Call for Papers: The Face of Battle in Medieval History and Literature

Bataille_de_Bouvines_In recent years there has been a revolution in the study of medieval warfare.  Traditional paradigms that emphasised pitched battles and the charge of heavily armed mounted knights have given way to a focus upon sieges and raids, as well as a more nuanced understanding of medieval generalship and of the place of war within medieval society.  Yet much remains to be discovered about the place of battles in medieval warfare, and about their representation in contemporary historical and literary texts.

The Face of Battle in Medieval History and Literature will be a one-day conference held by Swansea University’s Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Research (MEMO) on Friday 20 June 2014 to discuss the significance of the medieval battle.  The year 2014 includes significant anniversaries for two epoch-making medieval encounters:  the 800th anniversary of the French royal victory over Imperial, Flemish and English forces at Bouvines (27 July 1214), and the 700th anniversary of the Scottish victory over the English at Bannockburn (24 June 1314).  Plenary papers will be given by Professor Matthew Strickland (Glasgow) concerning Bouvines and Dr Michael Brown (St Andrews) concerning Bannockburn.  The Symposium will be held in honour of Professor John France, Emeritus Professor of Medieval History at Swansea University, to celebrate his many contributions to the history of warfare.

Proposals for papers should be submitted to the Director of MEMO, Professor Daniel Power ( by Friday 31 January 2014.  MEMO is an interdisciplinary research centre, and the organisers welcome contributors who take literary or archaeological as well as historical approaches to the study of medieval warfare.

New Publication: Patronage, Power and Agency in Medieval Art

patronage-power-263x330COLUM HOURIHANE: Preface.
COLUM HOURIHANE: Introduction.
JILL CASKEY: Medieval Patronage & Its Potentialities.
JULIAN LUXFORD: The Construction of English Monastic Patronage.
ELIZABETH CARSON PASTAN: Imagined Patronage: The Bayeux Embroidery & Its Interpretive History.
SHEILA BONDE; CLARK MAINES: The Heart of the Matter: Valois Patronage of the Charterhouse at Bourgfontaine.
CLAUDINE LAUTIER: The Canons of Chartes: Their Patronage and Representation in the Stained Glass Cathedral.
ANNE DERBES: Patronage, Gender & Generation in Late Medieval Italy: Fina Buzzacarini and the Baptistery of Padua.
BENJAMIN ZWEIG: Picturing the Fallen King: Royal Patronage & the Image of Saul’s Suicide.
NIGEL MORGAN: What are they Saying? Patrons & Their Text Scrolls in Fifteenth-Century English Art.
ROBIN CORMACK: ‘Faceless Icons’: The Problems of Patronage in Byzantine Art.
CORINE SCHLEIF: Seeking Patronage: Patrons & Motions in Language, Art, and Historiography.
ADELAIDE BENNETT: Issues of Female Patronage: French Books of Hours, 1220-1320.
STEPHEN PERKINSON: Portraits & Their Patrons: Reconsidering Agency in late Medieval Art.
LUCY FREEMAN SANDLER: The Bohun Women & Manuscript Patronage in Fourteenth-Century England.
ADEN KUMLER: The Patron-Function

Second Annual Postgraduate Renaissance Symposium: The Visual Arts and Music in Renaissance Europe c 1400-1650

image003-cropSecond Annual Postgraduate Renaissance Symposium: The Visual Arts and Music in Renaissance Europe c 1400-1650

Saturday, 18 January 2014 9.30 – 17.30, Kenneth Clark Lecture Theatre

We are delighted to announce that our keynote address will be given by Professor Iain Fenlon (King’s College, Cambridge)

Speaker(s): Professor Iain Fenlon (University of Cambridge), Simon Jackson (University of Cambridge), Bryan C. Keene (The Courtauld Institute of Art), Moritz Kelber (University of Augsburg), Ewa Kociszewska (Warburg Institute), Kelly Lam (University of Cambridge), Evan MacCarthy (College of the Holy Cross), Jesse Revenig (Northwestern University), Alex Robinson (Sorbonne University), Emmanuela Vai (University of St Andrews), Laura S. Ventura Nieto (Royal Holloway, University of London), Daniel Walden (Harvard University), Elizabeth Weinfield (City University of New York)

Ticket/entry details: Free and Open to all, with advance booking required. BOOK ONLINE. For further details please

Organised by: Harriette Peel (The Courtauld Institute of Art)

There was a strong relationship between music and the visual arts during the Renaissance. The function, meaning, audience and patronage of both strands of the arts were often extremely closely aligned. Music and the visual arts in the Renaissance paralleled one another in the creation (or dissolution) of national style, portrayed the same religious, mythological and secular sources in analogous institutional and private spaces, and drew inspiration from one another in engaging audiences of all types – sacred and secular, elite to illiterate.

The study (and experience) of music and art has occurred largely separately, however. Hence, the wariness of students of Renaissance art and music to explore the relationship between their own discipline and their close yet unfamiliar counterpart has resulted more in the appropriation rather than synthesis of diverse research skills. This symposium hopes to break down these historiographic boundaries and explore the numerous instances of interdisciplinarity that exist in Renaissance scholarship. We provide a forum for postgraduate and early career scholars of all disciplines to present instances of this relationship in their research, and to use this symposium as an opportunity for exploratory and open-minded discussion of aural and visual experience in Renaissance culture and historiography. We were particularly keen to encourage participants to consider ways of presenting interdisciplinary research in engaging and inventive ways, and look forward to a dynamic and interesting day.

For further information see Research Forum Events

Deadline Extended: Mediterranean Minorities

JewsMedievalLaw13Proposals are being accepted for the one-day symposium “Minorities in the Pre-Modern Mediterranean” to be held in conjunction with the Mediterranean Seminar/UCMRP Winter Workshop on “Minorities” to be held at San Francisco State University on 7-8 March, 2014.

On 7 March, three round-table sessions, “Opportunity,” “Assimilation and Exchange,” and “Vulnerability” will be held, each for discussing the status and circumstances of minorities. Minorities may include religious minorities, for example, Jews and Christians living in Muslim lands, Muslims and Jews in Christian lands, but also relations of heterodox groups within these three broad religious categories (e.g. Isma’ilis or Nusayris with Sunni Muslims, Karaites and Rabbinic Jews, Eastern or Byzantine and Latin Christians, etc.). The theme may also include ethnic minorities, such as Berbers in predominantly Arab locales or Slavs in predominantly Greek environments.
“Opportunity,” will look at situations in which minorities exceeded formal bounds to which they were subject and potentially transgressed existing social norms; “Assimilation and Exchange,” will look at situations of social, cultural, intellectual, religious, and economic interchange and integration; and “Vulnerability” will look at scenarios in which minority relations broke down, whether in terms of official or popular violence or repression.
To apply to one of the round tables, please submit a CV and a 300-word abstract relating to a theoretical or methodological position on one of the above themes (indicating clearly which panel you are applying to). Case studies may also be referred to. Round-table participants will submit a short (5-page) position paper prior to the meeting, and will make a brief (7-minute) presentation as an opener to discussion.

The deadline for submission is January 15, 2014; please reply to with the subject line “Winter Symposium Proposal.” Presenters who also attend the Workshop will be eligible to apply for limited travel support.

Presenters are also being sought for the Workshop on “Minorities” on 8 March:

The Workshop will consist of discussion of three pre-circulated papers and a keynote presentation by our featured scholar, Stephen Humphreys (History, University of California-Santa Barbara), “Adapting to the Infidel: the Christian Communities of Syria in the Early Islamic Period.”

The Mediterranean Studies MRP invites proposals for workshop papers (articles or chapters in-progress, approx. 35 double-spaced pages) on the topic “Minorities,” which may include works on Mediterranean methodologies or perspectives, or studies strongly informed by such. We seek papers in any relevant discipline, especially comparative or interdisciplinary work that uses the Mediterranean as a frame of analysis. Priority is given to faculty and graduate students from the UC system and collaborating institutions, but any North American-based scholars working on relevant material are encouraged to apply. (Scholars from further abroad are welcome to apply, but we cannot guarantee full travel support.) The Mediterranean Seminar/UCMRP will cover travel and lodging expenses for presenters.

The deadline for workshop proposals is 15 January 2014. Please submit an abstract (250-500 words) and two-page CV by this date to (subject line: Winter 2014 Workshop Abstract). Please clearly indicate that the event you are applying to is the “Winter 2014 Workshop.” Successful applicants are expected to submit a 35-page (maximum) double-spaced paper-in-progress for pre-circulation by 15 February.

A separate call for symposium and workshop registration will be sent out on January 31. 

Deadline Extended: Medieval Iberia and the Mediterranean

Alfonso X the wise (Spain)Call For Papers: Medieval Iberia and the Mediterranean

The Mediterranean Seminar/UCMRP seeks proposals for papers for a panel on Medieval Iberia and the Mediterranean to be proposed for the 45th Annual Meeting of the Association for Spanish and Portuguese Historical Studies, that will take place 26-29 June 2014 at the University of Modena e Reggio Emilia, Modena, Italy.

Papers in any of the conference languages and from any relevant disciplines are welcome; graduate students are particularly encouraged to apply. Proposals should either situate Iberian historical phenomena in a Mediterranean or extra-peninsular frame, address the influence or movement of people, institutions, cultural trends, or engage in a inter-regional comparative analysis.

Please send a 250-word abstract and a 2-page CV, to with the subject heading “ASHPS” no later than15 January 2014. Please indicate if you will require audio-visual support. University of California faculty and graduate students may apply for travel assistance through the Mediterranean Seminar.

The deadline for general proposals to the conference has been extended to 31 January 2014.

New Publication: Nicolas Melvani, Late Byzantine Sculpture

byzantine-scupture-257x330This book provides a detailed description and interpretation of multiple aspects of sculpture from late Byzantine monuments. Although individual monuments of the late Byzantine period have been exhaustively published and analyzed, the role of their sculptural decoration is usually overlooked. Whereas architectural features and, especially, wall paintings are treated in full detail, sculpture is approached as a mere decorative art which complements the overall appearance of a building. However, careful examination of late Byzantine sculptures found in situ or through excavation, as well as research into museum collections, reveals that late Byzantine sculptors had reached a very high degree of artistic accomplishment and that their creations should be treated as works of art of the highest quality. Moreover, by interpreting each work, even those of a purely decorative nature, according to the space it occupied, by deciphering what is depicted (including religious themes and political symbols), as well as by taking into account the wider context within which sculpture was produced during the period under investigation, one can extract invaluable information concerning the artistic climate and the social circumstances which led to the development of late Byzantine sculpture.

Call for Papers: The Art and Archaeology of Lusignan and Venetian Cyprus

f49235_95d31cebe0ccdca3577885f4fc03f8a9.jpg_srz_230_320_75_22_0.50_1.20_0.00_jpg_srzCall for Papers: INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE

Deadline: 30 April 2014

The art and archaeology of the Latin East have regularly been marginalised in broader
accounts of medieval material culture, largely because they cannot fit within the
restrictive parameters established for either the Byzantine East or the Latin West.
Over the years, the art and archaeology of Lusignan and Venetian Cyprus (1192-
1571) have attracted both western medievalists and Byzantinists, each group bringing
its own methodological prejudices to the study of the subject. In the last twenty years,
a number of international conferences, collaborative research initiatives and other
events, culminating in last year’s exhibition Chypre entre Byzance et l’Occident IVe-
XVIe siècle (2012-3) at the Louvre, have paved the way for a more fruitful interchange
between scholars coming at the art and archaeology of Lusignan and Venetian Cyprus
from a Byzantine or western medieval background.
Increasing specialisation within any given field being a virtual necessity in the
modern academic world, students of medieval material culture West and East are
called upon to broach the issue with an open mind to neighbouring fields, and to
cooperate among themselves to bring about a synthetic, integrated vision of the
complex history of Cypriot material culture in the later Middle Ages and of the
society that produced it. Nevertheless, there is still much ground to cover. The brisk
pace of current research activities has overtaken that of publication; a number of
important excavations are still ongoing or under preparation for publication; and a
host of new doctoral theses are in development. Now, more than ever, there is urgent
need for the sustained exchange of new ideas and information regarding fresh
discoveries, as well as for the rethinking of received knowledge and the renewal of
approaches that this may entail.
This conference is the third in a series focusing on recent archaeological and art
historical research on Cyprus from the Hellenistic period onwards. It aims at
providing a forum for the discussion of the art and archaeology of Cyprus during the
Lusignan and Venetian periods. Art historians and archaeologists engaged in research
on this particular topic, both of the ‘eastern’ and ‘western’ persuasions, are
encouraged to contribute by presenting the results of their recent work. We invite
papers on subjects ranging from archaeological excavation, post-excavation finds
analysis and field survey to monumental art (architecture, sculpture, painting),
metalwork, ceramics, numismatics and other aspects of the island’s material life in the
late medieval period.
We are planning a three-day event, with individual contributions up to 20 minutes in
length. The conference will take place in Nicosia in 12-14 December 2014. Due to
budgetary constraints, the speakers’ travel costs cannot be covered by the conference,
but every effort will be made to secure conference rates at hotels near the conference
venue. There is no registration fee for participation or attendance.
Prospective speakers are invited to submit a title and a 500-word abstract for
consideration electronically, by 30 April 2014. Please send all materials and address
all queries to Michalis Olympios ( and Maria Parani

Current Exhibition: Medieval Treasures from Hildesheim

SL-5-2013-1-1s3Current Exhibition: Medieval Treasures from Hildesheim

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, September 17, 2013–January 5, 2014

Hildesheim Cathedral has one of the most complete surviving ensembles of church furnishings and treasures in Europe, with many masterpieces made between 1000 and 1250. As a result, it was designated a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site in 1985. A major renovation of the cathedral provides an opportunity for this extraordinary exhibition of medieval church treasures. Consisting of about fifty works, the exhibition focuses primarily on Bishop Bernward of Hildesheim (960–1022), one of the greatest patrons of the arts in the Middle Ages. In addition to the famous monumental bronze doors and the column in Hildesheim Cathedral that cannot travel, Bernward commissioned many smaller precious works of art, mostly for his monastic foundation St. Michael’s. A silver crucifix and candlesticks and numerous illuminated manuscripts (that he is known to have commissioned), and the Golden Madonna (that he is believed to have commissioned), are part of the exhibition.

The exhibition also examines the artistic production of Hildesheim in the high Middle Ages, including the monumental bronze baptismal font that is a masterpiece of thirteenth-century metalwork.

For additional information see

Exhibition: Canterbury and St. Albans: Treasures from Church and Cloister, Getty Museum of Art, (September 20, 2013–February 2, 2014)


Current Exhibition: Canterbury and St. Albans: Treasures from Church and Cloister

Getty Museum of Art, (September 20, 2013–February 2, 2014)

This exhibition brings together two masterpieces of medieval English art: stained glass from Canterbury Cathedral and the St. Albans Psalter, a splendidly illuminated Book of Psalms. Uniting the intimate art of book illumination with monumental glass painting, this exhibition explores how specific texts, prayers, and environments shaped medieval viewers’ understanding of pictures in the era of artistic renewal following the Norman Conquest of England. Life-size paintings on glass depict the ancestors of Christ, and richly ornamented illuminations translate biblical texts into luminous pictures.

The panels of glass have been temporarily de-installed and pages from the St. Albans Psalter, unbound—allowing visitors to experience these works at a proximity enjoyed by few in their long and storied histories. The windows would have been visible to monks sitting in the communal space of the cathedral’s choir, and the psalter was meant to be held in one’s hands as an object of personal devotion.

The early 12th-century manuscript’s graceful, powerfully drawn figures and saturated colors mark the arrival of the Romanesque style of painting in England. The windows from Canterbury, made toward the end of the century, represent this style at its apex and are the finest examples of English Romanesque glass that survive.

For additional information see

Exhibition: Miracles and Martyrs: Saints in the Middle Ages, Getty Museum of Art (September 3, 2013–March 2, 2014)

Throughout the Middle Ages, Christians were fascinated by stories about saints, who led extraordinary lives full of mystical events and miraculous occurrences. Saints were depicted in manuscripts experiencing revelatory visions and performing wondrous feats such as healing the sick or raising the dead. Even when their tormentors were performing exceptionally brutal acts—shooting them repeatedly with arrows, for example, or violently beheading them—martyr saints were pictured remaining steadfast in their faith. This exhibition, drawn from the Getty Museum’s permanent collection, presents manuscripts that allowed medieval viewers to witness these dramatic narratives and venerate the saints as models of piety.

For more information visit