Tag Archives: emotions

CFP: ‘Recovering the Ritual Object in Medieval and Early Modern Art,’ AAH Conference, Brighton, 4–6 Apr 2019

DjWmmKBXcAUB1yCDeadline: Nov 5, 2018

“Recovering the Ritual Object in Medieval and Early Modern Art”

Session Convenors: Dr Catriona Murray, University of Edinburgh, c.a.murray@ed.ac.uk; Dr Halle O’Neal, University of Edinburgh, halle.o’neal@ed.ac.uk

In the medieval and early modern worlds, ritual served as a legitimising process, a dynamic mechanism for mediating a transference or transformation of status. Objects played an essential part in this performative practice, charged with symbolism and invested with power. Distanced from their original contexts, however, these artefacts have often been studied for their material properties, disconnecting function from form and erasing layers of meaning. The relationships between ritual objects and ritual participants were identity-forming, reflecting and shaping belief structures. Understanding of how these objects were experienced as well as viewed, is key to revealing their significances.

DjWniZ5XsAAAiJ0This panel intends to relocate ritual objects at the centre of both religious and secular ceremonies, interrogating how they served as both signifiers and agents of change. The organisers specialise in early modern British art and medieval Japanese art, and so we invite proposals from a range of geographical perspectives, in order to investigate this subject from a cross-cultural perspective. We particularly encourage papers which discuss medieval and early modern ritual objects—broadly defined —as social mediators.

Issues for discussion include but are not limited to:
– Recovery of the everyday in ritual objects
– Embodiment
– Audiences and interactions
– Performativity
– Ritual object as emotional object
– Spatiality and temporality
– Re-use, recycling, removal
– Illusion and imagination
– Memory
– Thing theory

How to apply: Please email your paper proposal direct to the session convenors, details above. Provide a title and abstract (250 words maximum) for a 25-minute paper, your name and institutional affiliation (if any).

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CFP: Living in a Magical World: Inner Lives, 1300–1900, St Anne’s College, Oxford, 17–19 September 2018

conference_cfp_5Call for Papers: Living in a Magical World: Inner Lives, 1300–1900, St Anne’s College, Oxford, 17–19 September 2018
Deadline: Friday 12 January 2018

Historians have learned to regard the supernatural as integral to past lives. No longer are magical and occult beliefs anachronistically condescended to as mere ‘superstitions’, entertained only by a credulous minority and for the most part ancillary to temporal existence. Instead, the near-constant presence of unseen yet powerful forces – both benevolent and malign, and across domestic, communal, and cosmic environments – now seems central to a subtle and pervasive worldview held by sane, intelligent people whose outlook on the universe was no less sophisticated or coherent than our own. At the same time, supernatural beliefs were unstable, inconsistent, and contested.

Taking this insight as its starting point, this conference will explore the meanings, practices, and everyday consequences of living in a magical world, with special reference to its complex relationship to the inner lives of our forebears, from the late medieval to the modern period. We invite papers from all geographical contexts and disciplinary perspectives, and from researchers at all stages of their careers, that relate the history of magic, witchcraft, ghosts, and other supernatural phenomena to the following themes and research questions:

  • The history of selfhood, personal identity, phenomenology, and subjectivity;
  • The history of the emotions, and the significance of feeling states – insofar as we can ever recover them – for understanding and appreciating past experiences and interiorities;
  • And the extent to which interactions with occult realms and unseen worlds – which often engendered powerful feelings of anger, terror, and grief, but also of wonder, hope, and security – are privileged sites for understanding past emotional repertoires and experiences and, in turn, inner lives.

We hope that the assembled papers will shed new light on the role of the supernatural encounter in shaping the textures and meanings of lived experience over an unprecedentedly wide variety of time periods, national boundaries, and spatial and perceptual dimensions (from courtrooms, households, and urban and rural landscapes to dreamscapes, memory, and fantasy). Publication of an edited collection and/or journal special issue featuring a selection of the papers will be considered, while the conference will also incorporate a drinks reception at and private view of the project’s associated exhibition on the history of witchcraft and magic at the Ashmolean Museum. Provisionally entitled Spellbound: Thinking Magically, Past and Present, this will show from 6 September 2018 to 6 January 2019.

To propose a twenty-minute paper, please send a title and abstract of no more than 300 words, together with a short academic CV, to james.r.brown@uea.ac.uk by Friday 12 January 2018. Please also direct any queries to James in the first instance.