Call for Papers: ‘Re-Using and Showing: Boundaries Between Re-Employment and Collecting of Medieval Sculpture During the Modern Age’, Borders, IMC, University of Leeds, July 4-7, 2022 (Deadline 31 August 2021)

As part of the research activities within the MEMID project (see below, under “Patronage/Sponsor”),
aiming to create moments of discussion with scholars of various nationalities and research fields,
MEMID would like to submit a session to annual International Medieval Congress, organised and hosted by the Institute for Medieval Studies at the University of Leeds. In 2022 the special thematic strand will be ‘Borders’: the aim of this panel is to gather papers investigating the boundaries between re-employment and collecting of medieval sculpture during the Modern Age (roughly 15th-18th centuries).

The Middle Ages is the era in which long-term structures – civic, religious, familiar, but also
administrative, legal and political – were created. They have assumed a strong identity value,
contributing to the formation of the present historical and architectural heritage with which
subsequent eras had necessarily to confront. The “long life” of medieval sculpture, through practices
of reuse and rearrangement in the course of the following centuries, represents therefore a
phenomenon of great cultural vitality that deserves to be investigated as a process, with its complex
dynamics. When not merely utilitarian, it testifies, in fact, the desire for “appropriation” by artists
and patrons of the specific symbolic values related to the the artwork, although sometimes the new
arrangements serve purposes, functions and values completely different from the original ones,
often accompanied by a complete resemantization and reworking interventions.
The exposition of reused sculptures in decorative and monumental contexts of a certain complexity
can sometimes be assimilated to a “collection” of artworks, inspired by the desire to convey precise
and emblematic messages related to processes of social affirmation, cultural transformations,
institutional claims. This session aims to investigate the permeability and limits between the
phenomena of reuse and “collecting” of medieval sculptures in the Modern Age (roughly 15th-18th
centuries) through the analysis of significant case studies.

Patronage / Sponsor:
The proposed panel is part of the activities of the project Memoria e identità. Riuso, rilavorazione e
riallestimento della scultura medievale in Età moderna, tra ricerca storica e nuove tecnologie (
Memory and identity. Reuse, reworking and rearrangement of the Medieval sculpture in the Modern Age between historical research and new technologies)
(MEMID) funded by the Italian Ministery for University and Research (FISR funds = Fondo integrativo speciale per la ricerca / Special supplementary fund for research, 2021-2023). Project coordinators: Laura Cavazzini (Università degli Studi di Trento), Clario Di Fabio (Università degli Studi di Genova), Paola Vitolo (Università degli Studi di Napoli “Federico II”)

Paper proposals should be sent to both organizers, Antonella Dentamaro
( and Francesca Girelli (, by August 31, 2021,
and must include:

• Full name
• email address
• Full affiliation details (department, institution) if applicable
• Paper title
• Abstract (250 words max.)
• Keywords
• Brief bio (300 words max.)

Papers may be submitted in English, Italian or French. Applicants will be notified by September 15,
2021. The panel (articulated in three papers, each of 20 minutes, and 10 minutes for discussion) will be submitted to the Institute for Medieval Studies of Leeds by September 31, 2021. It is the Institute’s present intention to host the congress in-person; but we can require that our session will be delivered in person, virtually, or a combination of the two.

Information about registration fees:

Published by charlottecook

Charlotte Cook graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor’s degree in European History from Washington & Lee University in 2019. In 2020 she received her Master’s degree in History of Art from the Courtauld Institute of Art, earning the classification of Merit. Her research explores questions of royal patronage, both by and in honor of rulers, in fourteenth- and fifteenth-century England. She has worked as a researcher and collections assistant at several museums and galleries, and plans to begin her PhD in the autumn of 2022.

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