Thursday, August 3, 2017

CFP: Spolia in the Global Middle Ages

by Mikael Muehlbauer
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Call for Papers
September 15, 2017
Subject Fields: 
Architecture and Architectural History, Art, Art History & Visual Studies, Islamic History / Studies, Medieval and Byzantine History / Studies, Middle East History / Studies
CFP: Spolia in the Global Middle Ages
            The reuse and reception of antique remains is one of the most pervasive traits in the art and architecture of the Middle Ages. From Roman cameos embedded in reliquaries, to the use of Pharaonic ashlar in Fatimid fortifications, panel will seek papers that help elucidate what reuse meant during the Middle Ages. Given the “material turn” in Medieval Art History, and the plethora of recent publications on spolia, this panel seeks to expand these discussions beyond the Medieval West. Panelists are invited (but not limited) to touch upon the following questions: In what context was spolia representative of “spoils” or “booty” from wartime? In what contexts is spolia merely an opportunistic reuse to lower construction costs? How did uses of spolia differ from culture to culture? In what religious and secular contexts did the meanings of spolia change? How can we understand represented spolia in other media, such as in manuscript illuminations or wall paintings?
            This panel seeks participants to present on artistic reuse of past objects, real or represented, with special attention given for papers dealing with uses of spolia that fall outside canonical definitions of the Middle Ages such as the Islamic World, Byzantium and the Indian Ocean.
Contact Info: 
Please submit a 300-word abstract and a completed Participant
Information Form ( by
September 15 to the session organizer:
Mikael Muehlbauer, Columbia University,

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