Category Archives: Call for Papers

CFP: ICMA sponsored session: ‘MOVING MATERIALS: Medium, Meanings, and Technique in Transit,’ Leeds International Medieval Congress, University of Leeds, Leeds, United Kingdom, 1–4 July 2019

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MOVING MATERIALS: Medium, Meanings, and Technique in Transit, Leeds International Medieval Congress (thematic strand: Materialities), University of Leeds, Leeds, United Kingdom, 1-4 July 2019

Sponsored by the International Center of Medieval Art (ICMA) Student Committee
Organized by D. Esther Kim (Toronto),  Maggie Crosland (Courtauld), and Xin Yue (Sylvia) Wang (Toronto)

The materials of the medieval artist, artisan, and architect were constantly on the move, travelling from one part of the globe to another through trade, gifting, looting, or theft. Likewise, the localized techniques of working with materials and media could travel near and far, through the movement of artists and objects, as well as written and visual descriptions such as artist manuals and travel guides.

While on the move, travelling materials such as stone and marble, metals, fur, textiles, coral, ivory, and pigment—and techniques of working with these materials—might retain their original meanings and function; or they could be integrated with local media, refined, or even significantly transformed to something drastically different, to suit the ideologies and ambitions of their destination.

This panel aims to engage with materials and techniques in transit, as well as the (trans)regionality of their meanings and significations, by asking: are we still able to trace the ‘origin’ and ‘originality’ of certain materials, techniques, and their meanings? How then would the fluidity and transformation of techniques affect our understanding when we are trying to ascribe a certain technique to a particular culture or region? How are old, new, and combined meanings assessed and understood in the Middle Ages and in scholarship today?

Possible topics of discussion include, but are not limited to: global movements and dissemination of artists and/or their materials and techniques; modes of transmission; regional/transregional meaning and significance of materials and techniques; reuse and repurposing of existing materials and/or artworks; reasons for shifts in meaning and function of materials within and outside particular regions; the integration of materials and medium, and intermediality; trans-temporal/ trans-regional use of spolia, among others.

How to apply: We welcome submissions for 20-minute papers from graduate student ICMA members, and encourage interdisciplinary submissions from students researching all parts of the globe from c.400-c.1500. To propose a paper, please send a title, abstract of up to 250 words, and CV to the organizers (de.kim@mail.utoronto.ca, margaret.crosland@courtauld.ac.uk, xw388@nyu.edu) by 21 September, 2018.

The International Center for Medieval Art Student Committee involves and advocates for all members of the ICMA with student status and facilitates communication and mentorship between student and non-student members.

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CFP: Gender and Medieval Studies Conference 2019: GENDER AND ALIENS, Durham University, 7th–10th January 2019

In recent years discourse around ‘aliens’, as migrants living in modern nation-states, has been highly polarised, and the status of people who are technically termed legal or illegal aliens by the governments of those states has often been hotly contested. It is evident from studies of the past, however, that the movement of people is not a recent phenomenon: in the medieval west, one of the Latin terms applied to such people was alieni (‘foreigners’, or ‘strangers’), and it is clear from the surviving evidence that there were many people in the Middle Ages who could be, and indeed were, identified as aliens.

This conference aims to stimulate debate about the ways in which gender intersected with and related to the idea of such aliens – and, more broadly, alienation – in the medieval world. Social, political and religious attitudes to aliens and the alienated were not constant over the centuries from c. 400 to c. 1500, and nor were they uniform across the whole world. Some foreigners, as aliens, might end up integrated into the societies they entered; others might find themselves marginalised, lonely or alone; or oppressed, as outlaws, outcasts, or slaves. Gender might exacerbate or mitigate this, depending on time, place and context. Authors or artists depicting parts of the world far from and alien to their own often filled them with people or beings not like them, demonstrating the imaginative power of alterity, while the reactions of those who encountered people from distant places and observed or participated in their customs could include recognition of similarity as well as difference. Foreigners were also not the only people who might find themselves alienated from, or within, certain societies or cultures: the medieval world included many marginalised groups. The issues of aliens and alienation may be differently construed in the modern world, but they are certainly not new. The relationship of gender to these topics is complex, variable and significant.

The conference aims to enable discussion of these issues as they relate to the whole medieval world from c. 400 to c. 1500. The organisers welcome proposals for papers on any topic related to gender and aliens or alienation, broadly construed, and encourage submissions relating to the world beyond Europe. Papers might consider issues such as:

  • refugees, immigrants, emigrants
  • inclusion and exclusion
  • alterity and difference
  • outlaws, the law, legality
  • marginalised or disenfranchised groups
  • non-normative bodies, illness, disability
  • acculturation
  • imagined geographies
  • borders and frontiers
  • ethnicity and identity
  • slavery and slaves

In addition to sessions of papers, the conference will also include a poster session. Proposals for a 20-minute paper or for a poster can be submitted at https://tinyurl.com/gms2019submit by September 30th 2018. The conference organisers are also happy to consider proposals for other kinds of presentation: please contact the organisers at gmsconference2019@gmail.com to discuss these. Some travel bursaries will be available for students and unwaged delegates to attend this conference: please see http://medievalgender.co.uk/ for details.


Images: The Emperor and the Court Lady, from ‘Nüshi zhen’ (Admonitions of the Instructress to the Court Ladies), text composed by Zhang Hua (c.AD 232-300); 6th-8th century. (C) The Trustees of the British Museum

God casts out Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden, in the ‘Old English Hexateuch,’ London, British Library, Cotton Claudius B.iv, f. 6v, 11th century. (C) British Library

 

 

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: “A Global Trecento: Objects, Artist, and Ideas Across Europe, the Mediterranean, and Beyond,” IMC Leeds, 2019 (Deadline 15 September 2018)

Looking at the Trecento through the lens of current global paradigms and concerns inmarco polo historical and art historical studies might seem hazardous, or even paradoxical and provocative at best. Very few other labels have the power to evoke both the glories, achievements and limitations of traditional ‘Western’, and namely Eurocentric, art history. As a matter of fact, using the Italian word Trecento to mean the ‘Fourteenth Century’ in the visual arts, music and potentially any area of human endeavour adumbrates a clear hierarchy–with Italy at its top. It is meaningful, and perhaps no coincidence, that the term Trecento came into use in English in the same years that mark the tumultuous expansion of the new discipline of art history in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and its usage has grown exponentially ever since. While much has been done in recent decades to broaden our understanding of the period both geographically and philosophically, the Trecento remains primarily the century of Giotto and of the great Tuscan painters and sculptors. At this time of building national ‘walls’, it seems particularly appropriate to think that the seminal and transformative character of the Trecento owes much to artistic and cultural exchanges, movement of artists and patrons, circulation of models and ideas across Italy, Europe, the Mediterranean and beyond. Our aim is to bring into conversation recent research on these issues.

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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)

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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. 

Call for Papers: ‘Light and darkness in pre-modern visual cultures’, Courtauld Institute of Art, London, Friday 23rd November 2018

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Courtauld Institute of Art, London
Deadline: 15 September 2018

Organisers: Stefania Gerevini and Tom Nickson

The staged lighting of modern galleries, heritage sites and publications has significantly altered understanding of the roles of light and darkness in the design and reception of pre-modern objects and spaces. Despite sophisticated systems to manage artificial and natural light, pre-modern experiences of the visual were shaped greatly by daily and seasonal rituals and contingencies. In turn, those experiences informed, and were informed by, diverse theories about vision, light and illumination.

This one-day workshop of lightning talks offers participants opportunities to explore their own encounters with issues of light and darkness in pre-modern cultures, and set them within broader scholarly frameworks. How did pre-modern cultures conceptualise, respond to, and manipulate light and darkness and their interactions in urban, domestic and religious settings? How were natural and artificial light managed? What role did they play in the design of individual artworks, architectural spaces, ephemera and rituals, and to what extent did different light levels affect perceptions of objects and spaces? What vocabulary was used to think about light and darkness, and how was this language transformed by the advent of new technologies of illumination? How did pre-modern cultures deploy light/dark, day/night, to cogitate on God and the cosmos, and to visualise them?

Lightning talks should be no more than 5 minutes and 5 slides, and will be ‘curated’ for maximum variety and visual interest. They may relate to any region or culture, and ‘pre-modern’ is here very broadly defined as the period before the adoption of gas or electric lighting. Papers might focus on single objects, rituals or spaces, or on groups thereof. All disciplinary perspectives are welcome, provided they focus predominantly on visual culture.

Papers might consider:

  • The language of light and darkness: science, theology, literature and daily life
  • Light, darkness and the senses
  • Rituals, objects and spaces by night
  • Science, technologies and visual culture
  • Theologies of light/darkness
  • Daily/annual cycles of light and dark
  • Street life and the experience of urban spaces and architectures by day and night
  • Natural ‘spotlights’ on objects or buildings
  • Provision for lighting of various kinds
  • The agency of patrons or creators in shaping lighting conditions
  • Reconstructions of original lighting conditions
  • Restaging of medieval objects in early modern contexts
  • Deliberate darkness or blinding light
  • Refraction and reflection
  • Materiality and immateriality

Abstracts of 200 words should be sent to lightanddarkness2311@gmail.com together with 100-word participant biographies. The deadline is Saturday 15th September 2018. Please note that given the brevity of papers and large number of participants, The Courtauld cannot cover travel or accommodation costs (though lunch, refreshments and a subsidised supper will be provided).

Organised by:

Stefania Gerevini (Bocconi University, Milan)

Tom Nickson (Courtauld Institute of Art, London)