Tag Archives: Ritual

CFP: Pilgrimage and the Senses, University of Oxford, 7 June 2019

videoblocks-pilgrims-at-the-church-of-the-holy-sepulchre-in-jerusalem-4k-time-lapse_sgz21h1jqf_thumbnail-full01

Deadline for submissions: 20 January 2019 

Keynote Speaker: Professor Kathryn Rudy (University of St. Andrews)

With the release of its inaugural issue in 2006, The Senses and Society journal proclaimed a “sensual revolution” in the humanities and social sciences. The ensuing decade has seen a boom in sensory studies, resulting in research networks, museum exhibitions, and a wealth of publications. This interdisciplinary conference hosted at the University of Oxford aims to shed light on how sensory perception shapes and is shaped by the experience of pilgrimage across cultures, faith traditions, and throughout history.

Pilgrimages present an intriguing paradox. Grounded in physical experiences—a journey (real or imagined), encounters with sites and/or relics, and commemorative tokens—they also simultaneously demand a devotional focus on the metaphysical. A ubiquitous and long-lasting devotional practice, pilgrimage is a useful lens through which to examine how humans encounter the sacred through the tools of perception available to us. Focusing on the ways in which pilgrimage engages the senses will contribute to our knowledge of how people have historically understood both religious experience and their bodies as vehicles of devotional participation. We call on speakers to grapple with the challenges of understanding the sensory experience of spiritual phenomena, while bearing in mind that understandings of the senses can vary according to specific cultural contexts. While the five senses are a natural starting point, we are open to including papers that deal with “sense” in a more general way, such as senses of time and place.

Sample topics may include (but are not limited to):

  • the role of beholding (places, relics, miracles, mementos) in the pilgrimage experience
  • haptic encounters with relics
  • ways in which pilgrims are seen: wearing specific clothing and/or badges, public acts (or affects) of devotion, how pilgrims are depicted or described
  • pilgrims’ auditory expressions: wailing/crying, chanting, singing, reciting prayers
  • bathing and purification in preparation for devotions
  • food as a ritual element or means of experiencing cultures along a pilgrimage route
  • the place of music on the pilgrimage route and/or at pilgrimage destinations
  • pain as a facet of the pilgrimage journey
  • the sensory spectacle—visual, auditory, olfactory—of pilgrimage processions
  • devotional objects that require handling, such as prayer beads and prayer wheels
  • psychosomatic sensory experiences as a means of engaging with the divine
  • the evocation of sensory participation through works of art and/or written accounts

The organisers invite 20-minute papers from any discipline on topics related to the themes outlined above, especially in the fields of anthropology, archaeology, art history, history, literature, musicology, religious studies, sociology, and theology. We welcome submissions relating to aspects of pilgrimage of any faith or historical period. Doctoral students and early career researchers are particularly encouraged to apply.

Please submit a title, abstract (max. 250 words), and brief bio to pilgrimagesenses2019@gmail.com by January 20th. Successful applicants will be notified by February 5th. All submissions and papers must be in English.

Click here for more information

Advertisements

CFP: ‘Recovering the Ritual Object in Medieval and Early Modern Art,’ AAH Conference, Brighton, 4–6 Apr 2019

DjWmmKBXcAUB1yCDeadline: Nov 5, 2018

“Recovering the Ritual Object in Medieval and Early Modern Art”

Session Convenors: Dr Catriona Murray, University of Edinburgh, c.a.murray@ed.ac.uk; Dr Halle O’Neal, University of Edinburgh, halle.o’neal@ed.ac.uk

In the medieval and early modern worlds, ritual served as a legitimising process, a dynamic mechanism for mediating a transference or transformation of status. Objects played an essential part in this performative practice, charged with symbolism and invested with power. Distanced from their original contexts, however, these artefacts have often been studied for their material properties, disconnecting function from form and erasing layers of meaning. The relationships between ritual objects and ritual participants were identity-forming, reflecting and shaping belief structures. Understanding of how these objects were experienced as well as viewed, is key to revealing their significances.

DjWniZ5XsAAAiJ0This panel intends to relocate ritual objects at the centre of both religious and secular ceremonies, interrogating how they served as both signifiers and agents of change. The organisers specialise in early modern British art and medieval Japanese art, and so we invite proposals from a range of geographical perspectives, in order to investigate this subject from a cross-cultural perspective. We particularly encourage papers which discuss medieval and early modern ritual objects—broadly defined —as social mediators.

Issues for discussion include but are not limited to:
– Recovery of the everyday in ritual objects
– Embodiment
– Audiences and interactions
– Performativity
– Ritual object as emotional object
– Spatiality and temporality
– Re-use, recycling, removal
– Illusion and imagination
– Memory
– Thing theory

How to apply: Please email your paper proposal direct to the session convenors, details above. Provide a title and abstract (250 words maximum) for a 25-minute paper, your name and institutional affiliation (if any).

CFP: Step by Step Towards the Sacred (Brno, 16-17 May 18)

Hans Belting Library, Brno, Czech Republic, May 16 – 17, 2018
Deadline: Feb 25, 2018

Step by Step towards the Sacred
Ritual, Movement and Images in the Middle Ages

movementOrganizers:
Veronika Tvrzníková, Masaryk University in Brno
Martin Lešák, Masaryk University in Brno and Université de Poitiers

The conference aims to reflect on the ways medieval images – ranging from Late Antiquity to the 14th century and across wide span of media – were comprehended and activated through the motions of participants in diverse religious rituals. At the core of these reflections is the moving body, whether individual or collective, which enters into dialogue with the surrounding space (architectural or urban), objects and images, thus awaking their sacred potentiality through each and every step.
Continue reading

CFP: Walking with saints, Ronse, Belgium, 24-16 May 18

fiertelCall for Papers: Walking with saints, Ronse, Belgium, May 24 – 26, 2018
Deadline: Dec 10, 2017

Walking with saints: protection, devotion and civic identity. The role of the landscape.

Since the adoption of the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2003, the issue of cultural practices has increasingly gained the attention of heritage professionals, academics, decision makers and practitioners alike. Many practices, rituals, performances, social traditions, craftsmanship and more have since been put on the list of Intangible Cultural Heritage. However, despite the growing interest in the social dimensions of cultural heritage and the recognition of the importance of the intangible aspects of heritage, many issues still need further reflection.  A crucial aspect is the interaction and relationship between intangible cultural heritage and its spatial contexts. This is part of a broader “spatial turn” in historiography and research.
For centuries people in Europa and elsewhere have walked the landscape carrying the relics of martyrs and saints. By doing so they gave meaning to and altered the significance of the land, be it urban or natural, in more ways than we imagine. One of these aspects is the way in which the landscape is transformed by walking it, thus setting paths, reinforcing boundaries, strengthening a community’s identity in relation to a certain landscape or setting the pace of life according to the repetition of the traditional acts in time.
“Walking with saints: protection, devotion and civic identity” focusses on the origin and evolution of procession rites with a strong link with the landscape. This conference, therefore, aims at studying the religious landscape, be it a specific spot or a larger territory, not as the mere spatial background for spiritual activities, but as an active agent in the shaping, transmission and transformation of the spiritual activity of human beings throughout time. Hence, we invite also reflections on developments in the 19th and 20th centuries when a rediscovering of the past, both within and outside the Christian churches, was en vogue and when new ways of looking at the natural landscape were moulded in the aftermath of the industrialisation of the economy.

Though the starting point is an activity that is typical for Europe, we are interested in broadening the perspective to non-Christian and non-Western traditions that have an important connection with the landscape in which they are performed.  It is generally known, for example, that the landscape and natural phenomena play an important role in the traditions of indigenous cultures in Australia, the Americas and Africa. In Asia walking with the statues of gods is a common, though little understood, phenomenon. It is to be expected that these traditions can broaden our understanding of the role of the landscape in the development and sustainability of immaterial heritage.

Papers are invited that deal with the following themes of the conference:
•    Sacralisation of the landscape: alteration, destruction and resistance
•    Immaterial heritage: religion and landscape
•    Perennial aspect of immaterial heritage
•    Immaterial heritage and community building: identity, assimilation, integration
•    Healing saints in their territorial context
•    The influence of processions on the landscape and on the drawing of parochial and city boundaries
•    Processions, pilgrimages and the senses
•    Healing saints, magic and assimilation

The starting point for the conference and the reason why it is held in Ronse is the Fiertel Ommegang. This procession originates from around 1090 A.D. and is yearly held on Trinity Sunday. During a walk of 32, 6 km the inhabitants of Ronse circumscribe the territorial boundaries of the city carrying Saint Hermes’s relics for protection and cure. For ages, the Fiertel has been one of the most important religious activities in the region and it has to date remained a strong symbol of the inhabitant’s civic identity even in times of secularization.
This 3 day conference will be hosted by the city of Ronse and is part of an assessment of the local Fiertel procession as a possible candidate for recognition as UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage.

Please submit papers for individual sessions no later than December 10 2017.
Proposals should include
– A paper title of max. 10 words
– A paper abstract of max. 350 words
– A short C.V. of max. 1000 words including current current affiliation and full contact details
All documents should be merged into 1 single PDF file.
Proposals should be sent to papers@wws2018.com

Call for complete session proposals

While the sessions proposed by the conference organisers focus on the western European and Christian traditions we welcome complete session proposals on related themes covering non-Western and non-Christian traditions.
The aim of the conference is not only to study the Fiertel in its local context, but also to trace traditions and rituals which are cross-confessional and transcultural. We hope that this reflection and dialogue will help us to understand the origins of the Fiertel, as a ritual and spiritual quest outdating Christianity.

Full session proposal are to be submitted by December 10 2017.

Proposal should include:
– A session title of max. 10 words
– A session proposal of max. 350 words
– 3 individual paper proposals consisting out of a title of max. 10 words and an abstract of max. 350 words each.
– A CV of max. 1000 words for each: the session organizer and the session participants. The CV should include information on the current affiliation and full contact details.

All documents have to be merged into 1 PDF file.

Proposals should be sent to papers@wws2018.com

Conference: Intertwined Worlds: 10th Annual Lawrence J. Schoenberg Symposium on Manuscript Studies in the Digital Age

Conference: Intertwined Worlds: 10th Annual Lawrence J. Schoenberg Symposium on Manuscript Studies in the Digital Age, Free Library of Philadelphia/University of Pennsylvania Libraries, November 2-4, 2017

In partnership with the Rare Book Department of the Free Library of Philadelphia, the Schoenberg Institute of Manuscript Studies (SIMS) at the University of Pennsylvania Libraries is pleased to announce the 10th Annual Lawrence J. Schoenberg Symposium on Manuscript Studies in the Digital Age.

Despite the linguistic and cultural complexity of many regions of the premodern world, religion supplies the basis of a strong material and textual cohesion that both crosses and intertwines boundaries between communities. This symposium will highlight the confluence of expressions of belief, ritual, and social engagement emerging in technologies and traditions of the world’s manuscript cultures, often beyond a single religious context. It will consider common themes and practices of textual, artistic, literary, and iconographic production in religious life across time and geography, from ancient precedents to modern reception and dissemination in the digital age.

The program will begin Thursday evening at 5:00 pm on November 2nd, 2017, at the Free Library of Philadelphia, Parkway Central Library, with a keynote lecture by Phyllis Granoff, Yale University. The symposium will continue November 3rd-4th at the Kislak Center of Special Collections, Rare Books, and Manuscripts at the University of Pennsylvania Libraries.

Speakers include:

  • Iqbal Akhtar, Florida International University
  • Paul Dilley, University of Iowa
  • Ellen Gough, Emory University
  • Thibaud d’Hubert, University of Chicago
  • Zsuzsanna Gulácsi, Northern Arizona University
  • Ayesha Irani, University of Massachusetts, Boston
  • Shazia Jagot, University of Surrey
  • Samantha Kelly, Rutgers University
  • Jinah Kim, Harvard University
  • Gila Prebor, Bar-Ilan University
  • Michael Pregill, Boston University
  • Michael Stanley-Baker, Max Planck Institute for the History of Science
  • Columba Stewart, Hill Museum & Monastic Library and Saint John’s University
  • Justine Walden, University of Toronto
  • Tyler Williams, University of Chicago
  • Saymon Zakaria, Bangla Academy, Dhaka
  • Maayan Zhitomirsky-Geffet, Bar-Ilan University

Click here for program and abstracts.


Registration fee will be $35 ($10 for students with valid student ID). Registration open now until Nov 3, 2017. Click here to register. Walk-in registrations will be accepted for a fee of $45 ($15 for students with valid student ID) to be paid in cash.

The symposium is made possible with the generous support of the Center for Ancient Studies at the University of Pennsylvania.

For more information on the Schoenberg Symposium Series, click here.

CFP: ‘The Italian South: Transcultural Perspectives 400-1500,’ CONVIVIUM journal

Call for Contributions: ‘The Italian South: Transcultural Perspectives 400-1500,’ CONVIVIUM. Exchanges and Interactions in the Arts of Medieval Europe, Byzantium, and the Mediterranean, special issue edited by Elisabetta Scirocco (Bibliotheca Hertziana – MPI) and Gerhard Wolf (Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz – MPI), published March 2018
Deadline for proposals: 20 September 2017
Deadline for article submission: 30 November 2017

tavola_strozzi_-_napoli
This thematic issue of the journal Convivium is dedicated to the Italian South from the 5th to the 15th century. It seeks papers that engage with the specific transcultural dynamics of a geographical and historical area containing highly diverse political, social, and religious entities, as well as with the multi-layered connectivities that can be traced in the Italian South, across the Mediterranean, and beyond.

We invite contributions from Art History, Archaeology, History, Anthropology, Paleography, and related disciplines that deal with the cultural diversity of Late Antique and medieval Southern Italy with special attention to sites, monuments, landscapes, images, and objects, as well as to the visual and aesthetic spheres in general. We are primarily interested in exploring horizontal and vertical dynamics, in terms of time (synchronicity/diachronicity) and space (global/Mediterranean/local scales). Papers with a theoretical and historiographical approach are particularly welcome.

Main topics to be addressed might include:

-Artistic contacts and interactions in the Italian South, in a transregional and global perspective
-Centripetal and centrifugal paths of exchange, transmission, and appropriation
-Cross-cultural migration of objects, images, and techniques among spaces, contexts, and media: practices of reuse, appropriation, and interpretation
-Sites, places, and spaces of cultural interactions, such as cities and courts
-Religious interactions in sacred space and rituals
-Local persistence and reinterpretation of the (antique) past in different political and/or cultural scenarios
-The fascination of the (medieval) Italian South, from the 18th century to the present day
-The notion of “Southern Italian”, as it relates to the study of medieval art, and its historiographical consequences

Proposals of max. 1 page should be sent by 20​ ​September 2017 to the editors: escirocco@gmail.com and dirwolf@khi.fi.it. The deadline for the submission of articles is 30 November 2017.

Convivium V/1 will be published in March 2018.

Articles Submission:
Contributions (30,000-40,000 characters including spaces, and up to 15 full-color illustrations) must be sent by 30 November 2017 to Karolina Foletti, executive editor of the journal: karolina.foletti@gmail.com.
Languages accepted: English, French, German, Italian.
Each article will be evaluated through a double-blind peer-review process.

For the Style Guide, please see: http://www.earlymedievalstudies.com/convivium.html

CFP: State-Rooms of Royal and Princely Palaces in Europe (14th-16th c.): Spaces, Images, Rituals – Lisbon/Sintra, 16-18 March 2017

Projection: Equirectangular (2) FOV: 360 x 180 Ev: 5.48

State-Rooms of Royal and Princely Palaces in Europe (14th-16th c.): Spaces, Images, Rituals – Lisbon/Sintra, 16-18 March 2017

Deadline:  before 15 December 2016

From the fourteenth to the sixteenth century, European monarchies saw a gradual centralisation of power. This was accompanied by the dissemination of political ideas that contributed to the making of a new image of the prince, which relied on visual instruments to assert and construct the prince’s sovereign power.

Royal and princely residences were at the centre of this phenomenon. In these privileged spaces, the sovereign accommodated an expanding entourage, and received messengers and guests from other courts. Consequently, it was in these buildings that court society developed in the first place.

It is therefore not surprising that these palaces played an important part in the self-representation of the sovereign and his court, be it by the arrangement of the spaces and their permanent and ephemeral decoration, or by the common and extraordinary rituals that took place here.

In these spaces, designated state-rooms appeared to be vital for constructing an effective image of the monarchy. They were an essential, often architecturally separate part of the palatial structure. Their decors, particularly during ceremonies, reflected political interests and ambitions that were essential to the image of the prince. Outside such ceremonies, state-rooms frequently served as a meeting place of the court, or even as a point of interest to be seen and commented on by spectators and panegyrists.

By placing a particular emphasis on the decor of those state-rooms, this workshop aims to increase our insights into the relations between the architecture, decoration, and rituals of monarchical power in state-rooms from the late middle ages to the beginning of the early modern period.

A number of questions arise: What factors were involved in the choice of the decors? Which purposes did they serve, and who was the audience? What links did they establish with the space and ceremonies that took place? Who commissioned and created them? How were the decors described, interpreted, and commented on? And, taking into account questions put forward at a previous workshop in Münster, what part did heraldry play in these decors, and in the whole of other forms of representation of power?

The workshop will take place in Lisbon (Archeological Museum of the Carmelite Convent, in the old Carmelite church) and Sintra (Sintra National Palace) on 16-18 March 2017.

Papers can be presented in English or French. Proposals (500 words) and a short biographical account (max. 100 words) should be sent to heraldica@uni-muenster.de before 15 December 2016. Successful applicants will be notified on 15 January 2017.