Tag Archives: Postgraduate Symposium

CFP: ‘Same Old Things? Re-Telling the Italian Renaissance’, London, 3 May 19


Marcello Maloberti, Trionfo dell’Aurora (2018), courtesy of the artist and Galleria Raffaella Cortese, Milan

Courtauld Institute of Art London, May 3, 2019

Deadline: Jan 28, 2019

Same Old Things? Re-Telling the Italian Renaissance

Even today, the history of art is largely dominated by narratives that are for the most part style-based. They tell a story that is teleological, ever-progressive, and structured around influential artistic centres. Within this framework, the role of individual objects shifts depending on how they fit into the broader narrative that they articulate visually. By focusing on the objects and their potential to fashion and dictate stories, a different narrative is likely to emerge.

This conference seeks to identify individual objects, or small sets of objects, which have the potential to destabilise canonical art-historical narratives of Italian art. We are not looking for an alternative Renaissance – instead, we want to ask whether a different story can be told for the same, old things. In the last few decades, art historians have reevaluated  the position of understudied works of works in an increasingly de-centred, non-linear history of art. Certain interpretative frameworks, such as queer or feminist approaches, that laudably seek to interrupt conventional readings of objects, have had modest consequences for their placement within a historical narrative, often because they seek to disrupt that narrative in the first place. Sometimes objects themselves show the insufficiency of traditional critical tools to do them justice. But seldom have newly-developed critical tools been used to renegotiate the historical framing of those objects that have long stood at the core of the Western canon.

Having long questioned the exceptionality granted Italian Renaissance art by the founding fathers of art history, academia has not yet modified radically the way we tell the story of the cornerstones of any Western museum. As a consequence, academic discourse has grown increasingly distant from museum spaces. On the whole, museums have not rejected the comforting principles of order inherent in traditional narratives, of which they are sometimes the unyielding outposts. Arguably, they also struggle to balance object-based displays with the disruption of narrative frameworks typical of recent academic discourse. As a result, celebratory, unwavering views of the Italian Renaissance have proved remarkably resilient among the general public.

Applicants are encouraged to shrug off the burden of prescribed narrative schemes; to use fresh critical tools to unravel celebrated artworks from the patchwork of narratives that stitch them together, at the same time as weaving them into new stories — stories that might be open-ended, interrogative, undetermined, and far distant from those previously told. Papers should be object-based, but not object-focused, in that their interpretation should not be confined to the inward-looking understanding of the object per se, but rather should look outwards towards their (potentially large) role in new narratives. The objects themselves should date to between the thirteenth to the early seventeenth century; they may be Italian or not, canonical or lesser-known.

Papers are sought from doctoral candidates, early career scholars and researchers. Preference will be given to candidates presenting unpublished material. Proposals of no more than 350 words should be submitted, together with a short C.V. to giulio.dalvit@courtauld.ac.uk and adriana.concin@courtauld.ac.uk by 5pm on Monday 28 January 2019. Papers should not exceed 20 minutes in length. We hope to be able to provide subsidy for travel and accommodation. We particularly encourage candidates from the U.K. and Europe. Successful candidates will be notified by mid-February.

CFP: ‘Scaling the Middle Ages: Size and Scale in Medieval Art’, Courtauld Institute of Art’s 24th Annual Medieval Postgraduate Colloquium, London, Friday 8 February 2019

image-1024x745The Courtauld Institute of Art’s 24th Annual Medieval Postgraduate Colloquium invites speakers to consider issues and opportunities encountered by medieval artists and viewers in relation to size and scale.

Deadline: 16 November 2018

From micro-architectural reliquaries and minute boxwood prayer beads to colossal sculpture and the built spaces of grand cathedrals and civic structures, size mattered in medieval art. Examples of simple one-upmanship between the castles and palaces of lords and kings and the churches and cathedrals of abbots and bishops are numerous. How big to make it was a principal concern for both patrons and makers of medieval art. Scale could be manipulated to dramatic effect in the manufacture of manuscripts and the relative disposition of elements within their decorative programmes. Divine proportions – of the Temple of Solomon or the Church of the Holy Sepulchre – were evoked in the specific measurements and configuration of contemporary buildings and decisions were made based on concern with numbers and number sequences.

Inspired by the ‘Russian doll’ relationship between the Sainte Chapelle in Paris and its micro-architectural miniature in the form of a gilded reliquary in the Musée de Cluny, Scaling the Middle Ages seeks to explore a range of questions surrounding proportion, scale, size, and measurement in relation to medieval art and architecture. The Sainte Chapelle, built by the saint-king of France Louis IX to house the relics of Christ’s Passion, is itself often described as an over-sized reliquary turned inside-out. The Cluny reliquary – made to house relics of Saints Maxien, Lucien, and Julien held within the chapel – both complicates and compliments that comparison, at once shrinking the chapel back down to size through close architectural quotation of its form in miniature and pointing the viewer’s attention back to that same, larger space. The relationship between these two artefacts raises a host of questions, including:

Scale and making

How were ideas about size and scale communicated between patrons, architects, craftspeople, and artists? In an age without universal standardised units of measurement, how did craftsmen negotiate problems of scale and proportion?

How were the measurements of a medieval building determined? What techniques did architects, masons, and artists use to determine the scale of their work?

Scale and meaning

What effects were achieved and what responses evoked by the manipulation of scale, from the minute to the massive, in medieval art?

What was the role of proportion and scale in architectural ‘copies’ or quotations?

What representational problems were encountered by artists approaching out-sized subjects, such as giants?

How was scale manipulated in order to communicate hierarchy or relative importance in medieval art?

How did size and scale function in competition between patrons or communities in their artistic commissions and built environments?

Problems of scale

What, if anything, happened when something was the wrong size? When was something too big, or too small? And how were such problems solved by patrons and makers?

How does the disembodied viewing of medieval art through digital surrogates distort or assist in our perception of scale?

How can modern measuring techniques and digital technology enhance our understanding of medieval objects and buildings?

Applicants to the colloquium are encouraged to explore these and related issues from a diverse range of methodologies, analysing buildings and objects from across the Middle Ages (broadly understood in geographical and chronological terms). The Medieval Postgraduate Colloquium offers an opportunity for research students at all levels from universities across the UK and abroad to present, discuss and promote their research.

To apply, please send a proposal of up to 250 words for a 20-minute paper, together with a CV, to teresa.lane@courtauld.ac.uk and oliver.mitchell@courtauld.ac.uk no later than 16 November 2018.

Organised by Oliver Mitchell and Teresa Lane (The Courtauld Institute of Art)

23rd Annual Medieval Postgraduate Student Colloquium: Collecting (in) the Middle Ages, The Courtauld Institute of Art, 16 February 2018

23rd Annual Medieval Postgraduate Student Colloquium: Collecting (in) the Middle Ages, The Courtauld Institute of Art, 16 February 2018

Free, booking required

The Courtauld Institute of Art’s 23rd Annual Medieval Postgraduate Colloquium invites speakers to consider the nature of medieval collections, the context of their creation and fruition, and their legacy – or disappearance – in the present.

Existing approaches to the subject help to understand the formation, dispersal, and reassembly of groupings of objects. However, broadening the scope of what a medieval collection is can open new paths of exploration. From immense palace networks to single-volume manuscripts, a wide range of objects can pose complex and exciting questions regarding how physical and conceptual similarity and proximity shaped making and meaning in the Middle Ages.

The Medieval Postgraduate Colloquium offers the opportunity for research students at all levels from universities across the UK and abroad to present and promote their research.

Organised by Costanza Beltrami (The Courtauld Institute of Art / The Auckland Project) and Maggie Crosland (The Courtauld Institute of Art) with the generous support of The Sackler Research Forum.


09.30 – 10.00:  Registration

10.00 – 10.10:  Welcome

Session 1: Assembled Objects — chaired by Teresa Lane

10.10 – 10.30: Gesner Las Casas Brito Filho (University of Leeds): Níðwundor’, terrible wonder: The Beowulf Manuscript as a compilation about the ‘East’ (Nowell Codex part in British Library Cotton Vitellius A.xv)

10.50 – 11.10: Krisztina Ilko (University of Cambridge): Collecting Miracles: Visualising the Early Saints’ Cult of the Augustinian Friars

11.10 – 11.30: Elizabeth Mattison (University of Toronto/ KIK-IRPA): The Collection as History: Collecting with and on the Reliquary Bust of Saint Lambert in Liège

11.10 – 11.30: Discussion

11:30 – 12:00: TEA / COFFEE BREAK – Seminar Rooms 1 & 2

Session 2: Strategies of Collecting — chaired by Charlotte Wytema 

12.00 – 12.20: Noah Smith (University of Kent): The Courtrai Chest: A Matter of Personal Collection

12.20 – 12.40: Oliver Mitchell (The Courtauld Institute of Art): Collecting relics, curating an image: regicide, martyrdom, and the sacrificial kingship of Louis IX in the Sainte Chapelle

12.40 – 13.00: Maria Lopez-Monis (The Courtauld Institute of Art): Collecting the profane: Conversion of earthly objects into reliquaries

13.00 – 13.20: Discussion

13.20 – 14.30: LUNCH (provided for speakers only in Seminar Room 1)

Session 3: Collaborating across media — chaired by Nicholas Flory

14.30 – 14.50: Maria Harvey (University of Cambridge): Across time and space: Byzantin(ising) objects in the hands of the Del Balzo Orsini

14.50 – 15.10: Sophia Ong (Rutgers University/INHA): Autres petiz Joyaulx et Reliquiaires pendans: Pendants and the Collecting of Jewelry in the Valois Courts

15.10 – 15.30: Adriana Concin (The Courtauld Institute of Art): Collecting medieval likenesses: Archduke Ferdinand II and his Genealogy of Tyrolian Landesfürsten

15.30 – 15.50: Discussion

15.50 – 16.20: TEA / COFFEE BREAK – Seminar Rooms 1 & 2

Session 4: Spaces of Display — chaired by Harry Prance

16.20 – 16.40: Lesley Milner (The Courtauld Institute of Art): From Medieval treasure room to Renaissance wunderkammer: Sir William Sharrington’s strong room at Lacock Abbey

16.40 – 17.00: Sarah Randeraad (University of Amsterdam): Medii Aevii, Medio Evo, Tempi di Mezzo: ‘Amorphous’ Middle Ages in 19th century Florentine private and public display

17.00 – 17.30: Discussion

17.30 – 17.45: Closing remarks: Joanna Cannon (The Courtauld Institute of Art)

17.45: RECEPTION (Front Hall)

With special thanks to Michael Carter for his contribution and support for the colloquium.

The Courtauld Institute of Art Third Year PhD Symposium: Showcasing New Research 2016

The Coupg-symp-2016-imagertauld Institute of Art Third Year PhD Symposium: Showcasing New
The Courtauld Institute of Art, London
March 10-11, 2016

The Symposium is a platform for third year PhD students to present their
research and to initiate critical discussion about their materials,
media and approaches with a broad scholarly audience. The papers tabled
cover artefacts and images as diverse as medieval bronze tombs and
messages encrypted in digital images, and they deploy methodologies
that are attentive to questions of authorship, materiality,
performance, reception and interpretation. The Postgraduate Symposium
aims to debate and diesseminate the new research of its research
students and to promote intellectual exchange at all levels of the
degree programmes.

Organised by Professor Katie Scott and Dr Jocelyn Anderson
Open to all, free admission

Thursday 10 March (DAY 1)

11.30 – 11.45 Welcome and Introductory Remarks

11.45 – 13.10 SESSION 1: Reconstruction and Restoration (Chair:
Jonathan Vernon)

Maeve O’Donnell, The Case of the Missing Stairs: Fernando III’s royal chapel in Seville’s cathedral-mosque

Chiara Pasian, Performance of grouts with reduced water content

Matilde Grimaldi, Recreating the lost Romanesque cathedral of Tortosa
(Spain): 1148-1703

13.10 – 14.00    BREAK FOR LUNCH (not provided)

14.00 – 14.55 SESSION 2: Artists’ Circles (Chair: Catherine Howe)

Will Atkin, The Alchemical Legend of the Surrealist Object, c.1929-1934

Judith Lee, The Chemical Characterisation of Water Sensitive Oil Paint

14.55 – 15.50    SESSION 3: Painting Places (Chair: Thomas Hughes)

Samuel Raybone, Gustave Caillebotte’s Philatelic Impressionism:
Collecting Stamps and Painting Paris, c. 1876-1877

Camilla Pietrabissa, Painting for painters: the landscapes of
Jean-Baptiste Forest (1636-1712) and artists’ collections in Paris

15.50 – 16.10 TEA/COFFEE BREAK (provided in the Lecture Theatre)

16.10 – 17.15 SESSION 4: Artists’ Travels (Chair: Albert Godycki)

Austeja Mackelaite, The Ancient Object in the Drawn Oeuvre of Hendrick
Goltzius (1558-1617)

Bryony Bartlett-Rawlings, ‘Giving Voice to Sculpture: Nicoletto da
Modena’s Apollo and Mercury’

Friday 11 March (DAY 2)

12.30 – 13.25 SESSION 5: Places of Commemoration (Chair: Imogen Tedbury)

Ann Adams, Materiality and Allegiances: Four Copper-Alloy Tombs of
Knights of the Golden Fleece

Emma Capron, New Evidence on Simone Martini’s Work & Network in Avignon

13.25 – 14.20 SESSION 6: Spaces of Performance (Chair: Julia Secklehner)

Lydia Hansell, Witnessing the Nativity: Commemoration of a Cardinal

Sarah Hegenbart, Via Intolleranza II: Can Luigi Nono’s notion of azione
scenica safeguard Christoph Schlingensief’s Opera Village Africa
against postcolonialist attack?

14.20 – 14.50 TEA/COFFEE BREAK (provided in the Lecture Theatre)

14.50 – 15.45 SESSION 7: Art Spaces and the State (Chair: Massoumeh

Jenna Lundin Aral, Information as Spectacle: Exhibitions by the MoI

Jessie Robertson, Don’t Feed the Network: Encrypted Aesthetics in the
Post-Snowden Age

15.45 – 16.05 Comfort break

16.05 – 17.00 SESSION 8: Negotiating Spaces (Chair: Theodore Gordon)

Svitlana Biedarieva, Moscow 1980: the City and the Void

Kristina Rapacki, ‘The skin of our teeth’: vandalism and civilisation
in Asger Jorn’s Situationist production

17.00 – 18.00 KEYNOTE: Dr Mechthild Fend (UCL)

18.00 RECEPTION (Front Hall)

Call for Applications: Dante and the Visual Arts: a Summer Symposium at UCLA and the J. Paul Getty Museum (August 22 – 24, 2016)





The UCLA Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies (CMRS) invites applications from graduate students and post-doctoral scholars to attend the Dante and the Visual Arts Summer Symposium. The symposium, organized by CMRS and the journal Dante e l’Arte in conjunction with the J. Paul Getty Museum, will take place August 22–24, 2016 in Los Angeles with sessions at UCLA and at the Getty Center.

The symposium is part of the larger research project Envisioning the Word: Dante and the Visual Arts 1300-1500 which is an ongoing collaboration between the UCLA Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies and the Institut d’Estudis Medievals at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. The project’s goal is to demonstrate and document how Dante’s imagery, particularly that associated with the Divine Comedy, draws upon the visual traditions of Dante’s own time and gives them a new form. It also examines the way that Dante’s Comedy influenced the visual arts of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries and the culture of early modern print.

The Dante and the Visual Arts Summer Symposium will consist of a day at the Getty Museum focusing on manuscripts and printed books of the fourteenth through the sixteenth centuries, concentrating on the long visual tradition associated with Dante and his milieu. Participants will also learn how books and manuscripts were made, illuminated, and illustrated. The symposium will then move to UCLA for two days of presentations and discussions focusing on the most important editions of Dante’s Comedy analyzing such factors as the relationship between text and image, the hermeneutic importance of the image, and the criteria by which a particular description in the text has been selected to be represented visually. An exhibit of early books and manuscripts will be on display in UCLA Library Special Collections in conjunction with the symposium.

Applicants must be graduate students or post-doctoral scholars who are doing research or specializing in some aspect of Dante studies. An ability to speak and to understand spoken Italian is preferred, but not required. Please note that applicants who are not US citizens will be responsible for obtaining the appropriate visa if required. If selected for the award, the UCLA-CMRS staff will assist with this process.

A total of 12 applicants will be selected to attend the symposium. Six of these applicants will be chosen from the southern California region. An additional six from outside the greater Los Angeles area will be selected to receive funding in the form of roundtrip, economy class travel to/from Los Angeles (i.e., airfare and ground transportation) and 5 nights lodging.

There is no application form. An application consists of these items:

1. A cover letter with the following information: Name, mailing address, email address, telephone number, affiliation and status (school you attend or graduated from; highest academic degree and date awarded), and citizenship status. Please address the cover letter to Professor Massimo Ciavolella.

2. A short description (500 words) of your academic or research interests and an explanation of how theDante and the Visual Arts Summer Symposium will help you achieve your academic goals. Please describe your fluency with the Italian language.

3. Curriculum vitae.

4. Transcript(s) from all colleges or universities attended.

5. Two letters of recommendation from faculty or scholars familiar with your academic work.

Submit application items 1-4 as a PDF email attachment to cmrs@humnet.ucla.edu. Use the subject line “Dante Application.” Letters of recommendation should be submitted by the recommender to the same email address. All applications and letters will receive an email confirmation of receipt.

April 15, 2016

If you need more information about the symposium or the application process, please contact Karen Burgess (UCLA-CMRS Assistant Director) at kburgess@ucla.edu.

For more information see: http://cmrs.ucla.edu/news/dante-and-the-visual-arts/



photo of friars reading books

Showcasing New Research!

Thursday 6 and Friday, 7 March 2014

Thursday, 6 March: 10.00 – 18.15

Friday, 7 March: 12.00 – 17.35

Kenneth Clark Lecture Theatre, Courtauld Institute of Art

Click here for full programme

Speaker(s): include Thomas Ardill, James Alexander Cameron, Jessica Barker, Marie Collier, Nicola Jennings, Anna Koopstra, Anya Matthews, Irene Noy, Gosia Osinska, Katerina Pantelides, Harriette Peel, John Renner, Alexis Romano, Laura Sanders, Tim Satterthwaite, Niccola Shearman, Jordan Tobin, Giulia Martina Weston, Francesca Whitlum-Cooper, Michaela Zöschg  plus keynote from Professor Whitney Davis (UC Berkeley)

Ticket/entry details: Open to all, free admission

Organised by: Research Forum Postgraduate Advisory Group and PhD students

The 2014 Postgraduate Symposium presents the latest research from third year PhD students at The Courtauld Institute of Art. Representing the broad range of research projects carried out at The Courtauld, it provides a forum for the presentation and discussion of the students’ current work, promoting new dialogues across a diverse breadth of subjects, time periods and methodologies. Organised thematically in order to bring together often overlooked common threads of argument, or interpretation, it will engage a broad audience that includes both the students and faculty of The Courtauld, and members of the public.

This year’s event will include a keynote speech from Professor Whitney Davis (George C. and Helen Pardee Professor of History of Art, UC Berkeley).