Tag Archives: Gender

CFP: Leo Steinberg’s Sexuality of Christ Revisited (New Orleans, 22-24 Mar 18)

steinbergNew Orleans, Louisiana, USA, March 22 – 24, 2018
Deadline: May 10, 2017

Renaissance Society of America Annual Meeting, New Orleans, Louisiana, 22 (Thursday) -24 (Saturday) March  ’18

Leo Steinberg’s Sexuality of Christ Revisited

Despite the controversy that it provoked more than thirty years ago, Leo Steinberg’s insight about ostentatio genitalium has become almost a commonplace.  Through that motif, Steinberg claimed, artists created what was prominently preached from roughly 1400 to 1600, a theology of palpable Incarnationism.  Critics countered variously: Textual evidence supporting his conclusion was weak.  Treatment of sexuality was too narrowly male.  The visual evidence itself was too inconsistent and unconvincing.  Others simply found the entire subject discomforting.

Today among Renaissance specialists Steinberg’s insight is more invoked than examined, though new reasons to interrogate it have emerged. Medievalists have called attention to the nudity of Christ in earlier centuries.  The body of Christ was not just a penis.  The relationship between the religious and the sensuous is an increasingly vibrant subject of research.  Studies of sexuality and gender have become more finely granular.  In contrast to the parochially western Christian and Greco-Latin perspectives that have heretofore dominated, specialists have started to incorporate other ancient influences, notably Egyptian, as well as interactions within all-Christendom and between it and Judaism/ Islam.  The lives of the great art historians have been explored to offer insight into their scholarship.  Provocative and wide-ranging proposals integrating these and related approaches are welcome.

Proposals (MS Word attachment ONLY — no PDF or Google Doc) submitted to Benjamin Braude <Braude@bc.edu>, before 10 May, must include name and affiliation, short title (15 word max), abstract (150 word max), cv (not in prose, 300 word max), e-address, cell and land line numbers, keywords, as well as scheduling and a-v needs.  To participate one must be a member of the RSA.

Call for Papers for the 2017/18 Academic Year Lecture Series „Art – Research – Gender“ Lecture Series of the Office of Gender Issues, University of Applied Arts Vienna

University of Applied Arts Vienna.jpgExcessively Big Gestures

In the 2017/18 academic year, the transdisciplinary lecture series will pursue excessiveness. Interesting here is what is deemed inappropriate and simply too much in the form of speech, literary writing, and courses of action in the performative arts (including comedy). Or in the realm of queer-feminist activism, and the consciously fanatical, provocative manifestos that repeatedly accompany these articulations, such as Mina Loy’s Feminist Manifesto (1914), Valerie Solanas’ SCUM Manifesto (1967), Bikini Kill’s Riot Grrrl Manifesto (1991), Beatriz Preciado’s Manifiesto contrasexual (2000), Virginie Despentes’ King Kong Théorie (2006), or the feminist migrant collective MAIZ’s deployment of Oswald de Andrade’s Manifesto An-tropófago (1928).

Excessiveness can be found in overshooting the forms and formats through unexpected du-ration, or with litanies and persistent repetitions. A narrowing in the direction of doing, in the framework of an artistic mode of articulation, can also be excessive. Protest forms can be addressed in this way as well – the emphasis should lie on the linguis-tic, on time-based gestures and on activism. We are on the lookout for big gestures that evoke the excessiveness inherent in normative gender relations, such as the deed of a figure like Jeanne Dielman in Chantal Akerman’s 1975 film by the same name. The excessive act here follows an exaggerated accurateness in the daily actions of a housewife and sex work-er, which is gradually interfused with minimal disturbances and consequently becomes the-matized in diverse, but intertwined levels of in/appropriateness.

In the scope of this lecture series, strategies of pooling attention through risky actions in gender-critical terms should be reflected upon, e.g. how existing social asymmetries can be made visible through reversal or escalation without being populistic. Another matter of interest is how possible trivialization as provocation can be met, and also, to what degree an adoption of heroism can be critically countered.

About the Lecture Series:
The „Art – Research – Gender“ lecture series will be held at the University of Applied Arts Vienna over the 2016/17 academic year and can be taken as a course as well. It is organized by the Office of Gender Issues.

Scientists and artists of all disciplines are invited to present their perspectives on the ques-tions raised above. We particularly welcome submissions by young researchers – from the area of their thesis, for example. Speakers are paid compensation of € 300 and can claim reimbursement of travel costs.

Usually, eight lectures are selected for each academic year, which are held on Wednesdays at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna. We expect talks to take up to 60 minutes; a discussion follows.

Concept & Organization: Office of Gender Issues

Please submit your proposal by email on or before April 30, 2017, to gender@uni-ak.ac.at
Please include:
• Working title
• Abstract (300 words)
• Short biography
• Your contact data

Submissions are accepted in German or English.

CFP: Female Agency in the Arts (New York, 26-27 Jun 2018)

Christie’s Education New York, June 26 – 27, 2018
Deadline: Jul 15, 2017

Celebrating Female Agency in the Arts
Call for Sessions

Busy road intersection in Manhattan, New York, at sunset

Christie’s Education

Following the success of the 250-anniversary conference held in London
in July 2016, Christie’s Education is organizing its second academic
conference on the theme of women in the arts. The Conference will take
place at Christie’s, 20 Rockefeller Plaza in New York on Tuesday June
26th and Wednesday June 27th 2018.

From Antiquity to today, women have always played a significant role in
the arts and their markets.  With this call for sessions, we welcome
proposals coming from a wide range of disciplines that would consider
women’s diverse contributions to the arts from a transnational and
transhistorical perspective. We hope that the sessions will reflect the
global and historical diversity of the issues at stake.

This conference is not advocating for a separate history nor an
alternative history of art and its markets, but rather we want to look
at the central role played by women in the creation, development,
support and preservation of the arts and, also how their contribution
has changed over time.

Sessions should consider globally and throughout history women as
artists, patrons and collectors of art and architecture, dealers and
brokers, art historians and art critics as well as curators and
preservers of culture. From the presence of women in emerging and
established art centers to historical aristocratic patronage and back
in time to the medieval period and antiquity we hope that the sessions
will investigate a diverse range of topics.

Deadline for Session Proposals:
We encourage academics across disciplines and art professionals to
submit proposals for individual sessions. Sessions will be 115 (4 x 20
minute papers) or 90 minutes (3 x 20 minute papers) in length. Please
send a 250/300-word abstract to Dr. Cecily Hennessy
(chennessy@christies.com) and Dr. Véronique Chagnon-Burke
(vchagnon-burke@christies.edu) by July 15th 2017.

CFP: Hybrids and Hybridity (University of Reading, Graduate Centre for Medieval Studies), 20-21 April 2017

screen-shot-2017-01-26-at-11-14-18-amThe deadline for paper proposals for University of Reading, Graduate Centre for Medieval Studies (GCMS) 2-day conference, ‘Hybrids and Hybridity’ has now been extended to the 17th of February.

Aimed at providing a platform for post-grad and early career researchers examining the idea of hybrids and hybridity in the medieval and early modern periods, the conference offers a chance to present your work within an informal environment – be that a fully-formed paper or a more exploratory questioning of these concepts through themes including, but not limited to:


  • Imagery
  • Identity
  • Gender
  • Transition
  • Liminality

For any questions or to submit an abstract, please feel free to contact the organizers at gcms.reading@gmail.com.

CFP: Other Spaces: Gender and Architecture in the Imagination, @IMC 2017, Leeds, July 3-6

haremason3Call for Papers: Other Spaces: Gender and Architecture in the Imagination, International Medieval Congress at University of Leeds (IMC 2017), July 3-6, 2017
Deadline: September 12, 2016

Paper Panel sponsored by the Society for Medieval Feminist Scholarship (SMFS)

Recent scholarship has drawn attention to the significant roles played by medieval women as patrons of architecture and to the ways in which gender informed the design and function of architectural sites. But what about representations of women and architecture in the medieval imagination? How do visual materials such as manuscript illuminations, paintings and tapestries, and literary works, such as dream visions, conceptualize the relationship between women and architectural space? To what degree are gender and architecture mutually constituted? What conclusions can we draw about spaces considered feminine, and how do these spaces renegotiate the divisions between private and public? Given the longstanding associations between the female body and enclosure, what is the relationship between gender roles and real or imagined enclosures? In what ways do gendered imagined spaces help reconceive real spaces, or vice versa?

Though all topics will be considered, we are particularly eager for papers that address female identity and agency as figured through architectural forms.

How to submit: Please send your name and affiliation, a paper title and abstract (200-250 words) to Boyda Johnstone (bjohnstone1@fordham.edu) & Alexandra Verini (averini@ucla.edu) by Sept. 12, 2016.

Conference: Paper and Parchment: Medieval Music, Architectural Drawings, and Illuminated Books

pandp_0Conference: Paper and Parchment: Medieval Music, Architectural Drawings, and Illuminated Books, Kyle Morrow Room, 3rd Floor, Fondren Library, Rice University, Houston, Texas, April 6, 2016


Co-sponsored by the Minter Chair and the Department of Art History.
Free and open to the public.
9:30–9:45 a.m. Welcome
9:45–11:45 a.m. Session No. 1: New Directions in Architectural Drawings
Linda Neagley, “A New Medieval Architectural Drawing”
ert Bork, “The Regensburg Façade Drawings:
Reality, Fantasy and Geometry”
Discussant: Nancy Wu
Noon–1pm Lunch
1–2:30pm Session No. 2: Workers and Manuscripts
Jennifer Pendergrass Adams, “A Carpenter, a Nobleman, a Fisherman and a Pope: Representations of Class in the Libro dei miracoli”
Layla Seale,”Infernal Labor: Late Medieval Demons at Work”
2:30–4pm Session No. 3: Gender on Paper
and Parchment
Thom Kren, “Toward a Gendered Iconography of Patronage in Books of Hours”
Diane Wolfthal, “Illuminating Infanticide: History and Representation”
4–4:15pm Coffee break
4:15–6:30pm Medieval Music Manuscripts
Rebecca Maloy, “The Old Hispanic Offices of Holy Week”
Peter Loewen, “Singing William Herebert’s English Chant Contrafacta”
Jennifer Saltzstein, “Old French Song Reimagined and Recopied: Contrafacture and Modeling by the Thirteenth-Century Cleric, Trouvères”

For more information, please contact Diane Wolfthal at wolfthal@rice.edu

CFP: Textile Gifts in the Middle Ages – Objects, Actors, and Representations

fb6e7e0f36Call for Papers: Textile Gifts in the Middle Ages – Objects, Actors, and Representations (Textilschenkungen im Mittelalter)
Bibliotheca Hertziana, Max-Planck-Institut für Kunstgeschichte, Rome, November 3-4 2016.
Deadline: March 24, 2016

As art history has given greater attention to material culture and its social contexts as a whole, the applied arts have also re-entered the scope of art historical discourse. Cultural-historical approaches, such as those employed in material culture studies, explore the objectness of artifacts and their efficacy. Related are studies of objects as mediums of symbolic communication, in which such objects are described and interpreted as part of complex performances of ritual and ceremony. Gifts of textiles in the Middle Ages provide a test field for the evaluation of such questions and approaches for the discipline of art history.

Gifts of textiles and clothing appeared in diverse contexts and fulfilled various functions in pre-modern Europe. They could be offered in the course of an initiation rite and or an act of social transition, including upon investiture, marriage, or entry into a monastery. Gifts of clothing to the poor, meanwhile, were among the works of charity thematized in the vitae of numerous medieval saints. Sumptuous textiles were sent as resplendent gifts to religious institutions or, like patterned silk textiles from Byzantium, circulated through diplomatic gift exchanges. Gifts of clothing were also distributed within the court as compensation in kind, which supported the structuralization and hierarchization of courtly society. Gifts of clothing could represent the donor. Especially in the case of clothing previously worn by its donor, the physical presence of the giver might have been woven into the materiality and form of the gifted garment.

The goal of this interdisciplinary conference is to situate the diversity and polysemy of such acts of symbolic communication into the broader context of medieval gift culture.

Already in the 1920s, Marcel Mauss showed that gift giving established social relationships and was composed of three necessary elements: giving, accepting, and reciprocating (the “principle of reciprocity”). At play in such exchanges is essentially the construction of power and social hierarchies. While Mauss’ theory has long been employed within medieval studies, recent criticism has pointed out that the particular efficacy resulting from the material and visual qualities of gifts has not been sufficiently addressed, as studies applying Mauss’ model concentrate primarily on donors, recipients, and their interaction. In other words, the context of the exchange has been privileged over the objects of exchange (Cecily Hilsdale, 2012). With its focus on images and objects, art history is poised to show how the dynamics of reciprocity and its attendant obligations might be charged both visually and materially.

The conference focuses on textile gifts in pre-modern Europe in order to explore such questions in greater detail. The integration of anthropological models into an art historical approach allows for gifted artifacts to be taken seriously as independent entities within the giving process as a socially generative form of communication. The relationship between the actors and the “agency” of gifts themselves can therefore be further explored (Bruno Latour).

We invite paper proposals from the field of art history and related disciplines, such as history, anthropology, archaeology, and literature. Papers might address the following subjects in particular:
– Textile gifts as acts of symbolic communication in the Middle Ages:
Especially welcome are case studies that illustrate the act of giving and the sense of obligation generated between donor and recipient and that, in so doing, attend to the visual and material efficacy of textile gifts. Papers might consider gifts of personal garments, like the gifting of a sovereign’s mantle to an ecclesiastical institution, and the honor—or affront—such gifts might entail.
– Methodological reflections on the suitability of anthropological models for medieval art history:
How helpful are anthropological models (Marcel Mauss’ gift theory and its lineage) in understanding and interpreting pre-modern textile gifts? We begin with the premise that no single general theory is capable of explaining every gift act definitively. Rather, a number of approaches originating in Mauss, some of which are controversial, could be debated within the context of medieval textile gifts.
– The relationship of textile gifts as performative acts to their representations:
How were medieval textile gifts represented in word and image? What relationship do these representations have to their material prototypes (surviving textile gifts) and their contexts (acts of donation)?
– Gendered aspects of textile gifts:
Could textile gifts in the Middle Ages be gender-specific? Can we observe different behavioral patterns in the gifting practices of men and women?
– Re-use and re-contextualization of textile gifts:
The appreciation, use, and conservation of medieval textile gifts, including their restoration or alteration, can reveal much about how recipient institutions dealt with their donations. How, for example, did recipients interpret and use textile gifts in the formation of their identities? How did such a process shape the relationship between a recipient institution and its donor?

Submission: Proposals for talks should be sent in the form of an abstract (max 1 page) with a brief CV by March, 24th, 2016 to Christiane Elster (elster@biblhertz.it).