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Call for Papers: Medieval Art History after the Interdisciplinary Turn

Call for Papers: Medieval Art History after the Interdisciplinary Turn
University of Notre Dame, March 28-29, 2014

This conference brings together a diverse group of scholars representing Byzantine, Islamic, and western European fields to consider the methods and insights of medieval art history in disciplinary terms and in dialogue with the interdisciplinary practice of medieval studies.

In the spring of 2014 it will have been twenty years since Jeffrey Hamburger and Michael Camille confronted the relationship of medieval art history with medieval studies in a volume of conference proceedings, The Past and Future of Medieval Studies (Notre Dame, 1994), and twenty-six years since Herbert Kessler’s authoritative assessment of the state of medieval art history in the Art Bulletin (1988). Since these landmark statements, the interdisciplinary character of medieval art history has become “a given” for new generations of scholars trained in the field. At the same time, a decided “turn” to the visual and material has become increasingly evident throughout medieval studies, as scholars in other disciplines have selectively embraced or appropriated domains of evidence and methods of visual analysis and material interpretation once regarded as the purview of art historians.

In light of these developments, this conference seeks papers that critically examine the convergences and divergences that mark the intersection of medieval art history and a broader tradition of interdisciplinary medieval studies ever more invested in visual and material evidence. What modes of analysis and argument distinguish medieval art history from other art historical fields and from the interpretation of material and visual evidence practiced, variously, by other medievalists? How might older traditions of art historical inquiry reinvigorate an expanding conversation about medieval works of art and material culture? And perhaps above all else: what can an interdisciplinary practice of art history now contribute to medieval studies?

Adhering to the tradition of forward-thinking inquiry promoted by the Medieval Institute at the University of Notre Dame, this prospective – rather than retrospective – conference aims to frame new questions, formulate future research agendas, and identify lacunae in the current state of our knowledge that require new approaches, and new work.

As a forum for rigorous but collaborative dialogue, questioning, and critique among participants, we hope the conference will encourage lively intellectual and collegial exchange, that will ramify in ongoing conversation, future collaborations, and publications.

Submission Guidelines
Submissions are invited for the following conference panels. Proposals of no more than 300 words, along with a two-page CV, should be sent to the organizers of the appropriate panel no later than January 15, 2013. Multiple submissions will not be accepted.