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Category: Calls for Papers

Moving Women, Moving Objects 300–1500

Moving Women, Moving Objects 300–1500, ICMA-sponsored session, International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, MI, May 14–17, 2014

As we examine medieval works of art like manuscripts, reliquaries, and jewels, today anchored and spotlighted in their museum vitrines, it is easy to imagine these sumptuous objects at rest in the hands of their original owners. But, in truth, they were in constant motion, and women were especially responsible for the movement of these works of art.

This panel seeks to enrich the discussion of women and their relationships with their objects that, in the area of non-book arts, remains relatively unexplored. Luscious objects were gifts that traveled lesser and greater distances, some imported in brides’ nuptial coffers and many more commissioned and used to unite women separated by their politically advantageous marriages. Sisters and mothers, grandmothers and aunts, daughters and cousins, as well as friends and allies, all exchanged works of art with shared stories and iconographies. These pieces were the tokens that served as tribute, the centerpieces of rituals and ceremonies, the precious keepsakes enjoyed in intimate places, and the markers of architectural spaces often also founded or endowed by these women.

Theories of feminism, anthropology, sociology, and geography, among others, can all aid in the interpretation of the movement of works of art by women. New technologies such as GIS mapping and digital modeling enable us to visualize the international trajectories of works of art, as well as the movement and placement of them within architectural space. Proposals for this panel could include papers concerning women living between 300-1500. While proposals discussing European examples are anticipated, those analyzing any culture are encouraged. Papers might discuss women moving their objects in ritual space; the international, cross-cultural fertilization of the arts resulting from women’s gifts; the mapping of women’s identity through placement of objects; or class and women’s movement of their objects.

Fluctuating Networks: The Constructive Role of Broken Bonds in the Medieval Mediterranean and Beyond

Fluctuating Networks: The Constructive Role of Broken Bonds in the Medieval Mediterranean and Beyond, 50th International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, May 14–17, 2015

The Medieval Studies Research Group at the University of Lincoln (UK), seeks papers for one sponsored panel at the 50th International Congress on Medieval Studies at Western Michigan University, May 14-17, 20145. The theme is: Fluctuating Networks: The Constructive Role of Broken Bonds in the Medieval Mediterranean and Beyond.

The aim of this session is to re-consider theories and approaches to the study of medieval social, political, economic and cultural networks from multidisciplinary perspectives. The medieval Mediterranean, as a space of interaction and communication, offers a myriad of possibilities to explore, which increase even more when considering its connections with Europe and the rest of the known world.

In particular, we would welcome studies which examine how agents and circumstances, which in principle undermined and destroyed pre-existing bonds, in reality generated parallel structures and alternative webs of relatedness. Political conspiracy is a case in point. Similarly, betrayal could be read as an alteration of a system of trust, which simply shifted toward other individuals with whom new connections were established.

Through the analysis of textual and material sources, as well as visual art and architecture, this panel seeks to explore ideas and narratives of exclusion as potential seeds for new or renewed types of private and public networks. Ethnic, religious, political, economic, legal and cultural aspects were all at stake when de-constructing, while re-constructing, bonds between individuals and entire communities.

Possible areas of discussion include, but are not limited to:

  • Conspiracy and alternative networks
  • Revolt and rebellion
  • Exile and excommunication
  • Treason and betrayal (multiple interpretations)
  • Trade, boycott and commercial agreements/disagreements
  • Criminal associations
  • ‘Otherness’ within and outside ethnic and religious communities
  • Changing networks and legal practices
  • Marital and familial connections
  • Secular and monastic bonds
  • Diplomacy and the role of ambassadors, spies, etc.
  • Breaking bonds in historical writing and the construction of memory
  • Comparative views and socio-anthropological perspectives

Presence and InVisibility – Sign-bearing Artefacts in Sacral Spaces

Presence and InVisibility – Sign-bearing Artefacts in Sacral Spaces, Heidelberg, February 23–25, 2015

For many cultures sign-bearing artefacts are an immanent component of sacral spaces, which constitute themselves through their presence. This applies to actual specific places, as well as to cultural space in its broadest sense. In the latter case, sacral space is to be understood as social instead of architectural.

The conference will focus on the interaction of mobile or immobile sign-bearing artefacts – ranging from smallest objects to entire buildings – and the protagonists of sacral spaces in Europe and the Near East. By analysing material residues of advanced civilizations from antiquity to the middle ages, the entire spectrum of religions within this temporal and geographical margin shall be investigated, including phenomena generally termed as “magical”. An important point of investigation within this context will be the correlation of presence and InVisibility of these artefacts, as well as cultural or religious changes and transcultural relations.

The term “sign” includes all signs found on artefacts that aim to communicate in any way, may it be in characters, in pictographic signs or other undetermined forms.

Questions of interest in the context of presence and visibility/invisibility of sign-bearing artefacts could include: Are all these sign-bearing artefacts aimed at a specific group of people? Could their messages be received by others? Do authors, scribes, or commissioners put effort in reaching a specific circle of people, and if so, how? Is the visibility of such an artefact or a sign necessary to ensure the delivery of the intended message? Are artefacts or signs of restricted visibility actually to be seen as visually restricted or are they simply intended for a specific group of recipients? Do visible and invisible artefacts or signs differ in their effect on protagonists of sacral spaces? What about artefacts or signs that are visible but bear messages that cannot be understood without further means? Is an artefact always a mere medium of a message or can it be a message itself?

What practices were performed in this context and with these artefacts? Could the knowledge of presence be more important than the actual presence? Is presence exclusively provided through visibility? In what way could the material properties or conditions influence the visibility/invisibility or presence of an artefact?

The conference shall address these questions and attempt to answer them through lectures by national and international researchers. Contributions from all disciplines are welcome. The length of a lecture should not surpass 30 minutes and can be held in English or in German.

Capturing the Un-Representable: Artifacts and Landscapes between Mental and Material Worlds

Capturing the Un-Representable: Artifacts and Landscapes between Mental and Material Worlds, Center for Ancient Studies Annual Graduate Student Conference, University of Pennsylvania, December 5–7, 2014

Humanistic disciplines typically focus their investigations on tangible, material remains, such as texts, artifacts, architecture, and landscapes, analyzing them as autonomous objects. However, material remains can also be understood as traces – evidence of greater images, landscapes, and spaces that existed in the minds of their creators and users. What anthropologists call the “life world” is processed in the mind and thus becomes a cultural construct, subsequently made manifest through design as objects, landscapes, and architectures.  In turn, these physical manifestations may be used to access the imaginaire of the culture that constructed them. Our conference aims to examine what such material remains evince about the thoughts, imaginations, and mental motivations of ancient and medieval cultures (Old and New World) – that is, how do material remains mediate between mental and material worlds?

The annual graduate student conference, sponsored by the Center for Ancient Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, aims to present a diverse set of methodological interventions that link material culture to historical imagination.  Our goal is productive dialogue about the utility of methods employed in different geographic regions, time periods, and disciplines on the topic at hand (see below).  We hope to accomplish our task by mixing graduate students with scholars at various stages of their careers and by means of a culminating methods workshop.

Our conference asks the following questions: How can we recover the afterlife of artifacts and landscapes in human imagination?  And how do imagined artifacts and landscapes have bearing on actual ones?  What can the agency of an object tell us about the ‘intentions’ of its creators and users?  Creator intention is arguably embedded both in the object’s reason for being as well as in the material form it takes.  How do archaeological objects reflect mental conceptions about whatever the object was ‘designed’ to be?  Does our inability to explain ‘intention’ reflect our own loss of codes to understanding that ‘original’ meaning?  Does considering the agency of the artifact help us to better understand (and decode) the mental world behind its production and use?

The conference will consist of a Friday evening reception and keynote address, with the main conference panels on Saturday and a methods workshop on Sunday morning. Each of the conference panels will be moderated by invited established scholars. After the conference sessions, a short workshop will give the speakers the opportunity to receive feedback and discuss their papers in more detail.

We invite submissions from graduate students and recent PhDs in any field studying ancient and medieval cultures (both Old and New World), such as religious studies, art history, anthropology and textual/literary studies. Cross-disciplinary approaches are especially welcomed.

Potential paper topics could include:

  • Artifacts that indicate planned or imagined but perhaps unrealized architecture and landscapes.
  • Artifacts composed of words suggestive of greater mental images; words as representations and traces.
  • The relationship of textual and visual/material representations; ekphrasis.
  • Contradiction and multiplicity in representations; aesthetics and modes of viewing or reading.
  • The role of the tangible artifact in the creation (and destruction) of mental images.
  • Imagined landscapes and real terrain.
  • Mental mapping; experience of place; coding and decoding; re-connecting representations to real terrain.
  • New methodologies for accessing and studying mental imagery or conceptions that have not been preserved (or may never have been constructed) as representations in material culture.

The Cross in Medieval Art

The Cross in Medieval Art, ICMA Sponsored Session at the 50th International Congress on Medieval Studies, Western Michigan University, May 14–17, 2015

Recent art-historical research has brought us new understandings of the central symbol of Christianity, the Cross, in different places, at different times, in different media, and with different theoretical and conceptual foci. The Cross, its representations and significations, and the appearance and materiality of those representations, features in many areas of current research, but not often as a central subject to be dealt with thematically and comparatively. This session invites considerations of images depicting, representing or referring to the Cross in any media, and across the middle ages, from early to late. The aim of the session is to consider what can be gained at this particular moment in scholarship from a common concentration on the theme of the Cross. Therefore, proposers are invited especially to consider their subject matter in light of theoretical perspectives that have been prominent in recent art-historical scholarship, such as (but not limited to) affect, emotion, movement, medium and materiality.

The Eye of the Dragon: Viewing a Medieval Iconography from the Other Side

The Eye of the Dragon: Viewing a Medieval Iconography from the Other Side, panel at the 50th International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, May 14–17, 2015

From the iconic heroism of Saint George to the resolute piety of Margaret of Antioch; from the arrow-shooting Bahram Gur to anonymous spear-wielding riders, slayers of dragons have received considerable art historical attention.  Individual slayers, as well as the iconography itself have been extensively studied and critically contextualized to reveal multi-layered meanings and changing identities. In his study on the Islamic Rider of the Gerona Beatus, O. K. Werckmeister demonstrated how, in the context of the Reconquista, the identity of the slayer could switch from good to evil, while Oya Pancaroglu argued that in Medieval Anatolia slayer images were both products and facilitators of cross-cultural exchange. Dragons and other monsters have been under the lens of art historians, too. Michael Camille and Debra Strickland have emphasized their roles as surrogates for social types and political adversaries. In that sense, the victims of the slayers, though independent of the iconography, have also been studied. However, it is difficult to say that the perspectives of the victims have received equal attention.

This panel calls for papers that will look at the slayer iconography from the position of the slain rather than the slayer.  It seeks papers that will approach the image visually and conceptually from bottom up and explore alternative and innovative interpretations.  What can this switch of gaze reveal about the relationship between the dragon and the slayer? In what novel ways can we interpret the visual asymmetry between them?  Would it correspond to actual social asymmetries, or to their subversion? Does the diagonal of the spear pin down and stabilize differences and antagonisms, or does it cut across and mediate between them?  Especially welcome are papers that move beyond Western European examples and provide comparative perspectives.

Reimagining the Middle Ages (c.500–c.1500)

Reimagining the Middle Ages (c.500-1500), panel at the 50th International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, May 14–17, 2015

This panel seeks to bring together scholars whose work reimagines some aspect of the medieval world and/or encourages new perspectives on older topics. We welcome papers focusing on either Europe or the Islamic world in any era c.500–c.1500. This panel will complement a roundtable discussion of Christian Raffensperger’s Reimagining Europe: Kievan Rus’ in the Medieval World held at the 2014 annual meeting of the Ohio Academy of History.

HASTAC 2015: Exploring the Art & Science of Digital Humanities

HASTAC 2015: Exploring the Art & Science of Digital Humanities, Michigan State University, May 27–30, 2015

Join us on the campus of Michigan State University to celebrate and explore the range of Digital Humanities Scholarship, Research, and Performance! We welcome sessions that address, exemplify, and interrogate the interdisciplinary nature of DH work. HASTAC 2015 challenges participants to consider how the interplay of science, technology, social sciences, humanities, and arts are producing new forms of knowledge, disrupting older forms, challenging or reifying power relationships, among other possibilities.

Bucknell Digital Scholarship Conference

Bucknell Digital Scholarship Conference, Bucknell University, November 14–16, 2014

Bucknell University, with support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, will host its first annual international digital scholarship conference. The theme of the conference is “Collaborating Digitally: Engaging Students in Faculty Research” with the goal of gathering a broad community of scholar-practitioners engaged in collaborative digital scholarship in research and teaching.

This conference will bring together a broad community of scholar-practitioners engaged in collaborative digital scholarship in research and teaching. We encourage presentations that emphasize forms of collaboration: between institutions of higher education; across disciplines; between faculty, librarians, and technologists; and between faculty and students. We welcome contributions from scholars, educators, technologists, librarians, administrators, and students who use digital tools and methods, and encourage submissions from emerging and established scholar-practitioners alike, including those who are new to digital collaboration.

Submission topics may include but are not limited to: engaging with space and place; creating innovative teaching and learning environments; perspectives on implications for the individual’s own research and pedagogy within the institutional landscape, etc.  Presentations may take the form of interactive presentations, short papers, project demos, electronic posters, panel discussions, or lightning talks.

Medial (re)presentations – various messages

Medial (re)presentations – various messages: leadership, ideology and crowds in the Roman Empire of the 4th century AD, Göttingen, February 18–20, 2015

The fourth century AD was a dynamic period within Roman history. Various transformations in the imperial administrative structures, the position of the emperor(s), and the emerging dominance of Christianity induced the Roman Empire into the world of Late Antiquity. Instead of focusing on the ‘exceptional’ emperors ruling in the fourth century, that is mainly Constantine, Julian and Theodosius the Great, our workshop concentrates on the fourth century at large, with a particular focus on ideology (imperial and episcopal), and crowd behavior. The central question to this workshop is how leadership, both imperial and church leadership, functioned in the fourth century. How did leaders tie their subjects to them and in which ways could they mobilize their people? How do we catch sight of this relationship between leaders and subjects in the various types of sources? To which extent did this differ from earlier periods; what changed and what remained the same in this dynamic century that accommodated both old and new?

By focusing on imperial and episcopal ideology as well as on crowd behavior, we will deal with the perspectives of both leaders and subjects, the two opposite ends of the power specter. As recent studies have demonstrated the necessity of analyzing the different ancient media, such as coinage, inscriptions, monuments and literature, into their own context and medial discourse instead of ‘pick and mixing’ them, the methodological framework in which these two interrelated themes will be placed is that of systematic medium analysis.  We welcome papers on the following subjects:  

  • The different media that were used to send imperial and episcopal messages (coins, laws, architecture, literature, liturgy etc.)
  • Audience targeting and ideological differentiation
  • The roles of different actors in the creation of ideology (emperor, bishop, urban prefect, masses, etc.)
  • Visual evidence of the relationship between leadership and subjects (via for instance art, churches, but also via modern techniques such as Virtual Reality Technology)
  • Urban crowds and the ways in which these were controlled by both imperial and church leaders

Organizers: Erika Manders (Georg-August-Universität Göttingen) and Daniëlle Slootjes (Radboud University Nijmegen)

Abstracts, no more than 400 words, can be submitted to Erika Manders and Daniëlle Slootjes before the 15th of August, 2014.

Source: LA-NETWORK

Visual Narratives – Cultural Identities

Visual Narratives – Cultural Identities, University of Hamburg, November 27–29, 2014

Increasingly, cultural studies focus on stories and the narration of stories as important catalysts for the constitution, confirmation, and modification of cultural identities. Not only in times of what seems like floods of images but since images are made a large part of these stories and narratives is communicated by visual media. Constantly it can be observed that elaborate iconographic programs are developed to establish specific meanings more or less successfully as essential elements of cultural identities.

To analyse and interpret visual media from such a perspective it is, on the one hand, necessary to develop categories to describe their narrative aspect. The current state of research is heterogeneous: On narratology of film and graphic literature there are rich discussions and developed methods and theories whilst research in the field of single and static images is quite fragmentary. On the other hand methods have to be explored which facilitate cultural interpretations of visual narratives and which may decode the deeper meanings transmitted – also from times and epochs long gone. Finally, it has to be considered how narrative contents participate in the construction of cultural identities.

Basic questions for the conference could be:

  • By which means may the narrative aspects of visual media be described?
  • Which are the methods to decode the transmitted messages?
  • Which strategies are used to construct cultural identities visually?
  • Do, in turn, changed or modified identities lead to different patterns of stories and narrations?- What can be gained from a comparison of visual-narrative communication with other forms, for example literary ones?

The conference is organised by students of archaeology, art history, and cultural anthropology. It will contain lectures and workshops on the main topics and provide opportunities for detailed discussion. We are especially looking for trans- and interdisciplinary contributions which deal with the analysis and interpretation of narratives and narrations in visual media from narratological and (visual) culture studies perspectives. There is no limitation to certain times or cultures. The contributions are going to be published after the conference.

Digital Humanities Forum 2014

Nodes & Networks in the Humanities: Geometries, Relationships, Processes, Digital Humanities Forum 2014, The University of Kansas, September 12–13, 2014

The network has emerged as a powerful model in humanities scholarship in recent years. It is used as a visualization and analytic tool to explore objects, ideas or events and their relationships; as a method to discover, link and create new resources and data; and as a social structure through which we conduct our scholarly and social lives and develop our self-identity. Our digital objects, and our digital selves, all exist in "the Net." As Elijah Meeks argues, "The network is not a social network or geographic network or logical network but rather a primitive object capable of and useful for the modeling and analysis of relationships between a wide variety of objects."

KU’s 2014 Digital Humanities Forum will explore these and related topics in a full conference day on Saturday, September 13, which will follow a full day of (gratis) Digital Humanities workshops on September 12.

We welcome proposals for papers, posters, panel sessions and workshops on topics from your own research that relate to some aspects of nodes and networks, such as:

  • Network visualizations or network analysis tools and methods that further humanistic research
  • The human and processes of identity in the networked environment
  • How nodes and networks have descriptive and explanatory power in humanistic research (and are not just DH fetish objects)
  • Dynamics of multidimensional data
  • Social media and networks
  • New scholarship through the use of human or machine networks (e.g. crowdsourcing, linked open data)
  • Collaborative scholarly networks across space, time and disciplinary knowledge
  • Innovative developments in scholarly communication in a networked world (altmetrics, open peer review, collaborative authoring)
  • The implications for humanities scholarship and pedagogy in a global, digitally networked world
  • Prosopographical approaches to history illuminating spatial, temporal, conceptual or other networked relationships, and related topics

Digital Classicist Seminar Berlin 2014/15

Digital Classicist Seminar, Berlin, Tuesdays, October 2014–February 2015

We are pleased to announce the Call for Papers for the third series of the Digital Classicist Seminar Berlin. This initiative, inspired by and connected to London’s Digital Classicist Work in Progress Seminar, is organised in association with the German Archaeological Institute and the Excellence Cluster TOPOI. It will run during the winter term of the academic year 2014/15.

We invite submissions on any kind of research which employs digital methods, resources or technologies in an innovative way in order to enable a better or new understanding of the ancient world. We encourage contributions not only from Classics but also from the entire field of "Altertumswissenschaften", to include the ancient world at large, such as Egypt and the Near East.

Themes may include digital editions, natural language processing, image processing and visualisation, linked data and the semantic web, open access, spatial and network analysis, serious gaming and any other digital or quantitative methods. We welcome seminar proposals addressing the application of these methods to individual projects, and particularly contributions which show how the digital component can facilitate the crossing of disciplinary boundaries and answering new research questions. Seminar content should be of interest both to classicists, ancient historians or archaeologists, as well as to information scientists and digital humanists, with an academic research agenda relevant to at least one of these fields.

Seminars will run **fortnightly on Tuesday evenings (18:00-19:30)** from October 2014 until February 2015 and will be hosted by the Excellence Cluster TOPOI and the German Archaeological Institute, both located in Berlin-Dahlem. The full programme, including the venue of each seminar, will be finalised and announced in September. As with the previous series, the video recordings of the presentations will be published online and we endeavour to provide accommodation for the speakers and contribute towards their travel expenses. There are plans to publish papers selected from the first three series of the seminar as a special issue of the new open access publication from TOPOI.

Medicine and Poetry: From the Greeks to the Enlightenment

Medicine and Poetry: From the Greeks to the Enlightenment, University of Miami, March 20, 2015

From Homer’s depiction of wounds and Lucretius on plague and death to Erasmus Darwin’s rhymed verse portrayals of plants and zoology and beyond, poetic texts have reflected, disseminated, and actively engaged with contemporary ideas about medicine and the body. While scholarly work on poetry or the history and philosophy of science has long proceeded in parallel, the conjunction of the two remains understudied. With the recent surge of interest in medical Humanities and sub-topics such as narrative medicine and the verbal (in)articulation of bodily pain, the time is right to propose a conference investigating how medical knowledge is expressed, often by non-specialists, in poetry.

We invite abstracts for 20-minute papers on any aspect of the relationship between poetry and medical thought from Classical antiquity through the Enlightenment, including, but not limited to:

  • The depiction of psychic as well as physical suffering in the Homeric epics.
  • The appearance of technical medical terminology in 5th century BCE drama.
  • Representations of others’ bodies as afflicted or diseased as in, for example, Catullus.
  • Representations of the poet’s own body as afflicted or diseased as in, for example, Ennius, Horace, and Persius.
  • The healing function of poetry (e.g. paean songs or the therapeutic aim of Lucretius’ De rerum natura)
  • The medical or physiological character of poetic disposition (e.g. melancholy as a peculiarly salient trait of Romantic and other poets)
  • The reception of Classical medical poetics in post-Classical periods.
  • Narrative therapy as a way to make sense of death and disease.
  • Poetry as a distinctive or even necessary medium for the expression of medical knowledge.

Keynote speaker: Brooke Holmes, Princeton University

The Afterlife of Greek Tragedy

The Afterlife of Greek Tragedy, London, March 5–6, 2014

The Warburg Institute and the Institute of Classical Studies will be hosting an international conference in London on the Afterlife of Greek Tragedy on March 5–6 2015, organised by Peter Mack and John North.

We invite 40-minute papers about the impact of Greek Tragedy on intellectual and cultural history, on the visual arts, philosophy, politics, rhetoric and literature, including the development and character of European and other theatrical traditions. Papers dealing with any period between late antiquity and 1900 will be especially welcome.

The conference will take place in the Warburg Institute; the proceedings will be jointly published by the two Institutes as Supplements to the Bulletin of the Institute of Classical Studies. We shall ask the authors for publishable versions of the papers three months after the conference.

Material in Motion

Material in Motion, 10th North American Textile Conservation Conference, New York, November 16–18, 2015

The tenth biennial North American Textile Conservation Conference (NATCC) will be held in New York City and will focus on the theme of “Material in Motion.” Topics include, but are not limited to, technical analyses and descriptions, scientific and historical research, conservation treatments, and other issues. For example:

  • Materials that were designed to move, such as clothing, theater curtains, parade banners, furniture upholstery, puppets, tents, tapestries, carpets, etc. from all contexts, including ethnographic and archaeological case studies or examples.
  • The Transportation of textiles and costumes, past and present; presentations of issues and considerations in moving on or off-site collections across the room or across the world, for conservation, storage, display or travelling exhibitions; including preventing unwanted movement through virtual exhibitions or the design of display and storage systems. Discussions of the implications in design and management of these projects and how these have influenced our conservation practices and vice versa are also welcome.
  • Movement in fabric and fibers on a micro scale due to changes in humidity and the effects of gravity and vibrations on textiles while on display and in storage.
  • Undesired movement on a macro scale, including issues with unwanted or unauthorized public handling while on display or velocity and movement caused by air currents.
  • Unavoidable physical manipulation required during mounting for display, dressing mannequins and/or installation/de-installation.
  • Migration of dyes, stains, adhesives, soiling, etc. and the removal of these materials from the object.

Conservators, curators, conservation scientists, art historians, archaeologists, anthropologists, collection managers, designers, and others engaged with these topics are invited to submit proposals for presentations. Collaborations among any of the above professions or with others not listed are encouraged.

The Aesthetics of Crossing: Experiencing the Beyond in Abrahamic Traditions

The Aesthetics of Crossing: Experiencing the Beyond in Abrahamic Traditions, Utrecht University, March 19–21, 2015

Keynote lectures by Hans Belting, Lindsay Jones, Christian Lange, Birgit Meyer, and Leigh Eric Schmidt

“The aesthetics of crossing: experiencing the beyond in Abrahamic traditions” is a three-day, interdisciplinary, international conference dedicated to studying the manifold ways in which the body experiences and, at times, traverses the perceived divide between the sacred and the profane. Because religious boundaries are not necessarily registered or crossed by the body in its entirety but by one or a number of its senses, the conference is structured around the body’s senses, including the inner, more incorporeal ones such as the faculty of the imagination. The conference seeks: (a) to produce insights, drawn from the study of primary body-related data (texts, images, objects, practices, etc.), into how the body is the vehicle and agent of religious boundary-crossing; (b) to examine how such conceptualizations and uses of the body are both affirmed and contested within religious and secular traditions; and (c) to locate the study of the body and its boundary-crossing potential in the recent disciplinary and political transformations in the study of religion across the Humanities.

“The aesthetics of crossing: experiencing the beyond in Abrahamic traditions” marks the end of a series of scholarly consultations organized within the framework of HHIT (“The here and the hereafter in Islamic traditions”), a four-year research project funded by the European Research Council and hosted at Utrecht University. HHIT has been primarily invested in studying Muslim cosmologies and imaginaries, seeking to trace and locate the various boundaries, often unstable and permeable, that divide this world from the otherworld in a variety of Islamic religious discourses and practices. This conference seeks to broaden the work of HHIT in several directions, and to stimulate discussion across disciplines such as Islamic Studies, Religious Studies, Anthropology, Literature, History of Art, and others.

Paper proposals are solicited in the following areas:

Session I: Visual Crossings
Panel 1: Representations of the unseen
Papers might examine: the use of art and architecture in the realization of the sacred; the use, abuse, and contestation of images of prophets and prophetic figures in a variety of traditions; etc.
Panel 2: Occlusion and occultation
Papers might examine: material veiling practices and the scopic régimes to which they belong; the evil eye and notions of being ‘struck’ by the unseen; processes of moving into occultation; the occultation of saints, Imams; etc.

Session II: Olfactory Crossings
Panel 3: Tasting
Papers might examine: the use of food in religious law and ritual, particularly as it betokens a holy communion or offers a foretaste of the otherworld; tasting as a metaphor in mystical traditions; etc.
Panel 4: Smelling
Papers might examine: smells and perfume in religious traditions and the olfactory régimes in which they are embedded; in particular, the smell of sacred bodies, e.g. saints, martyrs, relics, and how are invoked to establish presence; bad breath (halitosis) and ascetic ‘problems’ with smells; etc.

Session III: Auditory Crossings
Panel 5: Music
Papers might examine: sacred music and its use in ritual, particularly as a practice that invokes the boundary-­‐crossing properties of sound as a facilitator of other types of crossings (e.g. bodily, territorial, cosmological); singing and listening practices, and the religious reflections that buttress and accompany these practices; etc.
Panel 6: Hearing across the divide
Papers might examine: the oral/aural dimension of revelation as it pertains to boundary crossing; the hearing of voices from the beyond; the voice of god[s] and angels; criticized, thwarted and failed attempts to listen in to the otherworld; etc.

Session IV: Tactile Crossings
Panel 7: Touching the living, touching the dead
Papers might examine the boundary-­crossing dimensions of: caressing, kissing, and having sex; touching living saints; touching dead bodies and relics; also, the etiquettes of touching the living and the dead, and theories about the transmission of grace by touching; etc.
Panel 8: Touching things
Papers might examine: the touching of cenotaphs and mausolea; the touching of sacred, ‘otherworldly’ plants, minerals, or artifacts; etc.

Session V: Crossings by the Inner Senses
Panel 9: Imagination
Papers might examine: definitions of the faculty of imagination as a sense between the sensible and intelligible, in particular as the imagination is invoked and made to be operative in a) experiences of the beyond, and b) the construction of imagined/imaginable worlds; etc.
Panel 10: Intellect
Papers might examine: examples of intellectual otherworlds and afterlifes and the concurrent claims to intellectual crossings; the challenge contained in such cosmologies to sensational religious practices and discourses; theories of prophecy and reason that accompany and derive from intellectualist conceptions of religious boundary-­‐ crossing; etc.
Panel 11: Inner vision
Papers might examine: the nature and function of the inner eye; illumination and light as a metaphor for spiritual transformation; the idea of a sensus numinis as it pertains to boundary crossing; etc.
Panel 12: Locatedness
Papers might examine: the ‘sense’ of religious architecture and religious mapping of the world; the ‘sense’ of locatedness, orientation, and balance in religious cosmologies; etc.

Coins and Texts. The Monetary Economy of Egypt, from Persians until the Beginning of Islam

Coins and Texts. The Monetary Economy of Egypt, from Persians until the Beginning of Islam. Cairo. October 29–31, 2015

Historians can have access to the reality of the Ancient World both from coins, which the scholars with difficulty tried to classify into series, and from texts. The coins then appear in accounts, receipts, contracts, narrations (reports, fiction, travel books…), on different formats (ostraca, papyri, inscriptions…). The aim of the conference is to bring together specialists of this two-sided part of the ancient social and economic history and to have them collaborate in order to define causes and consequences of the appearance and use of coinage in Egypt.

The economy of Egypt has known different languages, in relation to the different authorities that ruled the country along with the inhabitant population. Each language transposes the same reality but with different words. In this respect, the phases of transition between two different authorities (Persian – Ptolemaic – Roman – Islamic) offer a window that gives a glance to the changes and continuities and thereby an opportunity to understand the organization of the ancient economy.

Coins are an essential tool for the organization of exchanges.

At the bottom of the scale, it is important to focus on the use of coins in daily life, particularly on the difference between coins on the one side and the mentions of payments in accounts on the other, but also on the evidence of a separate use of coinage by different social groups (gold, silver, bronze).

Then, what is the path followed by coins? From the royal mint to the purse of the fellah and on the other way round, from the payment of tax to the royal treasury, what are the different steps of the transformation of coinage? Who was paying what, with which metal?

Periods of transition, finally, are often a way to take account of change, or continuity, of monetary policies of the authorities. From the introduction of the first bronze coins and the minting of pseudo-Athenian coins during the Persian period, to the change of accounting system under Augustus and later to the transformations led by the Islamic authorities, a large range of examples gave the opportunity to grasp the pragmatic side of the monetary exchanges.

These three topics offer a favorable ground to the organization of a three-day conference, which should lead specialists of coins and texts to a better understanding of the ancient economy. This meeting is not only inter-disciplinary, it also gives a view on the long term, from the Persian period until the early Islamic rule. Answers to these questions will give a better understanding of the effort of resilience of those who used coinage in Egypt and will shed light on the specific features of the economy of Egypt on the long term.

Contributions may address:

Questions on the daily use of coins:

  • What kind of coins were used?
  • What is the difference between the sums registered in papyri and the coins in circulation and therefore, the difference between sums given in the texts and the sums really paid in cash?What is the monetization rate in different regions, social groups, periods?
  • Who is using gold and silver, and who is using bronze?
  • Where did exchanges take place?
  • Were the coins weighted or counted, depending on periods? How was the value of coinage estimated, or established?

Production of coinage :

  • Who gave the order to mint coins, and for which use? Who were the recipients of those payments?
  • What is the role of gold/silver/bronze coins?
  • How was the market supplied in coins and how did coinage return to Alexandria?
  • What was the part of taxes paid in coins/kind?
  • What was the part of taxes in the state revenues?
  • What was the role of taxes in coin circulation? How easy/difficult was it for people to have access to coins for payment of taxes?

Administration of old and new coins:

  • When coinage appeared in Egypt, how was it presented?
  • How the transition between the old and the new system of account worked in Ptolemaic Egypt
  • How the system went back to a Greek system under the rule of Augustus, how “Ptolemaic” coins were used during the early Roman period
  • How the transition to the gold-standard was effected during the Byzantine period?
  • What kind of coins were used during the early Islamic period?

It would therefore be desirable to work in pairs (specialist of texts – specialist of coins) to allow a confrontation of sources and a fruitful debate. For a fast publication of the proceedings of the conference and for the debates during the conference to be as interesting as possible, it will be asked that you submit the text of your communication not later than the 15th September 2015. Texts of presentations will be printed as pre-proceedings and distributed a few weeks before the conference so that the participants will be able to study its contents.

Proposals for participation should be sent to Thomas Faucher (CNRS, IRAMAT- CEB, Univ. Orléans)

Things: Their Lives, Agency, and Meanings

Things: Their Lives, Agency, and Meanings, session at the UAAC/AAUC Universities Art Association of Canada Conference, Toronto, October 23–26, 2014

Recent theoretical approaches such as thing theory, new materialism, and visual/material culture studies have allowed us to enrich and sometimes revise our understanding of the meanings of objects by profoundly reshaping the ways in which we look and think about them. This panel seeks to delve into the agency of things and to inquire into the lives of objects in order to uncover how their making, history, consumption, use, movement, restoration, or change of locale can impact their meanings. Whether focusing on works of fine, decorative, or industrial art, we invite researchers to ask questions such as (but not limited to): how have our attitudes towards things changed over time? how do things give new meaning to their surroundings? how do things participate in matters of sociability? what relationships can we trace between things and the paintings or prints in which they are represented?

Abstracts of 150 words and a short (300 words maximum) bio-bibliographical paragraph that specifies rank and institutional affiliation (if applicable) should be submitted to the session chairs.

Session Chairs: Ersy Contogouris and Marie-Ève Marchand

Source: CFP: 3 sessions at UAAC/AAUC (Toronto, 23-26 Oct 14). In: H-ArtHist, Jun 12, 2014 (accessed Jun 13, 2014), <http://arthist.net/archive/7995>

Foldable Pictures

Foldable Pictures. Implications of Mediality, University of Zürich, November 21–22, 2014

Book pages, diptychs, and triptychs were popular formats for the presentation of images in the medieval and early modern periods. In addition to their ubiquity, these objects also share one essential material feature: the supports that carry the images are movable. The most obvious consequence of the mobile presentation is the consecutive progression of different views.

Only in recent years did scholars begin to consider the processes of transformation that the opening and closing of pictured surfaces generate, for example the strategies of layering or folding images and the production of tacit knowledge caused by such formats. Using foldable pictures leads to a metaphorical coding of entire object classes (being understood as the body or the tablets of the heart), but also to a semantization of specific object areas (the dichotomy of inside and outside as, for example, “secular” versus “sacred”, or “accessible” versus “secret”). Furthermore, also structural features such as borders or thresholds, hinges, and cleavages play a decisive role in these processes. Thanks to the viewer’s memory, images “hidden” beneath other images begin to “gleam through” and become virtually present nonetheless. Movability also creates multiple lines of vision or additional moments of contact between represented persons.

It appears that artists have paid much more attention to these issues as has been hitherto recognized. It may also be noted that this is not a phenomenon restricted to artistic problems. In religious images, such effects were harnessed to draw attention to other functions, such as didactic or mnemonic purposes.

This conference will explore the range of recently observed phenomena, and discuss their implications for the concept of the image in medieval and early modern period. This may lead to a critical revision of the finestra aperta paradigm as well as to a redefinition of the relationship between images and their contexts, especially in the case of the religious sphere. From a religious point of view, the action of opening and closing increases the aura of a work of art and also has implications for the practical use and control of images in the religious cult. Especially a consideration of the virtual presence of encased images bears potential to shed new light on neglected functions of images or the workings of memory versus visuality. Considering these and other aspects of foldable pictures, will have an impact on our understanding of the overall tension between presence and absence and the anagogic qualities of images.

Remembering Jerusalem: Imagination, Memory, and the City

Remembering Jerusalem: Imagination, Memory, and the City, King’s College London, November 6–7, 2014

Perhaps the world’s most iconic city, Jerusalem exists both as a physical space and as a site of memory, ideas, and re-memberings. In art, literature, film, and history writing; in acts of public and private worship; and in communities across the globe, memories of Jerusalem have, for centuries, been created, invoked, and relived. This cross-period, interdisciplinary conference invites paper and panel submissions on the theme of Jerusalem and Memory, c. 1099 to the Present Day. Topics may include, but need not be limited to:

  • techniques of memorialisation / techniques of memory
  • place, space, and memory
  • souvenirs, mementoes, and memory aids
  • the materiality (or immateriality) of memory
  • memory and sensation
  • memory, land and environment
  • memory and warfare
  • memory and governance
  • forgetting, false memory, and fictional remembering
  • narrative and memory
  • memory and the archive
  • national, local, and transnational memories
  • memory and community
  • ethnography as remembering
  • ritual, repetition, and performance
  • sacred and secular memory

Keynote speakers
Professor Anthony Bale (Birkbeck)
Professor Eyal Weizman (Goldsmiths)

Organised by the AHRC-Funded Research Network ‘Imagining Jerusalem, 1099 to the Present Day’

Terracottas in the Mediterranean Through Time

Terracottas in the Mediterranean Through Time, University of Haifa, March 23–25, 2015

The Zinman Institute of Archaeology and the Department of Art History of the University of Haifa, Israel, invites the submission of papers for the conference "Terracottas in the Mediterranean Through Time", dedicated to the study of terracotta figurines and related objects in the Mediterranean region from the early periods to late antiquity. The conference is under the auspices of the Association for Coroplastic Studies (ACoST).

The conference aims to bring together scholars and students who often tackle the same issues as the study clay figurines and related objects from different periods and parts of the Mediterranean region. Scholars who research terracottas of illiterate societies often use anthropological and ethnographical methods, while those studying terracottas of historical periods refer to historical sources and artistic analogies. The various viewpoints and attitudes may enrich and deepen our understanding of terracotta figurines and their role in society.

The scope of issues to be discussed at the conference will be wide, and will follow the different stages of the terracottas' lives:

  • First stage - the artisans or coroplasts:  aspects of manufacture; typology and iconography; production of large- and small-scale terracottas; social status of the artisans; organization of workshops; questions of specialization; relationships with other media and workshops; new technologies employed in the dating and identification of workshops.
  • Second stage - patterns of distribution: interaction between terracotta production and markets; local production versus imports; imitations; trading, selling and offering.
  • Third stage - the users: Who used terracottas and who did not; how they were used and in what circumstances; usage through space and time; other objects used together with terracottas; themes and types in specific contexts (sacred, funereal and domestic); choice of types; symbolic meaning conveyed by terracottas; the role of terracottas in society; terracottas and gender.
  • Fourth stage - phasing out: How, why and when terracottas went out of use; patterns of deposition or obliteration; archaeological context of terracottas and its meaning.
  • Fifth stage - ancient terracottas today: influence of ancient terracottas on 19th- and 20th-century art; robbery and the antiquities market; museum display of terracottas.

The official language of the conference is English. Presentations should not exceed 20 minutes.

The Many Face(t)s of Cyprus

The Many Face(t)s of Cyprus, 14th Meeting of Postgraduate Cypriot Archaeology, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, November 15–16, 2014

The Institute for Archaeological Studies and the Centre for Mediterranean Studies of the Ruhr-Universität Bochum are pleased to announce the 14th POCA (Postgraduate Cypriot Archaeology).

The POCA meeting offers an excellent opportunity to postgraduate students and early career professionals from various backgrounds and disciplines to present their work, exchange ideas and meet colleagues with similar research interests in Cypriot culture.

Tracing cultural diversities is our general issue. Therefore, we welcome all papers regarding archaeology and history as well as studies of a wider chronological, contextual and multidisciplinary approach (e.g. anthropology, social and political sciences) to Cypriot cultures on the island and beyond.

The Connected Past: Archaeological Challenges and Complexity

The Connected Past: Archaeological Challenges and Complexity, Imperial College London, September 8–9, 2014

The CFP for the next event in The Connected Past series is now open. This meeting is entitled The Connected Past: archaeological challenges and complexity - it is a one and a half day multi-disciplinary meeting to explore how concepts and techniques from network- and complexity science can be used to study archaeological data. These challenges include the use of material data as proxy evidence for past human behaviour, questions about long-term processes of social change, and the fragmentary nature of archaeological data. We aim to bring together physical scientists and archaeologists in order to highlight the challenges posed by archaeological data and research questions, and explore collaborative ways of tackling them using perspectives drawn from network and complexity science.

Archaeological Sources and Resources in the Context of Museums

Archaeological Sources and Resources in the Context of Museums, Annual CIPEG Conference 2014, Copenhagen, August 26–29, 2014

Papers related to the conference theme: Archaeological Sources and Resources in the Context of Museums are now invited. Many museums and collections hold artefacts from archaeological excavations, but how this legacy is dealt with, and whether it is valued as a resource or not, vary. The topics may include case studies, find-groups or individual objects. As it is the CIPEG tradition, there is also an Open Forum for papers related to general museums work.

The Intersection of Art History & Art Market

The Intersection of Art History & Art Market: Navigating The Business of Art, session at the UAAC/AAUC Universities Art Association of Canada Conference, Toronto, October 23–26, 2014

Fraught with tension, the co-mingling and relationship between art history and the art market has remained among the most under-explored and elusive topics of examination in the discipline. Even so, the mechanisms of value and valuation, the networks of patrons and dealers at the local and global level, and the more recent explosion in the democratization of, and accessibility to, on-line art auctions has a reciprocal effect on how and why art historians research and write about art. This panel seeks to examine the broader and critical dimensions of this issue across any historical period and calls for presentations that explore, whether through specific case study or theory-based examination, the contours of the art history/art market intersection. The panel invites a wide scope of creative and engaged participation from art historians, artists, art critics, curators, art appraisers, and those involved in any aspect of private or public art collection.

Session Chairs: Dorothy Barenscott (Kwantlen Polytechnic University) and (Lara Tomaszewska (Openwork Art Advisory)

Historiography and Space in Late Antiquity

Historiography and Space in Late Antiquity, Ghent University, October 24–25, 2014 and January 15–17, 2015

The research group Late Antique historiography at Ghent University is organising two workshops on historiography and space in Late Antiquity (300–800 AD), a first one October 24–25 2014 and a second from Jaunary 15–17 2015.

The aim is to explore how space was perceived, conceptualised and deployed in historiographical texts within the context of late ancient literature and society. The first workshop focuses on perceptions of space in genres related to historiography (hagiography, apocalyptic literature, geographical literature) and on historical memory in general. The second focuses more strictly on perceptions of space in historiography.

The workshop welcomes contributions on Greek and Latin authors, but also, and especially, those on texts in oriental languages such as Armenian, Georgian, Syriac, and Coptic. Historiography is understood in a wide sense, including narratives and chronicles, but also lists, excerpt collections, antiquarian writings, local histories, etc.

Confirmed speakers

Workshop I
M. Debié (Paris)
D. Engels (Brussels),
G. Kelly (Edinburgh)
J.-C. Van Haelewyck (Louvain-la-Neuve)

Workshop II
P. Blaudeau (Angers)
J.W. Drijvers (Groningen)
S. Johnson (Washington)
T. Greenwood (St. Andrews)
H. Leppin (Frankfurt)
M. Meier (Tübingen)

500-word proposals for papers of 25 minutes are welcomed. Participants are asked to read the research group’s position paper before submitting an abstract.

2014 Annual Symposium for Pilgrimage Studies

2014 Annual Symposium for Pilgrimage Studies, College of William & Mary, September 26–28, 2014

The Institute of Pilgrimage Studies in conjunction with the International Consortium for Pilgrimage Studies invites abstracts for the 2nd annual Symposium.

The conference will embrace thematic sessions including:

  • Artistic and Literary Responses to Pilgrimage
  • Health and Pilgrimage
  • Material Culture of Pilgrimage
  • Pilgrimage in the Mediterranean World
  • Pilgrimage in the Ancient World
  • Pilgrimage in Non-Christian Traditions
  • Space, Place and Lived Experience of Pilgrimage

We encourage submission of  papers involving research and creative activity on journeys to a sacred center or travel for transformation from a broad range of disciplines and perspectives including religious studies, anthropology, literature,art history, kinesiology, classical studies, history, sociology, theater and dance.  Individual presentations will last no more than 20 minutes, with time for discussion between papers.

Abstracts from faculty, independent researchers, graduate and undergraduate students are welcomed and must be submitted through the conference website.

Cosmopolitan Architecture: Travels, Exchanges, and Transmission of Architecture in the Middle Ages

Cosmopolitan Architecture: Travels, Exchanges, and Transmission of Architecture in the Middle Ages, session at the UAAC/AAUC 2014 Conference, University of Toronto, October 23–26, 2014

Session Chairs: Jean-Sébastien Sauvé (UQAM, Montreal) and Candice Bogdanski (York University, Toronto)

With the foundation and expansion of the European Union, scholars of medieval architectural history have been eager to employ the notion of free trade in order to suggest the idea of movement and exchange, however, Medieval Europe was not segregated according to modern nationalistic boundaries. Thus, the ways in which styles, as well as the people responsible for bringing these ideas from one major architectural site to another, were able to transgress substantial distances requires detailed investigation. This session will consider not only the clear visual relationships between medieval architectural and decorative programmes, but also the distinct processes of transmission that facilitate this symbiotic exchange of ideas, styles and people. How can we qualify the relationship between construction sites when medieval architecture borrows, blends, adapts and distorts its models to create a new style? Papers may examine any aspect of this process of architectural stylistic transmission in order to determine whether or not a tangible process of exchange, based on practical commercial and socio-political networks, can be found behind the visual evidence.

Abstracts of no more than 150 words should be sent to the session chairs by June 18, 2014.

The Study of Visual Culture in the Era of Zeroes and Ones

The Study of Visual Culture in the Era of Zeroes and Ones, Art Historians of Southern California 2014 Symposium, Santa Monica College, October 18, 2014

The tele-electronic digital world is transforming the ways we teach, the types of research we pursue, the subjects we teach about, the methodologies we employ, as well as how we archive and preserve. The Getty has pledged to spend millions on digital tools and USC used its 1.9 million Mellon Grant for Digital Humanities to announce a larger pledge for the University to spend a billion in the next ten years on digital knowledge and informatics. Institutional leverage and enticement with monetary support are sure to create disruption and change for academics. What does this mean for scholars and professionals and how is it going to affect our disciplines? The College Art Association published their Samuel Kress Foundation study on Changing Research in Art History in their May 7th newsletter that highlighted the need for academics of visual culture to respond to the changing needs of the discipline.

This symposium seeks submissions that engage and theorize the ways the study of art history and visual culture are changing and the ways scholars are adapting and innovating to meet these new challenges and opportunities. We encourage inter-disciplinary, trans-disciplinary, cross-disciplinary and uni-disciplinary approaches. Diverse topics are welcome and we imagine receiving proposals on: digital pedagogy, archival practices, digital humanities, database as research, visual scholarship, virtual humanities, and digital/virtual/database art among others.

The Global Republic of Sacred Things

Intersections seeks papers for the 2017 issue, The Global Republic of Sacred Things: The Circulation of Religious Art in the Early Modern World.

Sixteenth-century Europe was a time when monarchial territories were redrawn, permanent schisms split a single church, and sustained, repeated circumnavigation of the globe was achieved for the first time. The “globalization” of the early modern world expanded and transformed the “Republic of Things.” While there has been an increasing literature on biographies and itineraries of objects, European religious overseas networks, often at the heart of Protestant Reformation and post-Tridentine political, geographical and theological reform, have received considerably less attention to date. How, for example, did points of contact by agent, merchant and missionary impact the early modern imagination as a social practice? And how did the journeys of images, artifacts, and precious cargoes across intersecting networks affect their value and use? Previously, these webs of communication bore only incidental information about the material cultures their presence at the frontiers of known lands stimulated at home and abroad. Further still, as European systems largely governed by and for Europeans, the things that linked religious and commercial networks have the potential to offer insight into Europe’s initial attempts to grapple with long-distance contact zones. In a challenge to models of individual organizations, cultural comparisons, and post-colonial theories of industrialized societies, this volume seeks to consider how a sacred Republic of Things — material residues of global encounter most broadly conceived (masterpieces, decorative art and functional objects) — can cast light on the dramatis personae of the fifteenth- to eighteenth-centuries as they came to terms with an expanding world.

Objects should give some evidence of the interaction of Europe with Asia, Africa or the Americas, and religious “things,” or objects of devotion, that have not yet had their moment in the sun are ideal. We are particularly interested in the production of artisanal cultures, local accommodation via technologies and materials, shifting currencies of value and objects used against the grain of their intended purpose. Issues at stake could include, but need not be limited to, the globalization of different types of religious subjects or objects, the use of new media (either alone or in conjunction with others), mimesis and memory, spolia and translation, commoditization and mobility.

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Images of the Other: Istanbul – Vienna – Venice

IMAGES IV – Images of the Other: Istanbul – Vienna – Venice, Istanbul, September 2–4, 2014

After the conferences IMAGES (I) – Films as Spaces of Cultural Encounters (2011), IMAGES (II) – Images of the Poor (2012) and IMAGES (III) – Images of the City (2013), the IMAGES project is planning to focus on Images of the Other as documented in the images/ representations of Istanbul, Vienna and Venice in its 2014 conference.

Starting from the Middle Ages all three cities have been (culturally) mythologized as points of cultural intersection in works of literature, arts and film; be it as the spaces where East meets West, where lines blur between the conscious and the subconscious, between life and death, between the visible/ the seen and the invisible/ the unseen, or as spaces identified with the evil, as the Moloch luring – all these mythologizations being part both of the self-perception documented in the native cultural production and of the perception from the
(cultural) “outside”.

Regarding this fact the IMAGES project has decided to discuss the (historically) changing representation and perception of the three cities in its 2014 conference IMAGES (IV) – Images of the Other: Istanbul – Vienna – Venice; the representations being seen as documentations of cultural approaches and also of cultural concepts. Hence, the historically grown mythologizations of the three cities create a sheer unlimited number of potential cases of both cultural encounters and conflicts, including most of the socially relevant fields in the academic discourse on the topic, like politics, communication, culture, and migration.

In order to discuss issues like the above mentioned IMAGES (IV) – Images of the Other: Istanbul – Vienna - Venice invites scholars, but also architects, photographers, writers, artists and filmmakers to propose papers in the following fields of research and interest:

  • The Making of a Myth (theoretical approaches with special reference to the three cities Istanbul, Vienna, Venice)
  • The psychology of feeling Istanbulite, Viennese and Venetian
  • The psychology of attraction (theoretical approaches with special reference to the three cities Istanbul, Vienna, Venice)
  • Istanbul’s, Vienna’s, Venice’s cityscape as a (mythologized) statement
  • The impact of the media (news, internet, daily soaps) on the perception of Istanbul, Vienna, Venice
  • Images of Istanbul, Vienna, Venice in feature films (present and past)
  • Images of Istanbul, Vienna, Venice in the Arts (present and past)
  • Images of Istanbul, Vienna, Venice as seen by photographers (present and past)
  • Images of Istanbul, Vienna, Venice in literature (present and past)

The conference is planned as a interdisciplinary international conference. It will bring together senior scholars with PhD students, postdoctoral academics, and members of the artistic community without following the classical keynote speaker pattern but rather inviting all speakers either to present their research findings in 20 minute (paper) presentations plus 10 minutes for discussion or in 120–150 minute panels (4–5 panelists). There will be no parallel sessions. All sessions will be plenary sessions.

The conference language is English.

XVIII. International Conference on Patristic Studies

XVIII. International Conference on Patristic Studies, Oxford, August 10–14, 2015

The XVII. Conference will be held from Monday 10 August 2015 to Friday 14 August 2015. It will take place, as usual, in the Examination Schools in the High Street, Oxford. Health and safety regulations at the Examination Schools limit the maximum number of delegates to 900.

We invite delegates to submit their abstracts for either a) short communications (12 min.) or b) workshop proposals. The latter should comprise the agreed names and titles of at least 3 other potential delegates (coming from at least two different countries – England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland counting as one country). Workshop proposals can contain up to 12 members and papers and, if comprehensive enough, can lead to a separate Studia Patristica volume. Reminder: only *one* contribution can be accepted (*either* a short communication *or* a workshop proposal and paper), so that as many people as possible have the opportunity to present their work. Remember to submit your abstract as early as possible, as the Conference is usually oversubscribed.

Shifting Frontiers in Late Antiquity XI

Shifting Frontiers in Late Antiquity XI, The Transformation of Poverty, Philanthropy, and Healthcare in Late Antiquity, Iowa City, IA, March 26–29, 2015

The eleventh biennial Shifting Frontiers in Late Antiquity conference will take place at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, IA, March 26–29, 2015. The period of Late Antiquity (A.D. 200–700) witnessed great changes in respect to attitudes towards poverty, philanthropy, and healthcare. The conference aims to bring together scholars in order to explore these issues amidst global concerns over poverty and the provision of healthcare, and questions over the role of private philanthropy in effecting change within these areas. Two events in particular, the ascendency of Pope Francis to the papacy and the debate over the federal provision of healthcare in the United States, helped to inspire the conference’s goal of surveying how early Christians, Jews, early Islamic communities, and others within the Mediterranean viewed, wrote upon, depicted, and grappled with these issues, and how they shaped the late antique world economically, socially, politically, and topographically. Questions that we may wish to address are: What were elite attitudes towards the poor? What do we mean by the “economy of charity”? How did monasticism shape healthcare in the later empire? What is the interaction between religion and science?  We hope to receive proposals for papers concerning all aspects of poverty, philanthropy, and healthcare, which approach these issues from textual, archaeological, numismatic, papyrological, or epigraphic standpoints.  The conference aims to serve as an interdisciplinary forum for specialists throughout the Mediterranean, Middle East, and Africa during the period of Late Antiquity, and as such, welcomes a broad interpretation of the theme.

Keynote speakers:
Professor Ramsay MacMullen, Dunham Professor Emeritus in History and Classics, Yale University
Professor Susanna Elm, History Department, University of California, Berkeley

Military History of the Mediterranean Sea

First International Conference on the Military History of the Mediterranean Sea, Fatih Üniversitesi, Istanbul (Büyükçekmece), June 26–28, 2015

The Department of History of Fatih Üniversitesi will host the First International Conference on the Military History of the Mediterranean Sea.

With an uninterrupted history of nearly 1,500 years, Istanbul has been the centre of the world and the capital of two great Empires. The confluence of the Sea of Marmara, the Bosphorus, and the Golden Horn, at the heart of present-day Istanbul, along with its striking Theodosian walls have deterred attacking forces for thousands of years and still remain a prominent feature of the city's landscape.

Fatih University and the staff of the Department of History are delighted to invite session and paper proposals for its first international conference on military history to be held June 26–28, 2015. We welcome papers that explore any topic related to the study and teaching of the military history of the Mediterranean in the Middle Ages and Renaissance, from the fall of Rome to the nineteenth century. We especially encourage papers that focus on the conference’s theme of military elites. Points of discussion could potentially, but not exclusively, include:

  • Military elites and change of power
  • Economic power and the social status of military elites
  • Social and cultural interactions - hated, despised or admired?
  • Recruitment policies
  • Military tactics and technological innovations

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THE MARY JAHARIS CENTER
for Byzantine Arts and Culture

Founded in 2010 through a generous gift from the Jaharis Family Foundation, the Mary Jaharis Center for Byzantine Art and Culture is dedicated to the promotion and advancement of knowledge about the rich heritage of Byzantine art and culture.

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