CFP: ‘Encountering the Sacred in Medieval Italian Spaces’, Italian Art Society, International Congress on Medieval Studies 2022, deadline 15 September 2021

Recent scholarship has increasingly attended to the spatiality of material objects, considering how paintings, sculpture, and manuscripts impact the viewer through both formal and ritual means. Moreover, the potential of objects to convey the sacred presence – whether that of a saint or of God – has been given a renewed emphasis through the anthropological turn in art history. Taken together, these approaches prompt a series of questions addressing broader spatial awareness for the localized relationships between places, objects, and the divine.

This session seeks papers which investigate how medieval Italian spaces impacted experiences of the sacred. How did Christians, Jews, and Muslims experience the sacred in the spaces of medieval Italy? In what ways did navigating through medieval religious spaces, homes, governmental spaces, streets and squares, or the countryside inform encounters with the sacred? Did the spatial setting carry ramifications for how different media manifested sacrality? Could space itself articulate a sense of the divine, either through architecture, the presence of sacred objects, or the wilds of nature? In what ways did gender, class, or wealth impact audiences’ ability to engage in different spaces?

Please submit a 300 word proposal by September 15, 2021 through the online portal at:

For any questions, please contact and

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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