Violence imagery in medieval art reveals a parade of brutal acts: various stages of decapitation, splitting skulls, amputating limbs, enucleating eyes, yanking teeth, cutting off breasts, and other repugnant horrors. Often stripped of direct devotional context and thus presented as violence inflicted upon the imagined bodies of the depicted saints, these portrayals also attacked the body and mind of the viewers, accumulating into a physically and emotionally moving violence: the images incorporate time, space, and motion through movement in the staging of the scenes, which, in turn, stimulated both emotional and bodily reactions in the viewers. It also encouraged the audience to move with and around the images. Suggesting an imaginative somatic experience to the beholders, these images negotiate discourses on the nature of violence, bodily integrity, and the self, and transgress the boundaries between object and subject, representation and viewers, past and present, imagination and historicism.
This conference seeks to explore the complex of rhetoric and response forms to violence imagery, whether in devotional, liturgical, or secular contexts: namely, in the juridical, moral, and ethical discourses. It also seeks to explore how the changing definition of the term violence, whether in textual or visual sources, constitutes the watershed of a given culture, civilization, and their notion of individuality.
We invite papers on any medieval discipline or region that engages with issues of:
1. Temporalities of violence and civilization
2. Movement in violence imagery
3. Producing emotion through motion in violence imagery
4. Transgressing the boundaries of the body, of art, of viewers, etc.
5. Aesthetic and semiotics of violence imagery
6. Being violent: ethics and politics of medieval violence
7. Imaging the executioners
8. The eroticism of the tortured body
9. Resistance through movement
10. Representing self-defense
11. Bodily reaction as opposed to symbols
12. The mark of violence
13. Resisting violence imagery
14. Disarming violence: classical representations deconstructed
Martin Büchsel, Goethe University Frankfurt
Assaf Pinkus, Tel Aviv University
Gerda Henkel Stiftung
Mitchell Merback, Johns Hopkins University
Jody Enders, University of California
Please send your abstract (in English) of up to 250 words to the conference assistants, Mrs Gili Shalom and Mr Volker Hille at the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org before June 18, 2018.
Abstracts should include the applicant’s name, professional affiliation, and a short CV. Each paper should be limited to a 20 minute presentation, followed by Q&A. All applicants will be notified by August 06, 2018 regarding acceptance of their proposal.
For further information or inquiries please contact the Conference Chair; Assaf Pinkus, email@example.com