Category Archives: kalamazoo

CFP: Prologues in Learned Texts of Medieval Magic, Research Group on Manuscript Evidence (Kalamazoo 2020, Deadline 15th September 2019)

1.  Prologues in Learned Texts of Medieval Magic

Deadline for abstracts: 15 Sept 2019

Although the prologues of learned books of magic could take many forms, nearly all share at least one common characteristic: the claim to transmit a secret and pristine branch of knowledge. Such claims are frequently couched in the form of a narrative describing how this secret knowledge was originally revealed. Many employ the same actors (Hermes Trismegistus, King Solomon, Aristotle), the same objects (a tablet or disk made of precious material and inscribed with divine wisdom), and the same locations (a hidden cavern or lost pagan temple). These narratives helped to establish the authority of their texts, broadcast their affiliation with specific discourses, and signal how they should be read. Moreover, the prologues served to highlight the erudition of their authors through the use of classical and biblical references and often sophisticated word-play.

The aim of this session is to explore these still largely understudied prologues which testify to the variety of medieval approaches to “magic”. What do these prologues have to tell us about the institutional, cultural, and political milieux in which they were produced? How do certain recurring mythemes found in these prologues stand in relation to the various magical and divinatory arts, specifically those classified as natural or demonic? And to which philosophical, mystical, or religious beliefs do they appeal in order to justify the magical practices that they introduce?

Other potential topics relating to magical prologues include, but are not limited to

— the rhetoric of authority and the relation between power and secret knowledge

— the intersection of diverse intellectual traditions

— the continuity and reception of the Classical Tradition

— the appropriation of Jewish and Arabic traditions

— the relation between the tropes and mythemes found in magical prologues and those in other literary genres, such as prophecies and romances

— the assimilation of philosophical and medical texts

— the use of the Bible and biblical traditions

— philological and text-critical studies of magical prologues.

Please send your proposals to vajra.regan@mail.utoronto.ca by 15 September 2019.

More information here: http://manuscriptevidence.org/wpme/2020-international-congress-on-medieval-studies-call-for-papers/

Contact: Vajra Regan: vajra.regan@mail.utoronto.ca

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CFP: 3 Sessions at ICMS, Kalamazoo 2019 (Deadline 15 September 2018)

The Restoration of the 14th-century Painted Ceiling of the Sala Magna in Palazzo Chiaromonte-Steri in Palermo, 3 linked sessions

Organizers: Licia Buttà (Universitat Rovira I Virgili, Tarragona) Costanza Conti (Università di Palermo) and Antonio Sorce (Università di Palermo)

Sponsored by the Italian Art Society

The restoration of the 14th-century wooden ceiling of the Sala Magna in PalazzoScreen Shot 2018-08-29 at 9.56.39 AM Chiaromonte—known as Steri—began in September 2017. The ceiling was crafted between 1377 and 1380, as attested by the inscription that runs along two sides of the ceiling between beams and lacunars, in which the name of the patron is also mentioned: the powerful and noble ruler of Palermo—Manfredi Chiaromonte (d. November 1391). The surface area of the wooden ceiling measures 23 x 8 meters. The iconography is displayed uninterrupted on the three sides of the 24 beams and on the 100 coffered lacunars. After the fall of the Chiaromonte family, the palace was first occupied by King Martin I, the Humane (29 July 1356 – 31 May 1410), then by the Viceroys of Aragon, and the House of Bourbon. Between 1601 and 1782 it became the Palace of the Inquisition and later the halls of the palace were used as the Court of Appeal. Today the building is home to the rectorate of the University of Palermo. The three linked sessions seek to be a fruitful occasion to study the ceiling of the Sala Magna in Palazzo Chiaromonte-Steri and medieval painted ceilings in the Mediterranean in general, in terms of conservation as well as visual culture through a multidisciplinary perspective.

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CFP: “In Search of the Desert: New Observations on the Late-Medieval Revival of the Eremitic Life,” ICMS 2019 (Deadline 15 October, 2018)

In Search of the Desert: New Observations on the Late-Medieval Revival of the Eremitic Life

54th International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, May 9 – 12, 2019
Deadline: Oct 15, 2018
Organizers: Denva Gallant (University of Delaware) and Amelia Hope-Jones (University of Edinburgh)

In the third and fourth centuries AD, the barren deserts of Egypt, Syria and Palestine P1000332witnessed the birth of Christian monastic life among saints who came to be known as the Desert Fathers. The heroic self-discipline and devoted ascetic endeavors of St Antony the Abbot, St Paul of Thebes and St Macarius, among others, became emblematic of an original and authentic form of the religious life. This eremitic tradition, transmitted to the west through hagiography and ascetic literature, exerted a profound influence over the formation of western monastic life in the fifth and sixth centuries, and continued to function as an ideological authority well into the late medieval period and beyond.

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

Trumeau

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. 

CFP: New Directions in Carolingian and Ottonian Art: Assessing the Field (I-II) (Kalamazoo, 2019)

54th International Congress on Medieval Studies University of Western Michigan, Kalamazoo, Michigan May 9-12, 2019

Session Organizers: Joseph Salvatore Ackley (University of Arkansas) and Eliza Garrison (Middlebury College)

Long marginalized in the anglophone tradition of medieval art history, the study of Carolingian and Ottonian art has recently generated, over the last two decades, a striking chain of pathbreaking studies that have shaped and inflected the discipline in decisive ways. If earlier studies of Carolingian and Ottonian material were devoted to questions of dating, attribution, and the localization of workshops, more recent inquiries have considered questions of gender, representation, materiality, religious reform, temporality, and the role of the artist. As we approach the twentieth anniversary of the publication of Adam Cohen’s pioneering The Uta Codex: Art, Philosophy, and Reform in Eleventh-Century Germany, which appeared in 2000, the organizers of this double session seek papers from historians of Carolingian and Ottonian art and architecture that display a broad range of innovative methodological approaches to artworks created in all media. Papers that attend to issues of historiography – a particularly charged and complicated conversation for these monuments – and to artworks created and built at the edges of the Carolingian and Ottonian empires are especially welcome.

To propose a paper, please send an abstract of no more than 250 words, together with a completed Participant Information Form (https://wmich.edu/medievalcongress/submissions), to Joseph Salvatore Ackley (jackley@barnard.edu) and Eliza Garrison (egarriso@middlebury.edu) by September 15, 2018.

CFP: ICMA-sponsored session at 54th ICMS (Kalamazoo, 9-12 May, 2019)

The Other Half of Heaven: Visualizing Female Sanctity in East and West (c. 1200-1500) I-II

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

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.

CFP: Re-defining the Monster

poster_monster_01.jpgCall for Papers for Special Session at the

International Congress on Medieval Studies (ICMS 2019)

May 9 to 12, 2019

Western Michigan University

The proposed session will discuss and debate on the various definitions of the concept of the “monster.” Defining the monster is a challenge. Monsters and monstrosity-related aspects have been topics of academic research either connected to identity or cross-cultural encounters, explored as ‘others’ in the context of voyages (real-imagined), as heritage from Antiquity, as races reflected in travellers’ reports inserted into Western art, philosophy, and theology.

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