IAS at Kalamazoo
Each year, the IAS sponsors three linked sessions at the annual meeting of the International Congress on Medieval Studies (ICMS). The Congress is an annual gathering of more than 3,000 scholars interested in medieval studies, broadly defined. The IAS seeks session proposals that cover Italian art from the fourth through the fifteenth centuries. See our submission guidelines for eligibility requirements to propose a session for IAS at Kalamazoo. Please send abstracts of 250 words together with a 1 page cv to firstname.lastname@example.org.
2017 52nd International Congress on Medieval Studies, May 11-14
The IAS is sponsoring the following two panels at the next ICMS.
Digital Reconstructions: Italian Buildings and their Decorations
Organizers: Kaelin Jewell, Temple University, and Amy Gillette, St. Joseph’s University. Read more
Gregor Kalas, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, “Geographic Data from the Inscriptions of the Late Antique Roman Forum.” Read more
Ruggero Longo, Independent Scholar, “A Digital Model and Virtual Reconstruction of the Norman Palace in Palermo: New Tools for New Understandings of the Medieval Spaces.” Read more
The digital three-dimensional model of the Palace, with its famous Palatine Chapel, is a fundamental tool, thanks to which a deeper knowledge of the monument arises. The digitization of spaces and images and the creation of a virtual three-dimensional model imply a double advantage. From an artistic and aesthetic point of view, the virtual model of the Palatine Chapel, including high definition photographs, allows us to explore every detail of the surfaces where magnificent mosaics are displayed. This – better than any other tool – makes possible and available for scholars the accurate analysis and study of the images in their relationship with the space around.
From an architectural point of view, through the entire model of the palace, it has been possible to imagine and reconstruct the medieval shape of the building – now hidden by early modern construction phases – and to figure out the original functions and configurations of the monument. Over all, it is possible to formulate more reliable hypotheses concerning the original link between the Palatine Chapel and the private dwellings of the kings, but also to imagine the spaces and the ceremonial path that was connecting the Norman Palace to the Cathedral in the Norman period.
Moreover, the three-dimensional survey is a powerful tool for the documentation and preservation of the monument. It also allows enhancing the cultural promotion of the Palace thanks to an interactive archive directly queryable from the virtual model, but also through a virtual surfing within the Palace itself, either in its current shape and configuration or in its hypothetical medieval reconstruction.
Lucas Giles, Duke University, “Historic Architecture and Digital Modelling: A Reconstruction of the Choir Screen at Santa Chiara, Naples.” Read more
This paper aims to answer these questions through a case study into the church of Santa Chiara in Naples. It primarily revolves around a digital reconstruction of the medieval tramezzo based on geo-radar scans which revealed the underground foundations of the structure. Built as a double convent to house both Franciscan Friars and Clarissan Nuns, strict enclosure played an important role at Santa Chiara. The tramezzo therefore had a heightened bearing on the interior layout. The reconstruction of the screen, which is recontextualized within a digital model of the church, will help to visualize this impact, serving as a springboard to examine how Santa Chiara functioned as a liturgical space.
Obscured by the Alps: Medieval Italian Architecture and the European Canon
Organizer: Erik Gustafson, George Mason University. Read more
This session seeks to examine the utility of the European canon in assessing the historical significance of Italian medieval architecture. Is there more to Italian architectural history than recurrent bouts of classicism? How can Italian architecture be understood positively within the European context, rather than in opposition or subjection to the canonical narratives? Possible avenues of inquiry might include exploring the historiographical lacunae of the canon, considering alternative criteria for structuring new canonical narratives, examining socio-cultural phenomena otherwise elided by the canon, or investigating other historically contingent trends which reflect different scholarly treatments of Italy and the north. Medieval architectural history has been “rethought” several times in the past decade, bringing “new approaches” to old questions. Shifting the discussion, this session seeks papers that ask broad new questions about medieval architecture’s place in the history of European culture, grounding such investigations in local Italian contexts. While Italy has long been obscured by the Alps, this session seeks to begin new conversations about medieval architecture driven by Italian challenges to canonical understandings.
Angelo Passuello, Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia, “The Church of San Lorenzo in Verona: A ‘Hapax’ in the Romanesque Architectural Context in Europe.” Read more
The greatest expression of the meeting between Continental references and local elaboration was reached by the realization of the church of San Lorenzo towards the end of the 11th century. The church is still requiring a rigorous study: my paper aims at filling this historiographical gap on the bases of my Ph.D research. My purpose is to increase the knowledge of one of the most peculiar Romanesque monuments of Northern Italy.
The church of San Lorenzo is a complex building: it shows elements which are not attributable to a single constructive tradition. First, the plan is made up by a large presbytery with three apses, which are in sloping progression with the chapels of the transept (chevet échelloné). Second, two particular round towers are attached to the façade. Third, there are extensive upper galleries running above the aisles. Finally, a refined Venetian sculptural apparatus has been adopted, (especially in the capitals). Architects were able to adopt the incentives offered by the Germanic and the high-Adriatic areas and to adapt them to the medieval constructive techniques typical of Verona, which had been influenced by the numerous classical examples of the Roman period. In this way they produced an original monument, which is without compare.
I will discuss the archeological, historical-artistic and conservative aspects of the church with a multidisciplinary approach: analysis of ancient archival sources, study of restoration documents of the 19th and 20th century, stratigraphy of the walls, chemical analysis of the materials forming the building and use of new technologies (laser-scanner 3D, georadar). As a result, I will make unpublished data about the architectural structure of the church known, in order to trace the cultural relations which make the building remarkable in the context of European Romanesque architecture.
Evan W. Grey, Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, “Italian Octagonal Piers and Late Medieval Anti-Classical Modernism.” Read more
Many structural features used in late medieval European church architecture either replaced or subverted the free-standing columns that formed the primary structural supports in classical Greek and Roman temples. Such features can be viewed as “anti-classical” either for their role in the conscious elimination of free-standing columns entirely or their employment of forms derived from the constituent parts of classical columns — base, column, capital – that deliberately distort the individual parts and avoid the classical proportions among the parts that were fundamental to the Doric, Ionic and Corinthian “orders” in the classical world.
One such late medieval structural form – the octagonal pier – arose relatively late in the development of “gothic” architecture and was used relatively infrequently until it became more common in 15th– and 16th century German churches. Unlike most other anti-classical structural features in late European medieval church architecture, such as pointed (or broken) arches, compound piers and flying buttresses, which were first developed in France, the first uses of free-standing octagonal piers as “column-replacements” in monumental church naves occurred in Tuscany – specifically in Bologna and Florence — in the mid-13th and early 14th-century.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the development of this new anti-classical structural feature did not arise in a cathedral or parish church under the control of a bishop or cardinal at the center of power in the local Catholic hierarchy. Rather, they arose in two monumental churches that reflected the rapid expansion of the Franciscan order: San Francesco in Bologna (built from 1236 to 1263), considered to be the first “gothic” church in Italy; and Santa Croce in Florence (beginning in 1295). Relatively stout unitary octagonal piers also were used in several secular buildings in Tuscany at the end of the 13th century and the beginning of the 14th century, including in the first floor of the grain market (Orsanichele), the courtyard of the Bargello, and the Sala d’Armi at the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, and in a courtyard and loggia of the Palazzo Pubblico in Siena.
The modernist, anti-classical octagonal pier introduced at San Francesco in Bologna, and subsequently adopted (and adapted) in significant buildings in Florence and Siena, was rapidly disseminated (albeit by uncertain means of transmission) to Mallorca and Catalonia (where it would receive especially monumental and modernist treatment at the Cathedral of Palma de Mallorca and the parish church of Santa María del Mar in Barcelona), and to Franciscan churches in Germany, without any evident effect in France. The Italian origin of this significant feature of late gothic architecture represents one example of innovative development in late medieval architecture outside of France that supports a reappraisal of the European architectural canon.
Francesco Gangemi, Bibliotheca Herziana, “Enlightened by the Alps: Reconsidering the Role of Northern Tradition on Frederick II’s Architecture in Southern Italy.” Read more
Actually only some elements of Frederick II’s buildings, such as the monumental gate of Castel del Monte, show a classical lexicon. In fact, Castel del Monte itself is basically a gothic artwork. According to traditional historiography, typical elements of gothic architecture – but only limited to the Bauplastik – arrived in Southern Italy through Frederick II’s construction sites. This has led to a sort of “inferiority complex” of the Italian art, which has been described as a disease called “gothic syndrome” (Legler 2007).
The purpose of my research is to deconstruct the contrast between Italian and German historiographies, especially in a multicultural space such as the Mediterranean. In order to achieve this goal, I will examine the case study of Foggia’s cathedral (Puglia), a building beyond any stereotype. As a religious building, it was supposed to be irrelevant to Frederick II’s business. But this was the main church of the major administrative town of the Kingdom, and it was erected together with the Swabian palace, and by the same workshop.
The cathedral was a three-aisled basilica, concluded by an octagon- shaped choir over a crypt. It was a unique building in Southern Italy, but while some architectural solutions and the octagon itself were used in many castles built by Frederick II, the double structure of the choir and its Zentralbautendenz are reminiscent of the German tradition of the Doppelkapelle and of many palatine chapels/
Through a functional analysis of the Foggia’s cathedral, I will show how Frederick II needed a reference to his German heritage in order to create a new imperial architecture. As a result, I will reconsider the phenomenon of Frederician architecture in its northern and Mediterranean components, far beyond the common categories of “classical” and “gothic.”
Catherine R. Carver, University of Michigan, “Beyond the Gilded Frame: Connectivity of Sacred Space in Medieval Rome.” Read more
IAS Travel Grants
Presenters at ICMS may be eligible for an IAS Travel Grant. Graduate students and scholars within six years of receipt of the PhD who do not hold a tenured position may apply, even if the paper is not presented in an IAS-sponsored session. Deadline 1 November.
Other Kalamazoo Travel Grants
Deadline: November 1.
The Archibald Cason Edwards, Senior, and Sarah Stanley Gordon Edwards Memorial Travel Awards are available to female emerging scholars who are presenting papers on European medieval art in Sponsored and Special Sessions. Read more
Kathryn M. Karrer Travel Awards for graduate students. The Kathryn M. Karrer Travel Awards are available to students enrolled in a graduate program in any field at the time of application who are presenting papers in Sponsored and Special Sessions. Read more
51st International Congress on Medieval Studies, 2016
50th International Congress of Medieval Studies, 2015
49th International Congress on Medieval Studies, 2014
48th International Congress on Medieval Studies, 2013
47th International Congress on Medieval Studies, 2012
46th International Congress on Medieval Studies, 2011
45th International Congress on Medieval Studies, 2010