CFP: Communicating Objects: Material, Literary & Iconographic Instances of Objects in a Human Universe in Antiquity & the Middle Ages, Online Conference (27–29 November 2020), deadline 14 September 2020

Communicating Objects: Material, Literary and Iconographic Instances of Objects in a Human Universe in Antiquity and the Middle Ages, University of Bucharest [Online], 27–29 November 2020

Material culture occupies a special place in most research conducted on Antiquity and the Middle Ages. Interdisciplinary approaches have allowed for the enrichment of traditional paradigms used by archaeologists and historians, as a follow-up to the valorisation of the social life of things, or of the agency characterising objects in any given society. Objects which are deliberately associated are more susceptible of becoming expressive in the presence of humans. From this perspective, associating objects, and exploring potential reasons for their association and for their compatibility, opens up multiple possibilities for reflection.

Here are some suggested topics, meant to inspire, without limiting, the participants’ choice of subject matter:

  • the place of associated objects in literary sources. Suggested lines of investigation: the place of associated objects in literary discourses, their role in the construction of characters or as vehicles used to advance the action, to create images or to emphasize key moments in the economy of the texts; the practices of writing about objects, ways of selecting and including them in texts, and the study of certain characteristics of objects judged as indispensable to the fulfillment of said objects’ narrative roles.
  • the place of associated objects in constructing images, be they objects carrying images or objects being represented. Suggested lines of investigation: the manners of representing objects, the objects’ insertion in representations and their contributions to visually illustrated discourses.
  • the intrinsic materiality of objects places the discussion in the field of archaeology. From this perspective and for the purpose of a better investigation of associated objects and their potential meanings, one (though by no means the only) possible line of enquiry would turn the researcher’s gaze towards funerary archaeology.

Beyond these suggestions, the synchronic and comparative approaches to various media where objects are placed in association (texts, materiality, images) are strongly encouraged, in order to better assess multiple perspectives and perceptions to which the objects could be subjected, as well as the ways in which objects, once put together in particular and deliberate ways, acquire the capacity of acting as agents.

Accepted languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish.

Abstracts: no more than 300 words to be submitted at the e-mail address objetsdialogue@gmail.com. The abstract should also contain the title of the presentation, the name of the author(s) and the home institution(s).

Duration of each presentation: 20 minutes followed by 10 minutes for discussions.

Announcement of accepted proposals: September 30th 2020.

Digital poster section: a poster gallery will also be available for researchers preferring to send their presentation in this form. The gallery will be open to the public for the whole duration of the conference. On demand, the posters may be accompanied by a recorded audio presentation, no more than 10 minutes in length. Technical details will be available shortly, on the dedicated page at http://www.daaia.ro/.

More information can be found here.

Published by Roisin Astell

Roisin Astell received a First Class Honours in History of Art at the University of York (2014), under the supervision of Dr Emanuele Lugli. After spending a year learning French in Paris, Roisin then completed an MSt. in Medieval Studies at the University of Oxford (2016), where she was supervised by Professor Gervase Rosser and Professor Martin Kauffmann. In 2017, Roisin was awarded a CHASE AHRC studentship as a doctoral candidate at the University of Kent’s Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Studies, under the supervision of Dr Emily Guerry.

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