Tag Archives: culture

CFP: Gender and Medieval Studies Conference 2019: GENDER AND ALIENS, Durham University, 7th–10th January 2019

In recent years discourse around ‘aliens’, as migrants living in modern nation-states, has been highly polarised, and the status of people who are technically termed legal or illegal aliens by the governments of those states has often been hotly contested. It is evident from studies of the past, however, that the movement of people is not a recent phenomenon: in the medieval west, one of the Latin terms applied to such people was alieni (‘foreigners’, or ‘strangers’), and it is clear from the surviving evidence that there were many people in the Middle Ages who could be, and indeed were, identified as aliens.

This conference aims to stimulate debate about the ways in which gender intersected with and related to the idea of such aliens – and, more broadly, alienation – in the medieval world. Social, political and religious attitudes to aliens and the alienated were not constant over the centuries from c. 400 to c. 1500, and nor were they uniform across the whole world. Some foreigners, as aliens, might end up integrated into the societies they entered; others might find themselves marginalised, lonely or alone; or oppressed, as outlaws, outcasts, or slaves. Gender might exacerbate or mitigate this, depending on time, place and context. Authors or artists depicting parts of the world far from and alien to their own often filled them with people or beings not like them, demonstrating the imaginative power of alterity, while the reactions of those who encountered people from distant places and observed or participated in their customs could include recognition of similarity as well as difference. Foreigners were also not the only people who might find themselves alienated from, or within, certain societies or cultures: the medieval world included many marginalised groups. The issues of aliens and alienation may be differently construed in the modern world, but they are certainly not new. The relationship of gender to these topics is complex, variable and significant.

The conference aims to enable discussion of these issues as they relate to the whole medieval world from c. 400 to c. 1500. The organisers welcome proposals for papers on any topic related to gender and aliens or alienation, broadly construed, and encourage submissions relating to the world beyond Europe. Papers might consider issues such as:

  • refugees, immigrants, emigrants
  • inclusion and exclusion
  • alterity and difference
  • outlaws, the law, legality
  • marginalised or disenfranchised groups
  • non-normative bodies, illness, disability
  • acculturation
  • imagined geographies
  • borders and frontiers
  • ethnicity and identity
  • slavery and slaves

In addition to sessions of papers, the conference will also include a poster session. Proposals for a 20-minute paper or for a poster can be submitted at https://tinyurl.com/gms2019submit by September 30th 2018. The conference organisers are also happy to consider proposals for other kinds of presentation: please contact the organisers at gmsconference2019@gmail.com to discuss these. Some travel bursaries will be available for students and unwaged delegates to attend this conference: please see http://medievalgender.co.uk/ for details.

Images: The Emperor and the Court Lady, from ‘Nüshi zhen’ (Admonitions of the Instructress to the Court Ladies), text composed by Zhang Hua (c.AD 232-300); 6th-8th century. (C) The Trustees of the British Museum

God casts out Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden, in the ‘Old English Hexateuch,’ London, British Library, Cotton Claudius B.iv, f. 6v, 11th century. (C) British Library




Conference: Singular Acts: The Role of the Individual in the Transformation of Collective Culture, The Warburg Institute, 16 November 2017

410868Conference: Singular Acts: The Role of the Individual in the Transformation of Collective Culture, The Warburg Institute, 16 November 2017

The Warburg Institute will host its second Postgraduate Symposium on 16 November 2017. This year’s Symposium focuses on particular personalities who acted for or against historical and cultural change.  The Early Modern period saw seismic shifts across all aspects of society, ranging from technological developments to new artistic techniques; to innovations in philosophical thought and religious doctrine and scientific discoveries; to social and political movements. This interdisciplinary conference will appraise the extent to which such transformations were triggered or repressed by the acts of individuals such as innovators, pioneers, reformers and censors.

Attendance is free of charge. Pre-registrations required: https://warburgpostgradsymposium.eventbrite.co.uk

For more information: warburg.postgrad@gmail.com

Organisers: Organisers: James Christie, Lorenza Gay, Hanna Gentili, Lydia Goodson, Vito Guida, Antonia Karaisl, Finn Schulze-Feldmann, Genevieve Verdigel. 


10:15 – 10:30 Professor Bill Sherman (Director of The Warburg Institute)

SESSION 1: Art and Invention
Chair: Lorenza Gay (The Warburg Institute)

10:30 – 10:50 Allegra Baggio Corradi (The Warburg Institute)
A Book, a Bust and a Pelican Pet: Philosophy, Art and Zoology in Niccolò Leonico Tomeo’s Cinquecento Padua

10:50 – 11:10 Mauricio Oviedo Salazar (University of Amsterdam)
The Legacy of the Poeta-theologus: Salutati’s Influence in 15th-century Italian Art

 11:10 – 11:30 Response and discussion.

 11:30 – 11:45 Tea

 SESSION 2: Challenging Established Philosophies

Chair: Genevieve Verdigel (The Warburg Institute)

 11:45 – 12:05 Maria Vittoria Comacchi (University of Venice)
Marsilio Ficino’s renovatio antiquorum through Leone Ebreo’s Dialoghi d’amore: a philosophical theological Reform before the Reformation

12:05 – 12:25 Salvatore Carannante (Istituto Nazionale di Studi sul Rinascimento, Florence)
‘A Mercury sent down by the Gods’: Bruno’s Self-Representation between Ancient Wisdom and Nova Filosofia

 12:25 – 12:45 Response and discussion.

 12:45-14:00 Lunch

SESSION 3: Within/Without Institutions
Chair : Antonia Karaisl (The Warburg Institute)

14:00– 14:20 Sophie-Bérangère Singlard (Université Paris-Sorbonne)
To be an Influential Humanist and to become an Important Name in 16th-century Spain: The Case of Francisco Sánchez de las Brozas

14:20 – 14:40 Hasan Siddiqui (University of Chicago)
Critical Modes of the Scholarly Life in Early-Modern South Asia 

14:40 – 15:00 Response and discussion.

15:00 – 15:15 Tea

SESSION 4: The Patron and the Poet: self-fashioning in words, art, and music

Chair: Lydia Goodson (The Warburg Institute)

15:15 – 15:35 Elisa Zucchini (University of Florence)
Art and Music in Gran Principe Ferdinando de’ Medici’s Patronage

15:35 – 15:55 James Barry (University of Cambridge)
Vanity Projects: Thomas Lyster’s Fragments (1714) and the commercialisation of individualism in late seventeenth and early eighteenth century print culture

15:55 – 16:15 Response and discussion.

16:15 – 17:15 Keynote AddressDr Ben Thomas, (Co-Curator of the 2017 Exhibition ‘Raphael, The Drawings’ at the Ashmolean; University of Kent)

 ‘Raphael: Singular Acts of Drawing’

17:15 – 17:30 Closing Remarks: Professor Michelle O’Malley (Assistant Director of The Warburg Institute)

17:30 – 18:30 Reception



Conference: After Chichele: Intellectual and Cultural Dynamics of the English Church, 1443-1517, St Anne’s College, Oxford, 28th June 2017 – 30th June 2017

238d-5c94-4eb4-bd92-3202Conference: After Chichele: Intellectual and Cultural Dynamics of the English Church, 1443-1517, St Anne’s College, Oxford, 28th June 2017 – 30th June 2017
Fees: Standard Registration Fee – £160.00; graduate Registration Fee – £120.00; dinner – £60.00
Register by June 21

After Chichele adopts an investigative and interdisciplinary approach. The period has been chosen precisely because the inner workings of English intellectual and religious life during these years have proved challengingly resistant to the formation of grand critical narratives. What are the chief currents driving the intellectual and cultural life of the church in England during this period? What happened to intellectual questioning during the period, and where did the church’s cultural life express itself most vividly? What significant parochial, regional, national and international influences were brought to bear on English literate practices? In order to address these questions, the conference will adopt an interdisciplinary focus, inviting contributions from historians, literary scholars, and scholars working on the theology, ecclesiastical history, music and art of the period.


Workshop: Arts and Court Cultures in the Iberian World (1400-1650)

horizontalWorkshop: Arts and Court Cultures in the Iberian World (1400-1650), Real Colegio Complutense at Harvard University (RCC Conference Room, 26 Trowbridge St., Cambridge MA), April 28, 2017

Visual strategies of legitimization became increasingly important for
Iberian monarchies during the late medieval and early modern periods.
Mediterranean dynastic, diplomatic, and military endeavors called for
effective propaganda, both in the metropolis and in viceregal
territories, such as southern Italy. Such efforts include architecture,
both ephemeral and permanent, the decoration of palaces, court
portraiture, and historiography. The advent of a Monarchia Hispanica
under Habsburg rule required careful elaborations of national,
religious, racial, and gender identities, across a mosaic of
multilingual and multiethnic populations. This workshop aims to
highlight some of these strategies, and to create a forum for
discussion of further research avenues, under the guidance of scholars
from Spanish and American universities. It is made possible thanks to
the collaboration of the Real Colegio Complutense at Harvard
University, and the University of Valencia, with additional support
from the Fulbright Commission and the BBVA Foundation.


Welcome & opening remarks

Viceregal Palaces in the Dominions of the Crown of Aragon: Charting a
Mediterranean Architecture
Prof. Mercedes Gómez-Ferrer (Universitat de València)

Icons of Dynastic Authority. Sofonisba Anguissola at Her Majesty’s
Prof. Jorge Sebastián (Universitat de València)


Facing the Infidel Other: Visual Battle Narratives and Royal Entries by
Spanish Habsburg Monarchs
Dr. Borja Franco (UNED, Madrid)

The Triumph of Tunis in Viceregal Palermo, Messina, and Naples
Prof. Cristelle Baskins (Tufts University)

Final remarks and roundtable discussion
with Prof. Felipe Pereda (Harvard University).

End of workshop

Each lecture to be followed by Q & A

CFP: Medieval Hispanic Research Seminar @QMUL

2014-06-mhrc-colloq-gif1Call for papers: Medieval Hispanic Research Seminar @ the School of Languages, Linguistics and Film, Queen Mary, University of London, June 23-24, 2016.
Deadline: 25 April 2016

Papers concerning any aspect of the literature, language, history and culture
of the Iberian Peninsula in the Middle Ages will be considered. They will be
delivered in either English or Spanish and will last a maximum of twenty
Submission: Proposals should be sent in the body of an email to mhrs-
colloquium@qmul.ac.uk by 25 April 2016. Please include name and institutional affiliation (as you wish them to appear on the programme), and a title and abstract of no more than 150 words.
Authors will receive confirmation of acceptance of proposals and details of registration via email after 6 May. Should you need a letter of confirmation please indicate this in your proposal email and provide full contact details. Accommodation is available for speakers in university halls of residence on campus.

Call for Book Manuscripts: Maps, Spaces, Cultures (Brill)

Call for Book Manuscripts:
Maps, Spaces, Cultures (Brill)

Edited by Surekha Davies (Western Connecticut State University) and Asa Simon Mittman (California 
State University, Chico).

Editorial board: Michiel van Groesen (University of Amsterdam), Ricardo Padrón (University of Virginia), Ayesha Ramachandran (Yale University) and Dan Terkla (Illinois Wesleyan University).

This innovative series seeks monographs and essay collections that investigate how notions of space, 
geography, and mapping shaped medieval and early modern cultures. While the history of cartography has traditionally focused on internal developments in European mapping conventions and technologies,  pre-modern scribes, illuminators, and printers of maps tended to work in multiple genres. Spatial thinking informed and was informed by multiple epistemologies and perceptions of the order of nature. 

Hereford_Mappa_Mundi_1300Maps, Spaces, Cultures  therefore integrates the study of cartography and geography within cultural history. It  puts genres that reflected and constituted spatial thinking into dialogue with the cultures that produced and consumed them, as well as with those they represented. The editors welcome submissions from scholars of the histories of art, material culture, colonialism, exploration, ethnography (including that of peoples described as monsters), encounters, literature,  philosophy, religion, science and knowledge, as well as of the history of cartography and related disciplines. They encourage interdisciplinary submissions that cross traditional historical, geographical, or methodological boundaries, that include works from outside Western Europe and outside the Christian tradition, and that develop new analytical approaches to pre-modern spatial thinking, cartography, and the geographical imagination.

Authors are cordially invited to write to either of the series editors, Surekha Davies (surekha.davies@gmail.com) and Asa Simon Mittman (asmittman@mail.csuchico.edu), or to the  publisher at Brill, Arjan van Dijk (dijk@brill.com), to discuss the submission of proposals and/or full manuscripts.

For Brill’s peer review process see here: http://www.brill.com/author-gateway/publishing-books-brill/propose-your-publication

For Brill’s Open Access options click here: http://www.brill.com/brill-open-0 

Call for Contributions: Critically Mediterranean: Aesthetics, Theory, Hermeneutics, Culture (Edited Volume)

Call for Contributions: 
Critically Mediterranean: Aesthetics, Theory, Hermeneutics, Culture
ed. by Yasser Elhariry (Dartmouth College) & Edwige Tamalet Talbayev (Tulane University)
Deadline: 15 December 2014

This is a call for contributors for Critically Mediterranean: Aesthetics, Theory, Hermeneutics, Culture, a peer-reviewed edited volume co-edited by Yasser Elhariry (Dartmouth College) & Edwige Tamalet Talbayev (Tulane University).

satelliteMeditPointing to the crux of much debate and scholarship in Mediterranean Studies, W. V. Harris has defined Mediterraneanism as “the doctrine that there are distinctive characteristics which the cultures of the Mediterranean have, or have had, in common” (1).  A pervasive approach to the region in the disciplines of history and anthropology, the concept has fruitfully brought to light the presence of “common denominators” underlying the region’s past that warrant a comparative reading of local history across broad spans of time and space. Based on excavating millennia-old histories of ever-shifting interactions at the micro-level (Horden and Purcell’s “connectivity”), this approach has striven to move the focus away from the myriad local histories unfolding across the Mediterranean’s coastlands to bring the space of the sea as a principle of integration into relief. Highlighting wide-ranging forms of mobility, interconnectedness, and analytical fluidity in their adjustable Mediterranean model, these conceptions have emphasized the material flows running across the sea and its shore-lands, and the human activities that they have supported. As Peregrine Horden observes in his and Sharon Kinoshita’s Companion to Mediterranean History, “There seems to be no limit to the ways in which the Mediterranean region may be reimagined, as a sea, as an area involving physical movements, maritime spaces, territorial arrangements, and political processes that seek to transcend national boundaries and enmities” (5).

Moving the chronology and critical purviews of the field forward, this volume seeks to interrogate how theories and methodologies of Mediterranean Studies may bear on the modern period. Beyond the dominant mapping of the region in ancient, medieval and early modern contexts, there are important questions to be answered about our critical understandings of the modern Mediterranean and its arts and cultures that have a direct bearing on our understanding of the modern/contemporary world. This volume probes the critical cut of the Mediterranean as a theoretical entity, as an aesthetic, theoretical, and hermeneutic category for the interpretation and analysis of culture, and as a space of artistic and linguistic density and coterminous symbolic geographies. We propose to examine its critical potential in the age of nationalistic projects, global capitalism, colonial modernity, and postmodernism.

With these guiding principles in mind, we encourage contributions that explore material, visual, literary and linguistic cultures of “the Mediterranean as a spatial constellation undergoing recurring formation and dissolution,” in order to “make the notion of a modern Mediterranean plausible and reveal its structural similarities and connections with the sea’s previous lives” (Ben-Yehoyada 107). Teetering between the unenviable status of romantic delusion and the nefarious influence of residual (self)orientalizing dynamics, the Mediterranean as a conceptual tool first needs to liquidate its fraught exoticist heritage. With the advent of European imperialism in the Mediterranean in the 19th century, dealing with the legacy of globalization also requires attending to the fractures, inequalities, and forms of disenfranchisement that the new world order has engendered (what Ian Morris has dubbed “winners and losers” in relation to Mediterraneization). Alongside Iain Chamber’s “interrupted” paradigm, concepts of critical/ alternative modernities anchored in the sea are relevant to scrutinizing the fruitfulness of the Mediterranean construct to these theorizations.

We are thus seeking contributions that (1) present readings of an original, modern Mediterranean archive or corpus, and (2) rigorously, even polemically, argue what constitutes the archive/corpus’ Mediterraneanism.

We especially encourage proposals that address a combination of the following possible lines of inquiry:

  • Origins and genealogies. Sharon Kinoshita has aptly suggested that “Mediterranean studies is less a way of defining or delimiting a geographic space (as in the famous formulation of the Mediterranean as the region of the olive and the vine) than a heuristic device for remapping traditional disciplinary divides” (602). What are the material, visual, literary and linguistic limits to our grasping of the Mediterranean? What are the needs and natures of disciplinary, cross-disciplinary, and interdisciplinary work? What is the role of competing genealogies within field formation? In turn, how may the births and beginnings of disciplines inform our critical understandings of the modern Mediterranean and its arts and cultures?
  • Mediterranean representations. How do cultural formations, historical processes, and elements of style develop? How do considerations of genre and intertextuality inform their emergence? What artistic and intellectual tropes and turns (for example: nostalgia, cosmopolitanism, religion and mysticism) inflect the Mediterranean as a rhetorical tool or figure within their respective genealogies?
  • Mediterranean translations. What roles does language perform in the modern Mediterranean? What and where are the untreatable, untranslatable dimensions of Mediterranean expression? How do linguistic codes intersect with the visual, the sonic, and the (inter)medial? What are the specificities of—or relationships between—literature, visual culture, cinema, music, media and intermediality?
  • Philosophy, phenomenology and the poetics of space and time. Edgar Morin reports that it is in the 16th century that the Mediterranean was given its name, which meant sea-at-the-center-of-the-lands (33), but what if the Mediterranean in fact decenters and disorients? How do modern representations of the Mediterranean treat the nature of the sea? Beyond dialectics of change and permanence, how does the incursion of the Mediterranean into time evoke discrepant temporalities (plural, unpredictable, ephemeral, internally experienced, immanent or dormant)?
  • (Bio)politics. Chakrabarty has pointed how the Mediterranean “environment […] had an agentive presence in Braudel’s pages” (205). Does the modern Mediterranean still play “an agentive presence” in contemporary politics? In an era where “the Marxist critique of capitalism” and “Marxist internationalism undermined the idea of the nation” (Morin 38-39), what is the Mediterranean’s relationship to la raison d’état, or the nation-state as a heuristic core of critical practice? What becomes of the relationship between nation-states and languages, between identities and affiliations? How does it call into question national literary languages? How would (bio)political questions concerning revolution, democracy, migration, transnationalism, and minority and second-generation human rights be articulated and addressed within these discourses?
  • Mediterranean identities and self-identification. How do we key in the elaboration of local identity and community formation? What are the attendant regional politics and polemics? What are the dialectical relations to forms of being in the world ensconced in the discreteness of micro-localities? How may identity markers be uniquely declined beyond the dominant rhetoric of the right to difference? How may this entail the emergence of a transnational consciousness or of a specific ethos? How may we think beyond subjective experiences of the Mediterranean?
  • The Mediterranean/Mediterraneans. How do we balance the focus on the micro with the need for the macro (Abulafia, 2006) and the relation to other sea-centered logics? What are the geographical limits of the modern Mediterranean? What is the place of the critical Mediterranean within reflections on “new thalassology” (Horden and Purcell, 2006) and “thalassocracies” (Abulafia, 2014)? Should the model be applied beyond the region? What is its intellectual currency across geographical divides?

Detailed abstracts (500 words) are due by December 1, 2014 to Edwige Tamalet Talbayev (etamalet@tulane.edu) and Yasser Elhariry (yasser.elhariry@dartmouth.edu). Contributors will be notified of acceptance by December 15, 2014. Completed manuscripts (6,000 words) are due byJune 1, 2015. Manuscripts will be rigorously edited prior to submission to the press. Although final placement of the volume will be contingent on the outcome of the press’ peer-review process, Brian Catlos and Sharon Kinoshita, the editors of Palgrave Macmillan’s new Mediterranean Studies series, have expressed interest in the volume.

Abulafia, David. “Mediterraneans.” Rethinking the Mediterranean. Ed. W. V. Harris. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2006. 64-93.
———. “Thalassocracies.” A Companion to Mediterranean History. Ed. Peregrine Horden and Sharon Kinoshita. Oxford: Wiley Blackwell, 2014. 139-153.
Ben-Yehoyada, Naor “Mediterranean Modernity?” A Companion to Mediterranean History. Ed. Peregrine Horden and Sharon Kinoshita. Oxford: Wiley Blackwell, 2014. 107-121.
Chakrabarty, Dipesh. “The Climate of History: Four Theses.” Critical Inquiry 35 (2009): 197-222.
Chambers, Iain. Mediterranean Crossings: The Politics of an Interrupted Modernity. Durham: Duke UP, 2008.
Harris, W. V., ed. Rethinking the Mediterranean. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2006.
Horden, Peregrine. “Introduction.” A Companion to Mediterranean History. Ed. Peregrine Horden and Sharon Kinoshita. Oxford: Wiley Blackwell, 2014. 1-7.
Horden, Peregrine and Nicholas Purcell. The Corrupting Sea: A Study of Mediterranean History. Oxford: Wiley Blackwell, 2000.
———. “The Mediterranean and ‘the New Thalassology.’” The American Historical Review 111.3 (2006): 722-740.
Kinoshita, Sharon. “Medieval Mediterranean Literature.” PMLA 124.2 (2009): 600-608.
Morin, Edgar. “Penser la Méditerranée et méditerranéiser la pensée.” Confluences Méditerranée 28 (2009): 33-47.
Morris, Ian. “Mediterraneanization.” Mediterranean Historical Review 18.2 (2003): 30-55.