CFP: “L’Architettura normanna e il Mediterraneo. Dinamiche dell’interazione culturale” (Humboldt University, Berlin, due 31 July 2021)

The expansion of the Normans in medieval Europe and beyond is proving to be a wide and very rewarding field for research into the complex phenomenon of transcultural exchange processes.

On the one hand, studies deal with the great mobility of people, ideas and goods within the territories under Norman rule; on the other hand, the powerful dynamics of the exchange between the new Norman upper class and the population already living in these areas are increasingly coming into view. Here it should be noted that the Norman territories in the 11th and 12th centuries – in particular Normandy, England, southern Italy and the Principality of Antioch – were discontinuous and generally only connected by sea. There has been much less investigation into the Norman presence, albeit organised differently and of lower intensity, in the Dalmatian coastal region, on the east coast of the Ionian Sea, on the Iberian Peninsula (the Dukedom of Tarragona), in Ifriqiya (North Africa) and in the Holy Land.

The special issue of this journal focuses on the contribution of the Normans to the architectural culture of the southern and eastern Mediterranean region. Contributions are particularly sought which treat of the associated mutual cultural exchange processes in the sense of a Histoire croisée. Works are particularly welcome which combine theoretical reflections with the concrete treatment of architectural contexts. Here the narrow focus of the research on the Palermo royal court should be widened with a significantly broader geographical and social approach. Along with contributions to the cultural relations of the various ethnic groups in southern Italy and eastern Sicily, investigations are of interest into the visible signs of cultural interaction between the various Norman territories with other cultures in the Mediterranean area. Here the interest is directed at questions of town planning as well as individual buildings (sacred and secular). In terms of the thematic focus, particularly noteworthy are the transfer of construction know-how and of spatial and vault solutions, architecture as promoter of social participation, the importance of port cities and other “contact zones”, strategies of spoliation and possible semantics, aspects of residential comfort, the relationship between space and liturgy, and building sculpture with its ruling-related and socio-politically interpretable image programs.

Proposals are welcome for two types of contributions in English, Italian, French or German:
– Articles with a length of 20,000-40,000 characters (including spaces and notes) and up to 12 illustrations;
– Short articles or miscellanea of 5,000-10,000 characters (including spaces and notes) and up to 3 illustrations.

Prospective contributors are asked to send an abstract (up to 400 words) and a short CV to by July 31, 2021. Editorial rules and other guidelines will be announced after receipt of the suggestions. The contributions must be unpublished; the deadline for contributions is the 20th of December 2021. Contributions received will be discussed by a scientific committee and undergo a peer-review (double-blind) procedure.

– Submission deadline for proposals to 31st of July 2021
– Feedback from the editors: 3rd of September 2021
– Submission deadline for contributions: 20th of December 2021
– Publication of the special issue: June 2022

Editors: Kai Kappel and Margherita Tabanelli


Published by ameliahyde

Amelia Roché Hyde holds an MA from The Courtauld Institute of Art, where she studied cross-cultural artistic traditions of medieval Spain, taking an in-depth look at the context and role of Spanish ivories within sacred spaces. Her favorite medieval art objects are ones that are meant to be handled and touched, and she has researched ivories, textiles, and illuminated manuscripts at The Metropolitan Museum of Art and The British Museum. Amelia is the Research Assistant at The Met Cloisters.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: