Call for Papers: Juridical Circulations and Artistic, Intellectual and Cultural Practices in Medieval Europe (13th-15th Centuries) International Conference (Lisbon, 25-27 February 2016)

1926887_652422134825989_1242238222_n[1] Call for Papers

The International Conference Medieval Europe in Motion 3 continues the series of scientific meetings launched in 2013 by the Institute of Medieval Studies (IMS) of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, Nova University of Lisbon (FCSH/UNL) – devoted to the topic of social, cultural, and artistic mobility in Medieval Europe (

In keeping thematically with the previous conferences, the main objective of this new event is an analysis of the mobility and circulation of people, ideas and objects related to the study and practice of law during the thirteenth through the fifteenth centuries. Among topics addressed may be the intellectuals involved (scholars, notaries, jurists, ecclesiastics and others); the manuscripts and texts themselves; artistic models for the illumination of legal manuscripts; or the circulation of the law itself and ideas connected to its role and practice in the Medieval West. We would like to focus on studies of the southernmost territories of the West: the Iberian Peninsula, Southern France, and Italy.

Topics for consideration:
We seek to examine and discuss the ways in which the phenomena of mobility interacted with processes of codification and teaching of law, just as much as it influenced the visual representations of this discipline in manuscript illuminations. While it is clear that this is not unexplored territory in the context of art historical or cultural studies, or even political and economic history—since recent conferences have explored these topics—much still needs to be done in the investigation of how they interact and relate to each other. We would like this conference to establish a new forum for debate and for proposing new ways to move forward in research on such themes.

This objective has determined the various sections into which this conference will be divided and the various research questions we wish to address.

First, we aim to look at the phenomenon of mobility in connection with scholars who studied and taught Law in different regions of Medieval Europe: How did this take place? Who were the people who traveled? Where did they choose to go and which towns were affected by such global movements?

Second, we want to look at how mobility also affected the manuscripts, especially the juridical manuscripts, and the illuminated ones in particular. Their circulation, along with the travel of illuminators, influenced, stimulated, and modified substantially the iconographic and stylistic processes of production and creation in all the geographical regions here under examination.

We also wish to address the role of private or institutional patrons and promoters: institutional commissions would often include the mediation of individual agents; those of the pontifical curia were done through the command of cardinals; those of the universities through the command of Doctores; and those of towns and communes by the Podestas or the jurists at their service. The following questions should be addressed: who orders illuminated juridical manuscripts and why do they need to possess them? What are the social, political and economic frameworks that may justify such orders?

With regard to the illumination of such juridical manuscripts, we must ask questions about the iconographical models used to visually represent the exercise of justice, and their circulation. In what cultural contexts are they produced? How did such production influence—particularly in the axis Italy–French Midi–Iberian Peninsula —the presence of “foreign” illuminators? In relation to codicology we will aim at analysing the material characteristics of the juridical manuscripts in order to see how they influenced the production techniques, as much as the physical characteristics of the book as an object.

Finally, we will aim at studying the issues of mobility and circulation, not in isolated forms, but rather in their social, political, cultural and economic contexts. With these desiderata in mind, we are calling for proposals for 20-minute papers to be organized within the following sections:

  • The peregrinatio academica in the context of juridical culture
  • Modalities of teaching and practicing Law in Medieval Europe (13th–15th centuries)
  • Social, economic, cultural and artistic contexts related to the practice of Law
  • The production of juridical manuscript books (illuminated or not illuminated): economic and cultural contexts; juridical books in relation to other types of illuminated manuscripts; the place of juridical books in the context of medieval artistic production; the institution of Studia and illuminated juridical manuscripts; peciae and illuminated manuscripts; England and the Continent; from juridical illuminated manuscript to press
  • People, ideas and objects connected to the practice of Law and their circulation in Medieval Europe 13th –15th centuries. –

Please send an abstract of up to 250 words along with the title of a paper proposal (accepted in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian) as well as a brief CV (up to 1 page maximum) by 30 October 2015 to:

The Scientific Committee will analyse the proposals and will respond after 15 November 2015.

Registration fee: 50 euros Organisation Committee: Coordinator: Maria Alessandra Bilotta (IEM-FCSH-UNL – TEMPLA – LAMOP) Francisco José Díaz Marcilla (IEM-FCSH-UNL) Mário Sergio Farelo (IEM-FCSH-UNL)
Secretariat: Anabel Moreno (Universidad de Girona – TEMPLA)

Published by James Alexander Cameron

I am an art historian working primarily on medieval parish church architecture. I completed my doctorate on sedilia in medieval England in 2015 at The Courtauld Institute of Art.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: