Call for Papers: Visualizing Peace in the Global Middle Ages, 500-1500 (Deadline: 31 August 2022)

Many today see peace as the absence of war, but to the medieval world peace was far from a pale, negative concept – a lack of violence. Rather it was celebrated as a rich, vibrant ideal. Yet premodern war and violence have attracted much more attention than peace and cooperation, both in the public media and among scholars. One major area of interest, however, has been the intellectual history of peace. Publications have focused on Confucian ideas about peace (and their impact on the modern world) and on such European movements as the Truce of God and Peace of God. Other studies have explored the role of women in forging peace through gift-giving.

This session fosters broad thinking about the premodern and global cultural heritage of peace, which is too often neglected. One reason for this neglect is ideological: those who gained from warfare sought to glorify it. Another factor is that medieval peace may manifest itself in ways that are not immediately recognizable to us today. We welcome papers that discuss visual representations of peace, as well as the ways in which the material culture and the built environment contributed to the cessation of war or the safeguarding of peace. We encourage papers that explore the relationship between justice and peace or examine how images of premodern peace either still affect our discussions today or open the door to a new way of thinking.

We welcome papers that analyze the regional diversity or global connectivity of images of peace. The session will take place virtually as part of the 111th College Art Association (CAA) Annual Conference 2023, New York, 15–18 February 2023

Please email proposals to and by 31 August 2022. Please contact us with any questions at our email addresses listed above. We look forward to your submissions.


Published by Blair Apgar

Blair (they/them) recently completed their PhD in History of Art at the University of York with Hanna Vorholt and Amanda Lillie. Their thesis focused on the role of Matilda of Canossa in the sociopolitical development of the Investiture Controversy, and its relationship to Matilda’s material patronage. As an early career researcher, their work aims to unpack the historiographic construction of powerful medieval women’s legacies. They are also interested in the representation of the Middle Ages in modern media.

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