Call for Submissions: Byzantine and Medieval Art and Architecture, deadline 1 November 2020

Editors: Lech Koscielak, Paschal is Androudis, and Ilkgiil Kaya Zenbilci

Special Issue – volume 2.

Deadline for submissions: 1 November 2020


  • Art and Artists
  • Architectural History
  • Church Architecture
  • Conflicts on Art
  • Emperors’ Power on Art
  • Jewellery
  • Icons
  • Ivories
  • Illuminated Manuscripts
  • Interaction between East and West
  • Monastic Art
  • Mosaics
  • Schools and Workshops
  • Wall Paintings
  • Theology and Art

For Submission and information:

New Journal Issue: Different Vision, ‘Are We Post-Theoretical?’, Issue 6, July 2020

We are excited to present this new issue of Different Visions featuring four essays that engage with the relevance of theory to medieval art history – and to art history in general – today. The essays were inspired by Gerald Guest’s session at the 2019 International Congress on Medieval Studies at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo entitled “Medieval Art History: Are We Post-Theoretical?” The issue also includes a conversation between the four authors.

View the new issue here.


Jennifer Borland, Oklahoma State University and Nancy Thompson, St. Olaf College. Introduction: Relaunching Different Visions.

Gerald B. Guest, John Carroll University. Embodiment and Devotion in the Très Riches Heures (or, the Possibilities of a Post-Theoretical Art History). 

Zachary Stewart, Texas A&M University. Other Spaces: Medieval Architectural History Between Theory and Practice.

Marian Bleeke, Cleveland State University.Ivory and Whiteness.

Jessamine Batario, Colby College. History, Theory, and the Risks of Being Wrong.

Are We Post-Theoretical? A Conversation between Gerry Guest, Zachary Stewart, Marian Bleeke, and Jessamine Batario.

New Publication: Ritual, Gender, and Narrative in Late Medieval Italy: Fina Buzzacarini and the Baptistery of Padua, by Anne Derbes

This volume is the first English-language study of the baptistery of Padua and its extraordinarily rich fresco program, commissioned by a woman, Fina Buzzacarini, in the 1370s.  She had the sacred space reshaped into a family mausoleum, though it continued to function as the town’s baptistery.  This study uses close visual analysis to argue that the frescoes, painted by Giusto de’ Menabuoi, dovetail with the interests of Fina Buzzacarini and at the same time participate in the ritual of baptism; and that ritual and gender are ultimately interlayered in this complex space.

Ritual, Gender, and Narrative in Late Medieval Italy is the first English-language study of the baptistery of Padua and its extraordinarily rich fresco program, which opens with Genesis and closes with the Apocalypse.  Remarkably, when the building was refashioned and frescoed by Giusto de’ Menabuoi in the 1370s, it was a woman, Fina Buzzacarini, who funded the enterprise.  In late medieval Italy, baptisteries were potent symbols of civic identity, solidarity, and pride, and towns spent lavishly on them – but no other baptistery was so radically reworked at the behest of a woman.   Remarkably, too, though the building continued to function as Padua’s baptismal church, the renovations transformed it into the mausoleum of Fina Buzzacarini and her family. This volume takes an interdisciplinary approach, using close visual analysis to argue that to a surprising degree, Fina exerted control over the images.  The author argues too that ritual is equally important in understanding the frescoes: that in multiple ways that have rarely been considered, the images respond to and participate in the ritual enacted in this sacred space.  The prayers intoned at the font, the actions of the officiant, the hymns chanted in procession and inside the baptistery, and even details of the rite all find visual echoes on the baptistery’s walls.  Ultimately, gender and ritual intersect in the multilayered frescoes of the Padua baptistery.

Anne Derbes, professor emerita of art history at Hood College, is the author of Picturing the Passion in Late Medieval Italy: Narrative Painting, Franciscan Ideologies, and the Levant, the co-author of The Usurer’s Heart: Giotto and Enrico Scrovegni in the Arena Chapel, Padua, and co-editor of The Cambridge Companion to Giotto.  Her articles have appeared in The Art Bulletin, Gesta, Speculum, The Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, and other scholarly publications.

384 p., 0 b/w ill. + 188 colour ill., 215 x 280 mm, 2020, ISBN 978-2-503-57968-9

More Info via:

Table of Contents


Chapter 1   Fina Buzzacarini in Carrara Padua

Local chroniclers say little about Fina, but recount one salient aspect of her life: after marrying Francesco I Carrara in 1345, she failed for over a decade to produce the requisite son and heir.  After crises at court over succession, in 1359 she gave birth to a son.  Though the couple’s marriage was strained by her husband’s blatant philandering, previously overlooked records show that Fina, a very wealthy woman, gradually emerged as a powerful presence at court.  While some have minimized the degree of Fina’s responsibility for the baptistery’s program, I cite a number of documents from the later trecento that attest to a woman’s ability to shape the subject matter of a work that she funded. I next discuss Fina’s tomb monument, which emulates those of earlier Carrara lords but outshines them, and her votive portrait, which places her on the dexter side, as sole donor, and excludes her husband.  Finally, I consider the extraordinary small portraits of Fina inserted into several of the narratives and interpret them as assertions of her authority, overt claims of agency, injected through the program. 

Chapter 2   Baptistery as Mausoleum: Ambitions and Motivations

Why would Fina have sought the baptistery as a burial site, and why did Francesco and the local bishop, whose approval would have been required, agree?  The sacred space of a baptistery had long been understood as a desirable funerary site.  For Francesco, the project meant the embellishment of one of the most important buildings in the city, burnishing the stature of the regime; co-opting the preeminent symbol of civic harmony; and creating a prestigious–and presumably spiritually advantageous—setting for his own tomb.  For the bishop, given the brief tenures of his predecessors who dared to cross Francesco, attempting to thwart the project was not a viable option.  Fina likely had reasons of her own, which I consider further in Chapter 6, for choosing the baptistery as her burial place.  Here I note that baptisteries were uncommonly welcoming to women. The rite offered them a rare opportunity to participate in the liturgy: women took their place at the font next to men.  Finally, in electing her burial in the baptistery, Fina insured that her tomb would be seen, and her memory preserved, by future generations.

Chapter 3 Narrative, Ritual, Exegesis:  The Genesis Cycle

This chapter opens with an account of the baptismal ritual as performed in late medieval Italy– the choreography of prayers, chants, readings, ritual actions, and attendant customs for both the solemn rite and the individual rite.  The rest of chapter 3, and chapters 4 and 5, analyze the frescoes in the narrative cycles, arguing that they are as carefully choreographed as the rite, and work in concert with it.  They respond as well to baptismal theology, depicting themes that offer pictorial glosses on the rite, echoing typological parallels drawn by medieval exegetes.  The Genesis cycle in the drum of the dome includes narratives both familiar and more obscure (the Death of Adam; Lamech Slaying Cain; Jacob’s Prayer after his Dream; Jacob’s Rods; the Reunion of Jacob and Esau). The obscure episodes are distinctly baptismal, and even the familiar ones are rendered in unusual ways that heighten their baptismal resonance.

Chapter 4: Narrative, Ritual, Exegesis:  The New Testament Cycle

The baptismal themes introduced in the drum continue below, in the New Testament cycle, where the frescoes are often strategically sited to respond to others, each accruing meaning from those nearby.  Because of these pictorial and thematic correspondences, it is most productive to analyze the frescoes spatially, wall by wall, rather than purely chronologically.  While most of the New Testament episodes depicted here are commonly seen in trecento visual narrative, almost all have been adapted in ways that make them singularly appropriate to the site.  For instance, in the Massacre of the Innocents, the slain babies, normally shown nude in trecento painting, wear white tunics that evoke the white garments given to infants after baptism; the jugs in the Marriage of Cana are enlarged versions of the ewer used in the baptismal rite.

Chapter 5: Narrative, Ritual, Exegesis:  The Apocalypse Cycle

In the baptistery’s apse is a remarkably detailed depiction of the book of Revelation, a subject seldom seen in trecento painting and never on this scale.  The choice was well considered: from late antiquity into late medieval Italy, exegetes found in the text repeated allusions to the sacrament.  Again, uncommon narrative inclusions, such as the opening of the fifth seal, with the giving of white garments to the souls under the altar, or idiosyncratic features, like the setting of scenes in dramatic seascapes that attest to the salvific potency of water, highlight the relationship between the images and the rite enacted here.

Chapter 6:   Gender Matters:  Maternity, Sexuality, and Visual Rhetoric

If the Padua baptistery is a site for the celebration of the liturgy, it is also a site for the celebration, and commemoration, of its patron.  Chapter 6 returns to the visual evidence to examine Fina’s role in the baptistery more closely.  The gender symmetry of the dome, where women and men appear in equal numbers in the largest circle of Paradise, is suggestive.  So is the Genesis cycle’s insertion of women into the narrative, at times almost rewriting sacred history to insist on their active participation at critical junctures.  Moreover, many of the women featured in the dome and the drum are, unlike most women in the Christian pantheon, mothers – significantly, mothers of sons.  Several (Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, Elizabeth) conceived and delivered sons only after a long delay. Important, too, is the Apocalyptic Woman of Rev. 12, prominently depicted in the apse, who gave birth to a son born to rule.  All of these women serve as Fina’s exemplars – and as reminders of her success in delivering her own long-awaited son. Finally, the frescoes also feature malevolent, and specifically sexually transgressive, women: Herodias, the wife of Lot, and the Whore of Babylon; all are visually juxtaposed with virtuous mothers, and Herodias, who had an adulterous relationship with a ruler, with Fina herself. 

New Publication: ‘Pilgrimage and England’s Cathedrals: Past, Present, and Future’, edited by Dee Dyas and John Jenkins

Pilgrimage and England’s Cathedrals looks at England’s cathedrals and their relationship with pilgrimage throughout history and in the present day. The volume brings together historians, social scientists, and cathedral practitioners to provide groundbreaking work, comprising a historical overview of the topic, thematic studies, and individual views from prominent clergy discussing how they see pilgrimage as part of the contemporary cathedral experience.

Find out more about the book here.

Table of Contents:

Pilgrimage and Cathedrals in Early Medieval Britain, Jonathan M. Wooding

Pilgrimage and Cathedrals in the Later Middle Ages, Eamon Duffy

Visiting England’s Cathedrals from the Reformation to the Early Nineteenth Century, Ian Atherton

Pilgrimage and Cathedrals in the Victorian Era, Elizabeth Macfarlane

Pilgrimage and Cathedrals from the 1900s to the Present Day, Michael Tavinor

The Multivalent Cathedral, Simon Coleman and John Jenkins

Cathedrals, Community, and Identity, John Jenkins and Tiina Sepp

The Role of Sensory Engagement with Place, Past, and Present, Dee Dyas

Leaving and Taking Away: Cathedrals and Material Culture, Marion Bowman and John Jenkins

Canterbury and Becket Today, Christopher Irvine

Pilgrimage and Cathedrals Today, Michael Tavinor

Cultivating Pilgrimage to Westminster Cathedral, Mark Langham

Pilgrimage, Cathedrals and Shrines Today, John Inge

About the Editors:

Dee Dyas is a Reader in the History of Christianity at the University of York, UK.
John Jenkins is a Research Associate and Teaching Fellow at the University of York, UK.

Postdoctoral Fellowships: ‘Musical and Poetic Creativity in the Western Christian Liturgy, c.1000-1500’, Two 4-Year Postdoctoral Research Fellowships, University of Oslo, deadline 1 October 2020

Musical and Poetic Creativity in the Western Christian Liturgy, c.1000-1500

Two Post-Doctoral Research Fellowships in Musical and Poetic Creativity in the Western Christian Liturgy, c.1000-1500 are available at the Department of Musicology, University of Oslo.

The two successful candidates will pursue postdoctoral research as part of the €2m European Research Council-funded project, BENEDICAMUS: Musical and Poetic Creativity for A Unique Moment in the Western Christian Liturgy, c.1000-1500. The candidates will work as part of a team lead by Principal Investigator Catherine A. Bradley, alongside doctoral researchers, an international Advisory Board, and the performing ensemble Sequentia. The postdoctoral fellows are expected to publish both independently and in collaboration with the BENEDICAMUS team, to present research papers at workshops and international conferences, and contribute to wider public communication of the research results.

We seek candidates whose work intersects with at least one of the specilised areas of the BENEDICAMUS project as well as its broader themes. BENEDICAMUS pursues a transformative focus on creative practices surrounding a particular moment in the Western Christian liturgy: the exclamation Benedicamus Domino (“Let us Bless the Lord”), which sounded in song several times a day from c.1000 to 1500. BENEDICAMUS undertakes the first longue durée study of musical and poetic responses to an exceptional liturgical moment, using this innovative perspective to work productively across established historiographical and disciplinary boundaries. The project encompasses half a millennium of musical and ritual activity, hundreds of musical compositions, poetic texts, and manuscript sources. It engages with the beginnings of musical and poetic genres and techniques that were crucial in shaping practices still current today, reflecting on music’s enduringly complex relationship with spirituality, ritual, and the sacred.

Successful candidates may have a disciplinary background in cultural studies, history, musicology, Latin language and/or literature, liturgy, medieval studies, renaissance studies, ritual studies, or theology. Ideally, candidates would already have experience in at least two of these fields.

Candidates are asked to provide a Project Description, in which they outline how their research record, interests, and skills align with the BENEDICAMUS project (see detailed proposal here).

The Project Description should explain exactly how candidates would undertake one of the specific postdoctoral projects sketched in the BENEDICAMUS proposal. Candidates may suggest ways in which they would tailor or adapt one of these postdoctoral projects to better suit and develop their existing expertise. Alternatively, they are free to design a project that may differ in the specific methodology, reportorial focus, or disciplinary orientation of the postdoctoral projects stipulated in the BENEDICAMUS proposal, but which must still fall within the purview of and further the overall aims and outputs of either Work Package 1 or Work Package 3.

The successful candidates will receive a competitive salary and have access to dedicated funds for research and conference travel. They will participate actively in and assist with BENEDICAMUS’s international conferences, workshops, and publications. Postdoctoral fellows are expected to live in Oslo, to engage with wider research networks in the faculty of humanities and the department of musicology and to contribute to their development. The main purpose of postdoctoral research fellowships is to better qualify researchers for future academic positions.

The postdoctoral fellowships are available for an appointment period of four years. The posts are available from February 1st 2021 (candidates must take up the posts before September 1st 2021).

Find out more and apply here.

Qualification requirements

  • A PhD in cultural studies, history, musicology, Latin language and/or literature, liturgy, medieval studies, renaissance studies, ritual studies, theology, or other fields that can be demonstrated to offer a solid foundation for research into Musical and Poetic Creativity in the Western Christian Liturgy, c.1000-1500
  • Doctoral dissertations must have been submitted for evaluation before the application deadline
  • Strong skills in written and oral English
  • Personal suitability and motivation for the position.

Evaluation Criteria

  • Scholarly merit and relevance of research proposal for the BENEDICAMUS project
  • Knowledge and experience of the study of music, Latin poetry, liturgy, and ritual in the period c. 1000-1500
  • The candidate’s track-record and their potential to complete the proposed project within the time frame and to contribute actively to the BENEDICAMUS project
  • Good team-working and communication skills and the ability to collaborate within and across disciplines.

We offer


Candidates must submit the following attachments with the electronic application, preferably in pdf format:

  • Application Letter describing the candidate’s qualifications and motivation for the position
  • Curriculum Vitae (complete list of education, positions, teaching experience, administrative experience and other qualifying activities, including a complete list of publications)
  • Project Description (approximately 3-5 pages). The project description must include a feasible progress plan. It is expected that the applicant will complete the project during the period of appointment.
  • Diplomas, certificates, doctoral thesis and other academic works will be requested later.

Please note that all documents must be in English or a Scandinavian language.

The short-listed candidates will be invited to an interview at the University of Oslo or we will arrange for an interview on Skype.

Formal regulations

Please see the guidelines and regulations for appointments to Postdoctoral fellowships at the University of Oslo.

Following the Freedom of Information Act (Offentleglova) § 25, Chapter 2, information about the applicant may be used in the public list of applicants even if the applicant opts out from the entry in the public application list.

The University of Oslo has an Acquisition of Rights Agreement for the purpose of securing rights to intellectual property created by its employees, including research results.

The University of Oslo aims to achieve a balanced gender composition in the workforce and to recruit people with ethnic minority backgrounds.

Contact information

Head of Department Peter Edwards,, phone number: +47 99 52 64 75

HR Adviser Hilde Kristine Sletner,

Call for Participants: Studying East of Byzantium VII: In Conversation with Anti-racism, Pandemic, and Social Inequality, deadline 15 September 2020

  • Respondents: Zsuzsanna Gulácsi, Northern Arizona University | Sergio La Porta, California State University, Fresno
  • Dates: November 20, 2020 | February 26, 2021 | June 3–4, 2021
  • Format: Virtual (with possible live final event at Tufts University, Medford, MA)

A three-part workshop that intends to bring together doctoral students studying the Christian East to discuss how the events of 2020, from the intensified conservations about systemic racism and economic inequality stemming acts of police violence on Black men and women in the United States to the dramatic changes to life and work brought about by the coronavirus pandemic, have impacted their research with a diverse group of colleagues and senior specialists in the field. Participation is limited to 10 students. Those interested in attending should submit a C.V. and 200-word abstract no later than Tuesday, September 15, 2020.


EAST OF BYZANTIUM is a partnership between the Arthur H. Dadian and Ara Oztemel Chair of Armenian Art at Tufts University [] and the Mary Jaharis Center for Byzantine Art and Culture at Hellenic College Holy Cross in Brookline, MA. It explores the cultures of the eastern frontier of the Byzantine Empire in the late antique and medieval periods.

Call for Papers: ‘Public Space & Community’, Late Antique & Medieval Postgraduate Society, University of Edinburgh, Autumn 2020 Seminar Series, deadline 21 September 2020

The Late Antique and Medieval Postgraduate Society (LAMPS) invites postgraduate students to present their research at our weekly Monday seminars.

LAMPS aims to provide an engaging forum for cross-disciplinary discussion that focuses on the Late Antique and Medieval periods in Europe, the Mediterranean, and beyond. We welcome proposals on the study of these time periods as well as topics pertaining to the reception and perception of the Late Antique and Medieval periods from later sources. Postgraduate students from all disciplines and at any stage of their research are welcome to submit papers.

For the Autumn 2020 semester, LAMPS requests that submissions explore the theme of Public Space and Community. Submissions can explore any idea relating to the theme, whether literal or metaphorical. Possible paper topics include, but are certainly not limited to:

  • Designing communal space
  • lntersectional spaces
  • The inheritance and use of space by post-imperial communities
  • Outliers and alienation
  • Law and order in the public eye
  • Monastic or religious communities
  • Green space
  • Courtly Communities
  • The physical space as a tool for projection of power

Presentations should be around 20 minutes in length and are accompanied by 10 to 15 minutes of discussion and questions. If you are interested in applying, please send a 250-word abstract along with your details and a brief introductory statement about yourself to by  21 September 2020.

Speakers will be asked to submit a brief summary of their presentation to LAMPS in order that it may be published as a blog post on our website.

Lectures will take place on Mondays at 6: 15 pm via Blackboard Collaborate, but are subject to change depending on developing social distancing guidance. Please also let us know about any potential scheduling conflicts!

Online Course: Los manuscritos iluminados: historia, producción y descripción, 21 September – 2 October 2020

Please note that this course will be in Spanish.

Illuminated Manuscripts: History, Production and identification.

The course is designed as an introductory to the study of Illuminated Manuscripts from both theoretical and practical viewpoints. The relationship between text and image(s), the history of manuscripts production or the materials and techniques used by scribes and illuminators would be some of the topics of the course. Students will be introduced to the main developments in the history of the illuminated book and to the range of different types illuminated manuscripts: liturgical books, bibles, university books, private books of devotion and so on. Furthermore, they will develop a critical approach to the questions of patronage, function, audience, ownership and production as well as issues of style, meaning and literacy.  The course examines books made in Western Europe between the 4th and 16th centuries.

Furthermore, the course aims to develop the students approaches to databases and internet resources to study illuminated manuscripts providing them key tools to search and identify Digital Medieval Manuscripts. By the end of the course, students will be prepare to describe, present and catalogue medieval manuscripts using manuscript terminology.

The course is organized in 6 modules, divided in two weeks (3 by week). 5 hours by week.

The language of the course is Spanish.

More information can be found here.

Instructor: Dr. Marta Pavón Ramírez

Original Spanish Call for Applicants:

Online Course: Los manuscritos iluminados: historia, producción y descripción.

El curso es una introducción al estudio de los Manuscritos iluminados desde un punto de vista teórico y práctico. La relación texto e imagen, el ámbito de producción de los manuscritos, los materiales y técnicas utilizados por copistas e iluminadores así como sus métodos de trabajo, son algunos de los temas propuestos así como un recorrido por la historia de la miniatura, desde la antiguedad tardía hasta el Renacimiento, analizando en profundidad algunos manuscritos especialmente significativos.

Esta propuesta formativa busca dar a conocer las principales base de datos en línea y recursos en internet relativos al estudio de los manuscritos iluminados dando las claves para la localización e identificación de manuscritos digitalizados. Por último, abordaremos la descripción y catalogación de manuscritos, al igual que el uso de una terminología adecuada, instrumentos esenciales para elaborar políticas de conservación y difusión de nuestro rico patrimonio histórico y bibliográfico, tanto a nivel de usuario como de profesional de la información.

More information can be found here.

Call for Participants: Medieval WaterWorks: A Roundtable, Leeds IMC 2021, deadline 18 September 2020

The last decade has seen a burgeoning critical interest in the study of water in the Middle Ages. Scholars from a range of disciplines have begun to recognise that water is not merely a catalogue of interesting tropes; it is a means or method of communication, a disruptive and radical force, and a vehicle for thinking across time, space, disciplines and languages. It carries us down diverse paths and creates unexpected intersections between people, places and things.

Our intention with this roundtable is to create a laboratory for testing the theoretical and methodological potential of water. Whilst we have lined up some speakers already, we are looking for additional participants to join us in reflecting upon how we can formulate a critical, inclusive, global and interdisciplinary water studies. Our roundtable is open to anyone interested in the study of medieval water, broadly conceived and from across disciplines, and we are particularly interested to hear from early career, minority and precarious scholars.

If you’re interested in participating, please email a short expression of interest to and by 18th September 2020. We warmly welcome creative interpretations, and would especially like to see images, objects or poems which capture your approach to water studies, accompanied by a few lines of explanation.

CFP: Eating Like Orientals in the Medieval Western Imagination, International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo 2021, deadline 15 September 2020

In the early stage of the COVID-19 outbreak, a common practice for many western media was to revisit an old orientalist habit to equate eastern culinary customs to primitiveness, eagerly reporting on Chinese “omnivorous markets” and “culinary adventurism” as a likely cause of the pandemic. Western disdain for extremely omnivorous eastern eating habits is not new to medievalists, nor is it a distinctively modern phenomenon. Such disdain for “oriental” eating habits focuses on the purportedly unclean, unethical, underdeveloped ways of eating *everything*, including whatever is tabooed for a Latin Christian to eat. As Kim Phillips observes, many European traveller-narrators contemptuously comment on the unusual and extreme eating habits of eastern people, being disturbed while yet somewhat fascinated by such exotic eccentricity, whose viewpoints resonate closely with the popular modern perspective on Chinese people as “unnervingly omnivorous.”

This session invites reflections on medieval representations of “exotic” eating habits and their resonance in our time of pandemic, taking into consideration the recent epidemic of orientalist sentiments, assumptions, judgments against *not* “eating like white people,” in today’s terms.

Potential topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Representations of ‘exotic’ food culture
  • Medieval discourses of consumption and edibility
  • Christian food ethics and regulations
  • Religious food practices
  • Biopolitics of race and food
  • Food as medicine, medicine as food

Please submit a 250-word abstract for a 15-20 minute paper by September 15, 2020, using the submission portal ( For further information and questions, please email the contact person for the session, Soojung Choe (