Tag Archives: medieval

Enroll: MOOC Burgos: Deciphering Secrets of Medieval Spain

ds-3-intro-paleography-logoRoger Martinez is pleased to announce the launch of a new Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) that specifically focuses on medieval Spanish paleography training. The course is called Burgos: Deciphering Secrets of Medieval Spain and it will be offered on a monthly basis on coursera.org at https://www.coursera.org/learn/burgos-deciphering-secrets-medieval-spain. The next class begins on 9 April 2018. This six-week course is intensive — it requires, on average, 10-12 hours of your time per week.

This is the first of three new MOOCs that offer intensive paleography training. Three additional MOOCs pertaining to the medieval/early modern history of Toledo, Plasencia, and Granada, will be launched over the next 3 to 9 months. These courses are in addition to an introductory course on medieval Spain titled, Coexistence in Medieval Spain: Jews, Christians, and Muslims, and another titled, Deciphering Secrets: The Illuminated Manuscripts of Medieval Europe. Continue reading

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Call for Papers: “Das Mittelalter”, Themenheft: Theorien und Praktiken des Gebets im Mittelalter (Deadline 30/04/2018)

yolandeThemenheft der Zeitschrift “Das Mittelalter. Perspektiven mediävistischer Forschung”:
“Theorien und Praktiken des Gebets im Mittelalter”

Das Gebet ist in nahezu allen sozialen Bereichen, Diskursen und medialen Formationen des Mittelalters präsent. Es organisiert einen wesentlichen Bereich der gesellschaftlichen Kommunikation als Kommunikation mit der jenseitigen Welt, überbrückt die Grenze von Diesseits und Jenseits, trägt zur Medialisierung von Heil und Gnade bei und besetzt eine ebenso zentrale wie voraussetzungsreiche Position innerhalb der religiösen Wirklichkeits- und Ordnungskonstruktionen der Zeit. Die Reichweite des Gebets ergibt sich nicht zuletzt daraus, dass es sich in unterschiedlichste Räume und Praktiken integrieren sowie mit vielfältigen materiellen Medien und Medienverbünden koppeln lässt.

Die historische Bedeutung des Gebets steht dabei in einem auffälligen Missverhältnis zu der geringen Aufmerksamkeit, die es innerhalb der mediävistischen Forschung erhält. Hier setzt das geplante Themenheft an: Es profiliert das Gebet als einen Gegenstand, dessen kulturgeschichtliche Relevanz erst noch zu erschließen ist. Gerade seine Ubiquität in der mittelalterlichen Gesellschaft spricht für ein gewinnbringendes und nur interdisziplinär durchführbares Forschungsprogramm. Ausgehend von theologischen, historischen, medien-, literatur- wie sprachwissenschaftlichen, musikwissenschaftlichen und kunstgeschichtlichen Fallstudien formuliert das geplante Heft Grundfragen und Desiderate einer interdisziplinären Gebetsforschung.

Um fächerübergreifend weiterführende Ansätze zu entwickeln, soll das Gebet im Spannungsfeld historischer Theorien und Praktiken verortet werden. Folgende Leitfragen dienen zur Orientierung:

– Wo liegen Schnittstellen von theologischen Theorien des Betens und gebetspraktischen Medien und Artefakten (z.B. Texten, Bildern, Musik, Gebetsketten) und wo liegen methodische Probleme und Grenzen der Übertragbarkeit?

– Wie unterscheidet sich das öffentlich-liturgische Gebet von der individuellen „Zwiesprache“ mit Gott? In welchen Konkurrenz- oder Komplementärverhältnissen stehen liturgische und private Gebetspraktiken und wie werden diese Verhältnisse theoretisch formuliert?

– Inwiefern reflektieren Gebetsmedien die kommunikativen Bedingungen der Gebetspraxis?

– Welchen Spannungen ist die Gebetspraxis im Kontext institutioneller Formen der Heilsvermittlung ausgesetzt (z. B. Buß- und Ablasswesen)?

– Auf welche Orte und räumlich-architektonischen Kontexte sind das Gebet und die Gebetspraxis bezogen?

– Welche historischen Semantiken, Typologisierungsansätze und begriffliche Abgrenzungsprobleme – z. B. von oratio und meditatio – sind in lateinischen und volkssprachlichen Gebetsdiskursen verbreitet?

– Wie verhalten sich die rhetorischen Strukturen mittelalterlicher Gebetstexte zu allgemeinen Theorien der Rhetorik und zu Rhetoriken des Gebets (z.B. Wilhelms von Auvergne Rhetorica divina)?

– In welchen intermedialen und transgenerischen Kontexten spielen Gebete eine Rolle?

– Welche historischen Beschreibungsmodelle für Stimme und Klang des Betens lassen sich rekonstruieren, und wie verhält sich psalmodierend oder in liedhafter Form praktiziertes Beten zum gesprochenen Gebet? Welche Aspekte ergeben sich bei mehrstimmig vorgetragenen Texten?

– Welche Appellstrukturen sind in Gebetsmedien angelegt, und wie lässt sich das Verhältnis von Gebetsmedium und Gebetsvollzug präzise beschreiben?

Das geplante Heft trägt dazu bei, den bislang vorwiegend einzeldisziplinär angelegten Zugriff auf das Gebet zu überwinden. Es soll die fächerübergreifenden Diskussionen um die Medialität des Heils im Mittelalter weiterentwickeln und genutzt werden, um geläufige Paradigmen zur spätmittelalterlichen Religiosität (z. B. Quantifizierung des Betens und ‚Gezählte Frömmigkeit‘) neu zu evaluieren. Während sich die historischen Forschungen innerhalb der verschiedenen Disziplinen dem Gebet bisher fast ausschließlich über das spezifische Überlieferungsmedium des Gebetbuchs genähert haben, wird das Heft in übergreifender Absicht Theorie und Praxis des Gebets in den Blick nehmen und neue synchron und diachron angelegte Forschungsperspektiven eröffnen, die auch Anschlussmöglichkeiten für kulturübergreifende Vergleiche herstellen sollen. Interreligiöse Perspektiven und Fallstudien aus dem Bereich der Judaistik, Byzantinistik, Islamwissenschaft und Islamischen Theologie sind besonders erwünscht.

Abstracts im Umfang von max. 4000 Zeichen (inkl. Leerzeichen) werden bis zum 30.4.2018 erbeten. Bitte senden Sie Ihre Vorschläge an Mirko Breitenstein: breitenstein@saw-leipzig.de und Christian Schmidt: christian.schmidt1@uni-goettingen.de.

Vacancy at The Courtauld: Lecturer/Senior Lecturer in Art History c.300-1450. Deadline 20 April 2018

COURTAULD INSTITUTE OF ART

Lecturer/Senior Lecturer in Art History c.300-1450

Courtauld-exterior

The Courtauld Institute of Art is the UK’s leading institution for teaching and research in Art History and the conservation of paintings; it is also home to one of the finest small art museums in the world. The Art History department has an outstanding research and teaching record from Late Antiquity to the Contemporary with an increasingly global outlook, and embraces its diversity of theoretical approaches and methodologies.

The Courtauld wishes to appoint a full-time Lecturer/Senior Lecturer in Art History, to begin on 1 September 2018. The successful candidate will complement the existing teaching strengths of the Department and will have a research focus in any region or period from c.300-1450. We seek an art historian who situates their research in a wider, international context, and who can work across traditional geographic, linguistic and chronological boundaries. An ideal candidate would be able to teach across at least one other field in a way directed by concepts of exchange and interaction, and to build bridges with other areas of art historical investigation. The candidate is expected to be able to situate their work in the theoretical and historiographical debates in their specialised research area and also engage with current issues in global Art History.

The appointee will research and publish to the highest quality and will actively pursue and apply for appropriate research grants; will provide inspiring teaching at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels; and will play an active role in the life and administration of The Courtauld.

PAY:       Grade 6 (£36,644 to £41,958) or

Grade 7 (£43,117 to £49,461), depending on experience

DEADLINE FOR APPLICATIONS:    20 April 2018 23:59 GMT

INTERVIEW DATE:    15 May 2018

Call for Papers: Moving Violence: Transgressing the Boundaries of Experience in Medieval Imagery, Tel Aviv University, 11-13/12/2018 (Deadline 18/06/2018)

irish-axe-menViolence imagery in medieval art reveals a parade of brutal acts: various stages of decapitation, splitting skulls, amputating limbs, enucleating eyes, yanking teeth, cutting off breasts, and other repugnant horrors. Often stripped of direct devotional context and thus presented as violence inflicted upon the imagined bodies of the depicted saints, these portrayals also attacked the body and mind of the viewers, accumulating into a physically and emotionally moving violence: the images incorporate time, space, and motion through movement in the staging of the scenes, which, in turn, stimulated both emotional and bodily reactions in the viewers. It also encouraged the audience to move with and around the images. Suggesting an imaginative somatic experience to the beholders, these images negotiate discourses on the nature of violence, bodily integrity, and the self, and transgress the boundaries between object and subject, representation and viewers, past and present, imagination and historicism.

This conference seeks to explore the complex of rhetoric and response forms to violence imagery, whether in devotional, liturgical, or secular contexts: namely, in the juridical, moral, and ethical discourses. It also seeks to explore how the changing definition of the term violence, whether in textual or visual sources, constitutes the watershed of a given culture, civilization, and their notion of individuality.

We invite papers on any medieval discipline or region that engages with issues of: Continue reading

Call for Papers: University of Kent Medieval and Early Modern Studies Summer Festival 15-16/06/2018, Deadline 23/03/2018

2006AH5332_london_panorama

Now in its fourth year, MEMS Summer Festival is a two-day celebration of the Medieval and Early Modern periods, including the study of religion, politics, history, art, drama, literature, and domestic culture from c. 400 – 1800. The festival, hosted at the University of Kent, is designed to bring together scholars from a range of disciplines, academic schools, and institutions. MEMS Fest aims to be an informal space in which postgraduate students, early career researchers, and academics can share ideas and foster conversations, while building a greater sense of community. Undergraduate students in their final year of study are also welcome to participate in the conference.

Continue reading

Lecture Emmanuele Lugli “Chasing Absence: The Body of Christ and the Measures to Enter in Touch with it” 17:00 13/02/2018 Birkbeck

Mensura Christi Talk
This talk focuses on the singular devotion for the ‘mensura Christi,’ or the act of praying with objects that reproduced the height of Christ. It explores the reasons for its phenomenal success, from its diffusion in the twelfth century up to its ban in the seventeenth, and the motives for its marginalization in historical accounts today. The talk asks questions about what turns an orthodox veneration into a mere superstition, an inversion that is all the more puzzling given that the ‘mensura Christi’ relies on measuring, one of the methods to fight credulity. The lecture thus reconsiders the relationships of measuring practices, visual belief, and religious orders, thus contributing to discussions on representations, faith, and material studies.
 
All this term’s seminars take place in the History of Art Department at Birkbeck (43, Gordon Sq., London WC1H 0PD) in Room 114 (The Keynes Library) at 5pm.  Talks finish by 5.50pm (allowing those with other commitments to leave) and are then followed by discussion and refreshments.  We hope to see you there.

British Museum Handling Session: The Trinity

GodwinOn Wednesday 24 January 2018 Lloyd de Beer and Naomi Speakman once again welcomed a group of staff and students from The Courtauld and elsewhere, as well as Sophie Kelly, PhD student from the University of Kent. The focus of our session was objects in the British Museum collection with links to the Trinity.

We looked at eleven objects with Trinitarian iconography, the earliest of which was the walrus ivory seal die of Godwin the Thane, dating from the early eleventh century. Beautifully carved with iconography inspired by Psalm 109 (110), ‘The Lord said unto my Lord: Sit thou at my right hand and I will make thine enemies thy footstool’. The decoration on the handle consists of God the Father and Son in relief, enthroned over a prostrate human figure. We were very interested to investigate the evidence of damage above the two figures which, we agreed, was likely to have once included a symbol of the Holy Ghost in the form of a dove.

The Trinity also features on a fourteenth-century circular bronze seal-matrix (with wax impression) with a loop at top. Here the Trinity is depicted as three near-identical figures with an inscription ‘SCA TRINITAS.VHVS.DEVS’. The third seal which we saw was the fifteenth-century circular bronze seal-matrix (with wax impression) of the Friars of the Holy Trinity, Hounslow. Under a Gothic canopy with side-tabernacles the Trinity is depicted in a manner which allowed us to discuss different ways of representing the Trinity in the Middle Ages. Here, the iconography known as the Throne of Grace (Gnadenstuhl), is used. In these depictions of the Trinity, God the Father is seated and holds the cross upon which Jesus Christ is crucified in front of his lap, with the dove of the Holy Spirit alongside. This iconography became popular from the thirteenth century and is seen across a wide range of artistic media, including manuscripts, stained glass and stone carving. The Trinity depicted as the Throne of Grace also appeared on a late Medieval gold finger ring. With the help of a magnifying glass we were able to appreciate the detailed depiction of the Trinity on the oval bezel of the ring, which included the dove which is shown between Christ’s right arm and God the Father.

 

Black Prince badgeWe discussed Plantagenet devotion to the Trinity evidenced through the lead Badge of the Black Prince of c.1376 which shows the Black Prince kneeling before Trinity (although the dove is missing). The Black Prince wears a tabard with Arms of England and has thrown down his gauntlet before him; above him is an angel in clouds holding his shield. We also looked at two Anglo-Saxon ivory plaques depicting the Crucifixion. Above the head of Christ, the Hand of God is depicted, thereby alerting us to the presence of two persons of the Trinity. This led to discussion related to how we might understand images where one of the member of the Trinity is ‘missing’; can the presence of the other person be implied?

 

An object which we all found challenging was a wood-carved relief representing the Trinity (also in the Throne of Mercy composition) dated 1450-1500 and including depictions of the Annunciation, St Francis of Assisi, St Bernardino and St Sebastian. The largest object encountered was a late Medieval alabaster Coronation of the Virgin which still shows traces of painting and gilding. Here the Virgin is surrounded by the persons of the Trinity represented as three crowned figures.

close looking

In preparation for the handling session we read the following texts and discussed them at a reading group the night before:

 

Bernard McGinn, ‘Theologians as Trinitarian Iconographers’, In: Jeffrey Hamburger and Anne-Marie Bouché The Mind’s Eye. Art and Theological Argument in the Middle Ages, Princeton, 2006, 186-207

André Grabar, ‘Dogmas Expressed in a Single Image’, In: Christian Iconography. A Study of its Origins, London, 1969, 112-127

Jacobus De Voragine, ‘The Holy Spirit’, In: The Golden Legend, Princeton, 1993, 299-306

We looked at the definition of the Trinity in The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (Oxford, 1997), and were interested to explore the tension between theology and iconography. In particular, how can dogma such as the Trinity be represented? Grabar and McGinn have contrasting views on what constitutes ‘successful’ iconography; McGinn sees artistic experimentation and lack of iconographic stability as positives, whereas Grabar suggests that the fact an image appears in limited or isolated circumstances makes it a failure. To aid our discussions, we looked at some manuscript images of the Trinity. These included: British Library, MS Cotton Tiberius C vi (Tiberius Psalter); British Library, MS Cotton Titus D. xxvii (Ælfwine’s Prayerbook); British Library, MS Add. 34890 (Grimbald Gospels); British Library MS Cotton B IV (Aelfric’s Hexateuch); British Library, MS Harley 603 (Harley Psalter); MS Lansdowne 383 (the Shaftesbury Psalter); Winchester Bible, Winchester Cathedral; and St John’s College, Cambridge, MS K 26 (St John’s Psalter). We discussed the experimental nature of Trinitarian iconography and how this might help us understand the chancel wall painting of the Throne of Grace at the Church of St Mary, Houghton-on-the-Hill, Norfolk which is unique, and the earliest known appearance of this motif.