Portraits of Human Monsters in the Renaissance – Dwarves, Hirsutes, and Castrati as Idealized Anatomical Anomalies by Touba Ghadessi

Portraits of Human Monsters in the Renaissance – Dwarves, Hirsutes, and Castrati as Idealized Anatomical Anomalies

by Touba Ghadessi

publication by Medieval Institute Publications

From the editors website :

At the center of this interdisciplinary study are court monsters–dwarves, hirsutes, and misshapen individuals–who, by their very presence, altered Renaissance ethics vis-à-vis anatomical difference, social virtues, and scientific knowledge. The study traces how these monsters evolved from objects of curiosity, to scientific cases, to legally independent beings. The works examined here point to the intricate cultural, religious, ethical, and scientific perceptions of monstrous individuals who were fixtures in contemporary courts.

 

More infos from the Editors website.

 

Meeting – Workshop – The All-seeing eye? Vision and Eyesight Across Time and Cultures Workshop, 2018

The All-seeing eye?

Vision and Eyesight Across Time and Cultures Workshop, 2018

Wed 11 April 2018 – 09:30 – 17:00

 

A call for papers has been issued for this workshop which will explore medical, social, and cultural meanings of the eye and vision in contemporary and historical perspective. Vision has often provoked fascination within societies and cultures as the most revered sense. In Western Europe, the eye has been viewed scientifically as the most ‘exquisite’ organ, or spiritually as a ‘window to the soul’. These positions have had an influence on how the eye has been perceived, both as a vital organ and, by implication, one that needed to be protected. Whilst the eye could bring delight to its holder, and be symbolic in a variety of ways, it could also, when lost, incur significant impairment. The workshop will explore this vision impairment and correction, and the extent to which sight loss has been stigmatised. It will welcome papers that explore eyesight and its meanings across time and place, to encourage trans-historical and interdisciplinary discussion

 

Programme :

9.30am Registration 

10am Panel One

Dr Corinne Doria, Paris 1-Pantheon-Sorbonne University; University of Milan, ‘Defining Normal Vision. Eye charts in 19th Century Europe’

Dr Andy Flack, University of Bristol, ‘Vision and touch in the depths of the Mammoth Cave’

Dr Deborah Ellen Thorpe, Trinity College, Dublin, ‘“Mynde, ye, and hand”: A palaeographical approach to medieval eyesight deterioration’

First Break

11.45-12.45 Keynote

Professor Graeme Gooday, ‘Beyond the visual: alternatives to ocularcentric histories of bodies and technologies’

Lunch

 1.45pm Panel Two

 Dr Ben Curtis, University of Wolverhampton, ‘‘The dread now prevailing’: Miners’ Nystagmus in the South Wales Coalfield in the Early Twentieth Century’,

Dr Karen Beauchamp-Pyror, Honorary Research Fellow, College of Human and Health Sciences, Swansea University, ‘Losses and gains: the impact of regaining and restoring vision’

Dr Michelle Carr, College of Human and Health Sciences, Swansea University, ‘Seeing in Your Dreams’

Second Break

3.30pm Panel Three

 Colin Harding, AHRC CDP Candidate, Imperial War Museum and University of Brighton, ‘Repairing War’s Ravages: Horace Nicholls’ photographs of prosthetic masks’

Iain Riddell, PhD Student, University of Leicester, School of Media, Communication & Sociology (Member of the Science Advisory Committee for the Childhood Cancer Trust, 2015-2018), ‘Making a beginning Retinoblastoma in adulthood, psycho-social contexts and imperatives’

4.45-5pm Wrap up the Day

Contact Information:

Gemma.Almond@sciencemuseum.ac.uk or Gemma.Almond@swansea.ac.uk

More infos on their website

CFP – ‘Objects, Extensions, Prosthetics: The Body and Subjectivity in the Pre-Modern Period’ – 28th Feb 2018 – Newcastle University.

Objects, Extensions, Prosthetics: The Body and Subjectivity in the Pre-Modern Period

Wednesday 28th February 2018, 1-6pm Newcastle University.

We invite postgraduates and early career researchers based in the North to give short (15 minute) talks at an afternoon seminar event on Wednesday 28th February 2018. This event will include a key note from Professor Helen Smith (University of York) in response to the talks given and a group discussion of the topics to close, as well as a free lunch included. The seminar will focus on how objects function as extensions of the self the medieval and early modern period. Can objects be sites of emotional or literary expression? Do they reflect pre-modern notions vi interior/exterior selves? Can they be considered as Metonymic’ substitutions for the self? We invite PGRs/ECRs to present on this theme a, well as partake in group discussions over the course of the afternoon. Topics might include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • The body (skin, hair)
  • Fashion (clothing, textiles)
  • Prosthetics
  • Books (print., literary or personal, notebooks)
  • Stage props (/object and costumes)
  • Household items
  • Religious/sacred objects

If you would like to get involved with this seminar event and give a short paper, please send an expression of interest along with topic details (no more than 200 words) no later than 15thJanuary 2018. and/or any queries. to Emily Rowe – e.c.rowe2@newcastle.ac.uk

CFP – Chaucer: Sound and Vision – October 19th and 20th, 2018 – University of South Alabama

CFP – Chaucer: Sound and Vision,

October 19th and 20th, 2018

Deadline for Submissions: May 1, 2018

Name of Organization: University of South Alabama

Contact Email: ChaucerSoundAndVision@gmail.com

The English Department at the University of South Alabama invites paper proposals for a conference on Chaucer and the senses (vision, hearing, touch, smell, taste), to be held in Mobile, Alabama, October 19th and 20th, 2018. Papers on any aspect of the topic are welcome, along with papers on writers contemporary with Chaucer (Langland, Gower, the Pearl-poet, Julian of Norwich, etc.).

The plenary speaker will be Michael P. Kuczynski of Tulane University. The conference will also include a roundtable discussion on the state of Sound Studies. Outstanding papers will also be invited to submit expanded versions for an edited volume on the topic.

Please send proposals of 350 words to John Halbrooks and Becky McLaughlin at ChaucerSoundAndVision@gmail.com by May 1, 2018.

CFP – Brussels Medieval Culture and War Conference: Power, Authority, and Normativity – Université Saint-Louis of Bruxelles, 24–26 May 2018

Brussels Medieval Culture and War Conference: Power, Authority, and Normativity

Université Saint-Louis – Bruxelles
24–26 May 2018

An omnipresent phenomenon, war was a dominant social fact that impacted every aspect of society in the Middle Ages. Moving away from so-called ‘histoire-bataille’ that studied war on its own as an isolated succession of battles, studies have moved towards investigation of the reciprocal relationships between military conflicts and the economic, legal, political, religious, and social spheres in the Middle Ages.

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After previous meetings held at the University of Leeds in 2016 and the University of Lisbon in 2017, the 2018 edition of the ‘Medieval Culture and War Conference’ will take place at the Saint-Louis University, Brussels, and will focus on the theme of ‘Power, Authority, and Normativity’. We particularly welcome papers that discuss how medieval warfare, through the organisation, the techniques, and the discourses it mobilised, contributed to the shaping of power and power relationships, and how these power relations, in turn, could influence the adoption of certain forms of military organisation and techniques of warfare; how it related to the concept of authority; and how it was regulated by changing sets of rules over the period. How did power relationships, ideas about authority, and evolving norms have an impact on medieval warfare in theory and in practice? Interdisciplinary approaches from various theoretical backgrounds (e.g. archaeologi- cal, art historical, historical, literary, or sociological perspectives) are encouraged.

Subjects may include, but are not limited to:

  • Theory, doctrine, and ideology of war
  • War, propaganda, and rulership
  • Law and legislation on warfare
  • Literature on war and chivalry
  • Chivalric ethos and military discipline
  • Military justice and violence
  • Military organisation and logistics
  • Warfare and religion
  • Gender and war
  • Fortifications, weaponry, and technology
  • Real and imagined relations between combatants and non-combatants
  • Ideas of ‘Others’ and ‘Otherness’ in warfare
  • Funding of warfare

The conference, organised by the Research Centre for the include keynote presentations by Justine Firnhaber-Baker (University of St Andrews) and Bertrand Schnerb (Université Lille 3). The working language for the conference is English. Please submit an abstract of 250–300 words for a twenty-minute paper, or a proposal for a thematic session of three twenty-minute papers, with a short biography of 150 words, to brusselscultureandwar@gmail.com by 31 January 2018. Contributions from postgraduates and early career researchers are encouraged. A publication of selected proceedings is planned.

 

Brussels Organisation Commi ee: Eric Bousmar (Université Saint-Louis – Bruxelles), Michael Depreter (Université libre de Bruxelles/Université Saint-Louis – Bruxelles), Philippe Desmette (Université Saint-Louis – Bruxelles), Gilles Lecuppre (Université catholique de Louvain), and Quentin Verreycken (Université catholique de Louvain/Université Saint-Louis – Bruxelles).

In conjunction with the Leeds Executive Organisation Committee and the Lisbon Organisation Committee.

For more information visit their website: cultureandwarconference.wordpress.com/.