-Platz 1,
80539 München; e-mail:

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