Call for papers | Material cultures and iconography in flux: Asian objects in Naples and Lisbon through the sixteenth century and beyond | Deadline: 30 September 2022

Elisabetta Colla's picture
Type: 
Call for Papers
Date: 
September 9, 2022
Location: 
Portugal
Subject Fields: 
Art, Art History & Visual Studies, Asian History / Studies, Cultural History / Studies, European History / Studies, Maritime History / Studies

CALL FOR PAPERS:
MATERIAL CULTURES AND ICONOGRAPHY IN FLUX: ASIAN OBJECTS IN NAPLES AND
LISBON THROUGH THE SIXTEENTH CENTURY AND BEYOND
HOSTED BY: LISBON UNIVERSITY – CENTRE FOR HISTORY
IN COOPERATION WITH: UNIVERSITY OF NAPLES L’ORIENTALE | ASIA COLLECTIONS
NETWORK | ASSOCIAZIONE ITALIA-PORTOGALLO
VENUE: LISBON UNIVERSITY - SCHOOL OF ARTS AND HUMANITIES
HYBRID FORMAT (online and onsite)
We welcome proposals for papers for this international conference that will be held on Zoom in synchronous
webinar format on 27-28 July 2023.
We are proud to present the theme "MATERIAL CULTURES AND ICONOGRAPHY IN FLUX: ASIAN
OBJECTS IN NAPLES AND LISBON THROUGH THE SIXTEENTH CENTURY AND BEYOND".
The Portuguese Seaborne Empire (cf. Charles Boxer) and the enhancement of sea routes between Portugal
and Asia made possible the flux of Asian (im)materiality to Europe promoted the introduction of Western
ideas, customs, iconography and artefacts in Asia and vice-versa. Renaissance Europe gradually opened its

doors to new challenges and knowledge from Asia increasingly spread westward. This was just the begin-
ning of a constant flow of exchanges that started in the sixteenth century and is still ongoing.

Lisbon and Naples have played a pivotal role in the circulation of Asian spices, precious objects, porcelain,
silk and even flora and fauna, which filled the rooms in the palaces of European royalty and wealthy families
alike.
The maritime trade of diverse kinds of goods was part of a larger web of East-West connections that went far
beyond mere commercial purposes. During the long period commonly known as the time of “discoveries”,
the curiosity of European humanists, scientists, artists as well as ordinary people was stimulated by “exotic”
objects and ideas.
The flow of (im)materiality encompassed advancements not only in the applied sciences, but also in the
practical application of knowledge across the spectrum of human experience. The encounter of different
cultural elements was witnessed in many disciplines, from science to humanism, from botanics to literature,
from medicine to performing arts.
An example of this phenomenon of cultures in motion, is the establishment of the Chinese College in Naples
(1730s). The arrival of young Chinese neophytes in Naples was part of a wider process that involved many
different actors and objects of various types. Some pieces manufactured in the Royal Porcelain Factory in

Naples during the eighteenth century, for instance, are good examples of the migration, perception, interpre-
tation and adaptation of techniques, materials, models and patterns from East to West.

With the opening of transoceanic routes eastward, Lisbon contributed to make Asia closer for Europeans and
facilitated the development of new perceptions of Asia. The Tower of Belem and the Jerónimos Monastery
are still there to remind us of an age of explorations and discovery of the (im)materiality of other cultures,
meant as semiotic representations and catalyst ideas in the East-West relations.
The goal of this conference is to examine how the flow of material cultures, iconography and symbols is
reflected in the collections of Asian objects in Europe, with a particular focus on Naples and Lisbon. Thus,

we welcome submissions from interdisciplinary fields that propose novel approaches to new and old theoret-
ical challenges.

The conference will give researchers an opportunity to present their studies to an audience of peers, in a
friendly and stimulating atmosphere, as well as to network with fellow academics in the field of (im)material
culture in flux in and outside Asia.

Abstract Submission
All abstracts must be submitted in English. The abstract should be written in 250-300 words containing title,
brief introduction, objectives, relevance, methodology and major findings of the paper. Please submit the

abstract to: asiacollectionsnetwork@gmail.com by 30 September 2022. The notification of ac-
ceptance/rejection of the abstracts submitted will be sent to you via email by 15 December 2022.

Information on the conference can be found at: http://www.centrodehistoria-flul.com and
https://asiacollectionsnetwork.com/
Oral Presentations

The length of presentations should not exceed 20 minutes. In case the presenter chooses to speak in a lan-
guage other than English, the committee strongly recommends to provide the audience with a handout giv-
ing at least a summary in English language.

Submission of Full Papers for Publication
If your paper has been accepted, you should submit your final draft by 15 December 2023. The text of the
articles will be preceded by an abstract of 250 to 300 words and a maximum of 5 keywords. If the text has
been originally written in a language other than English, the titles, abstract and keywords must also be given

in English. If the text has been originally written in English, the title, abstract and keywords must be provid-
ed only in this language.

Registration
The conference is free but registration is required and it will open on 1 June 2023.
All participants are responsible for their travel and accommodation costs, as well as for visa application fee.
A certificate of participation will be provided, when required, upon payment of € 30.

Organising Committee
Elisabetta Colla - CH-ULisboa - UNIARCH - ACN - ACN-EUROPE
Guia Minerva Boni - L’Orientale di Napoli - UNIOR
Iside Carbone - RAI - ACN - ACN-EUROPE - CH-Lisboa
Luis Afonso - CH-ULisboa - ARTIS - ACN-EUROPE
Patrizia Carioti - L’Orientale di Napoli - UNIOR
Tiziana Iannello - Independent scholar
Vincenza Cinzia Capristo - AISC (Associazione Italia Studi Cinesi)
* The organisers reserve the right to modify the dates and general conditions of the conference for the sake
of the safety of the participants in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic.