Histories of Violence: Italy and the Mediterranean c.1300-1700
Symposium to be held at the Courtauld Institute of Art Research Forum
23 February 2008
CALL FOR PAPERS
From the late middle ages through the early modern period, the Mediterranean world was shattered by multiple acts of violence. These were primarily religious, political and artistic in nature. Yet as a concept, violence poses a challenge to modern historians, for its definition is hard to pin down. The term we employ loosely, though its physical expressions are numerous, its textual and visual forms provocative, its reception history problematic. Violence, rather, manifests itself as an attitude or process whose stakes change in space and over time. This symposium, whose scope spans across four centuries, addresses the manifold histories of violence in Italy and the Mediterranean during an artistically explosive and politically turbulent period of social and cultural development. It does so with the hope of arriving at a more nuanced ‘period’ understanding of violence and its various artistic or socio-political manifestations.
What is the relationship between acts of physical violence and their textual or visual representations? Is rendering a scene of violence in words or images an act of violence in itself? What is the difference between witnessing human suffering first hand and reading its text or beholding its image?
This one-day conference seeks to spark an intense and focused discussion from an informed panel in a supportive environment. Historians, art historians and literary historians working in relevant fields are encouraged to submit. We invite proposals of around 250 words for thirty-minute presentations from candidates at all levels of research. Please send abstracts by 30 November to Scott Nethersole email@example.com and Edward Payne firstname.lastname@example.org.
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