Sponsored by the International Center of Medieval Art (ICMA) Student Committee
Organized by Sophie Ong (Rutgers University) and Robert Vogt (Johns Hopkins University)
54th International Congress on Medieval Studies, May 9-12, 2019
Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI
Many medieval images and objects indicate an interest in and demonstrate specific understandings of the natural world. Rendered as visual and material witnesses, technologically complex works and those in scientific treatises feature prominently in histories of transmission and translation, not only across cultures, but also from text into image/object. In recent years, art historians have begun to question the implications of these transfers by rethinking the modes of such works’ making and reception. Accordingly, the relationship between artistic practice and scientific knowledge, a given work’s scientific or technological qualities, and the engagement with the natural world beyond its mere illustration are coming into sharper focus.
This panel aims to engage with conceptions of and the relation between science, technology, and the natural world in medieval art. We seek papers that explore how artworks mediated knowledge and structured experiences of the natural world, and/or that consider the function of artistic practice in the construction of scientific knowledge during the Middle Ages. Among others, we invite papers on medical and anatomical images, herbal and lapidary topics, medieval maritime or celestial maps, hybrid bodies and wondrous creatures, naturalism in architectural decoration, as well as objects such as time-keeping devices, astrolabes or automata. We also encourage submissions that are concerned with issues of technological and material manipulation (i.e. paint and pigments, stone carving, weaving, etc.), as well as sensory knowledge and perception.
We welcome submissions for 20-minute papers from graduate student ICMA members. To propose a paper, please send a title, abstract of 300 words, CV, and completed Congress Information Form to Sophie Ong (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Robert Vogt (email@example.com) by 15 September 2018.
Thanks to a generous grant from the Kress Foundation, participants in this ICMA-sponsored session are eligible to receive funds to defray travel and hotel costs.
The International Center for Medieval Art Student Committee involves and advocates for all members of the ICMA with student status and facilitates communication and mentorship between student and non-student members.