Perceptions of Continuity and Discontinuity, c.1300-c.1550.
An International Conference.
University of Edinburgh
31st August - 1st September 2007
This conference will attempt to re-examine the essence of Panofsky's influential 1944 article, where he stated the Renaissance:
"looked upon classical Antiquity from a historical distance; therefore, for the first time, as upon a totality removed from the present; and therefore, for the first time, as upon an ideal to be longed instead of a reality to be both utilized and feared."
Panofsky's proposition was not entirely new, but it remains the single most influential statement of the historical character of the Renaissance. It helped to create the idea of the Renaissance as a southern European phenomenon and gave credence to Huizinga's contention that, despite the spread of Italian cultural modes, the Middle Ages continued to cast their shadow on the north.
Despite its profound influence, however, Panofsky's definition of 'Renaissance' has recently come under question. Was it really the case that classical Antiquity was viewed as having been forgotten in the Middle Ages? Was the medieval period actually viewed as a distinct period, separating individuals from the pure culture of the classical past? How strong was the notion of a 'Dark Age'? Was there ever a sense of conceptual continuity stretching from the ancient world through the Middle Ages to the 'Renaissance'? Was there really a Renaissance in the south whilst the rest of the continent continued to exist in a medieval cultural mindset?
These are vitally important questions for our perception of Europe during these centuries. They also affect every aspect of the past. Questions about perceived continuity and change are as relevant to Art History as to the history of Christianity. A more refined understanding of the influence of Classical Antiquity on the politics, economics, and culture of Europe in the period between 1300 and 1550 should challenge many of the preconceptions which dominate our view of the Renaissance.
- Robert Black (Professor of Renaissance History, University of Leeds)
- Michael Bury (Reader in the History of Art, University of Edinburgh)
- Andrew Pettegree (Professor of History, University of St. Andrew’s)
- Robert Wegman (Professor of Music, Princeton University)
Other speakers include:
Malcolm Vale (Oxford), Robin Kirkpatrick (Cambridge), Jeffrey Chipps Smith (Texas), Hanno Wijsman (Leiden), George Steiris (Athens), Catherine Keen (UCL), Robin Sowerby (Stirling), Klara Benesovska (Prague), Michael Lynch (Edinburgh), Maria Ruvoldt (Fordham), Ingrid Ciulisova (Slovak Academy of Sciences), Rhys Roark (Humboldt), Ian Blanchard (Edinburgh), Erika de Young (Texas).
Please consult the conference website to register or for more information:
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