Category Archives: Call for Papers

CFP: Enclosures: Women’s Religious Art and the Boundaries of Method (International Medieval Congress, Leeds 2020, September 10, 2019)

This panel seeks to explore new methodologies for studying the art of women’s religious communities in global and cross-cultural perspective from about 500 to 1525 CE. 

In the last few decades years, art historians have put women back on the map of European medieval art history. Harnessing the second-wave feminism, scholars, such as Caroline Walker Bynum and Madeline H. Caviness, paved the way for this radical shift. The generation that followed, most influentially Jeffrey Hamburger, has consolidated the study of the art and architecture of female monasticism, as manifested in the landmark exhibition of Crown and Veil (Essen and Bonn, 2005). In the process, art historians expanded our knowledge of the role of religious women as makers, commissioners, and recipients of art. The corpus of works of art has exponentially enlarged, fully encompassing the range of media engaged in women’s religious life, including objects previously relegated to margins of art history as crafts. To do so, art historians have employed a variety of methodologies, using interdisciplinary approaches. 

Now, it is time to refresh the methodological foundations and broaden the scope of inquiry of this field. To this end, we invite speakers working on topics of the art of religious women and communities in any cultural, religious, and geographic context. In particular, we encourage the submission of papers that examines the methodological challenges and/or engage in innovative approaches in the field. 

Potential questions may include, but are not limited to: 

  • New insights into the role women’s religious communities played in the production and commission of art.
  • Is the art of female monasticism a productive category of inquiry? If so, what can we learn from examining medieval art through this lens and what are its boundaries? If not, what are the other venues for studying the art of religious women?
  • What new venues do interdisciplinary collaborations open up for the study of female monastic art?
  • Do we need to reassess gender-specific approaches to the art of women’s religious communities in light of recent scholarship on gender?
  • What lessons might be learned from examining other cultural and religious traditions? What methods have proven productive in examining non-Christian/non-Western cultural and religious communities?
  • Case studies of inter-religious and/or inter-cultural exchange, interchange, influences, and entanglement among women’s religious communities
  • Are there media specific to or preferred by female audience? Are there any of these universal?
  • New technological/digital approaches to studying the art of women’s religious communities 

The session seeks to provide a forum for scholars at different career stages, across different art historical geographies. This session, we hope, will foster a dialogue across regions and religions of women’s religious communities, providing a fertile ground for discussion 

We invite interested applicants to submit a 250 word abstract and a short c.v. to Kristina Potuckova (kristina.potuckova@yale.edu) and Orsolya Mednyánszky (omednyanszky@jhu.edu) by September 10, 2019. 

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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

CFP: ‘Cave Architecture and Art in the Middle Ages’ at the International Congress on Medieval Studies, Western Michigan University Kalamazoo, May 7-10 2020 

55th International Congress on Medieval Studies, Western Michigan University Kalamazoo, May 7-10 2020 

Cave churches, monasteries and dwellings can be admired throughout the Mediterranean, where they often appear next to and even intertwined with the built environment. And yet, with the exception of southern Italy and Cappadocia, they are rarely included in studies of the art and architecture in the Mediterranean (broadly understood). This session seeks to explore the role of cave architecture and art in the urban topography of Eurasia and Africa. 

With the exception of Ethiopia and Cappadocia, caves structures are often dismissed because of their small size and simplicity. However, caves and other underground spaces played essential roles in medieval cultures, as demonstrated by their mural decorations and how they appear in hagiographies, pilgrimage accounts and other genres of literature. We are looking for multi-disciplinary papers that argue for the integration of cave architectures within our understanding of the broader Mediterranean during the medieval period. Papers from all disciplines are encouraged. 

Please send paper proposals of 300 words to the session organsier, Maria Harvey (mariajlharvey@gmail.com), by 15 September 2019, together with a short C.V. and a completed Participant Information form. 

Please include your name, title, and affiliation on the abstract. 

All abstracts not accepted for the session will be forwarded to Congress administrators for consideration in general sessions, as per Congress regulations. 

CFP: International Meeting of the European Architectural History Network in Edinburgh in June 2020

Genius Loci: The Politics of Pre-Modern Architectural Style Session, International Meeting of the European Architectural History Network, Edinburgh, 10–13 June 2020

Frequently encountered in the historiography of pre-modern architecture is the theme of genius loci – a paradigm in which factors such as climate, local resources, and local traditions are understood as determinative for the building practices of a given region, country, or nation.

Writing on Gothic architecture is a striking case in point. The style was a pan-European phenomenon. Yet, almost from the beginning, it was interpreted in patently ethnic, regional, or national terms. Late medieval observers in northern Europe saw it as French (opus francigenum). Early modern observers in southern Europe saw it as German (maniera tedesca). And antiquarians, archaeologists, and architectural historians active during the era of the formation of modern nation states, in an effort to advance competing domestic claims to Gothic, coined a series of stylistic labels – ‘Perpendicular’ for England, ‘Flamboyant’ for France, ‘Sondergotik’ for Germany – that continue to be employed into the present day.

Thus have medieval architectural historians struggled to examine the buildings of smaller regions with more heterogeneous architectural traditions. Scotland – a land whose medieval edifices have been characterised as ‘dour’, ’embattled’, and even a ‘fag-end’ – is exemplary in this regard. Smaller buildings less sympathetic to foreign fashions have typically been viewed as crude. Larger buildings more sympathetic to foreign fashions have typically been viewed as mannered, wilful, or downright bizarre (cf. Roslin Chapel). Such interpretations not only uphold a simplistic centre-versus-periphery model of historical explanation but also assume that national styles are real ontic categories.

Raising the stakes for a re-evaluation of issues of place, space, and identity is the politically febrile atmosphere in which we now live and work. Indeed, nativism draws on the idea that countries have distinctive (if not inviolable) cultures, and architecture plays a dual role in such discourse in that old buildings can be used as evidence for certain values and new buildings can be used as vehicles for certain ideologies. Consequently, this panel seeks to interrogate the relationship between architecture and regional or national identities in the pre-modern period, with an emphasis on the buildings of medieval Scotland. Possible topics for papers include:

– Definitions of nationalism

– Investigations of ‘schools’, ‘groups’, and/or ‘styles’

– Attributions of buildings to various regional or national idioms

– Explorations of social networks that supported or subverted the exchange of architectural ideas

Please submit a proposal in English of no more than 300 words by 20 September 2019 to Zachary Stewart (zstewart@arch.tamu.edu) and Lizzie Swarbrick (Lizzie.Swarbrick@ed.ac.uk) with the following information:

– The title of the paper

– Your name

– Your professional affiliation

– A short curriculum vitae (maximum of two pages)

– A mailing address, email address and telephone number

Please note: papers may not have been previously published, nor presented in public. Only one submission per author will be accepted by EAHN 2020. Each speaker is expected to fund his or her own registration, travel and expenses to Edinburgh.

CFP: CAA session, Buildings in Bloom: Foliage and Architecture in the Global Middle Ages (sponsored by the ICMA)

Buildings in Bloom: Foliage and Architecture in the Global Middle Ages

College Art Association Annual Conference
Chicago, February 12-15, 2020

Session sponsored by the International Center of Medieval Art

CFP Deadline: July 23, 2019

This panel seeks to explore foliate forms in a cross-cultural context across geographies and cultural traditions from roughly 300 to 1500 CE. Foliate forms can be found in many types of buildings from the medieval period, displayed in prominent locations or hidden from the casual viewer’s gaze. From the Gothic cathedrals of western Europe to the Hindu temples of south Asia, builders and artisans filled their structures with flowers, leaves, fruits, and vines. These organic interventions took many forms and adorned architectonic elements in sometimes unexpected ways. They were also executed in a variety of media: sculpture, glass, mosaic, ceramics, and painting. The study of foliate forms has the potential to enliven discussions of artistic production and authorship in medieval architecture. A generation of new scholarship has richly re-integrated the decorative into architectural discourse; vegetal forms need not be filed neatly under “architecture” or “decoration,” as foliage often occupies a liminal space that defies such categorization. Furthermore, the ecological turn has reinvigorated debates concerning liveliness, between-ness, and nature in art, and this research presents a promising opportunity to apply new thinking to previously overlooked aspects of medieval monuments on a global scale while examining one of the most fundamental relationships in the history of architecture, that of nature and the built environment.

We seek papers from scholars working in any cultural context (including Western Medieval, Pre-Columbian, Byzantine, Islamic, African, South Asian, East Asian, etc.) and any building typology (sacred architecture, palace architecture, commemorative monuments, vernacular architecture). Potential questions may include but are not limited to:

-What role or roles do vegetal motifs play in articulating space, creating meaning, or mitigating identity?
-How do these forms connect to the broader cultural context?
-As historians of medieval art, how should we approach this aniconic imagery methodologically?
-What new methodologies or technologies can be employed in studying a large corpus of foliate decoration?
-What lessons might be learned from examining foliate forms across traditional cultural boundaries?

We invite interested applicants to submit a 250 word abstract and c.v. to Emogene Cataldo (emogene.cataldo@columbia.edu) and Meg Bernstein (megbernstein@ucla.edu) by July 23, 2019.

Accepted speakers may be eligible to apply for ICMA Kress Travel Grants to support travel to and from Chicago. For more information, see: http://www.medievalart.org/kress-travel-grant.