5th Forum Medieval Art

Conference Date: Sep 18, 2019–Sep 21, 2019 Location: Bern, Switzerland

Call for Sessions closed.

How to Propose a Session

The Mary Jaharis Center for Byzantine Art and Culture seeks proposals for a Mary Jaharis Center sponsored session at the 5th Forum Medieval Art, Bern, September 18–21, 2019. The biannual colloquium is organized by the Deutsche Verein für Kunstwissenschaft e.V.

The theme for the 5th Forum Medieval Art is Peaks, Ponti & Passages. Bern—looking out to peaks Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau, situated at the border to the Romandy, and having a long-standing tradition in bridge-building—embodies certain notions of translations, entanglements, and interactions. The conference will highlight such themes, focusing on forms and means of exchange, infrastructure, political and religious relationships, and the concrete reflections of these connections through objects. Methodological challenges will also be paramount, such as questioning how to write a history of encounters between artists, artworks, materials, and traditions.

Many mountain regions, and especially the Alps, have a long history as sites of transfers and interferences. Today, mountains and glaciers are the locations revealing most rapidly the consequences of climate change. They raise our awareness of similar changes in the past. Mountain regions were and are traversed by several ecological networks, connecting cities, regions, and countries, as well as different cultures, languages, and artistic traditions. Mountains, with their difficult passages and bridges, structured the ways through which materials and people were in touch. Bridges were strategic targets in conduct of war, evidence of applied knowledge, expression of civic representation, and custom points—both blockades and gates to the world.

Peaks in the historiography of Art History mark moments of radical change within artistic developments, the pinnacles of artistic careers, and high moments in the encounters of different traditions. Since the unfinished project of Walter Benjamin, who obtained his PhD in Bern, the passage has also been introduced as a figure of thought in historiography. The passage describes historical layers as spatial constellations, in which works of art, everyday culture, religious ideas, definitions of periods and theories of history encounter.

We invite session proposals that fit within the Peaks, Ponti & Passages theme and are relevant to Byzantine studies. Additional information about the Forum Medieval Art is available at mittelalterkongress.de.

Session proposals must be submitted through the Mary Jaharis Center website. The deadline for submission is May 30, 2018. Proposals should include:

  • Title
  • Session abstract (500 words)
  • Proposed list of session participants (presenters and session chair)
  • CV

Applicants will be notified of the status of their proposal by June 1, 2018. The organizer of the selected session is responsible for submitting the session proposal to the Forum by June 8, 2018.

If the proposed session is approved, the Mary Jaharis Center will reimburse will reimburse a maximum of 5 session participants (presenters and session chair) up to $300 maximum for residents of Switzerland, up to $600 maximum for EU residents, and up to $1200 maximum for those coming from outside Europe. In order to receive funding, session organizers and co-organizers must participate in the panel as either a participant or the session chair. Funding is through reimbursement only; advance funding cannot be provided. Eligible expenses include conference registration, transportation, and food and lodging. Receipts are required for reimbursement.

Please contact Brandie Ratliff, Director, Mary Jaharis Center for Byzantine Art and Culture with any questions.