CFP – In Sickness and in Health: Pestilence, Disease, and Healing in Medieval and Early Modern Art – 14th Annual Imago Conference, University of Haifa, January 12, 2021

In light of the global turmoil caused by the COVID-19 epidemic, the 14th Annual Imago conference will examine the cultural and artistic impact of epidemics, diseases, and healing in the art of the Middle Ages and the Early Modern Period. We hope this examination will not only shed new light on the artistic, social, and political mechanisms of both of these periods, but will also produce fresh insights into cultural and artistic responses to the current global health crisis.

Disease is an inevitable part of the human experience. Whether in times of acute crisis, the most familiar of which is the Black Death of the mid-14th century, or as a constant threat at all other times, diseases evoked varied responses, from theological formulations to the transmission of medicinal knowledge; and, not least, to artistic depictions.

We invite papers from broad and diverse points of view: case studies of iconographies dealing with disease or healing, studies of the artistic responses to specific epidemics, and comparative studies between East and West, the Christian and the Islamic worlds, etc. Interdisciplinary studies and those engaging with the production, reception, and interpretation of art concerned with disease and healing are of particular interest. Suggested topics may include, but are not limited to:

· Artistic expressions of medicinal practices

· Visual components in medical manuscripts

· Artistic responses to the Black Death and to other epidemics

· Physical and spiritual health – Medieval and Early Modern expressions

· Disease and otherness – xenophobic, racist, and anti-Semitic polemical visual expressions

· Disease – theological and moral conceptions

· Gendered aspects of disease and healing

· Disease and healing between East and West – artistic expressions

· Leprosy and its cultural and artistic representations

· Saints, relics, pilgrimage, and healing

· Disease and apotropaic practices

· Places of sickness and death: art in hospitals and cemeteries

· Images of doctors and nurses

· Representations of suffering and sickness

The conference will take place on January 12, 2021, at the University of Haifa.

* Should the ongoing Covid-19 situation prevent the conference from being held on campus, it will be held online via Zoom.

* All speakers will be allowed to deliver their paper via Zoom, even if the conference will take place physically on campus.

*We will broadcast the entire conference to participants via Zoom.

Abstracts of no more than 250 words should be sent to Dr. Gil Fishhof (gfishhof@staff.haifa.ac.il) no later than September 1st,2020. Abstracts should include the applicant’s name, professional affiliation, and a short CV. Each paper should be limited to a 20-minute presentation, to be followed by a discussion and questions. All applicants will be notified by October 1st 2020 regarding acceptance of their proposal. For additional information or further inquiries, please contact Dr. Fishhof.

Organizing committee: Dr. Gil Fishhof, Ms. Mazi Kuzi, Prof. Jochai Rosen, Dr. Margo Stroumsa-Uzan.


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