Category Archives: kalamazoo

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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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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CFP: Visualizing Women in the Apocrypha

poster_apocrypha_01.jpg

Call 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 is devoted to the construction and visualization of women as reflected in apocryphal sources with the aim of bringing into attention this generally neglected topic/sources which seem to be underrepresented. The existent literature, in the general field of apocrypha, indicates that there is space for debate on issues connected to gender in these sources.

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CFP: Enchanted Environs: Architecture, Automata, and the Art of Mechanical Performance, International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, 10-13 May, 2018

l27horlogedesapience28theclockofwisdom29fromabout1450Call for Papers: Enchanted Environs: Architecture, Automata, and the Art of Mechanical Performance, International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, 10-13 May, 2018.
Deadline: 15 September 2017.

Sponsored by AVISTA (The Association Villard de Honnecourt for the Interdisciplinary Study of Technology, Science, and Art).

Organized by Zachary Stewart (Texas A&M University) and Amy Gillette (The Barnes Foundation).

Medieval spaces were often sites of spectacular performances animated by various kinds of mechanical installations—the most complex of which featured automata or self-operating devices. Some items survive in material form; the most notable examples are the famous mechanical clocks of Central Europe. Other items survive in textual form; examples range from the singing birds in the palace of Caliph al-Muqtadir, the dancing monkeys in the garden of Count Robert II of Artois, and the bowing angel in the coronation pavilion of King Richard II of England to the Throne of Solomon of Middle Byzantine Constantinople, the ritual statues of late medieval Spain, and the liturgical set-pieces of late medieval Italy. This session, enriched by the work of scholars such as Jean Gimpel and, more recently, Scott Lightsey and Elly Truitt, seeks to revisit the issue of mechanical installations as it relates to the history of the built environment—an area of academic research in which studies of human performance are many but studies of non-human performance are few. The working conceit of the session will be that of the Wunderkammer. Participants will deliver a series of shorter papers in order to facilitate a wide-ranging exploration of mechanical invention in the medieval world: Latin, Byzantine, and Islamic. Possible topics of inquiry may include individual case studies, modes of production and/or reception, and larger questions of historical evidence (physical, textual, and visual) and/or historical significance (political, social, and economic). Especially desirable are contributions involving technical reconstructions (analog or digital), theoretical speculations (phenomenological or ontological), and, in keeping with the mission of AVISTA, investigations of famous polymaths such as Ismail al-Jazari, Villard d’Honnecourt, and Leonardo da Vinci.

Please send an abstract (500 words max) and a Participant Information Form to Zachary Stewart (zstewart@arch.tamu.edu) and Amy Gillette (agillette@barnesfoundation.org) by 15 September 2017.

AVISTA is pleased to offer the annual, merit-based Villard de Honnecourt Award for the outstanding paper by a graduate student in an AVISTA session at the ICMS at Kalamazoo. It is based on evaluation of the candidate’s abstract and CV. This award, which comes with a $500 honorarium, is intended to further young talent in the study of medieval technology, science, and art. The Society is also pleased to offer up to two $500 grants-in-aid to graduate students or independent scholars to defray costs of attending the ICMS at Kalamazoo. Application for one of these grants consists of a 300-word statement of need and CV, which should be submitted to the session organizer(s) by September 15, 2017, together with the paper abstract and PIF form.

CFP: Venice, Materiality, and the Byzantine World, Sponsored by the Italian Art Society, 53rd International Congress on Medieval Studies, May 10-13, 2018, Western Michigan University

imgp4428CFP: Venice, Materiality, and the Byzantine World, Sponsored by the Italian
Art Society, 53rd International Congress on Medieval Studies, May 10-13,
2018, Western Michigan University
Deadline: 15 September 2017
The Dumbarton Oaks Byzantine Symposium leading to the 2010 publication of San
Marco, Byzantium, and the Myths of Venice introduced new perspectives on
Byzantine and Venetian visual and material culture that extended Otto Demus’s
survey of Saint Mark’s basilica. The authors’ application of more recent approaches—
such as the social function of spolia, the act of display, the construction of identity,
and cultural hybridity—brought fresh analyses to a complex and richly decorated
monument. This panel seeks to expand this methodological discourse by taking into
account questions related to materials, materiality, and intermediality between
Venice and Byzantium. The arrival of material culture from the Byzantine world to
Venice as gifts, spoils, or ephemera during the centuries surrounding the Fourth
Crusade allowed for both appropriation and conceptual transformation of material
culture. In light of the renewal in interest of Venice’s Byzantine heritage, this panel
seeks to reflect on the interaction of material culture between la Serenissima and the
Byzantine world, especially during the eleventh through fifteenth centuries. Topics
may be wide-ranging, including, but not limited to: issues of reception and cultural
translation; changing concepts of preciousness; different valuation of materials
between Venice and Byzantium; the fluctuating simulation of material visual effects;
the transformation of Byzantine objects incorporated into Venetian frames;
intermedial dialogue between Byzantine and Venetian art; and the process and
technique of manufacture of works between Byzantium and Venice. Some points of
departure may include: the building of San Marco itself; Byzantine objects in the
Treasury; Byzantine manuscripts included as part of the Cardinal Bessarion gift to
the Republic; the monuments on Torcello; or issues raised as a result of recent
conservation projects. New cross-cultural methodologies from art historical,
anthropological, or sociological fields are welcome.
Please submit a 300-word abstract and a completed Participant Information Form
session organizers: Brad Hostetler, Kenyon College, hostetler1@kenyon.edu Joseph
Kopta, Pratt Institute, jkopta@pratt.edu
In addition to the travel awards available to all Congress participants (http://www.wmich.edu/medievalcongress/awards), the
Italian Art Society offers competitive travel grants: