View this email in your browser

CFP: Art and Ideology in the Twelfth-Century Western Mediterranean (14 October: NYC)

Papers are being sought for “Art and Ideology in the Twelfth-Century Western Mediterranean,” a Symposium to be held at the Bard Graduate Center in New York City on 14 October 2016, with the support of the Trehan Fund for Islamic Art and Material Culture and co-sponsored  by the Spain-North Africa Project.

In the twelfth century, new powers emerged throughout the Western Mediterranean, from the Almohads of North Africa to the Norman Kingdom of Sicily. In the Iberian Peninsula, upstart rulers with broad ambitions emerged in both Muslim and Christian territories. New city-states (ṭā’ifa pl. ṭawā’if) appeared with the dissolution of the Almoravid Empire in al-Andalus, and older kingdoms, including Castile-León and Aragon, began massive expansions under rulers who claimed imperial titles. “Art and Ideology in the Twelfth-Century Mediterranean” explores how the rulers of this region deployed art (conceived in the broadest sense) to legitimate new claims, how they asserted their authority through the construction of palatial and liturgical spaces, and what kinds of objects their kingdoms produced, traded, or coveted. We will investigate how these rulers looked to imperial and caliphal precedents and rivals for models, how they elaborated on these models, and which communities of artisans and workmen they drew on.
The aim of the symposium is to consider art and ideology in the Western Mediterranean as an integrated region where culture and religio-political ideologies cut across the geographic, ethnic, and religious lines that are so often used to divide it. Art and material culture provide a powerful lens for considering and clarifying the sometimes-hidden connections in this region, since the movement of objects and craftsmen rarely ceased at the edges of the cultural zones and traditions later fostered and imposed by nation-state institutions and modern scholars. We will explore how examining the broader region affects our understanding of its component kingdoms, and, following recent scholarship, seek to establish a theoretical framework for understanding the imbricated world of the medieval Western Mediterranean.
The symposium will feature several keynote lectures by scholars who work on Sicily, North Africa, and the Iberian Peninsula from Christian and Islamic perspectives, followed by a panel of shorter papers by junior scholars. We welcome proposals of 20-minute papers for this panel from PhD students and those within three years of the PhD, considering these topics from any disciplinary perspective.

Potential topics for presentation include (but are not limited to) questions such as the following:
• How were art and architecture deployed by rulers and aspiring rulers and their courts?
• How are articulations of politico-religious power visible in architectural construction and decoration?
What artisanal communities participated in the production of new spaces and what was the nature of their relationship to political power and patronage?
• How were legitimating strategies mirrored across cultural and political boundaries and how is this visible in material culture and its circulation?
• How were old patterns adopted and transformed by those engaged in new political endeavors and projects?
• How did groups not clearly associated with the dominant religious identities and evolving orthodoxies  (e.g. Jews, Mozarabs, and Kharijites) participate, and how was their cultural production affected by the political and demographic transformations of the twelfth century?
• How did people who were traditionally marginalized, including slaves and women, participate in programs of cultural production?
• How were new ideas of crusading/jihad manifested in material culture?

Please submit your 300-word proposals via email to by Friday, 29 July.
Final drafts for pre-circulation are due October 1.

Source: Andalusi_Studies mailing list

This message is being sent to Associates of the Mediterranean Seminar (; you may have received it as a forwarded message.
Excuse duplicate and cross-postings.
Please distribute widely.

The Mediterranean Seminar provides announcements of grants, fellowships, conferences, programs and events for third party institutions on a courtesy basis as we become aware of them. Any inquiries regarding such announcements should be made directly to the organizing party as listed in the announcement in question; the Mediterranean Seminar is not responsible for and does not provide any guarantee or warranty regarding these programs, their content, or the timing or accuracy of the information provided. All announcements are archived at:

To unsubscribe, click on the unsubscribe link in this email. You may unsubscribe and remain an Associate; unless you indicate otherwise we will assume this is the case. If you would like to be removed as a Mediterranean Studies associate, have received this message in error, would like to join the Mediterranean Seminar, or have inquiries, please contact mailbox(at) To subscribe click here.

You can update your user profile and email address here.

This email was sent to <<*Email Address>>
why did I get this?    unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences
Mediterranean Seminar · Institute for Humanities Research · 1156 High St · Santa Cruz, CA 95064 · USA