CFP: Fifteenth Conference of Iconographic Studies “Iconography and Religious Otherness”, Deadline: January 15 2021

University of Rijeka (Croatia), Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, June 10 – 11, 2021
Deadline: Jan 15, 2021

The creation of Otherness is a process by which a dominant group (Self, Us) constructs one or more outer groups (Them, Others) by assigning them different features and attributes, real or imagined. This continuous process was not only directed towards the outside, but also towards the inside, that is, towards dissident groups. With the recent political challenges, Otherness has become a highly relevant and frequently discussed topic among scholars from different disciplines, predominantly philosophy, anthropology, sociology, but also including literature (philology), art history and others. The aim of this conference is to put together scholars who would discuss and reconsider the concept of Otherness from an iconographic and iconological point of view. Scholars are invited to present proposals on different topics related to the construction of otherness in iconography i.e. the visualization of the Religious Other throughout all historical periods.

The themes may include, but are not limited to:
– Otherness in Antiquity and in the late antique Mediterranean (4th-9th centuries). This might include the interaction of Christianity with the previous monotheistic and polytheistic religions in the Mediterranean (notably Judaism, Manichaeism, paganism, Zoroastrianism). How did these cults influence the building of images of more recent religions and how did such images fit into their vision of history?
– Visual strategies in Christian-Muslim encounters
– Art and conversion. How were images used as a mechanism for the conversion of the religious Other: the image of the “converso” versus images for conversion
– Sources (textual, iconographic) used to build and represent Otherness, such as exotic, oriental and other distant places
– Images of religious dissent (heresy towards orthodoxy)
– Mental images of the Other
– How did political power participate in the process of building Religious Otherness?
– Otherness and the construction of the concept of race; ethnic and regional diversity and its reception in visual culture  
– Monstrosity and deformity as a visual expression of Otherness (mappa mundi)
– Visual evidence of social transgressions: breaking norms and rules in the creation of religious Otherness
– Theoretical approach to the perception of the Other
– Otherness in secular visual culture and marginal iconography  
– Otherness in contemporary art and visual culture

Paper proposals should be submitted electronically to by January 15, 2021.
A paper proposal should contain:
1. Short CV with full name, institution, affiliation, address, phone number, e-mail address
2. Title
3. Abstract (maximum 2 pages – 500 words)

Final results and the invitations to participate will be sent out by email before February 15, 2021.

In case of Covid-19 pandemic the conference will be organized online!

There is NO registration fee. Administration and organizational costs, working materials, lunch and coffee breaks during conference, closing dinner as well as all organized visits are covered by the organizers.

The presented papers will be published in the thematic issue of IKON – journal of iconographic studies in May 2022.


Published by Ellie Wilson

Ellie Wilson holds a First Class Honours in the History of Art from the University of Bristol, with a particular focus on Medieval Florence. In 2020 she achieved a Distinction in her MA at The Courtauld Institute of Art, where she specialised in the art and architecture of Medieval England under the supervision of Dr Tom Nickson. Her dissertation focussed on an alabaster altarpiece, and its relationship with the cult of St Thomas Becket in France and the Chartreuse de Vauvert. Her current research focusses on the artistic patronage of London’s Livery Companies immediately pre and post-Reformation. Ellie will begin a PhD at the University of York in Autumn 2021 with a WRoCAH studentship, under the supervision of Professor Tim Ayers and Dr Jeanne Nuechterlein.

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