IAS-Sponsored Session at Kalamazoo 2020: Quo vadis? Medieval Italian Sculpture Studies in the New Millennium
Abstr. due: 15.09.2019
Dates: 07.05.20 — 10.05.20
Organizing comittee e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Organizers: Italian Art Society
Dorothy Glass’s 2005 paper, “Quo Vadis? L’étude de la sculpture romane italienne à l’aube du troisiéme millénaire,” balanced a brief sketch of the historiography of medieval Italian sculpture studies as practiced during the last millennium with suggestions for directions such studies might take in the new one. Many of the issues and approaches she signaled as potentially fruitful have since been integrated into scholarship: for instance, the paired study of iconography and liturgy has led to a richer understanding of the social and ritual functions of religious sculpture, including its role in the creation of sacred space, while investigations of patronage have highlighted, in particular, the role of the laity in the development of medieval Italian art. But as scholars know only too well, history has a way of tracing its own course, and the intervening fifteen years have brought dramatic changes to medieval art history unanticipated by Glass’s essay, including the environmental, ethical, material, and Mediterranean “turns,” new digital (or digitally inspired) tools and methods, and the emergence of long-suppressed questions of racism and bias, historiography, and the academy. This double session seeks to honor Glass’s many years of contributions to medieval art history by asking, Quo vadimus nunc? We seek short (12–14 minutes) papers that engage methodologically, historiographically, prescriptively, and even polemically with the study of medieval Italian sculpture today, expansively defined.