Tag Archives: Otherness

Conference: Heritage Revisited. Rediscovering Objects from Islamic Lands in Enlightenment Europe, Kunsthistorisches Institut, University of Vienna, September 20–21, 2018

0For centuries, objects from Islamic lands were unquestioned parts of the material and visual culture of pre-modern Latinate Europe. A textile from Fatimid Egypt, for instance, the so-called “Veil of Sainte Anne”, was kept in the cathedral treasury of Apt and venerated as a Christian relic.

The workshop “Heritage Revisited. Rediscovering Objects from Islamic Lands in Enlightenment Europe” is dedicated to the long eighteenth century, a period in which, so we believe, an important shift in the perception of such objects took place. Islamic provenances were rediscovered, objects were studied, drawn and discussed. Finally, they were subjected to the classificatory scheme of European modernity, which leaves little space for conceptions of a historically entangled heritage.

Object case-studies shed light on the networks of scholars and institutions involved in the rediscoveries and will be framed in the discussions within broader discourses on (European) cultural heritage. Ultimately, we wish to offer new perspectives on the history of scholarship, notably Islamic art history, but also on perceptions of cultural belonging, of “Europeanness” and “Otherness”, which deeply resonate with current societal concerns.

Registration deadline: Sep 15, 2018. Register by emailing mattia.guidetti@univie.ac.uk

Thursday, 20th September 2018
Dom Museum Wien
Stephansplatz 6, 1010 Wien

Visit to the Dom Museum Wien
With Gregor Pirgie, Universität Wien; Pia Razenberger, Tabadul Project; Markus Ritter, Universität Wien.

Places for the visit are limited. Please register until 15th September 2018 – mattia.guidetti@univie.ac.uk

Universität Wien – Institut für Kunstgeschichte,
Universitätscampus Hof 9, Seminar Room 1
Garnisongasse 13, 1090 Wien

Welcome and Introduction
Isabelle Dolezalek, Technische Universität Berlin/SFB “Episteme in Bewegung” Freie Universität Berlin and Mattia Guidetti, Universität Wien.

Chair: Ebba Koch, Universität Wien

Elisabeth Rodini, Johns Hopkins University Baltimore: The Redaldi Inventory: a Prologue to Enlightenment Collecting

Federica Gigante, Ashmolean Museum Oxford: Objects of a “Certain Antiquity” and the Quest for their Cultural Context


“Rediscovering Objects from Islamic Lands”
Chair: Barbara Karl, Textilmuseum St. Gallen

Claire Dillon, Columbia University New York: The Many Dimensions of a Work of Art: the Mantle of Roger II as a Case Study in Imperial Representation, Origin Stories, and the Formation of Specific Others

Michelina di Cesare, Sapienza Università di Roma: Four Eleventh and Twelfth-century Islamic Tombstones Discovered in Pozzuoli in the Seventeenth Century
Coffee (20 min.)

Carine Juvin, Musée du Louvre Paris: The “Baptistère de Saint-Louis” through the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries: the Making of a “Historical Monument”

Anna Contadini, School of African and Oriental Studies London: Changing Perceptions of the Pisa Griffin and Other Objects


Friday, 21st September 2018
Universität Wien – Institut für Kunstgeschichte,
Universitätscampus Hof 9, Seminar Room 1
Garnisongasse 13, 1090 Wien

“Protagonists of the Rediscoveries”
Chair: Johannes Wieninger, MAK Österreichisches Museum für angewandte Kunst Wien

Mattia Guidetti, Universität Wien: Reading Ottoman Flags in the Marches Region, 1684-1838

Markus Ritter, Universität Wien: A Documentary Encounter with Medieval (Islamic) Art in Eighteenth-century Vienna

Tobias Mörike, Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg: Knowledge-brokers and Object-interpreters: Maronite Christians and the Redefinition of “Islamicate Objects” by the 1800s


Discussion Tables
Chair: Isabelle Dolezalek, TU / FU, Berlin

Table I (Seminar Room 1)
Isabelle Dolezalek, TU / FU, Berlin: On the Concept of Cultural Heritage: what is European and what is not?

Table II (Seminar Room 2)
Tobias Mörike, Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg: Art Market Networks and their Role in Constituting “Islamic Art” Objects

Table III (Seminar Room 3)
Barbara Karl, Textilmuseum St. Gallen: Object Biographies and Dynamics of Collecting

12:45-13:30 (Seminar Room 1)
Plenum discussion


“Classifiying, Framing, Exhibiting”
Chair: Markus Ritter, Universität Wien

Sabine Du Crest, Université de Bordeaux: Islamic Border Objects in Seventeenth-century Europe

Gül Kale, Mc Gill University Montreal: Image as Text. Fischer von Erlach’s Take on Guillaume Grelot’s Drawings of Islamic Monuments in the Eighteenth Century

Ebba Koch, Universität Wien: Mughal Miniatures at Habsburg Vienna

Final Discussion


Workshop conceived by Dr. Isabelle Dolezalek (Technische Universität Berlin, SFB “Episteme in Bewegung” Freie Universität Berlin) and Dr. Mattia Guidetti (Universität Wien)



A must-read open letter by the Fellowship of Medievalists of Colour about current issues, race and medieval studies:

New Book Series: Monsters, Prodigies, and Demons: Medieval and Early Modern Constructions of Alterity

This series is dedicated to the study of monstrosity and alterity in the medieval and early modern world, and to the investigation of cultural constructions of otherness, abnormality and difference from a wide range of perspectives. Submissions are welcome from scholars working within established disciplines, including—but not limited to—philosophy, critical theory, cultural history, history of science, history of art and architecture, literary studies, disability studies, and gender studies. Since much work in the field is necessarily pluridisciplinary in its methods and scope, the editors are particularly interested in proposals that cross disciplinary boundaries. The series publishes English-language, single-author volumes and collections of original essays. Topics might include hybridity and hermaphroditism; giants, dwarves, and wild-men; cannibalism and the New World; cultures of display and the carnivalesque; “monstrous” encounters in literature and travel; jurisprudence, law, and criminality; teratology and the “New Science”; the aesthetics of the grotesque; automata and self-moving machines; or witchcraft, demonology, and other occult themes.

Series Editors:

Kathleen Perry Long, Cornell University

Luke Morgan, Monash University

Advisory Board:

Elizabeth B. Bearden, University of Wisconsin Jeffrey Jerome Cohen, George Washington University Surekha Davies, Western Connecticut State University Richard H. Godden, Louisiana State University Maria Fabricius Hansen, University of Copenhagen Virginia A. Krause, Brown University Jennifer Spinks, University of Melbourne Debra Higgs Strickland, University of Glasgow Wes Williams, University of Oxford

 Publisher: MIP, The University Press at Kalamazoo 

For more information, visit: https://mip-archumanitiespress.org/series/mip/monsters-prodigies-and-demons/

CFP: BAA Sessions at the IMC, Leeds, July 3 rd -6 th 2017

logomaneyCall for Papers: BAA Sessions at the IMC, Leeds, July 3 rd -6 th 2017
Deadline: Friday 23 rd September

After a successful outing to the Leeds IMC this summer where the BAA hosted two sessions, the BAA welcomes proposals for further BAA organised sessions next year (July 3 rd -6 th 2017). The IMC’s research theme for 2017 is “Otherness” which I think could be interpreted very successfully by the BAA’s members and relate well to research incorporating material culture.
“Other” could refer to those who are deemed to be other in society (strangers, foreigners, monsters); objects that are unusual, or out of the norm, and could therefore be considered as ‘other’; case studies that do not conform to type; and even topics concerning what is culturally “other” (such as artistic, architectural, and literature styles).
Approaches to this topic could include how “other” is encountered and responded to, or how ‘other’ can be defined and identified.

Suggested topics from the IMC include:
• Peoples, kingdoms, languages, towns, villages, migrants, refugees, bishoprics, trades, guilds, or seigneurial systems
• Faiths and religions, religious groups (including deviation from the ‘true’ faith) and religious orders
• Different social classes, minorities, or marginal groups
• The spectrum from ‘Strange’ to ‘Familiar’
• Individuals or ‘strangers’ of any kind, newcomers as well as people exhibiting strange behaviour
• Otherness related to art, music, liturgical practices, or forms of worship
Full details of the IMC and their interpretation of ‘other’ and other topic suggestions can be found here:

It is hoped that the BAA can organise several sessions once again, with similar papers grouped together (either methodologically or by subject). Therefore if you do have any ideas about colleagues whose research would complement your own paper, please do include such comments along with your paper’s proposal.

How to Submit: Proposals should consist of a title, and short abstract (50-150 words). Please send paper proposals to hpmahood@gmail.com by Friday 23 rd September. If you have any questions, please do get in touch.

CFP: Special thematic strand: ‘Otherness,’ IMC Leeds 2017

imc_postcard_2017_front_1Call for Papers: Special thematic strand: ‘Otherness,’ International Medieval Congress, University of Leeds, 3–6 July 2017
Deadline for paper proposals: 31 August 2016.
Deadline for session proposals:
30 September 2016

The IMC provides an interdisciplinary forum for the discussion of all aspects of Medieval Studies. Paper and session proposals on any topic related to the Middle Ages are welcome.

However, every year, the IMC chooses a special thematic strand which – for 2017 – is ‘Otherness’. This focus has been chosen for its wide application across all centuries and regions and its impact on all disciplines devoted to this epoch.

‘Others’ can be found everywhere: outside one’s own community (from foreigners to non-human monsters) and inside it (for example, religious and social minorities, or individual newcomers in towns, villages, or at court).

One could encounter the ‘Others’ while travelling, in writing, reading and thinking about them, by assessing and judging them, by ‘feelings’ ranging from curiosity to contempt, and behaviour towards them which, in turn, can lead to integration or exclusion, friendship or hostility, and support or persecution.

The demarcation of the ‘Self’ from ‘Others’ applies to all areas of life, to concepts of thinking and mentalité as well as to social ‘reality’, social intercourse and transmission of knowledge and opinions. Forms and concepts of the ‘Other’, and attitudes towards ‘Others’, imply and reveal concepts of ‘Self’, self-awareness and identity, whether expressed explicitly or implicitly. There is no ‘Other’ without ‘Self’. A classification as ‘Others’ results from a comparison with oneself and one’s own identity groups.

Thus, attitudes towards ‘Others’ oscillate between admiring and detesting, and invite questioning into when the ‘Other’ becomes the ‘Strange’.

The aim of the IMC is to cover the entire spectrum of ‘Otherness’ through multi-disciplinary approaches, on a geographical, ethnic, political, social, legal, intellectual and even personal level, to analyse sources from all genres, areas, and regions.

Possible entities to research for ‘Otherness’ could include (but are not limited to):
•       Peoples, kingdoms, languages, towns, villages, migrants, refugees, bishoprics, trades, guilds, or seigneurial systems

  • Faiths and religions, religious groups (including deviation from the ‘true’ faith) and religious orders
    •       Different social classes, minorities, or marginal groups
    •       The spectrum from ‘Strange’ to ‘Familiar’.
    •       Individuals or ‘strangers’ of any kind, newcomers as well as people exhibiting strange behaviour
    •       Otherness related to art, musics, liturgical practices, or forms of worship
    •       Any further specific determinations of ‘alterity’

Methodologies and Approaches to ‘Otherness’ (not necessarily distinct, but overlapping) could include:
•       Definitions, concepts, and constructions of ‘Otherness’
•       Indicators of, criteria and reasons for demarcation
•       Relation(s) between ‘Otherness’ and concepts of ‘Self’
•       Communication, encounters, and social intercourse with ‘Others’ (in embassies, travels, writings, quarrels, conflicts, and persecution)

  • Knowledge, perception, and assessment of the ‘Others’
    •       Attitudes and behaviour towards ‘Others’
    •       Deviation from any ‘norms’ of life and thought (from the superficial to the fundamental)
    •       Gender and transgender perspectives
    •       Co-existence and segregation
    •       Methodological problems when inquiring into ‘Otherness’
    •       The Middle Ages as the ‘Other’ compared with contemporary times (‘Othering’ the Middle Ages).

    How to Submit: The IMC online proposal form is now available.
    Proposals should be submitted online at: www.leeds.ac.uk/ims/imc/imc2017_call.html
    The IMC welcomes session and paper proposals submitted in all major European languages.

Defining Otherness in Medieval Maps (Kalamazoo 2016)

OthernessMapsMedieval maps – from mappaemundi to elaborately decorated nautical charts – provide abundant and rich evidence for the ways in which European cartographers viewed, framed and represented other peoples. This panel seeks papers that bring new materials and new insights to this field of study. We hope for papers exploring depictions of otherness, including foreigners and monsters, on medieval maps that have not been examined from this point of view before, perhaps including depictions of Europeans on Islamic maps. We certainly welcome papers that challenge current views and / or that bring new critical or theoretical perspectives to bear on the medieval mapping of otherness.

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 focusing on your work in the history of cartography along with the conference Participant Information Form, to chet.van.duzer@gmail.com and LauraWhatley@gmail.com by September 18, 2015.

The Participant Information Form can be found on the Congress website: http://www.wmich.edu/medieval/congress/submissions/index.html