The School of Art History, SAIMS and Special Collections Division at the University of St Andrews are pleased to announce an upcoming two-day conference on the archive in medieval art and thought.
The word archive suggests the acts of taxonomy and conservation, but also interpretation and regulation. Its etymology traces back to the Greek arkheion, thus highlighting the political nature of the physical archive and the act of archiving itself. The medieval world maintained this sense of privileged access. Isidore of Seville connected the Latin word archivium with arca, strongbox, and arcanum, mystery. But the term was malleable, referring to collections of various goods and treasures, not just of parchment records and registers. And yet, Michael Clanchy has argued that the medieval mind did not always distinguish between the library and the archive, as we do today.
The organisers therefore invite proposals on the theme of the expanded medieval archive, as it relates to art and material culture. What can medieval collections, compilations, and assemblages of material things tell us about the accumulation of knowledge and the preservation of memory? How is the archive manipulated to fit political or social agendas, and by whom? What are the limits of the medieval archive? Paper topics and themes may include, though are not limited to:
- Records or inventories of collections, secular, civic, and ecclesiastical;
- The archive as a physical object or visual record, including books and manuscripts, buildings, reliquaries, etc.;
- The accretive nature of written testimony in the form of: chronicles, herbals, visitations, necrologies, inscriptions and tituli;
- Time, writing history through the material, and collapsing temporalities;
- The creation and perpetuation of memory, identity, and authority;
- The accumulation and transmission of cultural or familial knowledge via material culture;
- The politics of preservation, documentation, and display in the medieval world, and of the medieval in the modern world.
Collecting, Curating, Assembling: New Approaches to the Archive in the Middle Ages will take place 13–14 September 2019 in St Andrews, Scotland. Professor Erik Inglis (Oberlin College) will deliver the keynote. The organisers intend to publish the conference proceedings as an edited volume.
All papers must be no more than 30 minutes maxmimum. Please submit a 250 word abstract and title by 15 February 2019. Prof Julian Luxford, Prof Kathryn Rudy, and Dr Emily Savage, along with Senior Archivist Rachel Hart, warmly welcome all submissions and queries at email@example.com.
Application deadline: Jan 15, 2019
The Shohet Scholars Grant Program of the International Catacomb Society is now accepting applications to the Shohet Scholars cohort of 2019–20. Submission deadline is January 15, 2019 (11:59 p.m. EST).
This annual grant program funds research on the Ancient Mediterranean from the Hellenistic Era to the Early Middle Ages. Shohet Scholars may do their research in the fields of archeology, art history, classical studies, history, comparative religions, or related subjects. Of special interest are interdisciplinary projects that approach traditional topics from new perspectives.
One or more Shohet Scholars will be selected each year. The primary intent of the grant is to support significant, innovative research that can be completed and reported upon within and shortly after the award period. Grants may be made to seed innovative approaches and new ideas or to cover specific expenses or phases of a larger project under the direction of the applicant. At this time, awards in the range of $2,000 to $30,000 will be made. A complete history of past and present Shohet Scholars awards is available on the ICS webpage, www.catacombsociety.org.
Scholars of all institutional affiliations and independent scholars may apply for Shohet Scholar funding if they are individual or institutional members of the ICS at the time of the application submission deadline of January 15, 2019 and in possession of a doctoral degree or the equivalent.
Non-U.S. citizens may apply if a co-applicant is a legal permanent resident (i.e. already in possession of “green card” or Form I-551) or native or naturalized citizen of the U.S.A., meets all eligibility requirements, and has a genuinely collaborative and credited leadership role in the proposal. Co-applicants must submit as individuals all the necessary forms except for the research proposal, list of permissions, and budget proposal, which may be filed jointly.
Deadlines and Decisions
The application deadline for the 2018-2019 academic year is January 15, 2019. The award announcement for the 2019-2020 academic year will be made by May 1, 2019, for funding to be disbursed on 15 July 2019. Please note: starting in 2018, all funding is awarded directly to the USA-based awardee, for distribution among project co-applicants and collaborators. The ICS will no longer wire or transfer money to bank accounts outside of the USA.
If you have any questions about the suitability of proposed projects, application procedures, or any other matters related to the Shohet Scholars Program, please consult our FAQ page or contact us at shohetscholars (at) catacombsociety.org.
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
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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
Gothic Arts: An Interdisciplinary Symposium
Class of 1978 Orrery Pavilion
Van Pelt Library
University of Pennsylvania
March 23rd-24th, 2018
Mary Caldwell, Department of Music
Sarah M. Guérin, Department of the History of Art
Ada Kuskowski, Department of History
In a passage from Thomas Aquinas’s treatise on good governance, a text written for the Cypriot king around 1267, the angelic doctor wrote: “Art is the imitation of nature. Works of art are successful to the extent that they achieve a likeness of nature.” This passage would seem to be the perfect explanation for the exceptionally life-like Adam sculpted for the south transept at the Parisian Notre-Dame, completed a handful of years earlier and possibly seen by Thomas before he left Paris for his Italian sojourn. However, by “ars” Aquinas meant not our “fine arts,” but technique and, even more broadly, human endeavor. The passage comes not from a discussion of the visual arts, but from a justification of benign kingship as opposed to democracy—the former being more akin to nature.
Call for Submissions: Edited volume: Illuminating Metalwork: Metal, Object, and Image in Medieval ManuscriptsDeadline
Deadline: December 1, 2017
Edited volume: Illuminating Metalwork: Metal, Object, and Image in Medieval Manuscripts
Volume editors: Joseph Salvatore Ackley and Shannon L. Wearing
Deadline for submitting a proposal (500 words) and brief bio: 1 December 2017
Notification of submission status: 15 December 2017
Anticipated submission of completed texts: 1 October 2018
Historians of Western medieval, Byzantine, and Islamic art are invited to contribute essays to a volume on the representation of precious metalwork in medieval manuscripts.
The makers of medieval manuscripts frequently placed special emphasis on the depiction of precious-metal objects, both sacred and secular, including chalices, reliquaries, crosses, tableware, and figural sculpture. Artists typically rendered these objects using gold, silver, and metal alloys, “medium-specific” materials that richly and pointedly contrasted with the surrounding color pigments. The visual characteristics of these depicted metal things—lustrous yet flat, almost anti-representational—could dazzle, but perhaps also disorient: they grab the eye while creating a fertile tension between the representation of an object and the presentation of a precious stuff, between the pictorial and the material. A gold-leaf chalice signals its referent both iconically, via its shape, and indexically, via its metal material—a semiotic duality unavailable to the remainder of the painted miniature—and such images might accrue additional complexities when intended to represent known real-world objects.
This volume of essays will take inventory of how manuscript illuminators chose to depict precious metalwork and how these depictions generated meaning. The prominent application of metal leaf is one of the most distinguishing features of medieval manuscript illumination (only those books thus decorated technically merit the designation “illuminated”), and yet, despite its hallmark status, it has rarely served as a central subject of scholarly scrutiny and critique. In addressing both the use of metal leaf and the representation of precious-metal objects (via metallic and non-metallic media alike), Illuminating Metalwork seeks to remedy this lacuna. This volume will enhance traditionally fruitful approaches to medieval manuscript illumination, such as those analyzing text/image dynamics, pictorial mimesis, or public vs. private reception, by considering issues of materiality, preciousness, and presence. By focusing on the representation of precious metalwork, these studies will introduce new paths of inquiry beyond the depiction of actual objects and incorporate analyses of the use and simulation of metallic preciousness more broadly.
We invite essays that represent the full temporal and geographic scope of medieval manuscript painting—from Late Antiquity into the early modern era, from the Latin West to the Byzantine and Islamic East—in order to foster trans-historical and cross-cultural analysis. Possible themes include: chronological/geographical specificities in the representation of metalwork in manuscript illuminations; depictions of precious-metal figural sculpture, including idols; artistic technique and technical analysis (e.g. pigment vs. leaf, and the alloys used therein); the semiotics of metal on parchment; the phenomenology of the encounter; and whether we can speak of “portraits” of particular objects and/or visual “inventories” of specific collections.