Glasgow 2010: Medieval Art / Postcolonial Questions

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Join us in Glasgow for the Association of Art Historian’s 36th annual conference, from the 15th to the 17th of April, 2010.

On Saturday 17th, Postcolonising the Medieval Image will be convening Medieval Art/Postcolonial Questions.

The application of contemporary theories to pre-modern art history is often greeted with anxieties about anachronism. This session sets out to create a conversation between medieval art and postcolonial theories. The contributors to this session will address questions both of race in the middle ages, and of colonial entanglements on the part of medievalist scholars of the 19th-21st centuries.

Theoretical questions the papers and ensuing panel discussion will endeavour to address will include:

  • How can concepts current in postcolonial studies in disciplines such as history and comparative literature (diaspora and migration, minor artistic cultures, translation, accented art making, displacement, intercultural vs transcultural, hybridity, presence/absence) help medievalist art historians to re-envision their objects of study?
  • How might postcolonial concepts be used to interrogate the canon(s) of medieval art?
  • To what extent can such theories help bridge the methodological gap between medievalists and modernists?
  • How might postcolonial questions help to engage a new generation of students who are alert to the global reach of art?

Tthe following five papers will be presented, followed by a round-table discussion:

Nadia R. Altschul (The Johns Hopkins University), Saracens and Race in Roman de la Rose Iconography: The Case of Dangier in MS Douce 195

Rebekah Pratt (Arizona State University), Postcolonialism and Chivalric Identity in the Frescoes of Runkelstein Castle

Michael Michael (Christie’s), Re-Orienting the Westminster Retable

Roberto Pesenti (Courtauld), Retelling the story of medieval architecture in Sardinia

Eva Frojmovic (Leeds), Arts of Extimité

We will be posting the abstracts over the coming weeks.

Other panels at AAH 36 that may be of interest include:

  • Images of Corporal Mortification and Corruption, Martyrdom and Mercy: 1250–1550
  • Art in the Public Sphere, Public Spheres In Art: Middle Ages and Renaissance
  • Visual Culture of the Medieval Middle East: Islamic Art History Now?
  • The Relic and the City
  • Intervisuality in Medieval Art

The application of contemporary theories to pre-modern art history is often greeted with anxieties about anachronism. This session sets out to create a conversation between medieval art and postcolonial theories. The contributors to this session will address questions both of race in the middle ages, and of colonial entanglements on the part of medievalist scholars of the 19th-21st centuries.

Theoretical questions the papers and ensuing panel discussion will endeavour to address will include:

· How can concepts current in postcolonial studies in disciplines such as history and comparative literature (diaspora and migration, minor artistic cultures, translation, accented art making, displacement, intercultural vs transcultural, hybridity, presence/absence) help medievalist art historians to re-envision their objects of study?

· How might postcolonial concepts be used to interrogate the canon(s) of medieval art?

· To what extent can such theories help bridge the methodological gap between medievalists and modernists?

· How might postcolonial questions help to engage a new generation of students who are alert to the global reach of art?