Tag Archives: thing theory

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: Object Emotions, Revisited (Yale, 20-21 February 2015)

Call for Papers:
Object Emotions, Revisited: An Interdisciplinary Conference
Yale University, New Haven, CT, February 20-21, 2015
Deadline: 15 November 2015

Keynote speaker: Spyros Papapetros (Princeton U)

Organizing Committee: Padma Maitland (UC Berkeley); Christopher P. Miller (UC Berkeley); Marta Figlerowicz (Yale U); Ksenia Sidorenko (Yale U); Emma Natalya Stein (Yale U)

reims“Object Emotions” continues a critical dialogue about new directions in humanities research and theory that began at UC Berkeley in 2013. This conference is inspired by the recent heightened attention to objects and emotions as new points of entry into history, literature, art, architecture, area studies, and the social sciences. We aim to foster interdisciplinary reflections about the critical uses of thing theory, affect theory, the histories of emotions, and new materialism. We also want to study how these discourses might benefit from being set in conversation with each other.

Last year, these questions inspired papers on, among many other topics, forms of animism in fourteenth-century England, the role of tiles in Taiwanese architecture, representations of churches in Willa Cather, oral accounts of labor in factories in India, and the songs of Kylie Minogue. This coming conference seeks to be similarly diverse and experimental in the kinds of approaches it brings together. By exploring emotions and objects in conjunction with each other we hope to bring out the shared stakes of these scopes of critical inquiry, as well as the divergences among the ways feelings and things are studied in particular disciplines.

Questions we want to ask include, but are not limited to, the following: How is the task of describing emotions within the context of a poem different from describing them within the context of a painting or a temple? How do the current fields of affect theory, thing theory, and the history of emotions participate in the much longer history of debates about the subjective and the objective? How do emotions and the bodies experiencing them relate to each other? Are there cultural differences in the way objects and emotions are defined and assessed? What does it mean to attribute feelings to an inanimate object, or even to describe this object as the cause or inspiration of a feeling? Do feelings have an animating force? How does the critical framing of scale—the microscopic, the individual, the human, the social, the global—change the way we pursue questions about objects and emotions?

The conference will take place at Yale on February 20th and 21st, 2015. Participants will include both graduate students and faculty members. We welcome papers that address any of the questions described above, or related ones, with reference to the bodies of theory shared across disciplines or to individual works of literature, art, or architecture. Please submit 250-word abstracts to Padma Maitland at padmamaitland@berkeley.edu by November 15, 2014.