Tag Archives: ICMS

CFP: “In Search of the Desert: New Observations on the Late-Medieval Revival of the Eremitic Life,” ICMS 2019 (Deadline 15 October, 2018)

In Search of the Desert: New Observations on the Late-Medieval Revival of the Eremitic Life

54th International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, May 9 – 12, 2019
Deadline: Oct 15, 2018
Organizers: Denva Gallant (University of Delaware) and Amelia Hope-Jones (University of Edinburgh)

In the third and fourth centuries AD, the barren deserts of Egypt, Syria and Palestine P1000332witnessed the birth of Christian monastic life among saints who came to be known as the Desert Fathers. The heroic self-discipline and devoted ascetic endeavors of St Antony the Abbot, St Paul of Thebes and St Macarius, among others, became emblematic of an original and authentic form of the religious life. This eremitic tradition, transmitted to the west through hagiography and ascetic literature, exerted a profound influence over the formation of western monastic life in the fifth and sixth centuries, and continued to function as an ideological authority well into the late medieval period and beyond.

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Call for Papers: ‘Intersectional Medievalisms’, ICMS 2019 (Deadline: 15 September 2018)

acar-rashaad-newsome-0254th International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, May 9 – 12, 2019
Deadline: Sep 15, 2018

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 glamour 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 , 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

Call for Papers: ‘The Other Half of Heaven: Visualizing Female Sanctity in East and West (c. 1200-1500) I-II’, ICMS 2019 (Deadline: 1 September 2018)

untitled1An ICMA-sponsored session at the 54th ICMS (International Congress of Medieval Studies) Kalamazoo, 9-12 May 2019

Organizer: Ioanna Christoforaki, Academy of Athens

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.

Call for Papers: ‘Medieval Popular Culture in the Visual Arts’, ICMS 2019 (Deadline: 15 September 2018)

mummers2CFP: Medieval Popular Culture in the Visual Arts
International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo MI (May 9–12, 2019)

Organizers:
Julia Perratore, Fordham University
Shannon L. Wearing, UCLA Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies

Though most medieval imagery was destined for a purpose that modern viewers characterize as religious, many of its subjects seem to refer to a realm of experience that existed beyond the strictures of canonical Christian belief and practice – and particularly to the cultural experiences of non-elite makers and viewers. Such images might be interpreted as manifestations of medieval popular culture. From the literary and folkloric references enlivening church portals to the musicians and  painted in the margins of manuscripts, such imagery can be difficult to interpret, in part because textual sources may be lacking to explain its particulars. As a result, art historians tend to marginalize the “low” and “unofficial,” or declare its significance hopelessly indecipherable, though to do so is to deny an important aspect of medieval thought. And while recent art historical studies focused on medieval patronage have proven beneficial by helping to uncover the ideological motivations of artistic production, they have tended to overlook or obscure non-elite individuals and communities.

In response to these tendencies, we invite papers that examine the concept of medieval popular culture and its manifestations in the visual arts. We are especially interested in studies focusing on producers and consumers who existed outside the highest echelons of religious and secular society, while recognizing Mikhail Bakhtin’s assertion that popular culture transcended barriers of class, wealth, and education. The application of the term “popular culture” to the Middle Ages has been criticized by a number of scholars who have maintained that “popular” and “elite” aspects of medieval culture should not be viewed as monolithic entities. We nonetheless contend that “medieval popular culture” is a broadly useful term, a first step in better understanding the diverse folkloric and mundane aspects of medieval art that relate to ephemeral experiences that could be shared by laity and clergy, nobility and peasantry alike.

This session thus has two primary methodological goals: first, to explore how theories of popular culture developed largely for the study of modern cultural and literary history can be applied usefully to the art of the Middle Ages, and second, to determine to what extent it is possible to glean information about popular cultural practices from visual art. We welcome papers that explore and question the relationship between popular and canonical (or “low” and “high”) culture, and that between elite and non-elite communities, as well as studies that investigate popular cultural imagery as a means of accessing audiences who frequently fall through the cracks of medieval art history.

To propose a paper, send an abstract (max. 250 words) and a completed Participant Information Form (available via https://wmich.edu/medievalcongress/submissions) to both organizers by September 15, 2018: Julia Perratore, jperratore@fordham.edu; Shannon Wearing, slwearing@gmail.com.

Call for Papers: Encountering Medieval Iconography in the Twenty-First Century: Scholarship, Social Media, and Digital Methods: A Roundtable (Deadline 15 September 2018)

treadmillcrane54th International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, MI, May 9 – 12, 2019
Deadline: Sep 15, 2018

Encountering Medieval Iconography in the Twenty-First Century: Scholarship, Social Media, and Digital Methods: A Roundtable

Organizers: M. Alessia Rossi and Jessica Savage (Index of Medieval Art, Princeton University)
Sponsored by the Index of Medieval Art, Princeton University

Stemming from the launch of the new database and enhancements of search technology and social media at the Index of Medieval Art, this roundtable addresses the many ways we encounter medieval iconography in the twenty-first century. We invite proposals from emerging scholars and a variety of professionals who are teaching with, blogging about, and cataloguing medieval iconography. This discussion will touch on the different ways we consume and create information with our research, shed light on original approaches, and discover common goals.

Participants in this roundtable will give short introductions (5-7 minutes) on issues relevant to their area of specialization and participate in a discussion on how they use online resources, such as image databases, to incorporate the study of medieval iconography into their teaching, research, and public outreach. Possible questions include: What makes an online collection “teaching-friendly” and accessible for student discovery? How does social media, including Twitter, Facebook, and blogging, make medieval image collections more visible? How do these platforms broaden interest in iconography and connect users to works of art? What are the aims and impact of organizations such as, the Index, the Getty, the INHA, the Warburg, and ICONCLASS, who are working with large stores of medieval art and architecture information? How can we envisage a wider network and discussion of professional practice within this specialized area?

Please send a 250-word abstract outlining your contribution to this roundtable and a completed Participant Information Form (available via the Congress Submissions website: https://wmich.edu/medievalcongress/submissions) by September 15 to M. Alessia Rossi (marossi@princeton.edu) and Jessica Savage (jlsavage@princeton.edu). More information about the Congress can be found here: https://wmich.edu/medievalcongress.

CFP: Topics in the History of Nobility, Knighthood, and Heraldica: A Session in Honor of D’Arcy Jonathan Dacre Boulton, University of Notre Dame, Medieval Institute Sponsored Session at the 53rd International Congress on Medieval Studies, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, May 10-13, 2018

wernigeroder_wappenbuch_022vCall for Papers: “Topics in the History of Nobility, Knighthood, and Heraldica: A Session in Honor of D’Arcy Jonathan Dacre Boulton” University of Notre Dame, Medieval Institute Sponsored Session at the 53rd International Congress on Medieval Studies, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, May 10-13, 2018
Deadline: 15 September 2017

As many may be aware, Professor Jonathan Boulton recently retired from teaching at the University of Notre Dame.  In celebration of his achievements, and to honor his rich service to the community of students and scholars at the University of Notre Dame, the graduate students in the Medieval Institute are sponsoring a session of papers for next year’s ICMS in grateful recognition of Professor Boulton’s deep contributions to the study of heraldry and medieval knighthood as well as of his legacy and passion as a teacher in these fields.

The theme most appropriate to this occasion is “Topics in the History of Nobility, Knighthood, and Heraldica,” which encompasses both the early and later middle ages and allows for inquiry in a diversity of potential subjects, including the development of martial/courtly ethos, the visual and literary rhetoric of heraldry across multiple media, legal practices governing armigery and display of arms, the political and sociological dimensions of knightly orders, and the atavistic or nostalgic appropriation of heraldric symbols and discources in later centuries.

This broad and inclusive theme is especially fitting, given Professor Boulton’s lifetime dedication as a teacher and a scholar to illuminating the critical role played by evolving concepts of knighthood and nobility in a range of historical developments throughout the middle ages.

We welcome submissions from scholars in all disciplines and fields of inquiry.  Please send abstracts for the seession to Christopher Scheirer (cscheire@nd.edu)

CFP: The Virgin as Bridge: Cultural Exchange and Connection through Images of the Virgin Mary, ICMS, Kalamazoo, May 2017

CFP: The Virgin as Bridge: Cultural Exchange and Connection through Images of the Virgin Mary

International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, 11-14 May 2017

Organizers: Diliana Angelova (University of California, Berkeley) and
Amanda Luyster (College of the Holy Cross)

Across the medieval Mediterranean and beyond, people of many faiths and backgrounds sought the succor of the miraculous virgin and mother, Mary. Christians venerated Mary as the holiest figure of Christianity after Christ, the one thanks to whom the divine mystery of the Incarnation was fulfilled. The Koran also hailed her as chosen by Allah. Converts to Christianity from paganism or Islam were often said to be motivated by their great love of the Virgin. Byzantine churches were incomplete without her image in the holiest of holies, the apse of the sanctuary. In the West, the grandest Gothic cathedrals rose in her honor. Objects such as the thirteenth-century Freer canteen, as well as shared shrines, suggest that Marian images could be appreciated by audiences professing different faiths. Images of the Virgin acted as a shared touchpoint between people of many different backgrounds, socio-economic strata, and faiths.

This panel invites 15-20 minute papers that focus on the capacity of the Virgin to act as a bridge or cultural mediator: between regions, between genders, between political factions and cities, and between belief systems. Panel participants could focus on representations of the Virgin as well as references to religious practices associated with images of the Virgin. Icons, cult centers, personal objects such as jewelry, metalwork more broadly, manuscripts, monumental sculpture, wall-painting, architecture, as well as practices associated with all of these, might be considered.

The deadline for paper proposals is September 15, 2016.

Please send the abstract of your proposed paper (300 words maximum), CV with current contact information, and completed Participant Information Form, available at https://wmich.edu/medievalcongress/submissions to the organizers, Diliana Angelova and Amanda Luyster, at angelova@berkeley.edu and aluyster@holycross.edu

All abstracts not accepted for the session will be forwarded to Congress administrators for consideration in general sessions.