Call for Papers

The Global Middle Ages: From Influence to Translation

Conference at the University of Edinburgh, 16-18 May 2012

European, Islamic and Chinese societies engaged in a broad practice of cultural, artistic and ideological exchange during the period that was known in Europe as the ‘Middle Ages’ and that coincided with classical phases in eastern and western Asia. Adopting and passing on traditions through trade, pilgrimage and a range of other encounters, peoples of diverse backgrounds developed patterns of representation and exchange that have gained the interest of scholars for several

Beginning with suggestions of influence and evolving through to theories of translation, the study of societal interactions during this period has been a transitional one. As such, this conference seeks to explore the embodiment of cultural exchange through the art and architecture of the medieval period as well as the methodological shifts that have occurred in the study of this period of wide multi-cultural engagement.

In light of the transitions evident in both the art of the period and in significant studies of it, we welcome papers related to the topics of global interaction between the years of 400 and 1500 and the range of scholarly approaches to that material.

By examining traditional approaches to this material in relation to newer ways of engaging with it, this conference seeks to open discussion of new ways of approaching ideas of exchange and material in which cultural interventions are evident.

Papers focusing on a particular historical moment in China, India, Central Asia, the Middle East or Europe will be welcome and possible themes to consider include but are not limited to:

  • Conceptions of influence, appropriation and translation in scholarly discourse and curatorial practice
  • The exchange of visual and material culture through diplomatic gifts, pilgrimage, commerce and conquest
  • Patterns of encounter and the process of exchange

Abstracts of 250 words to be submitted to by 10 February, 2012. Enquiries to same email address.