Leeds 2007—Call for Papers REPLY TO: Dr. Mickey Abel, University of North Texas by Sept. 20
‘Placing’ the Art and Architecture of Romanesque Spain:
Contextualizing Towards a Geography of Material Culture
Taking the lead suggested by Thomas Kaufmann in his 2004 book Towards a Geography of Art, this session seeks to challenge and question the historian of Spain’s medieval material culture’s employment of notions of place, space and location. Kaufmann defines a “geography of art” as that which foregrounds localizations and instantiations, where “place” is viewed through the lens of particular locational circumstances and ecological inquiry. This approach seeks to re-contextualize art and architecture by moving away from spatial theory and globalizations to make room for a more specified account of the empirical. It is built on the principles of reception, but encompasses the analysis of artists, objects, ideologies, functions, techniques, skills, patterns of patronage, production, distribution, and appreciation, within a consideration of physical and cultural geography. This “geography of art” thus calls into question issues of identity and ethnicity by situating the inquiry in relation to a response to and definition of “place.” In this highlighting of localizations, it re-signifies and shifts the notion of artistic centers to the periphery.
Building on the work of Panofsky, Foucault, Lefebrve, Kant, and Bal, Kaufmann suggests questions this session wishes to explore more specifically to the analysis of the art and architecture of Romanesque Spain. In light of the multifaceted, multicultural context of the Romanesque era, particularly as it manifests itself in the various regions of Spain, does attention to space, place, and location engage our object-based art history and amplify reception oriented approaches in ways that are useful? How do the mentally controlled sets of relationships we call ‘knowledge’ account for the ideological, social, and cultural “place” of the observer? In the context of Romanesque Spain, is there a correlation, contribution, or disjunction between notions of space, place and location in relation to the current discourses of era, chronology, or the global narrative? Does a consideration of locational specificity relate us to our subjects of study in enlightening ways? Or does it c
omplicate notions of context, including a sensitivity to our inability to neatly cleave context as con/text, or a text from context? Moreover, how have notions of geographical place been inflected into writing about change through time as it applies to the Romanesque era Spain? How has the consideration of spatial dimensions had an impact on discussions of art and architecture in a historical chronology of the Iberian Peninsula? Can this “geography of art” help us contextualize notions of mythical places, mystical spaces, or notions of sacred power that are based on locational topographies?
This session invites papers that challenge the theoretical basis of our analysis of the Romanesque in Spain and welcomes those that embrace the archaeological, anthropological, geographical, as well as the historical, as a means to “place” the material culture of Romanesque Spain.
Papers should be sent to:
Dr. Mickey Abel
University of North Texas
P.O. Box 305100
Denton, TX 76203-5100
University of North Texas
Denton TX 76203-5100 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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