Monthly Archives: March 2014

Call for Papers: Knowing Nature in Medieval & Early Modern Worlds (College Park, 24-25 Oct 14)

University of Maryland, College Park, March 25, 2014
Deadline: 01.05.2014

The Graduate Field Committee in Medieval & Early Modern Studies at University of Maryland, College Park — an interdisciplinary group of faculty and graduate students — is excited to announce its call for this year’s conference:

Knowing Nature in the Medieval & Early Modern Worlds, Oct. 24-25, 2014

Nature, according to the critic Raymond Williams, is quite possibly “the most difficult word in the English language.” The genealogy of nature’s complexities—semantic, philological, epistemological, ontological—are the subject of this two-day conference that seeks to bring into dialogue historians of science, philosophy, art, and literature. How did early writers and artists and other thinkers know and encounter nature? What practices made nature legible? What ethics were thought to arise out of the environment? This event considers a wide variety of cultural productions in the medieval and early modern periods. By what metaphors and strategies did pre-modern people represent the sensible world of matter? This event considers a wide variety of cultural productions in the medieval and early modern periods, seeking to rethink the relation between fields of knowledge and to bridge the widening gap between the humanities and the sciences in our own universities.

Topics may include:
the analogies through which nature is known
the long history of environmentalism

materiality and its discontents
natural occurrences, wonders, or cataclysms
landscapes and visual culture
natural and medical histories
histories of the body, human and otherwise
the relationship between the nature and the supernatural

Confirmed speakers include Jeffrey Cohen (GWU), Drew Daniel (Johns Hopkins), Alan Mikhail (Yale), David Norbrook (Merton College, Oxford), Stephen Campbell (Johns Hopkins), Joanna Picciotto (UC Berkeley), David Simon (Chicago), Michael Witmore (Folger Shakespeare Library), Jessica Wolfe (UNC Chapel Hill), and Michael Sappol (National Library of Medicine).

Please submit paper proposals of 250 words to by May 1.
Best, Chris Maffuccio

Christine Maffuccio
Ph.D. Candidate, Department of English, University of Maryland
Graduate Assistant, UMD’s Graduate Field Committee in Medieval & Early Modern Studies


BIAA Awards and Opportunities


Funding Opportunities – Deadline 1 April –

Post-doctoral Fellowship – Deadline 1 May –

Workshop: The Mosaics of Thessaloniki Revisited (London, 30 May 2014)

A One-Day Workshop at the Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London

Sponsored by the AG Leventis Foundation


The mosaics of Thessaloniki provide the most comprehensive ensemble of Byzantine mosaics in the world, with examples from late antiquity right through to the fourteenth century. They present remarkable testimony to the skills of artists throughout the Byzantine millennium, and give insights into many aspects of Byzantine society and belief. They also document the changing concerns of the city and its relationship with the earthly and divine worlds. The publication of The Mosaics of Thessaloniki, 4th-14th century (Athens: Kapon editions, 2012), edited by C. Bakirtzis, E. Kourkoutidou-Nikolaidou and Ch. Mavropoulou-Tsiumi, has provided an exemplary documentation of the mosaics in the city, with photographs of exceptional quality. In the light of this book as well as the growing quantity of recent work on the mosaics this workshop will look once more at the issues and controversies surrounding the mosaics, especially their dating, contexts and meanings, but also to look at new ways forward in the study of this extraordinary group of monuments. The day includes papers which examine all the major mosaic monuments in the city, but there will be extensive time for discussion so that the controversies and relationships between them can all be discussed.

09.30-10.00: Registration

Session 1: Setting the Scene
10.00-10.10: Antony Eastmond, Introduction and Welcome
10.10-10.50: Beat Brenk, The mosaics of Thessaloniki: the state of research
10.50-11.20: Coffee

Session 2: Chaired by Jaś Elsner – Dates and Contexts: pre-Iconoclasm
11.20-12.00: Hjalmar Torp, Considerations on the Chronology of the Rotunda Mosaics
12.00-12.40: Charalambos Bakirtzis, The mosaics of Saint Demetrios basilica: Iconographical issues
12.40-13.15: chaired by Jaś Elsner – Discussion: dates, contexts and interpretations
13.15-14.10: Lunch

Session 3: Chaired by Judith Herrin – Dates and Contexts: post-Iconoclasm
14.10-14.50: Robin Cormack, After Iconoclasm – forwards or backwards?
14.50-15.30: Liz James, The mosaics of the church of the Holy Apostles: Byzantine mosaics in the fourteenth century
15.30-16.00: Tea

Session 4: Chaired by Liz James – Contexts and Colour in Thessaloniki
16.00-16.40: Laura Nasrallah, Representing the first-century Thessalonians: Early Christian Commentaries on the Pauline Epistles and the Acts of the Apostles
16.40-17.20: Bente Kiilerich, Colour, Light and Luminosity in the Rotunda Mosaics
17.20-18.00: Myrto Hatzaki, Peacocks, Rainbows and Handsome Men: Perceiving Physical Beauty in the Early Byzantine Mosaics of Thessaloniki
18.00-18.10: Antony Eastmond, Conclusions
18.15: Reception

Booking for the conference is up on the website (under forthcoming conferences, soon to be moved into main section once the summer term programme is up). There are links to the programme and abstracts, and the online booking has also been opened (£12, £7 concessions).

Rare Book School, Charlottesville, Virginia, June 2014

This summer Rare Book School is excited to offer four courses designed specifically to advance the research of scholars in medieval and renaissance studies.

*Introduction to Paleography, 800-1500* introduces students to the book-based scripts and the text typologies of the western European Middle Ages and the Renaissance, from Caroline minuscule through early print. Taught by Consuelo Dutschke, Curator of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts at Columbia University, this course will provide students with
the basic tools for working with medieval codices and enable them to read the texts and to recognize categories of script. This course will be taught in Charlottesville June 9-13. See the course website<>for a complete description.

During the same week, June 9-13, RBS will offer a course in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on *The Medieval Manuscript in the 21st Century*. Taught by Will Noel, Director of the Schoenberg Institute for Manuscript Studies at the University of Pennsylvania and Dot Porter, Curator of Digital Research Services at the Schoenberg Institute, this course guides students of both the digital humanities and manuscript studies through the concepts and realities of working with medieval manuscripts in the twenty-first century. By considering critical issues relating to using medieval manuscripts in a digital world, students will engage the idea of “digital surrogacy” and explore the implications of representing physical objects in digital forms. See the course website <>for a complete description.

Students interested in manuscript studies may also consider *Introduction to Western Codicology*, taught by Albert Derolez, Emeritus Professor at the Free Universities of Brussels and author of *The Palaeography of Gothic Manuscript Books from the Twelfth to the Early Sixteenth Century* (Cambridge University Press, 2006). This course surveys the development of the *physical features* of manuscript books. By teaching students to examine manuscript
materials, structure, and layout, among other elements, this course goes beyond traditional research on the study of script and illumination and introduces students to alternate methods of uncovering information in a codex. To give students the widest possible exposure to a variety of manuscripts of the Middle Ages and Renaissance, the course will take a field trip to libraries in Washington, DC. This course will be taught in Charlottesville 16-20 June. See the course website<>for a
complete description.

For students familiar with basic skills in paleography, codicology, and the history of the hand-produced book, RBS is offering *Advanced Seminar: Medieval Manuscript Studies*, taught by Barbara A. Shailor, Deputy Provost for the Arts at Yale University and former Director of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale. Students will spend the week analyzing and discussing fragments and codices at the Beinecke Library. In addition to transcribing difficult scripts, students will have the opportunity to attend workshops by Yale conservators on topics such as inks and pigments, parchment, paper, watermark identification, and collation. This course will be taught in New Haven, Connecticut during the week of July 28-August 1. See the course website
<>for a complete description.

Rare Book School is currently receiving applications for this course–and all other–courses. To apply, please visit please myRBS<; to set up your account and submit your application materials. For general information on the application process, visit the RBS Application & Admissions <; page.

Please write to if you have any questions about either course or the application process.

Call for Papers: Workshop: La cathédrale transfigurée (Paris, 13-16 May 14)

Paris, Deutsches Forum für Kunstgeschichte /Rouen, Musée des Beaux-Arts, 13. – 16.05.2014
Eingabeschluss: 15.04.2014france-notre-dame-cathedral

Workshop für NachwuchswissenschaftlerInnen im Rahmen des Kolloquiums « La cathédrale transfigurée. Regards, mythes, conflits »
Paris, Deutsches Forum für Kunstgeschichte, 13. Mai 2014
Rouen, Musée des Beaux-Arts, 14. – 15. Mai 2014

Anlässlich des deutsch-französischen Ausstellungprojekts „Cathédrales“ (Musée des Beaux-Arts, Rouen/Wallraf-Richartz-Museum & Fondation Corboud, Köln) organisiert das Deutsche Forum für Kunstgeschichte in Paris in Zusammenarbeit mit der Universität Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense, dem Musée des Beaux-Arts in Rouen und der Universität Rouen vom 13. bis zum 16. Mai 2014 eine internationale Tagung in Paris und Rouen sowie ein Treffen deutscher und französischer NachwuchswissenschaftlerInnen.

Im Zentrum der Veranstaltung steht die gotische Kathedrale als Bildmotiv, deren Aneignungsformen in Romantik, Impressionismus und Moderne und in den jeweiligen nationalen Diskursen. Ein besonderer Themenschwerpunkt gilt im Jahr des Weltkriegsgedenkens der spezifischen Rolle der Kathedralbauten im Ersten Weltkrieg.
MasterstudentInnen, DoktorandInnen und Post-DoktorandInnen, deren Arbeiten sich mit dem Bild der Kathedrale und ihrer Rezeption im 19. und 20. Jahrhundert beschäftigen, sind eingeladen am Workshop für NachwuchswissenschaftlerInnen teilzunehmen, der parallel zum Kolloquium stattfinden soll. Als Beitrag ist ein Kurzvortrag von 15 Minuten erwünscht oder die Respondenz zu einer der Tagungssektionen.
Die Unterkunft in Rouen wird durch die Universität gestellt, für Übernachtung und Anreise nach Paris werden für TeilnehmerInnen von deutschen/deutschsprachigen Universitäten Kosten bis zu einer Höhe von 250 Euro vom DFK übernommen. Bewerbungen mit einer Projektskizze (maximal 2.000 Zeichen) und kurzem Lebenslauf senden Sie bitte bis zum 15. April 2014 an folgende Adresse:

Bitte senden Sie Ihre Unterlagen möglichst in einem einzigen PDF/Dokument und überschreiten Sie bei Ihrer Mail samt Anlage die Größe von 10 MB nicht.

Material Witness Blog







The Material Witness blog is up!

Material Witness is an interdisciplinary training program for PhD students from the seven UK universities that makes up the CHASE consortium – The Courtauld Institute of Art, Goldsmiths, the Open University, and the Universities of East Anglia, Essex, Kent and Sussex.

The Material Witness workshops have ranged from manuscript handling sessions at the British Library to discussions on the implications of digitalizing art collections. By taking place outside the classroom and by welcoming PhD students from varied backgrounds, this series has championed the interdisciplinary approaches that characterize today’s most cutting-edge scholarship. At the same time, the opportunity to handle works of art reminds participants of the pleasures and responsibilities of original doctoral-level research.

To find out more about the workshops and to hear from the participants themselves, you may checkout the blog here. Suggestions and comments are encouraged!