Tag Archives: call for papers

CFP: ICMA-sponsored session at 54th ICMS (Kalamazoo, 9-12 May, 2019)

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 (beth.williamson@bristol.ac.uk) 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.


CFP: Intersectional Medievalisms (54th International Congress on Medieval Studies, 9-12 May 2019)

Intersectional Medievalisms

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 (btilghman2@washcoll.edu). More information about the Congress can be found here: https://wmich.edu/medievalcongress

CFP: Fuerstbischoefliche representation (Passau, 5-6 Oct 18)

Oberhausmuseum Passau, 05. – 06.10.2018
Deadline: May 25, 2018

Call for Papers
Fürstbischöfliche Repräsentation im Spätmittelalter und der Frühen Neuzeit

Die oberhalb Passaus gelegene fürstbischöfliche Veste Oberhaus wird erstmals 1219 schriftlich fassbar. Zum 800jährigen Jubiläum wird 2019 im Oberhausmuseum Passau die Entwicklung der Burganlage zur Residenz- und Festungsanlage in einer Sonderausstellung thematisiert. Ergänzend werden in einer Multimediainstallation im Observationsturm der Festung die neuesten Forschungsergebnisse des EU-Projekts ViSIT zur Bau- und Burggeschichte der Veste Oberhaus präsentiert. Begleitet wird das Vorhaben von einer Tagung zum Thema “Fürstbischöfliche Repräsentation im Spätmittelalter und der Frühen Neuzeit”, die am 5./6. Oktober 2018 in Passau stattfindet. Der Fokus liegt auf der Untersuchung der Repräsentations- und Inszenierungsstrategien geistlicher Herrscher in der profanen Architektur.

Auf der Tagung soll die Funktions- und Nutzungsgeschichte von Burganlagen, die zu Residenzen und/oder Festungsanlagen ausgebaut worden sind, untersucht werden. Hierbei spielt auch die mitunter wechselvolle Beziehung zwischen Burg und Stadt sowie dem Umland eine wichtige Rolle. Ebenso gilt es, das Wechselverhältnis der Burganlagen zu anderen fürstbischöflichen Residenzen, Jagd- und Lustschlössern vergleichend in den Blick zu nehmen. Welche Möglichkeiten hatten die Fürstbischöfe ihr Herrschaftsamt in der Architektur zu visualisieren? Inwiefern orientierten sie sich architektonisch an den weltlichen Herrschern? In welchem funktionalen Verhältnis stehen Burgen, Residenzen, Jagd- und Lustschlösser hinsichtlich ihrer Nutzung zueinander und bilden dadurch eine Residenzenlandschaft aus? Welche architektonische Infrastruktur (Treppen, Kapellen, Repräsentationsräume und Raumfolgen, Gärten, Lustgartenarchitekturen, Theater etc.) benötigte ein geistlicher Fürst? Wie und in welcher Form mussten die Burganlagen verändert und angepasst werden, um als repräsentativer Wohnsitz weiter genutzt und den wechselnden Bedürfnissen des Fürstbischofs gerecht zu werden?

In diesem Kontext können auch die unterschiedlichen fürstbischöflichen Repräsentations- und Inszenierungsstrategien in der Architektur und Innenausstattung behandelt werden. Welche Optionen hatten die geistlichen Herrscher ihre weltliche Macht ohne Rückverweis auf die Dynastie und Aussicht auf Etablierung einer Erbfolge zu unterstreichen? Wie trägt hierbei beispielsweise die Inszenierung und Präsentation von Kunstsammlung, Harnischkammer, Zeughaus, Silberkammer oder Porträtsammlung zur Herrschaftslegitimation der geistlichen Fürsten bei?

Auf der Tagung sollen die genannten Aspekte für die geistlichen Fürsten im Heiligen Römischen Reich deutscher Nation mit Schwerpunkt auf den süddeutschen Raum im Spätmittelalter und der Frühen Neuzeit eruiert werden.

Die Veröffentlichung der Tagungsbeiträge wird gemeinsam mit den Forschungsergebnissen des EU-Projekts ViSIT im Ausstellungskatalog zur Sonderausstellung geplant. Da der Band zur Ausstellungseröffnung am 1. Juni 2019 vorliegen soll, müssen die Beiträge bereits vier Wochen (5. November 2018) nach der Tagung vorliegen.

Der Call for Papers richtet sich explizit auch an NachwuchswissenschaftlerInnen (DoktorandInnen und PostdoktorandInnen), die ihr Forschungsthema in einem 20minütigen Vortrag präsentieren möchten. Angesprochen sind WissenschaftlerInnen aus der Kunstgeschichte und der Geschichtswissenschaft sowie aus verwandten Fachbereichen. Interessierte senden bitte ein kurzes Abstract von maximal 2000 Zeichen und einem kurzen Lebenslauf sowie Kontaktdaten per E-Mail bis zum 25. Mai 2018 an Marina Beck (marina.beck@passau.de)

Dr. Marina Beck (Oberhausmuseum Passau, EU-Projekt ViSIT – Virtuelle Verbundsysteme und Informationstechnologien für die touristische Erschließung von kulturellem Erbe)

CFP: Misericordia International Colloquium 2018: Choir Stalls & Their Patrons, Rijeka (Croatia), 13-16 September 2018

cdi16-32-15Call for Papers: Misericordia International Colloquium 2018: Choir Stalls & Their Patrons, Rijeka (Croatia), 13-16 September 2018
Deadline: Feb 15, 2018
Notification of  paper acceptance: March 15, 2018

Misericordia International is an internationally active multidisciplinary network dedicated to the study of choir stalls and their relation to other artistic manifestations during the Middle Ages and to the dissemination of results. The intensive exchange with researchers from neighboring disciplines reveals interfaces between disciplines and subjects of research and provides new impulses for the study of choir stalls. The platform for scholarly exchange is the international conference organized  every two years.

The next colloquium will be held in Rijeka (Croatia) in September 2018. The conference seeks to explore and discuss the relation between choir stalls and their patrons. It aims to present original research in this field as well as to establish productive dialogue between scholars with a particular research interest in choir stalls. Artworks and their patrons have raised and continue to raise many research questions. While choir stalls have been studied extensively for the misericords with profane carvings, less research has been done on the commissions for this type of church furniture. In recent years the focus of choir stall research has moved toward makers and patrons, hence  the previous colloquium’s topic was dedicated to the craftsmen and their workshops. The 2018 conference will focus on problems of ecclesiastical and secular patrons and questions such as who were the patrons of choir stalls and to what extent were they responsible for the final result, or are there differences or similarities between choir stalls considering different patrons – members of chapters, parishes, female and male monastic communities, confraternities and private persons.

We welcome academic papers that will approach this subject in an interdisciplinary and methodologically diverse way.

Acceptable topics may include, but are not limited to, the following:
– collaboration between patrons and craftsmen (carpenters, sculptors and painters)
– results of the archival research;
– inscriptions and used typography on choir stalls;
– migrations of craftsmen and migrations of stylistic features;
– center versus periphery;
– depiction of patrons on choir stalls.

Following the conference, a two-day excursion – visit to selected choir stalls of the region – is planned.
The conference language is English. A publication of the proceedings of this conference is forseen.
Papers should not exceed anticipated maximum time of 20 minutes and will be followed by a 10-minute discussion.

A paper proposal should contain the title and abstract (500 words maximum). Each proposal should be accompanied by full contact information (home and office mailing addresses, e-mail address, and phone number) and a short CV.

Paper proposals should be submitted electronically to: choir_stalls2018@uniri.hr

There is NO registration fee. Administration and organizational costs, working materials, lunch and
coffee breaks during conference are covered by the organizers. Travel expenses and accomodation ARE NOT COVERED.

CFP: 5th Annual Jane Fortune Conference: The Colors of Paradise. Painting Miniatures in Italian Convents, ca. 1300-1700, The Library of San Marco, Florence, October 11 – 12, 2018

gradual1Call for Papers: 5th Annual Jane Fortune Conference: The Colors of Paradise. Painting Miniatures in Italian Convents, ca. 1300-1700, The Library of San Marco, Florence, October 11 – 12, 2018T
Deadline: 15 January, 2018

5th Annual Jane Fortune Conference

The Colors of Paradise. Painting Miniatures in Italian Convents, ca. 1300-1700

This conference is co-organized by The Medici Archive Project and the Museo Nazionale di San Marco.

Since the late Medieval period, members of female religious communities have engaged in the making of small-scale paintings, or miniatures, on a wide variety of supports. Many of these miniatures were produced to ornament liturgical and devotional books; others graced objects such as candles and altar frontals. While nuns’ activity in this realm has been documented quite extensively in northern Europe, the Italian production of miniatures is less understood, aside from case studies of a few individuals such as Eufrasia Burlamacchi (1482 –1548). It is hoped that this conference will not only consolidate what is known about the production of miniatures by Italian nuns, but also catalyze new research. To encourage reflection upon the continuity of technical practices and models across arbitrary period divisions, the time frame of this conference has been extended broadly. Insight obtained through technical examination or the material analysis of nuns’ artworks will be especially welcome.

Papers may be given in Italian or English.

Suggested Paper Topics:

-Technical studies identifying pigments, binding media, or supports for miniatures produced in or for Italian convents
-New attributions of miniatures to Italian nun artists
-Biographical studies on Italian nuns who made miniatures
-Analyses of the visual or textual sources of the iconography of Italian nuns’ miniatures
-Miniature painting considered within the context of liturgy, devotional practices, and the organization of the conventual life of Italian nuns.
-The commissioning, gifting, and circulation of works containing Italian nuns’ miniatures
-Comparitive studies of miniatures and Italian nuns’ work in other media such as embroidery
-Considerations of the technical know-how and workshop materials available to Italian nuns, as well as their collaborations with artisans outside the convent
-Reflections on problematic issues in the current historiography on the topic, and on methodology

The conference will take place on both the afternoon of Thursday, October 11, and the morning of Friday, October 12, 2018, and it will be held in the Biblioteca di San Marco in Florence.

To apply: please send a CV and a brief abstract of your paper, in English or Italian, to: barker@medici.org by January 15, 2018. Decisions will be announced within three weeks. Limited funding may be available for travel and lodging.

CFP: International Graduate Students Colloquium, “Why did they choose this place? Settlements, Representations and References of Buildings and Objects (11th-17th centuries)”, Amiens (France) 29-30 May 2018

afficheCall For Papers: International Graduate Students Colloquium, “Why did they choose this place? Settlements, Representations and References of Buildings and Objects (11th-17th centuries),” Amiens (France), 29-30 May 2018
Deadline: 15 January 2018

The research laboratory Trame (Texts, Representations, Archaeology and Memory from Antiquity to the Renaissance) of the University of Picardie Jules Verne associated with the research unit Transitions. Middle Ages and First Modernity (University of Liège) and with the Center for Advanced Studies in the Renaissance of the University François Rabelais (Tours) is organising three international meetings implemented by PhD students of these three institutions. the aim of the meetings is to enable exchanges and discussions between PhD students, junior researchers and experimented colleagues.

The first meeting will be held in Liège on Tuesday the 30th of January and Wednesday the 31st of January 2018 on the theme “Transition(s): concept, methods and case studies (14th-17th centuries)”.

The second meeting will be held in Amiens on Tuesday the 29 th of May and Wednesday the 30rd of May 2018 on the theme : “Why did they choose this place? Settlements, Representations and References of Buildings and Objects (11th-17th centuries)”

This colloquium will be divided into two parts: first, the choice of the place of the building, and then the choice of the place of the object.
The construction of a new building usually start with an important thinking concerning the localization. The choice is strategic or symbolic, sometimes both, and depend on its function, its sponsor and its geographical context. For example, a monastery will set up on a secluded place or, in the contrary, on an urban center; a military fortress must occupy a strategic place to dominate a territory etc. In this way, it’s interesting to study all these factors, actors and issues regarding the establishment process in a rural, urban or suburban context. In the same way, objects (such as paintings, sculptures, precious objects, reliquaries, pieces of jewellery, funerary monuments, pieces of furniture, symbols of power etc.) are interesting to study. A lot of them need to be placed on a specific location, whether it’s in a real place or in the composition of a bidimensional work. The place where the object is arranged can be modified in consequence as there
are interactions between them. The goal of this meeting is to gauge the notion of place in all its forms in order to understand its meaning and its importance during the Middle Ages and First Modernity.

Day 1: The place of the Building
This first day will be focused on the buildings. The statements have to match the three
following approaches:
– The location choices of the edifice: how the place was chosen? Who were the actors of this choice? What were the effects of this implantation on a local and global historical context? Studies could focus on a specific place, a religious community, an edifice or an archaeological site. It’s a matter of showing the location strategies and the territorial transformations after the creation of a new “place of power” or a place of production in a historical and geographical context.
– The place‘s portrayal is the second theme: why did they choose this place? How is it
represented and why? Are they accurate the original place? How fictive places are show? The statements have to consider the different means used to point out peculiar location and the underlying goals.
– The place’s references in the sources: how literature and manuscripts mention those places whether real or fictive? What is the purpose in those texts? In an illuminated book, how is introduced the description of the place and what are the connections between the picture and the text? The statements could cover the evolution of the terms used to qualify a place. For example, the Latin word “prioratus” is barely used to qualify a priory between the 11th and the 13th centuries in manuscripts but we find lot of others words like house, farm, church etc.

Day 2: The place of the object
Concerning the place of the object we propose the three following themes:
– The position of the object:  usually, special objects are put in specific places: a building, a public space or a private one, or even a tomb. It would be interesting to attempt to understand why those objects have been placed in well-chosen areas, which were the factors and the issues according to which this decision has been made and by who. The history of the different places in which an object dating back to the 11th to the 17th century has been settled from his creation up to the present time can be made through a historiographical perspective. Reflections focusing on the methods used by historians, historians of arts or archaeologists to identify the original place of an object are
– Interaction between the object and the place: the goal is to think about the conjoint and
disjointed evolution of the building and the object: which are the impacts of the mutations and the intern reconstructions of the building on the object? How a building can specifically be built to accommodate one or several objects? This theme concerns both religious and public spaces, but also private places and the first experiences in museum architecture linked to a collection. Once again, all reflections about the methodology used to understand those interactions are welcomed.
– Representation of the object in paintings, illuminated manuscripts and sculptures: this
third theme invite to wonder about the methods used to represent the object on pieces of art. How is it put on the spot when it plays a central role in the pieces of art? How an object can be used to build up the composition of a picture?

Contribution Modalities
Lectures should relate to history, archaeology, history of arts and literature, from the 11th to the 17th century. The purpose is to have a brand new and interdisciplinary view on the notion of “place” which finally concern several research subjects. Communications should try to introduce historiographical elements enabling to develop comparisons between the different interventions and to think about the notion of “place” nd its evolution through time.

The proposals are expected for the 15th of January 2018 at the latest. They should be fifteen-line summary of the proposed lecture addressed to the Organising Committee, send together with a CV, the title of the thesis et the name of the research director(s). Candidate will be informed of the approval or the rejection of their proposal by the 15 th of February 2018.
Lectures should last 20 minutes maximum, with the possibility to project a Powerpoint. They can be made in French or in English.
We will unfortunately not be able to provide you financial help for the accommodation or the transport.
If you need an attestation to valorise your participation, we will be able to provide it.
Please do not hesitate to contact us if you need further information.
Organising Committee:
– Julie Colaye, PhD student in medieval history : juliecolaye@gmail.com
– Marie Quillent, PhD student in history of medieval art : marie.quillent@wanadoo.fr

CFP: Rethinking the Medieval Frontier, University of Leeds, 10 April 2018

avila-753643_1920Call for Papers: Rethinking the Medieval Frontier, University of Leeds, 10 April 2018
Deadline: 1 February 2018

Few topics in medieval studies have as much current relevance and activity as frontiers and borders. Yet approaches to their study in the Middle Ages are often untheorised, and
compare, if at all, only to often outdated studies of the ancient or modern world. Yet
medievalists are well placed, given the richness of their material and the complexity of
medieval politics and society, to challenge such ‘classical’ ideas of The Frontier, whose
weaknesses are now being exposed by current events. A fully comparative approach to the possibilities of what it meant to establish, live in or contest a frontier or border zone shown by the societies of late Antiquity and the Middle Ages can power the development of a new shared understanding of the processes at work where borders are laid down or transgressed.

The project Rethinking the Medieval Frontier has been exploring such ideas since 2015. Its first one-day conference, made possible by a British Academy/Leverhulme Trust Small Research Grant, will take place on 10th April 2018. Scholars at all levels working on frontiers and borders within the period 100-1500 CE, in any geographical area, are invited to offer papers addressing questions such as these:
§ Who defines or defined a frontier, and with what effect?
§ How did the medieval understanding of the world envisage or describe frontiers?
§ How was a frontier physically constituted?
§ Did military frontiers differ from other sorts of border, and if so how?
§ How do archaeologists’ views of medieval frontiers compare to those of historians?
§ What persons or groups crossed medieval borders, and why? Who was prevented from
doing so, and how effectively?
§ What persons or groups lived in border zones, for what reasons?
§ How far did frontiers and borders create or inform medieval identities?
§ How do the insights of other disciplines studying frontiers apply to medieval societies,
and how do medievalist disciplines differ in their study of frontiers?
Papers should be up to 15 minutes long and may be exploratory or experimental.
Comparison of more than one medieval society is encouraged. Titles and abstracts should be received by 1st February 2018. It may not be possible to accept all submissions. Some travel bursaries are available to allow attendance which might otherwise not be possible, including from outside the UK.
Submissions, as well as any other queries, should be sent to Jonathan Jarrett, School of History, University of Leeds, LS2 9JT, j.jarrett@leeds.ac.uk.