CFP: Monumental Failures (Session, International Congress on Medieval Studies)

Screen Shot 2016-07-15 at 12.15.50 PMCall for Papers: Monumental Failures

International Congress on Medieval Studies

May 11-14, 2017

Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan

International Center for Medieval Art, Student Committee

In 1284, part of the choir of Beauvais cathedral dramatically collapsed during construction. This event would go on to alter the plan of one of the most ambitious building projects of the Middle Ages. Like Beauvais, greater and lesser failures throughout the Middle Ages served as the inspiration, motivation, and impetus for artistic change and development. Given the nature of failure, unsuccessful creations do not always leave a lasting mark. Nevertheless, the impact of failure is evident in subsequent artistic creation. Because of this relative obscurity, “failure” has seldom been explored in a field focused on the great artistic achievements of the past.

We hope to address this lacuna by offering an opportunity for young scholars to present research on the less-than- successful endeavors of medieval artisans, both large and small. We invite papers engaging with various incarnations of failure (alteration, incompletion, destruction, rejection, collapse, etc.) as approaches to artistic production or interpretation.

The Student Committee of the International Center for Medieval Art involves and advocates for all members of the ICMA with student status and facilitates communication and mentorship between student and non-student members.

To propose a paper, please send a 300 word abstract, C.V., and completed Congress Participant Information Form (available here: to Dustin Aaron ( and Katherine Werwie (

Deadline: September 10


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