Reconstituting the Middle Ages: using medieval sources to recover the material past
IMC Leeds, July 2019
The material turn has put art history at the forefront of historical and cultural studies, and the resulting spotlight on the material culture of the past has been illuminating for scholars in many fields. But for medievalists, the loss of so much of the material remnants of the Middle Ages continues to be a frustrating reality. Textual accounts of buildings, interiors, and objects, and documentation of secular collections and sacred treasuries offer a tantalizing glimpse of medieval life, today only visible in what is probably a small subset of surviving objects and sites. This session will examine how we can attempt to reconstruct this lost material past, and what we might hope to gain by doing so. We welcome proposals for papers addressing this issue, including proposed reconstructions of particular lost objects, collections, or environments, discussions of methodological approaches to doing so, or theoretical papers exploring the ramifications of such attempted reconstruction of the material past. Papers on any period or region that fall broadly into the category of ‘medieval’ will be considered; the topic of the session might narrow depending on the proposals received. Papers should be 20 minutes in length, delivered in English. Please submit a proposal or abstract of no more than 250 words and a current cv to both Laura Cleaver (CLEAVERL@tcd.ie) and Kate Gerry (firstname.lastname@example.org); informal questions about the session can also be sent to both of us. Please send proposals by 15 September 2018.