CFP: ‘Unfolding the Past: The Materiality and Temporality of Medieval Southern Italy (I & II)’, International Congress on Medieval Studies 2023, deadline 15 September 2022

Southern Italy offers a vast and diverse collection of historical evidence. Since Antiquity, the region has been hosting civilizations committed to a thorough preservation of memory in the forms of both historic narratives and the material legacy of the past. During the Middle Ages, the splitting in separated cultural entities in contrast with each other, prompted the reclamation of the past for specific political agendas.

For instance, Norman rulers reinstalled cults from Paleo-Christian times, displaying a variety of material evidence, such as allegedly recovered bodily remains or supposed burial sites of early martyrs. Manifold are the examples on the architectural scale, such as Naples’s gothic Duomo: its pillars include juxtaposed marble columns likely taken from the early Cathedral complex, thus materially folding Christian Antiquity onto the present and hence strengthening the local episcopal authority fostered by the new Angevin rulers.

This double session aims at collecting study-cases of re-temporalized Past in Medieval Southern Italy. We are primarily interested in material evidence of conceptualizations of time, i.e. embodied by architecture and other works of art, by the use of spolia in various contexts, by collections of objects from different strata of time, by the mise-en-scène of relics and traces, etc. Instead of projecting intellectual constructs such as Antiquarianism back into the past we are interested in the immanence of history in the process of constructing the present. We propose to further explore the range of practices dealing with the folding and unfolding of time in the political and social reality of Medieval cultures.

Paper proposals must include:
• Author’s name, affiliation, and contact information
• Paper Title (15 words max)
• Abstract (300 words max)
• Short description (50 words)

Please submit abstracts no later than September 15, 2022, at the Confex submissions portal

Session Organizers:  Antonino Tranchina, Bibliotheca Hertziana – Max Planck Institute for Art History in Rome,, and Adrian Bremenkamp, Bibliotheca Hertziana – Max Planck Institute for Art History in Rome,

Sessions Sponsored by the Italian Art Society

Please note: As this is a sponsored panel, all speakers must be (or become) members of the Italian Art Society in 2023. Please note that there are free one-year sospesi memberships available for eligible speakers in IAS sponsored sessions. Information can be found on our website here:

The IAS offers several types of conference travel grants which help support graduate students and junior scholars, as well as scholars who are traveling internationally to present in IAS- Sponsored sessions. Applications for these grants are announced and opened in the late fall.

More information on the various conference travel grants be found on our website:


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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