ICMA CFP: Kalamazoo 2017. Light and Darkness in Medieval Art, 1200-1450, I-II

CALL FOR PAPERS for the ICMA-sponsored session

International Congress of Medieval Studies
11-14 May 2017
University of Western Michigan, Kalamazoo, MI.

Deadline:   10 September 2016

Light and Darkness in Medieval Art, 1200-1450, I-II

Organizers: Stefania Gerevini (L. Bocconi University) and Tom Nickson (The Courtauld Institute)

Specialists of Christian, Islamic and Jewish art and culture are invited to explore how perceptions of light and darkness informed the ways in which art across Europe and the Mediterranean was produced, viewed and understood in the period 1200–1450. We welcome papers that investigate the correlations between theories of optics, theologies of light, practices of illumination, and modes of viewing in the Middle Ages, as well as the ways in which different religious or cultural communities conceptualized light and used it in everyday life or ritual settings. Papers might also address such broad methodological questions as: can the investigation of light prompt reconsideration of well-established periodizations and interpretative paradigms of art history? How was the dramatic interplay between light and obscurity exploited in the secular and religious architecture of Europe and the medieval Mediterranean? How carefully were light effects taken into account in the display of images and portable objects, and how does consideration of luminosity, shadow and darkness hone our understanding of the agency of medieval objects? Finally, to what extent is light’s ephemeral and fleeting nature disguised by changing fashions of display and technologies of reproduction, and how do these affect our ability to apprehend and explain medieval approaches to light?

Please send proposals to Stefania Gerevini  stefania.gerevini@unibocconi.it and Tom Nickson tom.nickson@courtauld.ac.uk  by 10 September 2016.