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Call for Papers: 54th International Congress on Medieval Studies, May 9 – 12 2019 – Mary Jaharis Center sponsored panel (Deadline: 27 May 2018)

hb_63-178-2To encourage the integration of Byzantine studies within the scholarly community and medieval studies in particular, the Mary Jaharis Center for Byzantine Art and Culture seeks proposals for a Mary Jaharis Center sponsored session at the 54th International Congress on Medieval Studies, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, May 9–12, 2019. We invite session proposals on any topic relevant to Byzantine studies.
Session proposals must be submitted through the Mary Jaharis Center website ( The deadline for submission is May 27, 2018. Proposals should include:
**Session abstract (300 words)
**Intellectual justification for the proposed session (300 words)
**Proposed list of session participants (presenters and session presider)
Successful applicants will be notified by May 30, 2018, if their proposal has been selected for submission to the International Medieval Congress. The Mary Jaharis Center will submit the session proposal to the Congress and will keep the potential organizer informed about the status of the proposal.
The session organizer may act as the presider or present a paper. The session organizer will be responsible for writing the Call for Papers. The CFP must be approved by the Mary Jaharis Center. Session participants will be chosen by the session organizer and the Mary Jaharis Center.
If the proposed session is approved, the Mary Jaharis Center will reimburse up to 5 session participants (presenters and presider) up to $600 maximum for North American residents and up to $1200 maximum for those coming abroad. Session organizers and co-organizers should plan to participate in the panel as either a participant or a presider. Funding is through reimbursement only; advance funding cannot be provided. Eligible expenses include conference registration, transportation, and food and lodging. Receipts are required for reimbursement.
Please contact Brandie Ratliff (, Director, Mary Jaharis Center for Byzantine Art and Culture with any questions. Further information about the International Congress on Medieval Studies is available at

On this day in 1337…

Reposted from IAS Blog


Reliquary of the Santo Corporale, gold and silver with basse taille enamel, 1.39×0.63 m, 1338 (Orvieto Cathedral). Source: Scala/Art Resource, NY

On 7 May 1337 goldsmith Ugolino di Vieri received the first payment for his masterpiece, the reliquary of the Santo Corporale of Bolsena. Payments are recorded for the following two years, reflecting the long process of creating an artwork as complex and monumental as this.



Details of the Corporale, showing scenes from the Miracle. Source: Sailko on 
Wikimedia Commons.

The work was commissioned by the Bishop and Canons of Orvieto Cathedral to celebrate a miracle which had taken place in the nearby town of Bolsena in 1263. A priest in the town had become increasingly sceptical of the religious dogma of transubstantiation, namely the real conversion of the wine and bread used at Mass into the body and blood of Christ at the moment of their consecration. As the priest was celebrating the Eucharist one day, the consecrated host started bleeding on the corporal, the linen cloth used to cover the altar at this point of the celebration. Awed by the supernatural event, the priest described it to Pope Urban IV, who recognised it as a miracle and ordered the preservation of the blood-stained corporal as a relic.


Façade of the Duomo of Orvieto. Source: Hans Peter Schaefer on Wikimedia Commons

Conceived to contain the square corporal, Ugolino di Vieri’s reliquary abandoned the circular or polygonal shape typical of earlier objects of this type. Instead, it adopted a flat, rectangular structure which evokes an altarpiece or the façade of a church. The gables crowning the object are in fact very similar to those of Orvieto cathedral’s own façade.





Duccio di Buoninsegna, Maestà (back, conjectural reconstruction by Lew Minter), tempera on panel, 1308–1311. Source: Web Gallery of Art.

The iconography of the reliquary is as innovative as its form. It is decorated with 32 scenes representing the Passion of Christ and the Miracle of Bolsena in colourful basse taille enamel. The former narrative is illustrated with scenes copied from the famous Maestà altarpiece painted by Duccio di Buoninsegna for Siena Cathedral in 1308–11. Instead, the miracle had never been represented in art before, and Ugolino had to invent a completely new iconography to represent the event. Proud perhaps of his great achievement, Ugolino inscribed the reliquary with his name and with its date of completion.


On the day of Corpus Christi, 1338, a solemn procession transported the completed reliquary from Ugolino’s workshop to the cathedral. The procession evokes the similar celebration held for Duccio’s Maestà in 1311, as narrated by an anonymous Sienese chronicler:

On the day on which [the Maestà] was carried to the Duomo, the shops were locked up and the Bishop ordered a great and devout company of priests and brothers with a solemn procession, accompanied by the Signori of the Nine and all the officials of the Comune, and all the populace and all the most worthy were in order next to the said panel with lights lit in their hands, and then behind were women and children with much devotion; and they accompanied it right to the Duomo making procession around the Campo, as was the custom, sounding all the bells in glory out of devotion for such a noble panel as was this.

In Orvieto, Ugolino’s reliquary is still paraded every year during Corpus Christi celebrations.

Reference: Geddes, Helen. “Ugolino di Vieri.” Grove Art Online.

Lecture: ‘The Battle of Maps: Ottoman-Habsburg antagonism as mirrored in their cartography’, Ferdinand Opll (27th April, 2018, 5pm)


Please join the Architecture, Space and Society Centre (ASSC) for Prof. Ferdinand Opll’s lecture on April 27th at 5pm in the Keynes Library, School of Arts, Birkbeck, 43 Gordon Square.

The Battle of Maps: Ottoman-Habsburg antagonism as mirrored in their cartography (15th – 16th century)

The paper will compare parallel trends in the development of Eastern (Islamic) and Western (Christian) cartography from the Early Middle Ages up to the Early Modern Times. This will lay the basis for a deeper understanding of the use of cartography as a tool in the context of the long-lasting political antagonism and territorial struggles between the Ottomans and the Habsburgs – the Muslim and Christian arch-opponents of the 15th and especially the 16th century. The paper will focus on reciprocal influences as well as deep diversities concerning (carto)graphical evolution in these two opposing camps. This comparative view will shine an interesting new light on the encounters of these two world powers of the Early Modern era and through a prism of oft marginalised medium of mapmaking.

Ferdinand Opll is Honorary Professor of Medieval History and Historical Auxiliary Sciences at the University of Vienna. He is a distinguished, awarded-winning historian and archivist who has authored and co-authored many landmark publications on Vienna’s history and topography. An able and dynamic administrator, as well as scholar, Ferdinand Opll has shaped a number of important institutions: he was the director of the Vienna Municipal and Provincial Archives (Wiener Statdt- und Landesarchiv) between 1989 and 2010; the leader of the Institute Municipal Historical Research of the Ludwig Boltzmann Society (Institut für Stadtgeschichtsforschung der Ludwig Boltzmann Gesellschaft) between 2002-2009, and the general secretary of the Society for the History of Vienna (Verein für Geschichte der Stadt Wien) between 1989-1991. He is an active member of the International Commission for History of Towns.

CFP: ‘Peaks-Passages-Ponti’, Deutscher Verein für Kunstwissenschaft (deadline 1 June 2018)

5. Forum Medieval Art: Peaks-Passages-Ponti

The fifth Forum Medieval Art will take place in Bern on 18th-21st September 2019. Bern – looking out to peaks Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau, situated at the border to the Romandy, and having a long-standing tradition in bridge-building – embodies certain notions of translations, entanglements, and interactions. The conference will highlight such themes, focusing on forms and means of exchange, infrastructure, political and religious relationships, and the concrete reflections of these connections through objects. Methodological challenges will also be paramount, such as questioning how to write a history of encounters between artists, artworks, materials, and traditions.

Many mountain regions, and especially the Alps, have a long history as sites of transfers and interferences. Today, mountains and glaciers are the locations revealing most rapidly the consequences of climate change. They raise our awareness of similar changes in the past. Mountain regions were and are traversed by several ecological networks, connecting cities, regions, and countries, as well as different cultures, languages, and artistic traditions. Mountains, with their difficult passages and bridges, structured the ways through which materials and people were in touch. Bridges were strategic targets in conduct of war, evidence of applied knowledge, expression of civic representation, and custom points—both blockades and gates to the world.

Peaks in the historiography of Art History mark moments of radical change within artistic developments, the pinnacles of artistic careers, and high moments in the encounters of different traditions. Since the unfinished project of Walter Benjamin, who obtained his PhD in Bern, the passage has also been introduced as a figure of thought in historiography. The passage describes historical layers as spatial constellations, in which works of art, everyday culture, religious ideas, definitions of periods and theories of history encounter.

Please send your submission until June 1, 2018, to

Find more information here:

German call for papers:

In Bern – mit Blick auf Eiger, Mönch und Jungfrau, als Passage zur Westschweiz und mit einer langen Tradition im Brückenbau – wird das fünfte Forum Kunst des Mittelalters die Schnittstellen, Transfer-, Entanglement- und Überlagerungsprozesse selbst ins Zentrum stellen. Es thematisiert die Formen und Wege des Austauschs, die Infrastruktur, die Verbindungen der politischen und religiösen Kontexte, die konkreten Reflexionen dieser Beziehungen in den Objekten und die methodische Herausforderung, die Geschichte von Begegnungen von Künstlern, Werken, Materialien und Traditionen zu schreiben.

Viele Gebirgsregionen, und insbesondere der Alpenraum, haben als Transfer- und Überlagerungsraum eine lange Geschichte. Zugleich sind Berge und Gletscher in der Gegenwart Orte, an denen die Folgen von Klimaveränderungen besonders rasch sichtbar werden. Sie sensibilisieren daher auch für ähnliche Veränderungsphänomene vergangener Zeitschichten. Bergregionen waren und sind durchzogen von verschiedenen Netzwerken, in denen herausfordernde Passagen, oft mit Pässen und Brücken, Städte, Regionen, Länder, und damit verschiedene Kulturen, Sprachen und ihre künstlerischen Traditionen verbanden. Sie strukturierten die Wege, über die Materialien, Menschen, Regionen miteinander im Austausch standen. Brücken waren strategische Ziele in der Kriegsführung, Zeugnis angewendeten Wissens, Ausdruck städtischer Repräsentation, Zollstellen, und Tore zur Welt.

Gipfel markieren in der Kunsthistoriographie Momente des Umbruchs einer längeren Entwicklung, Höhepunkte in künstlerischen Karrieren und zentrale Momente in der Begegnung von verschiedenen Traditionen. Seit dem unvollendetem Projekt Walter Benjamins, der in Bern promoviert wurde, ist die Passage auch als Figur der Geschichtsschreibung eingeführt, die historische Schichten von Räumen als Konstellation begreift, an der sich Kunstwerke, Alltagskultur, religiöse Vorstellungen, Definitionen von Epochen und Geschichtstheorie begegnen.

Ihre Vorschläge für Sektionen richten Sie bitte bis spätestens 1. Juni 2018 an

French call for papers:

5. Forum Medieval Art

Face aux sommets de l’Eiger, du Mönch et de la Jungfrau, représentant un lieu de passage entre Suisse allemande et romande et héritière d’une longue tradition de la construction de ponts la ville de Berne va accueillir le cinquième “Forum d’art médiéval” pour discuter les processus de transfert, d’échange et d’interférences culturels au Moyen Âge. Il abordera les problématiques des formes et voies d’échange, de l’infrastructure, des liens politiques et religieux qui sont reflétés dans les œuvres et lancera le défi méthodologique d’écrire une nouvelle histoire de l’art comme histoire des rencontres entre les hommes, les œuvres, les matériaux et les traditions.

Beaucoup de régions montagnardes, et notamment l’arc alpin, ont une longue tradition d’espaces d’échange et de transfert. En même temps, les montagnes et les glaciers représentent des lieux où le changement climatique se manifeste très vite. Ils sensibilisent à l’étude de changements comparables qui eurent lieu dans le passé. Les montagnes sont depuis toujours traversées d’un réseau de chemins et de routes intégrant des passages difficiles, souvent par des cols et des ponts. Ce réseau établit le lien entre villes, régions et pays, mettant en relation les diverses cultures avec leurs langues et leurs pratiques artistiques différentes. Les régions montagnardes comprennent les voies de transport et d’échange de matériaux et d’hommes entre régions. Les ponts devinrent souvent la cible pendant les guerres, représentaient une démonstration du savoir-faire et symbolisaient la barrière douanière tout comme la porte qui s’ouvre au monde.

Dans l’historiographie de l’histoire de l’art ce sont les apogées qui désignent un changement profond dans une évolution en cours, un sommet d’une carrière d’artiste ou un moment crucial d’une rencontre entre traditions différentes. Depuis le projet inachevé de Walter Benjamin, qui a soutenu sa thèse à l’université de Berne, le terme de “passage” fait partie de la pensée d’historiens qui cherchent à comprendre les stratifications historiques d’un espace comme des lieux de rencontre entre objets d’art, culture du quotidien, idées religieuses, définitions d’époques et théories d’histoire.

Les propositions de séance sont à soumettre jusqu’au 1er juin 2018 par
e-mail à l’adresse suivante :

Sponsored session by AVISTA at International Congress on Medieval Studies (May 13 2018)

May 13 2018

Co-chaired by Zachary Stewart (Texas A&M University) and Amy Gillette (The Barnes Foundation), and sponsored by AVISTA


Enchanted Environs: Architecture, Automata, and the Art of Mechanical Performance I


Sunday 8:30 AM
Fetzer 2016
Organizer: Amy Gillette, The Barnes Foundation; Zachary Stewart, Texas A&M Univ.
Presider: Amy Gillette, The Barnes Foundation


  1. “Monstrous Machines: Mechanical Wheels of Fortune in Medieval Europe,” Oliver Mitchell, Courtauld Institute of Art
  2. “Res Vana sive Misticus Jocus?”: Mechanical Wheels of Fortune and Religious Automata,” Vincent Deluz, Max-Planck-Institut für Wissenschaftsgeschichte/Univ. de Genève
  3. “Like Clockwork: Fortune, Time, and Mimetic Mechanism in Guillaume de Machaut’s MS C,” Kathleen Wilson Ruffo, Univ. of Toronto; Royal Ontario Museum


Enchanted Environs: Architecture, Automata, and the Art of Mechanical Performance II


Sunday 10:30 AM
Fetzer 2016
Organizer: Amy Gillette, The Barnes Foundation; Zachary Stewart, Texas A&M Univ.
Presider: Zachary Stewart, Texas A&M Univ.


  1. “The Park of Hesdin and Its Automata under the Early Valois (1384–1404),” Scott Miller, Northwestern Univ./Univ. Paris 8
  2. “Space, Light, and Liturgical Plays as Sources of Inspiration for Late Gothic Altarpieces,” Johannes Tripps, Hochschule für Technik, Wirtschaft und Kultur Leipzig
  3. “Late Medieval Angel Machines,” Amy Gillette


Find out more here:

Upcoming lectures: London Society for Medieval Studies (Summer Term 2018)

List of upcoming lectures with the London Society for Medieval Studies

Venue: Wolfson Room NB01, Basement, IHR, North block, Senate House unless otherwise stated

Time: Tuesdays 19:00

Chair: Stephen Spencer (

Joint secretaries: Ella Kilgallon

Treasurer: Giorgio Lizzul

Committee: Ella Kilgallon, Anaïs Waag, Helen Rampton, Emma Knowles, Calum Cockburn, Karel Fraaije

Summer Term 2018

17 April 19:00 – The Royal Anglo-Saxon Burials of Winchester  – Barbara Yorke (University of Winchester), IHR Wolfson Room NB01, Basement, IHR

1 May 19:00 – Domesticating the Devil: The Early Medieval Contexts of Aldhelm’s Cat Riddle – Megan Cavell (University of Birmingham), Room G7, Ground Floor

15 May 19:00 – “Structuring the Sacred”: considering framing, space and place on the Easby Cross – Meg Boulton (University of York), IHR Wolfson Room NB01, Basement, IHR

29 May 19:00 – Is it all about the money? Joan of Navarre and the economic element of queenship  – Elena Woodacre (University of Winchester), IHR Wolfson Room NB01, Basement, IHR

12 June 19:00 – London Society for Medieval Studies TBC, Room 246, Second Floor

New Job: Curator of Medieval Manuscripts (deadline 30th April 2018)

Curator of Medieval Manuscripts

University of Oxford – Bodleian Libraries, Special Collections, Weston Library

We are seeking a Curator of Medieval Western Manuscripts to work in the Weston Library, the home of the Bodleian’s Special Collections. You will carry out a full range of curatorial activities and duties, including creating catalogue descriptions of medieval manuscripts, and contributing to the future development of the online catalogue. You will be answering enquiries and supervising the reading rooms; supporting all aspects of teaching and learning with manuscripts and carrying out research on the collections, you will also assist with exhibitions and public engagement activities, participating in acquisitions work, and supporting fundraising initiatives.

You will have an honours degree and a postgraduate degree in a relevant subject, or equivalent academic achievement; experience of cataloguing medieval manuscripts and of electronic cataloguing systems, along with a reading knowledge of Latin and a paleographical skills in the reading of medieval books and charters, and an ability to communicate about medieval manuscripts with a broad range of people is essential, along with a commitment both to the care of the collections and to a high level of service to readers. Relevant curatorial experience and experience of manuscript digitalisation and other relevant projects in the digital humanities is desirable.

This is a permanent, full-time post.

Benefits include 38 days leave (including bank holidays and fixed closures), a generous pension scheme, extensive training and development opportunities, access to travel and childcare schemes, free entry to colleges, discounted access to sporting facilities and a wide range of other staff discounts.

You will be required to upload your CV and a supporting statement as part of your online application. Your supporting statement should list each of the essential and desirable selection criteria, as listed in the job description, and explain how you meet each one. Your application cannot be considered unless you upload a CV and a supporting statement.

Only applications received online by 12.00 midday on Monday 30 April 2018 can be considered. Interviews are expected to take place on Thursday 14 June 2018.

Apply and see more information here: