CFP: Time and Temporality in Medieval and Early Modern Art (May 18 – 19, 2016, The Open University of Israel, Raanana), deadline 31 December 2015

IMAGO – The Israeli Association for Visual Culture of the Middle Ages, and the Department of Literature, Language and Arts, The Open University of Israel

The subject of time was frequently encountered in medieval and early modern thinking and culture, from the notion of eternity as an abiding “now” outside of time (as defined by Gregory of Nazianzos, in Oratio 39.12, “Christ, the Maker of time . . . is not subject to time”) to the aphorism Tempus vitam regit (“Time rules life”) engraved on more than one sundial. Ranging from the discussion of the reception of Aristotelian and Neoplatonic concepts of time and temporality (Pasquale Porro, The Medieval Concept of Time) to the analysis of temporality and anachronism in art (Elizabeth Sears, The Ages of Man: Medieval Interpretations of the Life Cycle; Alexander Nagel and Christopher Wood, Anachronic Renaissance), scholars have engaged with the conceptualization and problematics of notions of time and temporality, eternity and historicity, continuum and momentarity during the medieval and early modern periods.

This conference strives to expand the existing body of research by exploring the inventive nature of forms and ways of reckoning time in art. We hope papers will consider questions such as: What is the phenomenology of works of art representing ever-stretching, eternal, or circular time? How has the idea of linear and progressive historical time been appropriated or challenged in artistic objects and works? What is the nature of the artwork when submitted to different regimes of historical temporality? What are the specific artistic devices that give form to past appropriation and temporal experience? What is the nature of the work of art that records the passage of time in nature? How has the notion of time been used for purposes of patronage and identity?

Proposals for talks may refer (but are not limited) to the following topics:
– Conceptualizing the idea of time and temporality in art
– The aesthetic rendering of time: color/grisaille, inaccurate measurements, distorted notions of space
– Temporal characteristics of atemporal divinities
– Material culture as a marker of time
– Time, creation and continuity in art
– Reconfiguring the past in the present: biblical time and political images
– Liturgical time and divine continuity in art
– Memory as a constructor of historical images
– Motion and time: temporal geographies in Christian, Jewish, and Islamic visual space
– Spatial time and temporal space
– Visual indications of eternity versus time
– Temporality and identity in art
– Physiognomy, body, and traces of time
– Imaging medical and astrological temporality
– The question of trauma in the interpretation of art
– Use and abuse of the past in visual memory

Keynote Speaker:
Professor Charles Barber, Princeton University

Please send an English abstract of up to 250 words to the conference organizer, matim@openu.ac.il, before 31 December 2015. Abstracts should include the applicant’s name, professional affiliation, and a short CV. Each paper will be limited to a 20-minute presentation, followed by discussion and questions. All applicants will be notified regarding acceptance of their proposal by 31 January 2016.

For more information or any further inquiries please contact the conference chair, Mati Meyer – matim@openu.ac.il.

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.

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