Upcoming symposiums and congresses: Issue 15, May 2015

Call for Papers: Medieval Tombs and their Spatial Contexts. Strategies of Commemoration in Christianity and Islam

Submission deadline May 31, 2015
Conference date February 18-20, 2016
Organisation University of Tubingen, Institute of Art History, Prof. Dr. Markus Thome, University of Tubingen / Prof. Dr. Francine Giese, University of Zurich

The idea that the shaping of tombs and funeral places goes beyond aspects of personal welfare, by also reflecting social functions and meanings of commemoration, including political claims, is very popular in medieval research. Its effects can be noticed on examples of funerary monuments from both Christian and Islamic contexts. In addition to showing an enhanced interest in ritual integration, recent investigations show a wider perspective on concrete location and spatial situation as a main factor for the understanding of tombs and their function. As a result, space is interpreted beyond physical boundaries and frames, as a relational definition based on social constructs in the sense of collective perception, use and appropriation.

The conference will give the opportunity to discuss these approaches within comparative perspectives on medieval objects, buildings, and places of commemoration in Christianity and Islam. The focus lies on the relevance and the integration of tombs as places and spaces of formative and constitutive character in both religious cultures. Our interest is the reflection on the analysis of medieval burial monuments, with regard for the theoretical concepts of the Spatial turns. Case studies related to the choice of a burial place and the associated negotiation processes, questions of visualization in relation to space through shaped features or rituals, and religious and political intentions, will be the subject of discussion. Within this idea, the comparison of memorials and their related space in Christian and Islamic contexts raises questions about contact and frontier zones, as well as cultural exchange and transfer processes. This can sharpen the set of methodological instruments. Contributions from related disciplines such as History and Medieval Archaeology would ideally complement the focused perspective of Art History.

Keynote Speakers: Doris Behrens-Abouseif, London / Tanja Michalsky, Berlin/Rome

The organizers invite submissions on the following topics:

Location of the sepulchral monument: appropriation and construction of commemoration places
  • The meaning and significance of "holy place" for the construction of a commemorative culture.
  • Sacral buildings as burial places: development and changes of the topography of Memoria
  • Sepulchral complexes as political and religious centres
Shaping concepts: construction of meaning through formal, spatial and ritual reference frames
  • Appropriation, transfer and transformation of motives and types (citation, copy) as concepts of space-constituting effects of sepulchral monuments
  • Geographical references and creation of visual presence in space through tombs or commemoration signs (sight axis, crossing and overlapping older reference frames)
  • Interaction and relation between tombs and rites.
Political strategies: Power issues and sepulchral monuments as means of formation of identity
  • Protagonists and processes of negotiation: founders and their rights of access, handling institutional rules/restrictions (penetration and appropriation versus offer of participation)
  • Reliance on tradition: connection to existing burial places and sepulchral monuments, conception and formation of serial sepulchral monuments (family shrines, official genealogies)
  • Construction of history: artistic orientation, transfers and new performances on older tombs and burial places
Abstracts of no more than 300 words, together with a short CV, should be sent until May 31, 2015. Contact details can be found in this issue of MMR. Papers will have a duration of 20 min. Conference languages will be German and English.

7th International colloquium of the Abbey Museum of the Dunes: Dead Men Talking. Interdisciplinary research into archaeological burial contexts in Northwest Europe (10th-16th centuries)

Date 2015, October 21-23
Location Abbey Farm Ten Bogaerde, Koksijde (Belgium)
Organisation Abdijmuseum Ten Duinen
Website http://en.tenduinen.be/
Additional Call for poster sessions proposals

The 7th International colloquium highlights the interdisciplinary research into archaeological burial contexts in northwest Europe (10th-16th centuries). Various speakers will discuss their latest research findings, and the possibilities for including research into skeletal remains and their funerary context, in the general 'life stories' of the dead, both in the communal and the individual sense. This new research offers tools for assessment of sources, methodology, and a broader study of medieval burial contexts and excavated individuals in northwest Europe.

Additional information
Over 1,000 graves have been uncovered at the site of the medieval Abbey of the Dunes in Koksijde. This Cistercian abbey was the largest in Flanders, founded by the Count. In the 13th century, the community included up to 500 monks and lay brothers. The large number of well-preserved skeletons, found in one location and dating from a specific period (12th-16th centuries), is one of northwest Europe's largest collections of individuals.

The remains are now mainly kept at the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences in Brussels, where they are still being studied by physical anthropologists, medical examiners and students from all over the world. Unfortunately, incomplete excavation reports and gaps in the excavation archives complicate their interpretation and comparison with similar collections from our neighbouring countries.

A thorough analysis of the relic of the Blessed Abbot Idesbald, held in Bruges, may be an important reference point in the research into the collection of individuals of the Abbey in Koksijde. The question is, however, to what extent interdisciplinary research into the best-documented individual, excavated in Koksijde, can fill in the gaps?

Call for poster sessions proposals
Are you involved in an interesting project or in an area of work that you would like to discuss with or show to other congress attendees? Why not present your work in one of the two poster sessions at the 'Dead Men Talking' congress of the Abbey museum of the Dunes? This is an ideal opportunity to present your work in an international conference and to get acquainted with the most recent developments in the research on medieval burial contexts and excavated individuals.

The deadline for the proposals for the poster sessions is August 1st, 2015.

For further information, please visit the website of the Abbey museum of the Dunes in Koksijde.

Symbols in Life and Death - Monumental Brass Society

Date 18-20 September, 2015
Location Norwich
Registration form http://www.mbs-brasses.co.uk/MBS Flyer version 4.pdf

About the Event
The Monumental Brass Society's 2015 Conference will be held on the theme 'Symbols in Life and Death' in the historic city centre of Norwich, in the Maid's Head Hotel, Tombland, 18-20 September 2015.


Friday 18 September
14:00 Registration, Maid's Head Hotel
14:30 Visit (car share arrangement)
Church of St Peter and St Paul, Salle

David King
Salle Church and its Glass in the Middle Ages

David Harry
Salle's "Other" Family: The Brigges and Salle Church
16:30 Tea
19:00 Dinner, Maid's Head Hotel
20:00 Opening Lecture
Sandy Heslop
Monumental Opportunities: the Church Building Boom in 15th-Century Norfolk

Saturday 19 September
07:30 Breakfast
09:15 Lectures
Norman Tanner
Burial and Commemoration in Late Medieval Norwich

Christian Liddy
Citizens and their Brasses in Late Medieval Norwich

Tour of Norwich Churches
St Peter Mancroft (David King)
11:15 St Stephen (Martin Stuchfield)
12:30 Lunch (own arrangements)
14:00 St Giles (Carole Hill)
15:00 St John Maddermarket (Matthew Sillence)
16:00 St Andrew (Jon Bayliss)
17:00 Tea
19:30 Society Dinner, Maid's Head Hotel

Sunday 20 September
09:30 Lectures
Matthew Sillence
Antiquarian Records of Brasses in Norfolk

Rosemary Hayes
William Alnwick in Brass, Glass and Stone

Paul Binski
Oliver Ingham and Exercise
11:00 Tea
11:45 Lectures
Julian Luxford
The Howard Cadaver Brass at Aylsham

Helen Lunnon
From Floor to Ceiling: Church Porches as Monumental Ensembles
13:00 Lunch
14:00 Lectures
Sam Gibbs
The Biography of the Brass: Sir Simon Felbrigge

Claire Daunton
Norwich and its Hinterland: The Patronage of Glass
15:00 Tea/coffee and departure


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This page was last updated on: May 22nd, 2015

MMR Updates

December 16th, 2016:

The seventeenth issue of Medieval Memoria Research is now available.

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March 6th, 2012:

The ninth issue of Medieval Memoria Research is now available! In this issue you will find many new book announcements and information on projects dedicated to digitising memorial registers.

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