Tag Archives: Kalamazoo 2015

CFP: Imagery in Medieval Herbals (Kalamazoo 2015)

Call for Papers
Imagery in Medieval Herbals
International Congress on Medieval Studies,
Kalamazoo, 14-17 May 2015
Deadline: 15 September 2014

Medieval herbals have attracted interesting investigations in the last decades, but are a still scarcely analyzed topic. However, investigations focused on printed herbals produced at the end of the 15th century and onwards (The interesting herbals catalogue by Minta Collins, Medieval Herbals). The Illustrative Traditions should be understood as an excellent departing point for further examinations. Many and new efforts have been made for the digitization of herbals thus allowing a better understanding of the worldwide corpus of herbal imagery.

shamrock-egerton-747-wood-sorrel-001Herbal images must be perceived as symptoms of new visualizing methods of botanic knowledge, situated within a wider context of “scientific” preoccupations. “Natural science” may not be the right term to designate the domain of these activities, as research of the history of sciences has repeatedly pointed out over the last decades. The disciplines of natural sciences do crystallize from the 16th century onwards. However, the purpose of exchanging common data inside a scholar community of specialists as well as the effort of data systemizing become obvious as early as the 15th century. In the transitional period from medieval manuscripts to printed books herbals employ visualizing techniques used before in older herbal imagery: for instance choosing details in order to represent the whole plant, emphasizing the profile and frontal view, organizing the herb around a central axis. Simultaneously, concerns of depicting recognizable features and lifelikeness become increasingly manifest. Several methods are employed in order to ensure proximity to the actual plants: copying pictures supposed to represent the reality, dressing sketches in front of the plant, distancing oneself from plants of alchemistic or legendary traditions, including nature prints. These aspects raise questions concerning the capacity of artists: Was an artist really capable of “objectively” depicting a herb? Therefore it is a productive research method to compare herbals produced in the period after Antiquity and before the New Modern Period.

In later medieval times, naturalistic paintings in herbals as well as aesthetically motivated efforts stress the involvement of the herbals’ producers with nature studies and theories on realistic painting. Hence a mutual influence between the pictures inside herbals and plant pictures belonging to the artistic domain outside plant books is plausible. Situated at the threshold of nature studies, like the aquarelles produced in Dürer’s sphere of influence, and next to herbal imagery of the Italian Middle Ages, the plant pictures in herbals show diverse ways of encompassing reality, facts and art. Older herbal imagery is more closely linked to traditional schemes of representation. However not much is known on how these herbals have been used and if the employed imagery did help the readers in identifying the plants.

In addition, herbal imagery is part of the medical world of the Middle Ages, since herbals were intended to list the curative effects of the mentioned plants. The pictures must therefore be understood as being related to pharmacological and medical practices. Although the focus of the session is on the period of the later Middle Ages, it aims to bring together scholars specialized on diverse time periods and examining herbal imagery from perspectives of diverse disciplines.

Paper proposals are still accepted for the Special Session: “Imagery in Medieval Herbals“ at the 50th International Congress on Medieval Studies (May 14-17, 2015), The Medieval Institute, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo MI 49008-5432 USA.

Please send your one page proposal together with a completed Participant Information Form until September 15, 2014, to olariu@staff.uni-marburg.de

You may download the Participant Information Form on the Congress website: http://www.wmich.edu/medieval/congress/submissions/index.html#Paper

Dr. Dominic Olariu
Kunstgeschichtliches Institut
Philipps-Universität Marburg
Biegenstrasse 11
Marburg 35037

Phone: +49-6421-28-24323
Fax: +49-6421-28-24286

CFP: Pilgrimage, Exploration, and Travel (Kalamazoo 2015)

Call for Papers:
Pilgrimage, Exploration, and Travel
Session sponsored by Hortulus at the International Congress on Medieval Studies at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan, May 14-17, 2015
Deadline: 15 September 2015

Hortulus will sponsor a session on “Pilgrimage, Exploration, and Travel,” a theme selected by our readers, at the 50th International Congress on Medieval Studies at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan, May 14-17, 2015. Papers presented in our session may also be considered for our Fall 2015 issue on the same theme.


© The British Library

Scholarly interest in the topic of pilgrimage spans many geographies and disciplines. Additionally, recent scholarship has revealed the significant impact of pilgrimage and travel upon medieval people of a variety of religious, social, and regional backgrounds, not just the pilgrims themselves. We invite proposals that explore the topics of pilgrimage, exploration, and travel from multidisciplinary and comparative perspectives. Some potential topics for papers might include relics, badges, clothing, and associated material culture; perceptions of space, including landscape, geography, and architecture; the economics and politics of pilgrimage; pilgrimage narratives and other literary evidence; miracles and healing; readings of pilgrimage that consider monastic vs. lay approaches, social class, and gender; local and “national” identity; sacred journey in general (not just Christian) in the pre-modern world; liturgy and ritual of pilgrimage; and failed pilgrimages. 

Please send a 300-word abstract and a Participant Information Form (available here) to kalamazoo@hortulus-journal.com by September 15, 2014.

See also: http://hortulus-journal.com/2014/08/19/cfp/

CFP: Rethinking Medieval Maps I and II (Kalamazoo 2015)

Call for Papers
Rethinking Medieval Maps I and II
50th International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, 14-17 May 2015
Deadline: 15 September 2015

Rethinking Medieval Maps I: The Unmapped, Marginalized and Fictitious

medieval-map-770This panel is devoted to the cartography of spaces that are far—either geographically or conceptually—from the umbilicus terrae at Jerusalem and the seemingly well-known confines of Europe. Proposals are invited for papers that explore the less privileged aspects of medieval maps: the mapping of the unknown, negative space, and things omitted from maps; the inhabitants of the margins, monsters, and marginalized peoples; and the cartography of the fictitious or counterfactual. While we seek papers that engage closely with the details of the maps themselves, we welcome proposals that highlight new approaches to maps across time and space.

Papers are expected to be amply illustrated with high-quality images of the maps discussed.

Please send your title and abstract (250 words), together with a short CV, to chet.van.duzer@gmail.com and LauraWhatley@ferris.edu by September 15, 2014.

Rethinking Medieval Maps II: Evidence for the Use and Re-Use of Maps

P.D.A. Harvey has written that “Medieval Europe was a society that functioned largely without maps”—and we take this statement as a call for a closer look at how medieval Europeans engaged with maps when they did resort to them. What evidence do we have, either from maps themselves, their contexts, or from textual sources, about how medieval maps were used? What about cases in which maps were designed for one purpose, but employed for another? What do these uses and re-uses tell us about the place of maps in medieval society, and their connection with broader developments in visual or material culture?

Papers are expected to be amply illustrated with high-quality images of the maps discussed.

Please send your title and abstract (250 words), together with a short CV, to chet.van.duzer@gmail.com and LauraWhatley@ferris.edu by September 15, 2014.

CFP: Kalamazoo 2015: Slavery and the Slave Trade in Medieval Mediterranean Society

sealThe Malta Study Center of the Hill Monastic Library will be sponsoring a session entitled “Slavery and the Slave Trade in Medieval Mediterranean Society” at the The 50th International Congress on Medieval Studies to take place on May 14-17, 2015. This session will focus on the role slavery as an economic force linking disparate religious and ethnic communities across religions and kingdoms, where the role of unpaid, forced labor provided a common economic and cultural relationship between Muslim and Christian communities controlling the Mediterranean Sea. Please send 200 word abstract and C.V. by September 15 for a 20 minute paper to Daniel K. Gullo (dgullo@csbsju.edu).

Please feel free to contact the Malta Study Center if you have any questions.
Dr. Daniel K. Gullo
Joseph S. Micallef Curator
Malta Study Center
Hill Museum & Manuscript Library
2835 Abbey Plaza • PO Box 7300
Saint John’s University
Collegeville, MN 56321-7300 USA
Phone: 320-363-3993
Fax: 320-363-3222

CFP: Figurations of Male Beauty in Medieval Culture (Kalamazoo 2015)

Call for Papers:
Figurations of Male Beauty in Medieval Culture
Special session, 50th International Congress on Medieval Studies
Kalamazoo, 14-17May 2015
Deadline: 15 September 2015

philip_le_belDuring the central and later Middle Ages, there existed a complex set of typologies for understanding male beauty.  Although often problematized, physical beauty could be seen as a positive trait in men.  Thus, male saints could be described as physically beautifully, their outward appearance reflecting their inner sanctity.  Knights might be described as beautiful, either in their physical proportions or for their glittering, colorful armor and accoutrements.  Youthful male beauty was seen in still other ways.  Elsewhere, male beauty could be also be seen as being intertwined with pride and other sins.  Despite this provocative diversity of attitudes, little has been published on the ways in which medieval people understood the complex intersection of masculinity and beauty at this time.  This session hopes to offer a start toward remedying that gap.  A diversity of approaches and topics is hoped for.

Please send one-page proposals to Gerry Guest (gguest@jcu.edu)

CFP: Multidisciplinary Saint Bridget: In Honor of Syon Abbey’s 600th Anniversary (Kalamazoo 2015)

Call for Papers:
Multidisciplinary Saint Bridget: In Honor of Syon Abbey’s 600th Anniversary
Co-sponsored by the Syon Abbey Society and the Hagiography Society
50th International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, 14–17 May 2015
Deadline: 15 September 2014

St Bridget giving her rule to her order

Photo: The British Museum

This year, the Syon Abbey Society and the Hagiography Society are teaming up to offer a multidisciplinary panel devoted to Saint Birgitta of Sweden (c. 1303-1373), or Saint Bridget as she was known in England. Bridget became famous during her lifetime for her divine visions, her campaigns to bring the papacy back to Rome, her political activism, and her foundation of the Order of St. Saviour (or the Bridgettine Order as it is often called). The only British Bridgettine house, Syon Abbey, was founded in 1415 and flourished alongside the growing devotional cult surrounding Bridget and her texts in England. Syon Abbey is now recognized as one of the most vibrant literary and cultural monastic centers of late medieval England, and this panel will be one of several events in the US and UK to mark the sexcentenary of its foundation.

We invite abstracts for papers exploring any aspect of Saint Bridget and her cult in England or the Continent. Papers addressing connections to Syon’s sisters, brothers, texts, history, or influence are welcome but not required. We hope to form a panel that reflects a variety of disciplinary standpoints: e.g., music, liturgy, art, iconography, architecture, theology, textuality, manuscripts, textual transmission, early print, monasticism, gender issues, socio-politico-economic contexts.

Please email short abstracts to Laura Saetveit Miles, University of Bergen (laura.miles@gmail.com) by September 15.

CFP: Approaching Portraiture Across Medieval Art (Kalamazoo 2015)

Call for Papers:
Approaching Portraiture Across Medieval Art
Special Session at the 50th International Congress on Medieval Studies
Kalamazoo, 14–17 May 
Deadline: 15 September 2014

Organizer: Maeve Doyle, Bryn Mawr College, mkdoyle@brynmawr.edu

Royal 6 E. IX  f.10vFigural representations of specific, contemporary people served numerous purposes in medieval societies, from commemorative and memorial functions to assertions of political power or social status, markers of ownership and use, and enactments of piety. Portraits, furthermore, proliferate across media, in stained glass, manuscript, and sculpture both monumental and miniature. This variety of historical, religious, and material contexts inflects the function of medieval portraits and their reception. While portraiture had long been considered an essentially modern genre, recent scholarship has worked to establish terms for considering portrait forms within the social, artistic,and theological contexts of the Middle Ages. In his book on royal representations in late medieval France, Stephen Perkinson situated the rise of veristic portraiture within the social and artistic concerns of the Valois court. Scholars such as Brigitte Bedos-Rezak and Alexa Sand, on the other hand, have approached the question of portraiture through medium-specific studies of personal seals and illuminated manuscripts, respectively. These studies emphasize the extent to which the creation and reception of a portrait depends upon its specific historical and material contexts. This panel seeks to explore the degree to which such focused studies can inform one another. In order to further investigation into medieval portraiture (or portraitures), this panel seeks to spotlight studies of portraiture across contexts and across media and to place them into dialog. This panel invites proposals for papers treating portraiture, loosely defined, from across medieval cultures and in any area of representation. To propose a paper for this panel, please send an abstract of no more than 300 words and the completed Participant Information Form (available online at http://www.wmich.edu/medieval/congress/submissions/#PIF ) to Maeve Doyle (mkdoyle@brynmawr.edu ) by Monday, September 15, 2014.