Monthly Archives: August 2018

CFP: 3 Sessions at ICMS, Kalamazoo 2019 (Deadline 15 September 2018)

The Restoration of the 14th-century Painted Ceiling of the Sala Magna in Palazzo Chiaromonte-Steri in Palermo, 3 linked sessions

Organizers: Licia Buttà (Universitat Rovira I Virgili, Tarragona) Costanza Conti (Università di Palermo) and Antonio Sorce (Università di Palermo)

Sponsored by the Italian Art Society

The restoration of the 14th-century wooden ceiling of the Sala Magna in PalazzoScreen Shot 2018-08-29 at 9.56.39 AM Chiaromonte—known as Steri—began in September 2017. The ceiling was crafted between 1377 and 1380, as attested by the inscription that runs along two sides of the ceiling between beams and lacunars, in which the name of the patron is also mentioned: the powerful and noble ruler of Palermo—Manfredi Chiaromonte (d. November 1391). The surface area of the wooden ceiling measures 23 x 8 meters. The iconography is displayed uninterrupted on the three sides of the 24 beams and on the 100 coffered lacunars. After the fall of the Chiaromonte family, the palace was first occupied by King Martin I, the Humane (29 July 1356 – 31 May 1410), then by the Viceroys of Aragon, and the House of Bourbon. Between 1601 and 1782 it became the Palace of the Inquisition and later the halls of the palace were used as the Court of Appeal. Today the building is home to the rectorate of the University of Palermo. The three linked sessions seek to be a fruitful occasion to study the ceiling of the Sala Magna in Palazzo Chiaromonte-Steri and medieval painted ceilings in the Mediterranean in general, in terms of conservation as well as visual culture through a multidisciplinary perspective.

Continue reading

Advertisements

CFP: “A Global Trecento: Objects, Artist, and Ideas Across Europe, the Mediterranean, and Beyond,” IMC Leeds, 2019 (Deadline 15 September 2018)

Looking at the Trecento through the lens of current global paradigms and concerns inmarco polo historical and art historical studies might seem hazardous, or even paradoxical and provocative at best. Very few other labels have the power to evoke both the glories, achievements and limitations of traditional ‘Western’, and namely Eurocentric, art history. As a matter of fact, using the Italian word Trecento to mean the ‘Fourteenth Century’ in the visual arts, music and potentially any area of human endeavour adumbrates a clear hierarchy–with Italy at its top. It is meaningful, and perhaps no coincidence, that the term Trecento came into use in English in the same years that mark the tumultuous expansion of the new discipline of art history in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and its usage has grown exponentially ever since. While much has been done in recent decades to broaden our understanding of the period both geographically and philosophically, the Trecento remains primarily the century of Giotto and of the great Tuscan painters and sculptors. At this time of building national ‘walls’, it seems particularly appropriate to think that the seminal and transformative character of the Trecento owes much to artistic and cultural exchanges, movement of artists and patrons, circulation of models and ideas across Italy, Europe, the Mediterranean and beyond. Our aim is to bring into conversation recent research on these issues.

Continue reading

CFP: “In Search of the Desert: New Observations on the Late-Medieval Revival of the Eremitic Life,” ICMS 2019 (Deadline 15 October, 2018)

In Search of the Desert: New Observations on the Late-Medieval Revival of the Eremitic Life

54th International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, May 9 – 12, 2019
Deadline: Oct 15, 2018
Organizers: Denva Gallant (University of Delaware) and Amelia Hope-Jones (University of Edinburgh)

In the third and fourth centuries AD, the barren deserts of Egypt, Syria and Palestine P1000332witnessed the birth of Christian monastic life among saints who came to be known as the Desert Fathers. The heroic self-discipline and devoted ascetic endeavors of St Antony the Abbot, St Paul of Thebes and St Macarius, among others, became emblematic of an original and authentic form of the religious life. This eremitic tradition, transmitted to the west through hagiography and ascetic literature, exerted a profound influence over the formation of western monastic life in the fifth and sixth centuries, and continued to function as an ideological authority well into the late medieval period and beyond.

Continue reading

Call for Papers: ‘Medieval Art History: Are We Post-Theoretical?’, ICMS 2019 (Deadline: 15 September 2018)

Trumeau

Session:  Medieval Art History: Are We Post-Theoretical?

Organizer:  Gerry Guest gguest@jcu.edu

Session description:  The philosopher and blogger Levi Bryant has written that theory “is a sort of strange work that precedes anything true, allowing that which does not appear to appear.  There is never a simple gaze or seeing, but rather there is always an apparatus that allows something to appear that would not otherwise appear.  And there is no looking nor acting that doesn’t presuppose an apparatus of appearance.”  If we follow this line of thought, then all medievalists are theorists.  Yet, in the 21st century, historians of medieval art seem largely indifferent to the field of critical theory, which profoundly marked the study of the humanities in the 20th century.  If a generation ago scholars were concerned with defining something called “the new art history,” where do we stand now?  Are we now working in a post-theoretical age or can a renewed engagement with theoretical issues enliven the field?

This session seeks position papers and case studies that reflect on these questions.  Participants should feel free to define “theory” however they choose.  Engagement with established theorists (Foucault, Butler, Jameson, etc.) is as welcome as investigations inspired by newer work in fields such as queer studies, gender studies, and post-colonialism.

For consideration, please send a one-page proposal to gguest@jcu.edu by September 15, 2018. 

Call for Papers: ‘Light and darkness in pre-modern visual cultures’, Courtauld Institute of Art, London, Friday 23rd November 2018

1975.1.113

Courtauld Institute of Art, London
Deadline: 15 September 2018

Organisers: Stefania Gerevini and Tom Nickson

The staged lighting of modern galleries, heritage sites and publications has significantly altered understanding of the roles of light and darkness in the design and reception of pre-modern objects and spaces. Despite sophisticated systems to manage artificial and natural light, pre-modern experiences of the visual were shaped greatly by daily and seasonal rituals and contingencies. In turn, those experiences informed, and were informed by, diverse theories about vision, light and illumination.

This one-day workshop of lightning talks offers participants opportunities to explore their own encounters with issues of light and darkness in pre-modern cultures, and set them within broader scholarly frameworks. How did pre-modern cultures conceptualise, respond to, and manipulate light and darkness and their interactions in urban, domestic and religious settings? How were natural and artificial light managed? What role did they play in the design of individual artworks, architectural spaces, ephemera and rituals, and to what extent did different light levels affect perceptions of objects and spaces? What vocabulary was used to think about light and darkness, and how was this language transformed by the advent of new technologies of illumination? How did pre-modern cultures deploy light/dark, day/night, to cogitate on God and the cosmos, and to visualise them?

Lightning talks should be no more than 5 minutes and 5 slides, and will be ‘curated’ for maximum variety and visual interest. They may relate to any region or culture, and ‘pre-modern’ is here very broadly defined as the period before the adoption of gas or electric lighting. Papers might focus on single objects, rituals or spaces, or on groups thereof. All disciplinary perspectives are welcome, provided they focus predominantly on visual culture.

Papers might consider:

  • The language of light and darkness: science, theology, literature and daily life
  • Light, darkness and the senses
  • Rituals, objects and spaces by night
  • Science, technologies and visual culture
  • Theologies of light/darkness
  • Daily/annual cycles of light and dark
  • Street life and the experience of urban spaces and architectures by day and night
  • Natural ‘spotlights’ on objects or buildings
  • Provision for lighting of various kinds
  • The agency of patrons or creators in shaping lighting conditions
  • Reconstructions of original lighting conditions
  • Restaging of medieval objects in early modern contexts
  • Deliberate darkness or blinding light
  • Refraction and reflection
  • Materiality and immateriality

Abstracts of 200 words should be sent to lightanddarkness2311@gmail.com together with 100-word participant biographies. The deadline is Saturday 15th September 2018. Please note that given the brevity of papers and large number of participants, The Courtauld cannot cover travel or accommodation costs (though lunch, refreshments and a subsidised supper will be provided).

Organised by:

Stefania Gerevini (Bocconi University, Milan)

Tom Nickson (Courtauld Institute of Art, London)

Call for Papers: ‘Moving Images: the Badge in Medieval Christendom’, ICMS 2019 (Deadline: 15 September 2018)

collection.54th International Congress on Medieval Studies
Kalamazoo, MI, May 9 – 12, 2019
Deadline: Sep 15, 2018

Organisers: Lloyd de Beer and Amy Jeffs

The phrase “moving images” invites applicants to apply ideas of motion and mobility to the medieval badge. These insignia helped define communities: they marked and traversed territorial boundaries; they were worn by religious devotees, military retainers and groups that shared the same jokes and stories. What do badges reveal about medieval visual culture? What is the impact of scale, variety and proliferation on our understanding of these emblems’ multifarious purposes?

The term “medieval badge” is ambiguous. Is it a pewter token worn on clothing, such as a livery badge or a pilgrim souvenir? Does it not also describe the prestigious Dunstable Swan Jewel at the British Museum or the image of the white hart worn by the figures of the Wilton Diptych? Likewise, it can mean an emblematic image, in any medium. These often appear in manuscripts, paintings, architecture, sculpture, and a host of more fragile objects, such as embroidered banners. Larger works of art could become miniature signs, such as the depiction of St Thomas Becket’s head reliquary reproduced on Canterbury pilgrim souvenirs. Inversely, emblematic metal badges appear as trompe-l’oeil in virtuosic paintings. Their geographical and material flexibility calls out for scholarly exploration.

This session invites proposals which will consider the medieval badge in its widest theoretical contexts, using ideas of motion and mobility as a starting point. Session participants will give a 20 minute paper discussing the “moving image” as it is manifest in the badges of medieval Christendom.

Please send a 250-word abstract and a completed Participant Information Form (available via the Congress Submissions website: https://wmich.edu/medievalcongress/submissions) by September 15 to Lloyd de Beer (ldebeer@britishmuseum.org) and Amy Jeffs (aj383@cam.ac.uk). More information about the Congress can be found here: https://wmich.edu/medievalcongress.

Call for Papers: ‘Wounds Visible and Invisible in Late Medieval Christianity’, ICMS 2019 (Deadline: 15 September 2018)

31333806172_4c82f814f2_b54th International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, May 9 – 12, 2019
Deadline: 15 September 2018

This session examines the many valences of wounds in late medieval Christianity, focusing on themes surrounding wounds and wounding both visible (corporeal and/or material) and invisible (rhetorical and allegorical). The image of the wounded body held a central place in late medieval Christian practice and material culture; the wounds of the crucified Christ were tangible reminders of his Passion and served as foci of veneration, while stigmatic saints and maimed martyrs were marked as holy by means of bodily trauma. Papers may also consider the Christian response to physical injury, in the form of saintly intervention through healing miracles and medical intervention through the establishment of hospitals and provision of care by religious orders.

Moving beyond the ample possibilities for discussion stemming from the theme of “visible” wounds in medieval Christianity, this session also encourages a broad examination of “invisible” wounds within the late medieval Christian context. Examples might range from the accusations of metaphorical violence levied against the mendicant orders by antifraternal critics, to the conceptualization of the Western Schism as a wound to the Church. By exploring wounds both “visible” and “invisible,” this session elicits the perspectives of scholars of history, art history, literature, and theology and seeks to expand conceptions of wounds and injury within a late medieval Christian framework.

Please send a brief proposal (300 words max) and a participant information form (currently available at https://wmich.edu/medievalcongress/submissions) to Hannah Wood at Hannah.wood@mail.utoronto.ca and Johanna Pollick at j.pollick.1@research.gla.ac.uk by 15th September 2018.

As per ICMS rules, any abstracts not accepted for our session will be forwarded for consideration for General Sessions.