Call for Papers – Medieval Association of the Pacific Conference 2017 – “Collecting the Monstrous”

Call for Papers
Medieval Association of the Pacific Conference 2017
MEARCSTAPA Proposed Session
NEW DEADLINE

Collecting the Monstrous

Medieval and early modern history, art, and literature often depict collections of strange, uncanny, or monstrous things. Bestiaries sometimes depict exotic animals or monstrous, composite creatures; those in the relic trade (such as Chaucer’s Pardoner) boasted collections of relics and other “miraculous” items, some of which were gruesome. Monastic houses and churches guarded proudly their (supposedly authentic) relics and other collections of ephemera, and developed sensational and shocking stories about these objects. Witch hunters and Inquisitors of the early modern period sometimes kept macabre souvenirs of those they interrogated, such as purported pacts with the devil, witch bottles, and other types of physical “evidence” of hexes or spells. Such collections both contributed to and inhibited the development of early modern antiquarianism in the period 1500-1700.

What is the belief system or thought process behind the accumulation of objects that are “othered” by an association with the uncanny or monstrous? What spiritual or psychological effects were they meant to have on their collectors and their beholders? The issue of authenticity is problematic, as strange beasts in bestiaries, relics for sale, confiscated satanic accoutrements and objects at the center of a church’s strange story were usually not genuine. What relationship did medieval and early modern collectors of objects have with the concept of authenticity when it came to the collection of objects considered to be uncanny or macabre? How do their attitudes about authenticity affect those of the 21st century scholar of medieval and early modern studies? What are the challenges of communicating the accumulation of uncanny or monstrous collections of objects to students? Moreover, what are modern scholars to do with such objects when they turn up in museums, churches, or universities? The precursors to our modern museums were early modern cabinets of curiosity, filled with strange and wondrous curios from throughout the world. How do these origins linger in present institutions? MEARCSTAPA seeks papers that examine the collecting of items that are considered uncanny, preternatural, or monstrous in medieval or early modern history, art, or literature in Europe, the Americas, the Middle East, or Asia.

Please send proposals of 300 words by October 29, 2017 to Thea Tomaini at tmtomaini@gmail.com and Asa Simon Mittman at asmittman@mail.csuchico.edu.

CFP – Le CESCM à Kalamazoo en 2017 – Signs of Identity, Marks of Otherness: New Approaches to Visual Culture

Le CESCM à Kalamazoo en 2017 – L’altérité (sociale, religieuse, politique, linguistique) et ses implications dans le domaine du visuel – 11  au 14 mai 2017

 

Le Centre d’études supérieures de civilisation médiévale et l’International Medieval Society-Paris lancent un appel à communication pour une session de communications organisée dans le cadre de l’International Congress on Medieval Studies qui se déroulera à Kalamazoo (USA) du 11  au 14 mai 2017 et qui réunit tous les ans dans le Michigan plus de 3000 médiévistes venus du monde entier. Cet appel conjoint est l’occasion pour le CESCM d’organiser pour la première fois un événement scientifique lors de l’ICMS,  sur le thème de l’altérité (sociale, religieuse, politique, linguistique) et ses implications dans le domaine du visuel.

Les propositions de communication (CV et résumé) sont à adresser à Vincent Debiais avant le 15 septembre 2016 ; merci aussi de renseigner la fiche d’inscription de l’ICMS. Pour tout renseignement, contacter Vincent Debiais : vincent.debiais@univ-poitiers.fr

Signs of Identity, Marks of Otherness: New Approaches to Visual Culture

This session will explore new avenues of research on visual signs marking the identity of social, religious, and political groups in different spaces (real or imaginary), and the ways in which these groups distinguished themselves.  Recent advances in the auxiliary sciences, which take into account social phenomena in the origin, creation and usage of systems of signs, permit  to revisit questions posed by emblems, armor, inscriptions, and images that mark the landscape and establish hierarchical spaces, both separate and connected.  In the dialectic of inclusion/exclusion, signs become references of identity included, integrated, claimed or rejected in reaction to historical circumstances and power relations.  This session brings together specialists from different disciplines to explore how visual signs work in real spaces, such as cities, monasteries, and castles; and literary spaces where such signs appear frequently in motifs and narratives.

This session welcomes interdisciplinary submissions.  Scholars working on original approaches to signs of identity through social history, visual culture, and the auxiliary sciences are encouraged to submit abstracts.  In this way, the session will have very broad appeal to participants at Kalamazoo.  Possible themes are: disputes, divisions, and heraldic claims; banners, standards, and flags; epigraphic marking and destruction; the role of written culture/visual culture in the strength of social groups.

 

Voir l’appel sur les carnets du CESCM