The British Archaeological Association will hold the sixth in its series of biennial International Romanesque conferences in association with the Dommuseum in Hildesheim on 14-16 April, 2020. The theme is Romanesque and the Year 1000, and the aim is to examine transformation in art and architecture in the years to either side of the millennium.
Despite the complex political situation in late-10th-century Europe, a period marked by chaos in some areas and effective authority in others, the last quarter of the century saw an apparent upsurge in artistic production in the Empire, southern Britain, Lombardy and the Mediterranean. The decades after the millennium have left a larger residue of work, notably in France, but were the 1020s artistically more dynamic than the 980s? How might we describe the cultural climate of the Latin West between c.970 and c.1030? Proposals for papers concerned with the above are welcome, as are those that review individual patrons, particularly in establishing workshops and developing expertise. The period sees remarkable developments in iconography and stylistic expression. It sees portable monumental and devotional statues come into being, along with the application of novel, or at least re-understood, architectural forms. Does the interest in architectural ‘articulation’ initiate a new understanding of the expressive potential of architecture? How good is the evidence for monumental wall painting, what is the state of knowledge on scriptoria as centres of artistic production c.1000, what conditions gave rise to the proliferation of ‘First Romanesque’ architecture, how important was Rome, what was the impact of objects from the Carolingian past or Byzantine present, and what are we to make of the apparent disparities between artistically ‘active’ areas and artistically ‘inactive’ areas? The period also sees a boom in the production of three-dimensional objects, with the revival of bronze-casting, the re-emergence of architectural relief sculpture and he production of monumental sculpture. The conference is geographically international, though the date brackets of c.970-c.1030 will be strictly applied.
The Conference will take place at the Dommuseum in Hildesheim from 14-16 April. There will also be an opportunity to stay on for two days of visits to buildings in the surrounding area on the 17 and 18 April.
Proposals for papers of up to 30 minutes in length should be sent to the convenors, John McNeill and Gerhard Lutz, on firstname.lastname@example.org by 15 May, 2019.
Papers should be in English.
Decisions on acceptance will be made by 31 May.
Deadline: Nov 15, 2018
Medieval and Early Modern Spaces and Places: Experiencing the Court, 2019
The early modern court adopted and developed exemplary cultural practices where objects and spaces became central to propagating power as well as places for exchange with other powers. This combination of images, objects, and sounds confronted the senses, making a powerful and distinctive impression of the resident family and the region they represented: flickering candlelight on glass and gold vessels adorned credenze (sideboards); musical instruments announced royal entries or provided entertainment; brightly coloured tapestries covered the palace walls along with paintings of biblical or mythological stories; cabinets displayed antiquities or rarities; perfume burners permeated the air; while the smells and tastes of rare delicacies at the centre of dining tables made for a multi-sensory spectacle.
This year the Open University’s Spaces & Places conference will address the theme of ‘Experiencing the Court’ by exploring the senses and the lived experiences of courtly life, whether based in a particular residence or defined by the travels of an itinerant ruler. This annual conference is fundamentally interdisciplinary: literary, musical, architectural, artistic and religious spaces will be the subjects of enquiry, not as discrete or separate entities, but ones which overlapped, came into contact with one another, and at times were in conflict.
The conference will examine life at court and will consider the following questions:
– How can approaching the court in terms of the senses provide new methodologies for understanding each institution?
– How were medieval and early modern courtly spaces adapted and transformed through the movement of material and immaterial things?
– Which particular aspects of political, social and economic infrastructures enabled the exchange of objects and ideas?
Papers that address new methodologies, the digital humanities, object-centred enquiries, cross-cultural comparisons, or new theoretical perspectives are particularly welcome.
The conference will take place at the Open University’s partner institution Trinity Laban Conservatoire on 3 and 4 April 2019. As Trinity Laban’s King Charles Court was once the site of Greenwich Palace, it is a fitting venue for a conference exploring court life.
For updated information visit our website: http://www.open.ac.uk/arts/research/medieval-and-early-modern-research/spaces-places
Almost every Medieval church had one or more sculptures of saints, many of which were placed on altars, in wall niches or in so-called tabernacle-altarpieces. This last category refers to three-dimensional, canopied structures, embellished with bright colours and equipped with movable wings that housed cult images of the Virgin and Child or saints. This early type of altarpiece became widespread in Europe between c.1150 and 1400. Nowadays, examples are scarce and often fragmented, overpainted and reconstructed. Most of them come from the geographical periphery of Europe and almost all of them are now without their original context, as they hang on museum walls or in churches as isolated relics.
The purpose of this international symposium is to explore and discuss early tabernacle-altarpieces in different regions of Europe: their provenance, patronage, function, and role in popular piety. We invite speakers to submit proposals for 15-minute papers to be presented during the symposium. Proposals should go beyond case studies and look at such topics as the use and re-use of tabernacle-altarpieces, media involved in their creation, regional differences, etc.
How to Submit: Proposals of c.300 words should be submitted to Fernando Gutiérrez Baños, email@example.com.
Deadline: Friday 18th of January 2019.
All proposals will be examined by the Scientific Committee. It is hoped that an edited volume of the symposium proceedings will be published. Successful candidates will be offered free registration.
SCIENTIFIC COMMITTEE: Fernando Gutiérrez Baños, Universidad de Valladolid; Justin Kroesen, Universitetsmuseet i Bergen; Elisabeth Andersen, Norsk institutt for kulturminneforskning.
KEYNOTE SPEAKERS: These will include members of the Scientific Committee; Stephan Kemperdick, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Gemäldegalerie; Teresa Laguna Paúl, Universidad de Sevilla; Cristiana Pasqualetti, Università degli Studi dell’Aquila; and Alberto Velasco Gonzàlez, Museu de Lleida: diocesà i comarcal.
PROGRAM (PROVISIONAL): Friday 7th of June, session held in the Universidad de Valladolid (Facultad de Filosofía y Letras, Sala de Juntas); Saturday 8th of June, field trip to sites in the Diocese of Vitoria.
The Other Half of Heaven: Visualizing Female Sanctity in East and West (c. 1200-1500) I-II
An ICMA-sponsored session at the 54th ICMS (International Congress of Medieval Studies) Kalamazoo, 9-12 May 2019
If, according to the well-known Chinese proverb, women hold half the sky, did medieval female saints hold half of heaven? In her book of 1998, Forgetful of their Sex: Female Sanctity and Society, ca. 500-1100, Jane Schulenburg calculated that of over 2200 female and male saints examined, only one in seven (or 15%) were women. Although documentation on medieval women is notably scarce, this gender-based asymmetry in the celestial realm clearly reflected the values and hierarchy of earthly society.
Female saints were exceptional women who gained social status, popular recognition and enhanced visibility through sainthood. Medieval female sanctity is a multi-faceted phenomenon, which has been mainly explored through words. Historians and literary scholars have fruitfully mined historical and hagiographical texts not only to draw ‘facts’ about the lives of female saints but also to elucidate social mentalities and highlight gender issues. Holy women, however, were also represented on a variety of media, most notably on icons, frescoes, manuscript illuminations and other artworks. Nevertheless, despite the wealth of historical and hagiographical scholarship on female saints, their visual representations have been exploited almost exclusively in stylistic or iconographic terms.
The aim of this session is to consider female sanctity in visual terms both in Western Europe and the Byzantine East. By exploring representations of women saints and their changing iconography, it aspires to shed light on their status and experience in late medieval society. It will examine images of holy women as embodiments of cultural models and explore the social and religious environment that shaped their visual constructions. In the highly symbolic world of the Middle Ages, representations of female saints can become a vehicle for multiple interpretations, including social status, gender, identity, ethnicity and collective memory.
Some of the issues to be addressed include but are not restricted to:
- Visual narratives and iconographic attributes defining female sanctity
- The corporeality of female saints and the representation of the holy body
- The iconography of transvestite holy women
- Out of sight, out of mind: forgotten saints and newcomers
- The relation between female holy images and text in illuminated manuscripts
- The influence of mendicant literature on picturing female sanctity
- One saint, many images: changes in iconography and meaning
- Iconographic variations of the Virgin in East and West
Participants in ICMA-sponsored sessions are eligible to receive travel funds, generously provided by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation. The Kress funds are allocated for travel and hotel only. Speakers will be refunded only after the conference, against travel receipts.
Please send paper proposals of 300 words to the Chair of the ICMA Programs Committee, Beth Williamson (firstname.lastname@example.org) by September 1, 2018, together with a completed Participant Information Form, to be found at the following address: https://wmich.edu/medievalcongress/submissions#papers
Please include your name, title, and affiliation on the abstract itself. All abstracts not accepted for the session will be forwarded to the Congress administration for consideration in general sessions, as per Congress regulations.
54th International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, MI, May 9 to 12, 2019
Organizers: Bryan C. Keene (The J. Paul Getty Museum) and Benjamin C. Tilghman (Washington College)
Sponsored by The J. Paul Getty Museum
The close ties between medieval revivalism and the construction of cultural identities have long been recognized. The appropriation of the medieval past by white supremacist and nationalist groups has especially attracted comment over the past two years, and many scholars of medieval studies have traced those appropriations and highlighted the myths and misconceptions upon which they are built. The association of medievalism with the construction of normative (white, heterosexual, cisgender, Christian) identity has come to be so strong that it is often assumed that those who fall outside such identity groups would (or even should) have little or no interest in the Middle Ages. That this belief, which can troublingly be found in in the scholarly community just as much as the general public, is patently false could readily be seen at The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s 2018 “Heavenly Bodies” Gala. But similar to the invocation of the medieval past by such artists as Kehinde Wiley and Ron Athey, the medievalism of the Met Gala was treated somewhat superficially, with more concern for the glamor of the event than the complex coding of the fashion and its wearers. These sessions will consider the important, if often unmentioned, intersectional practice of medievalism in contemporary culture through papers and discussion about the use of medieval motifs and themes in contemporary works in any media by writers, performers, musicians, and artists of color and by queer and trans-identifying creators. As such, these sessions seek to be a first step towards a fuller consideration of medievalisms that range outside the customary assumptions about to whom the Middle Ages presents a usable past.
Intersectional Medievalisms I: Creators of Color
Even as medievalists have become much more attuned to the presence of people of color in medieval Europe, they have yet to fully consider the presence of the Middle Ages in the art, poetry, music, and other cultural expressions of contemporary people of color. While the references to medieval (and early modern) culture in such works as Kehinde Wiley’s paintings and Jay-Z’s Magna Carta… Holy Grail have been widely recognized, the arguably more complex reworkings of medieval culture by Rashaad Newsome, RAMMΣLLZΣΣ, and Derrick Austin have thus far gained little notice. What is the medieval in the work of these artists? A contested source of oppression? A tool for cultural renegotiation and redefinition? A seductive space of myth and beauty? Must their use of the medieval past be understood necessarily as a pointed appropriation, or can it be seen as the mining of just another source of raw cultural material? Speakers are encouraged to consider not only the stakes of medievalism in this particular cultural moment, but also other aspects of these creators’ intellectual projects, such as the explorations of semiotics, phenomenology, intermedia creation, ornament and surface, and temporality that run through many of these works.
Intersectional Medievalisms II: Queering the Medieval
The scholarly approach of “queering” the past has revealed otherwise invisible, erased, or censored facets of medieval identity and relationships. This methodology also disrupts the cisgender and heteronormative binaries that all-too-often remain pervasive in the academy and in the popularly imagined Middle Ages. LGBTQ+ artists have also addressed these issues, at times turning to broadly-conceived medievalisms. Ron Athey, Gabriel Garcia Roman, and others evoke the cult of saints in their work, a poignant commentary about acceptance by the Catholic (and broader Christian) community. The relationship between medieval chant and the vocal performances of Meredith Monk and Oblivia deserves greater attention, as does the architectural and advertising medievalism of queer clubs, lounges, and Pride events (a project begun by the late Michael Camille). By focusing on the relationship between a creators’ identity and their conception of the medieval, we encourage speakers to consider how medievalism is practiced in contemporary culture and how to open the academy or museum as spaces of greater inclusion and dialogue.
While the two sessions will be split to allow for a sharper focus on the role of race and of gender and sexual identity in contemporary creative medievalism, the aim of these sessions is for all the work presented to be resolutely intersectional, looking to trace and illuminate connections rather than delineating borders.
To propose a paper, please send a one-page abstract and a completed Participant Information Form (available via the Congress website) by September 15 to Bryan C.Keene (BKeene@getty.edu) and Benjamin C. Tilghman (email@example.com). More information about the Congress can be found here: https://wmich.edu/medievalcongress