CFP: “Lost at Sea: The Visual Cultures of the Mediterranean Islands” (The International Medieval Congress in Kalamazoo, Michigan, May 12-15, 2011)
The Mediterranean is a world of islands and mainland. Yet, historically, the art history of the Mediterranean has been, by and large, the art history of the mainland. In the pre-modern era, islands occupied a prominent position within the cognitive and economic maps of the Mediterranean. Therefore, an understanding of the visual cultures of Mediterranean is incomplete, and even at fault, without a better understanding of the crucial role that islands played in the mutation and mobility of aesthetic forms and material objects across the ‘Great Sea’.
Moreover, the Mediterranean Islands form and excellent site for exploring the notion of cultural exchange. As frontier zones, the Mediterranean Islands were subjected to frequent and reoccurring waves of colonizations and de-colonizations. Throughout history, many, if not most, Mediterranean islands were ruled alternatively by Byzantium, by different Islamic political entities, by different `Western' political entities, or by locally-formed governments. Such a political reality combined with a strong presence of different groups of merchants as well as powerful communities of minorities resulted in the formation of hybrid and distinct cultures.
The session seeks papers that will explore the visual cultures of the Mediterranean Islands during the Middle Ages by concentrating on monuments and works of art that were produced on islands, on material objects that were routed through Islands, and/or on different aspects of island-mainland, island-island, and intra-island (including interfaith) cultural interactions.
To submit, please email an abstract for a twenty-minute paper (about 300 words), a short CV, and a list of the audio-visual equipment you will require to Doron Bauer (email@example.com) by September 15, 2010.
Department of the History of Art
Johns Hopkins University
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