CFP: Romanesque and the Monastic Environment, International Romanesque Conference, Deadline: 30th June 2023

The British Archaeological Association will hold the eighth in its series of biennial International Romanesque conferences in Valladolid from 8-10 April, 2024.

The theme of the conference is Romanesque and the Monastic Environment, and the aim is to examine how and why monastic spaces were created, embellished and used in the 11th and 12th centuries. While a particular approach to monastic planning can be observed in Carolingian Benedictine circles in the early 9th century – one in which ranges were organized on three sides of a garden with the church on a fourth – the extent to which this type of arrangement was widely adopted before the second half of the 11th century is unclear. Nor was it the only type of monastic plan in circulation. Semi-coenobitic orders, such as the Carthusians, had little use for ranges, even if the adoption of a garden surrounded by covered walks on four sides became more or less de rigeur in Latin monastic planning by c. 1100. When cloisters, chapter-houses, refectories, dormitories and work-rooms were established with clear relationships to each other and to the monastic choir, it becomes possible to speak of a core precinct, but what of other facilities, or precincts; infirmaries, outer courts, cemeteries, secondary cloisters, kitchens and gatehouses?

We welcome proposals for papers concerned with the design and functioning of monastic space in architectural, iconographical and liturgical terms, along with proposals which address choirs, their furnishings (stalls, pavements, altars), definition (screens, pulpita, railings), liturgical provision, and accessibility. Is processional use widely shared or locally specific? How and where is imagery used, or avoided? Should symbolic significance be attached to the appearance of buildings in monasteries beyond the church? Where and how was artistic production arranged? What are the preconditions for change?

Proposals for papers of up to 30 minutes in duration should be sent to Fernando Gutiérrez Baños and John McNeill on by 30 June, 2023. Papers should be in English. Decisions on acceptance will be made by the end of July.

The Conference will be held at Valladolid University’s Palacio de Congresos ‘Conde Ansúrez’ from 8-10 April, with the opportunity to stay on for two days of visits to Romanesque buildings in the surrounding area on 11-12 April.


Published by Ellie Wilson

Ellie Wilson holds a First Class Honours in the History of Art from the University of Bristol, with a particular focus on Medieval Florence. In 2020 she achieved a Distinction in her MA at The Courtauld Institute of Art, where she specialised in the art and architecture of Medieval England under the supervision of Dr Tom Nickson. Her dissertation focussed on an alabaster altarpiece, and its relationship with the cult of St Thomas Becket in France and the Chartreuse de Vauvert. Her current research focusses on the artistic patronage of London’s Livery Companies immediately pre and post-Reformation. Ellie will begin a PhD at the University of York in Autumn 2021 with a WRoCAH studentship, under the supervision of Professor Tim Ayers and Dr Jeanne Nuechterlein.

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