Saturday, February 15, 2014

UCSB Graduate Conference in Medieval Studies

University of California, Santa Barbara Medieval Studies Annual Graduate Student Conference
Saturday, May 31st, 2014
UC Santa Barbara, HSSB 6020 (McCune Conference Room)

Call for Papers: “Movement and Mobility in the Middle Ages”
Keynote Speaker: Professor William Tronzo, Department of Visual Arts, UC San Diego

Recent scholarship within medieval studies increasingly attends to the movements of peoples, objects, and ideas. Such concerns with mobility allow for a range of interdisciplinary approaches and methodologies in understanding how we track not only the transmission of material objects but also movement within seemingly fixed categories such as gender, class, and religion. Discourse on mobility in a medieval context provides a way of viewing the aforementioned categories as fluid, and thus provides rich opportunities for exploration and interpretation. This conference encourages discourse from all fields around the theme of movement in any aspect of the Middle Ages. For instance, how does an examination of the movement of objects, such as relics, challenge notions of regionalism and local identification? How is mobility determined by intersections of class, gender, and ethnicity? How do literature, medical treatises, and archeological finds inform an understanding of bodily movement?
Possible topics for consideration include but are not limited to:
  • Trade and commercial exchange: the movement of goods and currency
  • Travel literature and the movement of individuals within cultures
  • Fragmentation of objects, including the circulation and the transformation of visual
  • Movement of material texts across borders, geographical space, and languages
  • Religious movements: conversions, infidels, and apostasy
  • Movement within dramatic performance: staging travel, social movements, and
  • Influence of architectural structures on human movement
  • Physical disability and limitations of movement
  • Transmission of architectural styles, including landscape design
  • Ritual movement and processions
  • Cross dressing and movements across genders
  • Strategic movement in war campaigns; displacement in response to violence
  • Pilgrimage routes and the movement of pilgrims
  • Legally sanctioned movement or restrictions on movement, including banishment
  • Threshold spaces and movement across boundaries, including from ‘public’ to ‘private’
    and from ‘sacred’ to ‘profane’ space
  • Spread of germs, diseases, and plagues
  • Social mobility: titles, ranks, and their acquisition; apprenticeships and occupational
Professor William Tronzo (UC San Diego and affiliate of Università degli Studi Roma Tre) has published extensively on the art and architecture of the Mediterranean world from Late Antiquity through the early Renaissance, as well as on problems of theory and method and historiographical issues such as the persistence of Antiquity and the afterlife of the Early Christian tradition in Rome. Although his training is in art history, the intellectual ethos of his work derives from the history of architecture and landscape, as manifest in the spatial imagination of the past. His edited collection, Fragments: An Incomplete History, published in 2009, brought together interdisciplinary scholarship on the motion of physical and narrative fragments. His most recent book, Petrarch’s Two Gardens: Landscape and the Image of Movement, was published in 2013 and received the David R. Coffin award from the Foundation for Landscape Studies. He has held research appointments at the American Academy in Rome, Dumbarton Oaks Center for Byzantine Studies, the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, CASV A at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, the Bibliotheca Hertziana, the École des hautes études en sciences sociales, the Huntington, the Clark Art Institute and the Stanford Humanities Center.
This conference is open to graduate students studying the Middle Ages (300-1500) in all disciples, geographical regions, and stages of research.
We welcome 250- to 300- word abstracts for presentations 20 minutes in length. Please submit your name, email, university, and departmental affiliation with your abstract to Shay Hopkins at by February 21st,, 2014

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