Category Archives: Call for Papers

CFP: ‘Working Materials and Materials at Work in Medieval Art and Architecture’, 25th Annual Medieval Postgraduate Colloquium, The Courtauld Institute of Art, 7 February 2020

RP-P-OB-963 detail

Master of Balaam, Saint Eligius in his Workshop (detail), c. 1440-1460. Engraving, 11.5 x 18.5 cm. Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam (RP-P-OB-963)

Call for papers: The Courtauld Institute of Art’s 25th Annual Medieval Postgraduate Colloquium: Working Materials and Materials at Work in Medieval Art and ArchitectureThe Courtauld Institute of Art, 7 February 2020

Deadline: 22 November 2017

Materials mattered in the Middle Ages. Only with the right materials could artists produce works of art of the highest quality, from jewel-encrusted crosses, gilded and enamelled chalices and ivory plaques to large-scale tapestries, wooden stave churches and stone cathedrals. This conference seeks to explore the qualities and properties of materials for the people who sourced, crafted and used them.

A critical examination of the physical aspect of materials, including stone, wood, metal, jewels, and textiles, can lead art historians to a deeper understanding of objects and their context. Medieval materials did not function as frictionless vehicles for immaterial meaning: materials, their sourcing, trade and manufacture all contributed to the reception and value of the object. In the vein of scholars like Michael Baxandall (The Limewood Sculptors of Renaissance Germany, 1980) and more recently Paul Binski (Gothic Sculpture, 2019), this conference asks participants to ground their papers in the messy realities of crafting materials, and to situate the object and its materials within a network of social, political and economic factors.

The Courtauld Institute of Art’s 25th Annual Medieval Postgraduate Colloquium invites speakers to build out from the object and consider the ways in which physical materials were used, manipulated and interpreted by craftspeople, patrons and audiences throughout the medieval world (understood in its broadest geographical and chronological terms). The colloquium encourages contributions from a range of backgrounds including but not limited to the art historical, technical, scientific and economic. Speakers are invited to consider the following and related questions:

Sourcing and Trade

  • What economic factors determined the value of medieval materials?
  • How did geography and trade impact the availability and use of materials?
  • How and in what quantities were materials sourced and did that affect the form and function of the art object?
  • How was the quality of materials determined and controlled?
  • Was trade in certain materials restricted to certain classes or groups of people?

Crafting and Making

  • How did the physical and technical requirements of working with different media shape objects for artists and how attuned were viewers to those requirements?
  • What technical virtuosity and experience did different materials demand and how did craftspeople learn and pass on these skills?
  • Did technical virtuosity affect the value of the object?
  • What do we know of the tools craftspeople used? Were the same tools used in different places and in different periods? What effect does this have on the use and shape of materials?
  • Medieval craftsmen occasionally manipulated certain materials to resemble others. Was this process of imitation always obvious to medieval viewers and how did they interpret this?

Function and Manipulation

  • How did the spaces or locations for which objects were intended shape the choice of materials?
  • Did the function of an object determine the materials of which it was made?
  • Were certain materials more attractive to certain patrons than others and why?
  • Do some medieval objects reveal deliberate references to their facture?
  • How did different materials cater to each of the senses?
  • Did materials always matter – is there a competitive/contested relationship between material reality and immaterial imagination?

The colloquium offers an opportunity for research students at all levels from universities across the United Kingdom and abroad to present, discuss and promote their research. To apply, please send a proposal of up to 250 words for a twenty-minute paper, together with a CV, to Harry.Prance@courtauld.ac.uk, Nicholas.Flory@courtauld.ac.uk and Charlotte.Wytema@courtauld.ac.uk no later than 22 November 2019.

CFP: Travelling Objects, Travelling People: Art and Artists of Late Medieval and Renaissance Iberia and Beyond, c. 1400–1550, The Courtauld Institute of Art, 28–29 May 2020

CALL FOR PAPERS

Deadline – Friday 10 January 2020

Anonymous Portuguese cartographer, Cantino Planisphere (detail), ca. 1502. Map on parchment, 220 x 105 cm. Biblioteca Estense Universitaria, Modena, Italy. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

Travelling Objects, Travelling People aims to nuance our understanding of the exchanges and influences that shaped the artistic landscape of Medieval and Renaissance Iberia. Traditional narratives hold that late fifteenth-century Iberian art and architecture were transformed by the arrival of artists, objects and ideas from France and the Low Countries, while 1492 marked a chronological rupture and the beginning of global encounters. Challenging these perceptions, this conference will reconsider the dynamics of artistic influence in late medieval Iberia, and place European exchanges in a global context, from Madeira to Santo Domingo. Bringing together international scholars working on Spain, Portugal and a range of related geographies, it seeks to address the impact of ‘itinerant’ artworks, artists and ideas, and issues of migration and non-linear transfers of materials, techniques and iconographies.

The theme of ‘travellers’—artists who reached or departed the region, at times more than once in their lives, but also objects and concepts imported and exported—will expand and inflect traditional narratives of late medieval and Renaissance art, underscoring the complexity of global interactions and exchanges which connected the Iberian peninsula to Europe and beyond. Bringing together international scholars working on Iberia and a range of related geographies, the conference seeks to address the impact of ‘itinerant’ artworks, artists and ideas, and to expand the field of analysis beyond Europe to encompass relationships with newly acquired dominions, from Madeira to Santo Domingo.

Topics for papers may include, but are not limited to:

  • Iberian artists employed abroad, from the master mason Guillelm Sagrera in Naples, to the sculptor Juan de la Huerta at the Chartreuse de Champmol
  • The close imitation of northern artists in such works as the Portuguese copies of Quentin Metsys’s The Angel Appearing to Saints Clara, Colette and Agnes (early 16th century, Museu de Setúbal / Convento de Jesus, Portugal)
  • ‘Iberian’ objects produced elsewhere, for example Christian ivory carvings made in Goa or Kongo, Afro-Portuguese spoons, and Mexican ‘feather-work’ adopting the vocabulary of northern European late Gothic painting
  • Works made for a non-Iberian audience but purchased and displayed by local patrons.

By encouraging conversations across such seemingly disparate topics and geographies, the conference aims to position the Iberian artistic landscape within the networks of artistic exchange that spanned the medieval and Renaissance worlds, challenging the significance of 1492 as a moment of rupture between the Middle Ages and Early Modern periods.

Proposals are welcome from postgraduate, early-career and established researchers working in all relevant disciplines. Please send a title and an abstract of no more than 300 words together with a short CV and 100-word biography to Costanza.Beltrami@courtauld.ac.uk and Sylvia.Alvares-Correa@history.ox.ac.uk by Friday 10 January 2020.

Papers should not exceed 20 minutes in length. Successful candidates will be notified by 17 February. In the first instance, applicants are encouraged to apply to their home institution for travel and accommodation funding. The organisers hope to provide financial support for travel and accommodation to speakers who require it. This conference is made possible by the kind generosity of Sam Fogg.

Please click here for more information.

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. 

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.