Author Archives: medievalartresearch

Call for Papers: ‘Medieval Art History: Are We Post-Theoretical?’, ICMS 2019 (Deadline: 15 September 2018)

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Session:  Medieval Art History: Are We Post-Theoretical?

Organizer:  Gerry Guest gguest@jcu.edu

Session description:  The philosopher and blogger Levi Bryant has written that theory “is a sort of strange work that precedes anything true, allowing that which does not appear to appear.  There is never a simple gaze or seeing, but rather there is always an apparatus that allows something to appear that would not otherwise appear.  And there is no looking nor acting that doesn’t presuppose an apparatus of appearance.”  If we follow this line of thought, then all medievalists are theorists.  Yet, in the 21st century, historians of medieval art seem largely indifferent to the field of critical theory, which profoundly marked the study of the humanities in the 20th century.  If a generation ago scholars were concerned with defining something called “the new art history,” where do we stand now?  Are we now working in a post-theoretical age or can a renewed engagement with theoretical issues enliven the field?

This session seeks position papers and case studies that reflect on these questions.  Participants should feel free to define “theory” however they choose.  Engagement with established theorists (Foucault, Butler, Jameson, etc.) is as welcome as investigations inspired by newer work in fields such as queer studies, gender studies, and post-colonialism.

For consideration, please send a one-page proposal to gguest@jcu.edu by September 15, 2018. 

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Call for Papers: ‘The Other Half of Heaven: Visualizing Female Sanctity in East and West (c. 1200-1500) I-II’, ICMS 2019 (Deadline: 1 September 2018)

untitled1An ICMA-sponsored session at the 54th ICMS (International Congress of Medieval Studies) Kalamazoo, 9-12 May 2019

Organizer: Ioanna Christoforaki, Academy of Athens

If, according to the well-known Chinese proverb, women hold half the sky, did medieval female saints hold half of heaven? In her book of 1998, Forgetful of their Sex: Female Sanctity and Society, ca. 500-1100, Jane Schulenburg calculated that of over 2200 female and male saints examined, only one in seven (or 15%) were women. Although documentation on medieval women is notably scarce, this gender-based asymmetry in the celestial realm clearly reflected the values and hierarchy of earthly society.

 

Female saints were exceptional women who gained social status, popular recognition

and enhanced visibility through sainthood. Medieval female sanctity is a multi-faceted

phenomenon, which has been mainly explored through words. Historians and literary

scholars have fruitfully mined historical and hagiographical texts not only to draw

‘facts’ about the lives of female saints but also to elucidate social mentalities and

highlight gender issues. Holy women, however, were also represented on a variety of

media, most notably on icons, frescoes, manuscript illuminations and other artworks.

Nevertheless, despite the wealth of historical and hagiographical scholarship on female saints, their visual representations have been exploited almost exclusively in stylistic or iconographic terms.

The aim of this session is to consider female sanctity in visual terms both in Western Europe and the Byzantine East. By exploring representations of women saints and their changing iconography, it aspires to shed light on their status and experience in late medieval society. It will examine images of holy women as embodiments of cultural models and explore the social and religious environment that shaped their visual constructions. In the highly symbolic world of the Middle Ages, representations of female saints can become a vehicle for multiple interpretations, including social status, gender, identity, ethnicity and collective memory.

Some of the issues to be addressed include but are not restricted to:

  • Visual narratives and iconographic attributes defining female sanctity
  • The corporeality of female saints and the representation of the holy body
  • The iconography of transvestite holy women
  • Out of sight, out of mind: forgotten saints and newcomers
  • The relation between female holy images and text in illuminated manuscripts
  • The influence of mendicant literature on picturing female sanctity
  • One saint, many images: changes in iconography and meaning
  • Iconographic variations of the Virgin in East and West

Participants in ICMA-sponsored sessions are eligible to receive travel funds, generously provided by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation. The Kress funds are allocated for travel and hotel only. Speakers will be refunded only after the conference, against travel receipts.

 

Please send paper proposals of 300 words to the Chair of the ICMA Programs

Committee, Beth Williamson (beth.williamson@bristol.ac.uk) by September 1, 2018,

together with a completed Participant Information Form, to be found at the following address: https://wmich.edu/medievalcongress/submissions#papers. Please include your name, title, and affiliation on the abstract itself. All abstracts not accepted for the session will be forwarded to the Congress administration for consideration in general sessions, as per Congress regulations.

Publication: “The Idea of the Gothic Cathedral. Interdisciplinary Perspectives on the Meanings of the Medieval Edifice in the Modern Period” By Stephanie a. Glaser (ed.)

RITUS_9The essays in this book focus on various social, political, cultural, and aesthetic meanings ascribed to Gothic cathedrals in Europe in the post-medieval period.

Central to many medieval ritual traditions both sacred and secular, the Gothic cathedral holds a privileged place within the European cultural imagination and experience. Due to the burgeoning historical interest in the medieval past, in connection with the medieval revival in literature, visual arts, and architecture that began in the late seventeenth century and culminated in the nineteenth, the Gothic cathedral took centre stage in numerous ideological discourses. These discourses imposed contemporary political and aesthetic connotations upon the cathedral that were often far removed from its original meaning and ritual use.

This volume presents interdisciplinary perspectives on the resignification of the Gothic cathedral in the post-medieval period. Its contributors, literary scholars and historians of art and architecture, investigate the dynamics of national and cultural movements that turned Gothic cathedrals into symbols of the modern nation-state, highlight the political uses of the edifice in literature and the arts, and underscore the importance of subjectivity in literary and visual representations of Gothic architecture. Contributing to scholarship in historiography, cultural history, intermedial and interdisciplinary studies, as well as traditional disciplines, the volume resonates with wider perspectives, especially relating to the reuse of artefacts to serve particular ideological ends.

 

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Medieval Edifice in the Modern Period — STEPHANIE A. GLASER

Part I — The Cathedral and the Nation

The Moorish-Gothic Cathedral: Invention, Reality, or Weapon? — MATILDE MATEO

Acting Medieval, Thinking Modern, Feeling German — MICHAEL J. LEWIS

L’Histoire d’une cathédrale: Viollet-le-Duc’s Nationalist Pedagogy — ELIZABETH EMERY

The Gothic Cathedral and Historiographies of Space — KEVIN D. MURPHY

Part II — The Cathedral between Art and Politics

The Anarchist Cathedral — MAYLIS CURIE

L’Imaginaire de la cathédrale à l’épreuve de la Grande Guerre — JOËLLE PRUNGNAUD

Church, Nation, and ‘The Stones of France’ — RONALD R. BERNIER

Part III — The Cathedral in the Arts

Patterns of Behaviour  Architectural Representation in the Romantic Period — KLAUS NIEHR

Frozen Music and Symphonies in Stone. Gothic Architecture and the Musical Analogy: Intersecting Trajectories in German and French Thought from the Eighteenth through the Nineteenth Centuries — STEPHANIE A. GLASER

Délires opiomanes et gothicomanes de Thomas De Quincey à Wilfred Sätty — JEAN-MICHEL LENIAUD

The Cathedral as Time Machine: Art, Architecture, and Religion — RICHARD UTZ

Select Bibliography

Index

Call for Papers: 54th International Congress on Medieval Studies, May 9 – 12 2019 – Mary Jaharis Center sponsored panel (Deadline: 27 May 2018)

hb_63-178-2To encourage the integration of Byzantine studies within the scholarly community and medieval studies in particular, the Mary Jaharis Center for Byzantine Art and Culture seeks proposals for a Mary Jaharis Center sponsored session at the 54th International Congress on Medieval Studies, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, May 9–12, 2019. We invite session proposals on any topic relevant to Byzantine studies.
Session proposals must be submitted through the Mary Jaharis Center website (https://maryjahariscenter.org/sponsored-sessions/54th-international-congress-on-medieval-studies). The deadline for submission is May 27, 2018. Proposals should include:
**Title
**Session abstract (300 words)
**Intellectual justification for the proposed session (300 words)
**Proposed list of session participants (presenters and session presider)
**CV
Successful applicants will be notified by May 30, 2018, if their proposal has been selected for submission to the International Medieval Congress. The Mary Jaharis Center will submit the session proposal to the Congress and will keep the potential organizer informed about the status of the proposal.
The session organizer may act as the presider or present a paper. The session organizer will be responsible for writing the Call for Papers. The CFP must be approved by the Mary Jaharis Center. Session participants will be chosen by the session organizer and the Mary Jaharis Center.
If the proposed session is approved, the Mary Jaharis Center will reimburse up to 5 session participants (presenters and presider) up to $600 maximum for North American residents and up to $1200 maximum for those coming abroad. Session organizers and co-organizers should plan to participate in the panel as either a participant or a presider. Funding is through reimbursement only; advance funding cannot be provided. Eligible expenses include conference registration, transportation, and food and lodging. Receipts are required for reimbursement.
Please contact Brandie Ratliff (mjcbac@hchc.edu), Director, Mary Jaharis Center for Byzantine Art and Culture with any questions. Further information about the International Congress on Medieval Studies is available at https://wmich.edu/medievalcongress.

The GCMS Summer Symposium 2018: Emotion and Devotion in Medieval Europe (21/06/2018)

0434f4d0c9a027131f98d2fc909e8ca4This symposium will explore the growing area of research into the study of male and female medieval lay piety, and is being run by the Graduate Centre for Medieval Studies in collaboration with the University of Reading History Department Research Cluster ‘Emotion, Devotion and Belief’.

Speakers to include:

  • Robert Swanson (University of Birmingham)
  • Miri Rubin (Queen Mary, University of London)
  • Amanda Murphy (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milan)
  • Katherine Lewis (University of Huddersfield)
  • Sarah Bastow (University of Huddersfield)
  • Sarah Macmillan (University of Birmingham)
  • Paul Davies (University of Reading)
  • Helen Parish (University of Reading)
  • Rebecca Rist (University of Reading)

The Symposium is held on Thursday 21 June 2018, from 9am to 6pm, at the Van Emden Lecture Theatre and GCMS Room (G27L) (Edith Morley, Whiteknights Campus, University of Reading). Coffee, lunch and tea will be provided. Registration cost: £10

To book your place please use this link: https://www.reading.ac.uk/GCMS/GCMSEvents.aspx

For more information on how to book your place or any other queries do contact: GCMS@reading.ac.uk or r.a.c.rist@reading.ac.uk

Coll & Cortes Medieval Spain Seminar Series: Images, devotion and emotion in 13th- and 14th-century Castile (18 April 2018)

toro-santa-clara-600x600What was the role of images in the religious experience of Castilian people of the 13th and 14th centuries? There is no clear answer, and the scarcity of written evidence has prompted much problematic speculation. However, on the basis of the images themselves and of relevant literary sources, including the well-known Cantigas de Santa María and works by 14th-century authors such as Juan Ruiz and Juan Manuel, it is possible to explore a number of key issues. The talk will be divided into three sections. One focuses on the 13th century: ‘Active images: the Cantigas de Santa María and their aftermath’. Another looks to the 14th century: ‘Passive images: the reception and dissemination of the Crucifixus dolorosus in Castile’. And it concludes by looking ‘beyond’ Art History. In the 1960s a Spanish politician coined the (in)famous tourist slog, ‘Spain is different’. His aim was to encourage foreigners to visit Spain, but the slogan is representative of a commonplace that has been repeated time and again since the Romantic era. Ultimately, my talk offers an invitation to reconsider whether Castilian and Spanish devotional practices are really so very different from those recorded elsewhere in medieval western Europe. Continue reading

Enroll: MOOC Burgos: Deciphering Secrets of Medieval Spain

ds-3-intro-paleography-logoRoger Martinez is pleased to announce the launch of a new Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) that specifically focuses on medieval Spanish paleography training. The course is called Burgos: Deciphering Secrets of Medieval Spain and it will be offered on a monthly basis on coursera.org at https://www.coursera.org/learn/burgos-deciphering-secrets-medieval-spain. The next class begins on 9 April 2018. This six-week course is intensive — it requires, on average, 10-12 hours of your time per week.

This is the first of three new MOOCs that offer intensive paleography training. Three additional MOOCs pertaining to the medieval/early modern history of Toledo, Plasencia, and Granada, will be launched over the next 3 to 9 months. These courses are in addition to an introductory course on medieval Spain titled, Coexistence in Medieval Spain: Jews, Christians, and Muslims, and another titled, Deciphering Secrets: The Illuminated Manuscripts of Medieval Europe. Continue reading