MOVING MATERIALS: Medium, Meanings, and Technique in Transit, Leeds International Medieval Congress (thematic strand: Materialities), University of Leeds, Leeds, United Kingdom, 1-4 July 2019
Sponsored by the International Center of Medieval Art (ICMA) Student Committee
Organized by D. Esther Kim (Toronto), Maggie Crosland (Courtauld), and Xin Yue (Sylvia) Wang (Toronto)
The materials of the medieval artist, artisan, and architect were constantly on the move, travelling from one part of the globe to another through trade, gifting, looting, or theft. Likewise, the localized techniques of working with materials and media could travel near and far, through the movement of artists and objects, as well as written and visual descriptions such as artist manuals and travel guides.
While on the move, travelling materials such as stone and marble, metals, fur, textiles, coral, ivory, and pigment—and techniques of working with these materials—might retain their original meanings and function; or they could be integrated with local media, refined, or even significantly transformed to something drastically different, to suit the ideologies and ambitions of their destination.
This panel aims to engage with materials and techniques in transit, as well as the (trans)regionality of their meanings and significations, by asking: are we still able to trace the ‘origin’ and ‘originality’ of certain materials, techniques, and their meanings? How then would the fluidity and transformation of techniques affect our understanding when we are trying to ascribe a certain technique to a particular culture or region? How are old, new, and combined meanings assessed and understood in the Middle Ages and in scholarship today?
Possible topics of discussion include, but are not limited to: global movements and dissemination of artists and/or their materials and techniques; modes of transmission; regional/transregional meaning and significance of materials and techniques; reuse and repurposing of existing materials and/or artworks; reasons for shifts in meaning and function of materials within and outside particular regions; the integration of materials and medium, and intermediality; trans-temporal/ trans-regional use of spolia, among others.
How to apply: We welcome submissions for 20-minute papers from graduate student ICMA members, and encourage interdisciplinary submissions from students researching all parts of the globe from c.400-c.1500. To propose a paper, please send a title, abstract of up to 250 words, and CV to the organizers (firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org) by 21 September, 2018.
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.