70th Annual Conference, Glasgow, 2017

The panel Rethinking Medieval Rome: Architecture and Urbanism was sponsored by IAS at the Society of Architectural Historians 2017 Annual International Conference, 9 June 2017 in Glasgow, Scotland.

Session Overview

In the past decade the medieval humanities have opened up new perspectives on the past by focusing on questions of materiality, agency, temporality, spatiality, cross-cultural interaction, and ecocriticism. These new approaches, many of which are informed by interdisciplinary research and contemporary cultural interests in the natural and built world, are fundamentally reshaping how we conceive of and study medieval architecture and urbanism. This panel will examine how new methodologies and theoretically informed approaches are changing our understanding of the architecture and urban forms of Rome from the end of the Gothic War (ca. 554) to the re-establishment of the papacy under Pope Martin V (ca. 1420). The city of Rome has long occupied a particular place in scholarly narratives as the seat of the papacy, as a destination for pilgrims, and as a mythical symbol of past grandeur and decline. Historians of Rome’s medieval architecture and urban fabric have traditionally focused on such issues as the distinctively retrospective character of the city’s basilicas, the relationship between architecture and liturgy, the reuse of ancient materials, the topographical distinctions between the city’s inhabited and uninhabited regions, or the polemical character of Rome’s baronial tower houses. This session inquires into the current status of medieval Rome, both within the field of architectural history and in relation to the broader discourses of the medieval humanities.

Click here to view a complete schedule and the presenters’ abstracts.