Calls for Papers
ICMA sponsored session at CAA, Los Angeles, 21-24 Feb 18
“Medieval Echo Chambers: Ideas in Space and Time”, organized by Jack Hartnell (University of East Anglia, Norwich) and Jessica Barker (University of East Anglia, Norwich). Deadline: 14 August 2017
In recent decades, historians of medieval art and architecture have begun to think about the ways in which the interaction of objects, images, and performances were focused by particular medieval spaces. Whether directed towards a powerful cumulative spirituality, a slowly-accruing political self-fashioning,
or more everyday performances of social coherence, it is clear that medieval space had the power to bind together sometimes quite disparate objects, forming their multiple parts into coherent messages for different types of viewers.
Thus far, however, such discussions have largely chosen to focus on individual moments of such medieval consonance, thinking through these Gestamtkunstwerken in only one particular iteration. This session proposes to expand this type of thinking beyond the snapshot by considering how medieval spaces could not only encourage resonance between objects in the moment but also echo these ideas over time. How did certain medieval spaces act as ideological echo chambers? How did certain spaces encourage particular recurring patterns of patronage, reception, or material reflection? How did people in the Middle Ages respond to the history of the spaces they inhabited, and how did they imagine these spaces’ future?
In an attempt to attract papers on different aspects of this diverse theme, as well as hear from speakers coming from a broad range of backgrounds and at different stages of their career, we have not preselected a group of speakers but rather envisage putting out a call for around four or five short papers, to be framed in the session by an introduction from the organisers. We encourage speakers to put forward proposals on material from any part of the Middle Ages, broadly defined both chronologically and geographically.
Topics could include, but are by no means limited to:
· longue durée narratives of interaction between objects and architecture, particularly in ideologically-charged public or private spaces such as churches, palaces, or shrines;
· tracking the resonance of quotidian spaces, such as marketplaces, bridges, squares, over time and across evolving audiences;
· relationships between objects from the classical world brought forward into medieval settings;
· medieval stagings of objects that project forward into the early modern period and beyond;
· evolving relationships between particular types of artist and particular types of space;
· documents and performances through which the histories of particular spaces and objects were
remembered, reiterated, repeated;
· the role of the immaterial—sound, light, smell, touch—in drawing together spaces and objects,
and their changing nature over time;
· ‘future spaces’, which point to times and places beyond themselves, whether an imminent reality or a more fantastical future.