Monthly Archives: January 2019

CFP: ‘Same Old Things? Re-Telling the Italian Renaissance’, London, 3 May 19

untitled-2-1024x1024

Marcello Maloberti, Trionfo dell’Aurora (2018), courtesy of the artist and Galleria Raffaella Cortese, Milan

Courtauld Institute of Art London, May 3, 2019

Deadline: Jan 28, 2019

Same Old Things? Re-Telling the Italian Renaissance

Even today, the history of art is largely dominated by narratives that are for the most part style-based. They tell a story that is teleological, ever-progressive, and structured around influential artistic centres. Within this framework, the role of individual objects shifts depending on how they fit into the broader narrative that they articulate visually. By focusing on the objects and their potential to fashion and dictate stories, a different narrative is likely to emerge.

This conference seeks to identify individual objects, or small sets of objects, which have the potential to destabilise canonical art-historical narratives of Italian art. We are not looking for an alternative Renaissance – instead, we want to ask whether a different story can be told for the same, old things. In the last few decades, art historians have reevaluated  the position of understudied works of works in an increasingly de-centred, non-linear history of art. Certain interpretative frameworks, such as queer or feminist approaches, that laudably seek to interrupt conventional readings of objects, have had modest consequences for their placement within a historical narrative, often because they seek to disrupt that narrative in the first place. Sometimes objects themselves show the insufficiency of traditional critical tools to do them justice. But seldom have newly-developed critical tools been used to renegotiate the historical framing of those objects that have long stood at the core of the Western canon.

Having long questioned the exceptionality granted Italian Renaissance art by the founding fathers of art history, academia has not yet modified radically the way we tell the story of the cornerstones of any Western museum. As a consequence, academic discourse has grown increasingly distant from museum spaces. On the whole, museums have not rejected the comforting principles of order inherent in traditional narratives, of which they are sometimes the unyielding outposts. Arguably, they also struggle to balance object-based displays with the disruption of narrative frameworks typical of recent academic discourse. As a result, celebratory, unwavering views of the Italian Renaissance have proved remarkably resilient among the general public.

Applicants are encouraged to shrug off the burden of prescribed narrative schemes; to use fresh critical tools to unravel celebrated artworks from the patchwork of narratives that stitch them together, at the same time as weaving them into new stories — stories that might be open-ended, interrogative, undetermined, and far distant from those previously told. Papers should be object-based, but not object-focused, in that their interpretation should not be confined to the inward-looking understanding of the object per se, but rather should look outwards towards their (potentially large) role in new narratives. The objects themselves should date to between the thirteenth to the early seventeenth century; they may be Italian or not, canonical or lesser-known.

Papers are sought from doctoral candidates, early career scholars and researchers. Preference will be given to candidates presenting unpublished material. Proposals of no more than 350 words should be submitted, together with a short C.V. to giulio.dalvit@courtauld.ac.uk and adriana.concin@courtauld.ac.uk by 5pm on Monday 28 January 2019. Papers should not exceed 20 minutes in length. We hope to be able to provide subsidy for travel and accommodation. We particularly encourage candidates from the U.K. and Europe. Successful candidates will be notified by mid-February.

Advertisements

CFP: Collecting, Curating, Assembling: New Approaches to the Archive in the Middle Ages, University of Saint Andrews, 13–14 September 2019

cropped-screen-shot-2018-06-07-at-11-47-00

Reliquary diptych, late 14th century, Italian. (Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917. 17.190.982)

The School of Art History, SAIMS and Special Collections Division at the University of St Andrews are pleased to announce an upcoming two-day conference on the archive in medieval art and thought.

The word archive suggests the acts of taxonomy and conservation, but also interpretation and regulation. Its etymology traces back to the Greek arkheion, thus highlighting the political nature of the physical archive and the act of archiving itself. The medieval world maintained this sense of privileged access. Isidore of Seville connected the Latin word archivium with arca, strongbox, and arcanum, mystery. But the term was malleable, referring to collections of various goods and treasures, not just of parchment records and registers. And yet, Michael Clanchy has argued that the medieval mind did not always distinguish between the library and the archive, as we do today.

The organisers therefore invite proposals on the theme of the expanded medieval archive, as it relates to art and material culture. What can medieval collections, compilations, and assemblages of material things tell us about the accumulation of knowledge and the preservation of memory? How is the archive manipulated to fit political or social agendas, and by whom? What are the limits of the medieval archive? Paper topics and themes may include, though are not limited to:

  • Records or inventories of collections, secular, civic, and ecclesiastical;
  • The archive as a physical object or visual record, including books and manuscripts, buildings, reliquaries, etc.;
  • The accretive nature of written testimony in the form of: chronicles, herbals, visitations, necrologies, inscriptions and tituli;
  • Time, writing history through the material, and collapsing temporalities;
  • The creation and perpetuation of memory, identity, and authority;
  • The accumulation and transmission of cultural or familial knowledge via material culture;
  • The politics of preservation, documentation, and display in the medieval world, and of the medieval in the modern world.

Collecting, Curating, Assembling: New Approaches to the Archive in the Middle Ages will take place 13–14 September 2019 in St Andrews, Scotland. Professor Erik Inglis (Oberlin College) will deliver the keynote. The organisers intend to publish the conference proceedings as an edited volume.

All papers must be no more than 30 minutes maxmimum. Please submit a 250 word abstract and title by 15 February 2019. Prof Julian Luxford, Prof Kathryn Rudy, and Dr Emily Savage, along with Senior Archivist Rachel Hart, warmly welcome all submissions and queries at medievalarchive@st-andrews.ac.uk.

https://medievalarchive2019.wordpress.com/

Lecture: Professor Helen Nicholson (Cardiff University), ‘A Ruler of the Latin East? Queen Sybil of Jerusalem (1186-1190)’, IHR, London, 22 January 2019, 7pm

sibylle-betrothal26marriage

The London Society for Medieval Studies is hosting the following lecture on Tuesday 22nd January at 7pm: 

 

Professor Helen Nicholson (Cardiff University), speaking on ‘A Ruler of the Latin East? Queen Sybil of Jerusalem (1186-1190)’

Location: Institute of Historical Research, Wolfson Room NB01, Senate House (located on Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU).

The lecture is open to all.

Web Resource: Dictionary of Medieval Names from European Sources

cropped-dmnescoverphoto

The Dictionary of Medieval Names from European Sources aims to document all given names recorded in European sources written between 500 and 1600. New editions are published quarterly.

Looking for a particular name? Browse the entries.

Wondering how to interpret an entry? See the guide.

Want to know more? Read about the project.

See: http://dmnes.org

CFP: Pilgrimage and the Senses, University of Oxford, 7 June 2019

videoblocks-pilgrims-at-the-church-of-the-holy-sepulchre-in-jerusalem-4k-time-lapse_sgz21h1jqf_thumbnail-full01

Deadline for submissions: 20 January 2019 

Keynote Speaker: Professor Kathryn Rudy (University of St. Andrews)

With the release of its inaugural issue in 2006, The Senses and Society journal proclaimed a “sensual revolution” in the humanities and social sciences. The ensuing decade has seen a boom in sensory studies, resulting in research networks, museum exhibitions, and a wealth of publications. This interdisciplinary conference hosted at the University of Oxford aims to shed light on how sensory perception shapes and is shaped by the experience of pilgrimage across cultures, faith traditions, and throughout history.

Pilgrimages present an intriguing paradox. Grounded in physical experiences—a journey (real or imagined), encounters with sites and/or relics, and commemorative tokens—they also simultaneously demand a devotional focus on the metaphysical. A ubiquitous and long-lasting devotional practice, pilgrimage is a useful lens through which to examine how humans encounter the sacred through the tools of perception available to us. Focusing on the ways in which pilgrimage engages the senses will contribute to our knowledge of how people have historically understood both religious experience and their bodies as vehicles of devotional participation. We call on speakers to grapple with the challenges of understanding the sensory experience of spiritual phenomena, while bearing in mind that understandings of the senses can vary according to specific cultural contexts. While the five senses are a natural starting point, we are open to including papers that deal with “sense” in a more general way, such as senses of time and place.

Sample topics may include (but are not limited to):

  • the role of beholding (places, relics, miracles, mementos) in the pilgrimage experience
  • haptic encounters with relics
  • ways in which pilgrims are seen: wearing specific clothing and/or badges, public acts (or affects) of devotion, how pilgrims are depicted or described
  • pilgrims’ auditory expressions: wailing/crying, chanting, singing, reciting prayers
  • bathing and purification in preparation for devotions
  • food as a ritual element or means of experiencing cultures along a pilgrimage route
  • the place of music on the pilgrimage route and/or at pilgrimage destinations
  • pain as a facet of the pilgrimage journey
  • the sensory spectacle—visual, auditory, olfactory—of pilgrimage processions
  • devotional objects that require handling, such as prayer beads and prayer wheels
  • psychosomatic sensory experiences as a means of engaging with the divine
  • the evocation of sensory participation through works of art and/or written accounts

The organisers invite 20-minute papers from any discipline on topics related to the themes outlined above, especially in the fields of anthropology, archaeology, art history, history, literature, musicology, religious studies, sociology, and theology. We welcome submissions relating to aspects of pilgrimage of any faith or historical period. Doctoral students and early career researchers are particularly encouraged to apply.

Please submit a title, abstract (max. 250 words), and brief bio to pilgrimagesenses2019@gmail.com by January 20th. Successful applicants will be notified by February 5th. All submissions and papers must be in English.

Click here for more information