Tag Archives: reuse

CFP: Artistic Dialogue during the Middle Ages. Islamic Art – Mudéjar Art


Call for Papers: Artistic Dialogue during the Middle Ages. Islamic Art – Mudéjar Art, Córdoba, Casa Arabe, November 18 – 20, 2016
Deadline: Apr 30, 2016

The research about Spain’s medieval cultural heritage has experienced a
great development in the last centuries. With the reassessment of the
legacy of al-Andalus and of the Reign of Castile and Aragon during the
nineteenth century, the historiography focusing especially on cultural
connections and disconnections has grown extensively. Concepts like
Reconquista, Convivencia and Mudéjar Art, are being interpreted as the
result of Spain’s nineteenth century’s particular socio-political
interests, related to the debate about national identity, religious
intolerance and to an evolutionist conception of history. The special
political and cultural reality of the Peninsula and its Middle Ages as

a geographical and temporal frame of cultural coexistence, pluralism
and heterogeneity has been controversially debated since that time.
At present, we assist to a critical revision and to an intense debate
on those inherited concepts. While the traditional historiography had
delineated several political, religious and artistic frontiers, new
conceptions of the medieval reality arise that interpret those
frontiers as being permeable and dynamic. This perspective leads to the
consideration of an artistic dialogue as the basis of shared
vocabularies. Such a dialogue will be the common thread of the present
conference: we intend to analyze, share and spread recent results and
new research projects on the Islamic and Mudéjar past of the Peninsula.
The conference will constitute a platform for novel lines of
investigation contributing to the debate on the artistic dialogue of

medieval Iberian Peninsula.

The following sections and themes are planned:

– Nineteenth century’s historiography: the reassessment of the Islamic
and Mudéjar past
– Islamic and Mudéjar urbanism
– Architectural reuse
– The twelfth century: dialogue or confrontation?
– The Iberian Peninsula and Europe: cultural connections
– Al-Andalus and the three cultures

Organized by: Prof. Dr. Alberto León (Universidad de Córdoba), Prof.
Dr. Francine Giese (Universität Zürich), Casa Arabe

Submission: Each presentation will be of 20 minutes, and may be given in Spanish or

English. Please submit a proposal of maximum 300 words and a brief
curriculum vitae by the 15th of April to the following e-mail address:


CFP: Textile Gifts in the Middle Ages – Objects, Actors, and Representations

fb6e7e0f36Call for Papers: Textile Gifts in the Middle Ages – Objects, Actors, and Representations (Textilschenkungen im Mittelalter)
Bibliotheca Hertziana, Max-Planck-Institut für Kunstgeschichte, Rome, November 3-4 2016.
Deadline: March 24, 2016

As art history has given greater attention to material culture and its social contexts as a whole, the applied arts have also re-entered the scope of art historical discourse. Cultural-historical approaches, such as those employed in material culture studies, explore the objectness of artifacts and their efficacy. Related are studies of objects as mediums of symbolic communication, in which such objects are described and interpreted as part of complex performances of ritual and ceremony. Gifts of textiles in the Middle Ages provide a test field for the evaluation of such questions and approaches for the discipline of art history.

Gifts of textiles and clothing appeared in diverse contexts and fulfilled various functions in pre-modern Europe. They could be offered in the course of an initiation rite and or an act of social transition, including upon investiture, marriage, or entry into a monastery. Gifts of clothing to the poor, meanwhile, were among the works of charity thematized in the vitae of numerous medieval saints. Sumptuous textiles were sent as resplendent gifts to religious institutions or, like patterned silk textiles from Byzantium, circulated through diplomatic gift exchanges. Gifts of clothing were also distributed within the court as compensation in kind, which supported the structuralization and hierarchization of courtly society. Gifts of clothing could represent the donor. Especially in the case of clothing previously worn by its donor, the physical presence of the giver might have been woven into the materiality and form of the gifted garment.

The goal of this interdisciplinary conference is to situate the diversity and polysemy of such acts of symbolic communication into the broader context of medieval gift culture.

Already in the 1920s, Marcel Mauss showed that gift giving established social relationships and was composed of three necessary elements: giving, accepting, and reciprocating (the “principle of reciprocity”). At play in such exchanges is essentially the construction of power and social hierarchies. While Mauss’ theory has long been employed within medieval studies, recent criticism has pointed out that the particular efficacy resulting from the material and visual qualities of gifts has not been sufficiently addressed, as studies applying Mauss’ model concentrate primarily on donors, recipients, and their interaction. In other words, the context of the exchange has been privileged over the objects of exchange (Cecily Hilsdale, 2012). With its focus on images and objects, art history is poised to show how the dynamics of reciprocity and its attendant obligations might be charged both visually and materially.

The conference focuses on textile gifts in pre-modern Europe in order to explore such questions in greater detail. The integration of anthropological models into an art historical approach allows for gifted artifacts to be taken seriously as independent entities within the giving process as a socially generative form of communication. The relationship between the actors and the “agency” of gifts themselves can therefore be further explored (Bruno Latour).

We invite paper proposals from the field of art history and related disciplines, such as history, anthropology, archaeology, and literature. Papers might address the following subjects in particular:
– Textile gifts as acts of symbolic communication in the Middle Ages:
Especially welcome are case studies that illustrate the act of giving and the sense of obligation generated between donor and recipient and that, in so doing, attend to the visual and material efficacy of textile gifts. Papers might consider gifts of personal garments, like the gifting of a sovereign’s mantle to an ecclesiastical institution, and the honor—or affront—such gifts might entail.
– Methodological reflections on the suitability of anthropological models for medieval art history:
How helpful are anthropological models (Marcel Mauss’ gift theory and its lineage) in understanding and interpreting pre-modern textile gifts? We begin with the premise that no single general theory is capable of explaining every gift act definitively. Rather, a number of approaches originating in Mauss, some of which are controversial, could be debated within the context of medieval textile gifts.
– The relationship of textile gifts as performative acts to their representations:
How were medieval textile gifts represented in word and image? What relationship do these representations have to their material prototypes (surviving textile gifts) and their contexts (acts of donation)?
– Gendered aspects of textile gifts:
Could textile gifts in the Middle Ages be gender-specific? Can we observe different behavioral patterns in the gifting practices of men and women?
– Re-use and re-contextualization of textile gifts:
The appreciation, use, and conservation of medieval textile gifts, including their restoration or alteration, can reveal much about how recipient institutions dealt with their donations. How, for example, did recipients interpret and use textile gifts in the formation of their identities? How did such a process shape the relationship between a recipient institution and its donor?

Submission: Proposals for talks should be sent in the form of an abstract (max 1 page) with a brief CV by March, 24th, 2016 to Christiane Elster (elster@biblhertz.it).

CFP: The Economy of Dress and Textiles: Avenues of Trade, Production and Consumption in the Early Modern Period

medieval-textile-images0002Call for Papers: The Economy of Dress and Textiles:  Avenues of Trade, Production and
Consumption in the Early Modern Period
University of Bologna, Dipartimento di Storia Culture e Civiltà, San
Giovanni in Monte, Bologna, Italy, September 15, 2016
Deadline: Apr 30, 2016

The cloth and textile market is of central importance to the late
medieval and early modern economy. Trade routes, centres of production
and patterns of consumption were determining factors that stimulated
the influx of luxury cloth and textiles into established fashion and
textile markets, while second-hand garments developed their own
trajectory. Being sold at auctions and dealer shops, they sometimes
enjoyed a second life and were often refashioned. The entire cost
related to the fashioning of a garment, which comprised the purchase of
raw materials and tailoring expenses, is a reflection of the journey
and provenance of the relevant textiles, furs and haberdashery prior to
their shaping and consumption. In turn, the respective markets for both
low-end and high-end goods also played an important role in social and
cultural life, as the cost, display and representations of dress
emphasised the wealth and social and political status of the wearer.
The conference aims to generate a discussion about the economy of dress
and textiles in relation to the connection between trade, production,
consumption and the cost and status of low-end and high-end goods in
the late medieval and early modern periods.

PhD students and early career researchers are invited to speak about
the economy of dress and textiles from a variety of perspectives in
order to build a more complete picture of their journey both literal
and figurative from raw materials to fully fledged garments that
sometimes get refashioned.

Submission: potential speakers are invited to submit as a
single document: (1) a 300-word paper abstract, which should include
the main question of the research project, (2) a paper title, (3) a
brief curriculum vitae, (4) institutional affiliations and (5) contact
information to the Dressing the Early Modern Network at

Each speaker will be allotted twenty minutes. The deadline for
submissions is 30 April 2016. Notification of the outcome will be
advised by e-mail on or before 15 May 2016.

Please note that funding is not provided for this event, so
participants will be required to fund and arrange their own travel and