Author Archives: Wouter Haverals

CfP ‘Objects of Devotion. Religion and its Instruments in Early Modern Europe’ (17-18 april 2020, University of Toronto)

Objects of Devotion. Religion and its Instruments in Early Modern Europe

How were religious ideas and practice realized through interaction with objects? How did the presence of sculptures, paintings, books, and church furniture—their visibility, tactility, and materiality—help form attitudes toward devotion, sacred history, and salvation? In other words, how did people think with things—both clerics and lay devotees? What was the complex role of sacrament houses, altarpieces, pulpits, jubés, and baptismal fonts in molding ideas about the central tenets of Christianity? How did statues of Christ and the saints make both present and problematic these issues—particularly when they involved performances: carried about the town, taken down from the cross and laid in the sepulcher, or lanced to emit spurts of blood? How did tombs help form ideas about the body, its mortality, and the hope of resurrection? How was the material of these objects comprehended—and what were the consequences of choosing sculpture over painting or selecting one stone over another? How were statues of Christ transformed when real hair was attached to their heads? How did lay, unoffical devotional practice differ from institutionalized forms of piety and how did they both influence each other? How did objects sustain both the status concerns and the often very precise religious beliefs of their patrons? Rather than verify these readings through early modern texts, we recognize both texts and objects as opaque cultural references that must be interpreted according to complex conventions and triangulated to offer compelling readings.

Historians of the late medieval and early modern period have created an antithesis between spiritual (inward) and physical (outward) devotion, branding the latter as superficial, ritualistic and mechanistic. More generally, from the first Protestant historians to Max Weber and his followers, the Reformation has come to be represented as the classic watershed between material, magical devotion and spiritual, rational belief. In a similar vein, art historians have opposed the notion of the medieval cult image, material and functional, to the early modern work of art, subject to aesthesis (Carolyn Walker Bynum, Hans Belting). Yet, does it make sense to distinguish between late medieval and early modern religious culture, given the fact that the definitions and boundaries of these periods are notoriously problematic and considerably overlap? To what degree have these differing traditions dictated separate approaches to these objects and their role in forming beliefs and practices?

We look for papers that draw from material culture studies, social history, art history, religious studies, and anthropology. And we envision a relatively small conference of about 18 speakers from a variety of disciplines. Talks will be limited to 20 minutes with equal time for discussion.

We are happy to cover hotel costs for 3 nights. Unfortunately we cannot reimburse travel expenses. If you are interested in this conference, please send us the following:

  • Name
  • Institutional Affiliation
  • Paper title (not more than 15 words)
  • Abstract (not more than 150 words)
  • Curriculum vitae of 2-3 pages
  • Brief explanation of the relevance of your paper to the theme of the conference

Please send your information and any questions to matt.kavaler@utoronto.ca and Annelaure.VanBruaene@UGent.be

Net verschenen: ‘De Zwarte Koning’ van Michael Kestemont

De Zwarte Koning – Michael Kestemont

Hoe is het koningshuis in godsnaam betrokken bij de grootste doofpotoperatie uit de Belgische kunstgeschiedenis? En wat was de rol van de enigmatische Prins Karel, die zijn broer Leopold na de oorlog moest opvolgen?

De Zwarte Koning onthult de spannende intriges rond de koningskwestie en de link met het verdwenen paneel van de Rechtvaardige Rechters. Een extreem spannende pageturner voor de liefhebbers van Dan Brown!

 

Michael Kestemont is professor aan de Universiteit Antwerpen waar hij digitale tekstanalyse doceert aan het departement letterkunde. Aan de hand van kunstmatige intelligentie gaat hij na hoe computers kunnen bijdragen aan de studie van historische en hedendaagse literatuur. Zijn spraakmakende analyses wierpen al nieuw licht op het auteurschap van Karel ende Elegast, maar ook op de anonieme schrijver van het Nederlandse volkslied Wilhelmus.

 

Vacature – 5 PhDs voor “Innovation through Education: Pioneering Change in Law and Theology in Louvain’s Golden Age”

In oktober 2019 zal het interdisciplinaire onderzoeksproject “Innovation through Education: Pioneering Change in Law and Theology in Louvain’s Golden Age” worden gelanceerd.

Het project wordt geleid door een team bestaande uit de LECTIO-leden prof. Wim Decock (Romeins Recht en Rechtsgeschiedenis, woordvoerder), prof. Wouter Druwé (Romeins Recht en Rechtsgeschiedenis), prof. Randall Lesaffer (Romeins Recht en Rechtsgeschiedenis), dr. An Smets (KU Leuven Bibliotheken) en prof. Violet Soen (Vroegmoderne Geschiedenis), met de steun van prof. Mark Depauw (Oude Geschiedenis/Digital Humanities), prof. Wim François (Geschiedenis van Kerk en Theologie) en prof. Jan Papy (Latijnse Letteren).

Het team opent nu een oproep voor 5 doctoraatsfuncties binnen het project, gefinancierd door het Onderzoeksfonds van de KU Leuven. Een volledige versie van de functiebeschrijving vindt u via deze link: https://tinyurl.com/y3k7ch68. Deadline voor sollicitaties is 15 augustus 2019.

Voor meer informatie kunt u contact opnemen met de woordvoerder (wim.decock@kuleuven.be) of één van de teamleden.

Call for papers: International Meetings of the Middle Ages (28-29 November, Nájera)

Next Autumn, on 28-29th of November, the city of Nájera (La Rioja, Spain) will once again host the International Meetings of the Middle Ages, organized by the Medieval Research Group of the University of Cantabria.

Historians, PhD researchers and Graduate students are encouraged to submit abstracts for research presentations or posters on topics related to Law and Authority in the Medieval Atlantic city (and beyond).

Abstracts should be no more than 500 characters and should clearly state the purpose, thesis, methodology, and principal findings of the paper to be presented. Successful proposals will be published in 2020. All abstracts and a short CV should be submitted electronically to Jesús Solórzano and Jelle Haemers.

The deadline for submissions will be September 1st, 2019. More information about the topic of the conference and practical details can be found in the following file: Najera meetings call for papers 2019.

Boekvoorstelling ‘La transmission du pouvoir monarchique, entre droits et devoirs. Du moyen Âge à nos jours’, 24 mei (Brussel)

Op vrijdag 24 mei om 17.00 uur stelt Standen en Landen trots volume 113 in de reeks voor. La transmission du pouvoir monarchique, entre droits et devoirs. Du moyen Âge à nos jours bundelt bijdragen van Jean-Marie Cauchies, Gustaaf Janssens, Frédérique Lachaud, Sophie Glansdorff, Klaas Van Gelder, Frederik Dhondt, Pierre-Olivier De Broux, Vincent Dujardin en Matthias El Berhoumi. De voorstelling wordt opgeluisterd door een lezing van Prof. Gilles Lecuppre (UCLouvain/Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense) en gaat gepaard met een receptie en bezoek aan de kelders van het voormalige paleis van onze landsheren.

 Voor meer informatie kan u terecht op deze link.

Vacature: 2 postdoctorale posities voor het onderzoeksproject ‘The Multilingual Dynamics of the Literary Culture of Medieval Flanders, ca. 1200–ca. 1500’ (Universiteit Utrecht)

Utrecht University is looking for two Postdoctoral Researchers in the research project ‘The Multilingual Dynamics of the Literary Culture of Medieval Flanders, ca 1200 – ca 1500’. These two positions are part of a research project funded by the Netherlands Organisation of Scientific Research (NWO). This four-year project seeks to correct the traditional, monolingual view on Flemish literature between ca. 1200 and ca. 1500. It is the first large-scale investigation devoted to the literary culture of medieval Flanders from a multilingual perspective. A full description of the project can be read here. Applying for the job can be done via this website.

The project consists of three subprojects. Since December 1, 2018, a PhD candidate (4 years, 1.0 FTE) studies the literary dynamics resulting from the interaction between Middle Dutch and other languages in Flemish texts, Flemish multi-text manuscripts and booklists from medieval Flanders. From December 1, 2019, onwards, two Postdocs (each 3 years, 1.0 FTE) will carry out the remaining subprojects. Postdoc 1 will focus on Dutch, French and Latin texts that were written by authors in medieval Flanders and texts that were read in that region. Postdoc 2 will study manuscripts containing Dutch, French and Latin texts that scribes produced in medieval Flanders and the manuscripts that circulated in that region. In the deepening and synthesising stages of the project, the findings of the two Postdoc subprojects will be combined.

Tasks
Each of the two Postdocs will be asked to:

  • set up a data collection of texts or manuscripts whose production and/or reception can be assigned to medieval Flanders
  • apply various theoretical perspectives to the dataset
  • write two international conference papers
  • contribute to the organization of the project’s final conference
  • co-author and co-edit the conference proceedings
  • contribute to teaching (f.e. tutorials for Research Master students)
  • contribute to the exhibition that is part of the project
  • write a popularizing essay
  • deliver a public lecture

For additional information on the project, you may contact prof. dr. Bart Besamusca (a.a.m.besamusca@uu.nl), dr. André Bouwman (a.t.bouwman@library.leidenuniv.nl) or prof. dr. Remco Sleiderink (remco.sleiderink@uantwerpen.be). For general information about the two Postdoc positions, please contact the ICON research coordinator Hanneke Jansen (h.m.jansen@uu.nl).

You will be based at the Institute for Cultural Inquiry (ICON) and the Department of Languages, Literature and Communication (TLC), under supervision of prof. dr Bart Besamusca.

‘Genomics, History and Archaeology: Toward a Genomic History of the Early Middle Ages’, lezing door prof. Patrick Geary (20 mei 2019, Leuven)

The KU Leuven Doctoral School of Biomedical Sciences and Doctoral School of Humanities and Social Sciences kindly invite you to a lecture on Genomics, History and Archaeology: Toward a Genomic History of the Early Middle Ages by Patrick Geary, Andrew W. Mellon Professor of History – Institute of Advanced Study.

Date: 20th May 2019 – 18.30

Venue: Aula STUK, Naamsestraat 96, Leuven

‘Fonder et exclure, ou les ambiguïtés du programme communal. À propos de la Porta romana de Milan (1171)’ (16 januari 2019, Namen)

Openingsconferentie van het Collège Belgique in Namen door Patrick Boucheron op 16 januari 2019

Les bas-reliefs de la Porta Romana de Milan constituent un programme sculpté complexe et de grande ampleur, qui est le premier exemple connu d’art communal. Sa visée est apparemment laïque et commémorative : il s’agit de rappeler la destruction de la ville par Frédéric Barberousse en 1162, l’expulsion de ses habitants et leur retour cinq ans plus tard. En 1167, les Milanais reprenaient pied dans leur histoire et fondaient du même coup l’identité politique de leur commune dans le souvenir cuisant d’un passé récent. Mais les bas-reliefs commandés par les consuls en 1171 donnent aussi à voir une scène étrange, où saint Ambroise chasse les ariens de la ville. La cité se refonde par un geste d’exclusion. L’analyse iconographique de ce décor sculpté tentera d’y déceler le jeu heurté des temporalités et des ambivalences, éclairant du même coup le programme politique de la commune lombarde à un moment décisif de son histoire.

Voor de uitnodiging en het programma, klik hier.

Milan, Porta Romana, pilier de droite (l’expulsion des ariens)

 

Relics @ the Lab, an Analytical Approach to the Study of Relics

The book Relics @ the Lab, an Analytical Approach to the Study of Relics includes a series of studies presented at the first international workshop Relics @ the Lab organized by the Royal Institute of Cultural Heritage (KIK-IRPA) in Brussels, Belgium (27-28 October 2016). The papers cover a large variety of themes as well as analytical methods. Some papers focus on the primary relics while others deal with the nature and origin of secondary as well as tertiary relics. The first group of papers emphases on the archaeological authenticity of the relics, the second group elucidate the use, additions and manipulations of the relics through the ages.
The applied analytical techniques are very diverse. Radiocarbon and physical anthropology are the main tools to study the primary relics, while dye analysis, imaging techniques, textile analysis and dendrochronology are used to study the secondary and tertiary relics. Sometimes unexpected techniques, like the analysis of writing ink or the determination of plants and excrements, complete the wide range of analytical methods used to understand the origin, nature and context of the relics.

Academics as well as professionals working in archaeology, art history, museum labs and conservation sciences will find this an invaluable reference source. For the table of contents, please click here.

In memoriam dr. Anne Bollmann (1963-2018)

Op 14 november is Anne Bollmann na een ernstige ziekte overleden. Haar vroege dood is hard aangekomen bij de mensen met wie zij samengewerkt heeft, zowel aan de Rijksuniversiteit Groningen als elders. Bij de herdenkingsbijeenkomst, die haar huidige afdeling Europese Talen en Culturen voor haar organiseerde op 4 december, kwam dit duidelijk naar voren.

Anne liet zich vanaf het begin in Groningen kennen als een gepassioneerd mediëviste en ijveraar voor het onderwijs in de Duitse taal en cultuur. Voortbouwend op haar dissertatie Frauenleben und Frauenliteratur in der Devotio moderna: volkssprachige Schwesternbücher in literarhistorischer Perspektive, die binnen het vakgebied als fundamenteel wordt beschouwd, bleven in haar onderzoek vrouwen en kloosterzusters in de late middeleeuwen en vroegmoderne tijd centraal staan. Het onderwijs had haar hart evenzeer. Annes passie daarvoor kwam naar voren in haar colleges, maar ook in de soms felle discussies die zij ten tijde van de grote veranderingen binnen de faculteit der Letteren voerde, vanuit een sterk gevoel van verantwoordelijkheid voor de studenten en voor de wetenschap.

Vanwege haar grote kennis, zorgzaamheid en humor was Anne bij veel studenten geliefd. Ze was veeleisend, bereidde haar colleges altijd zeer zorgvuldig voor en verwachtte deze inzet ook van de studenten. Maar als de nood aan de man kwam, stond ze altijd klaar om hulp te bieden. Ze ging zelfs mee naar de dokter als dat nodig was.

Annes hartelijkheid en zorgzaamheid werden ook door de sprekers bij de herdenkingsbijeenkomst met veel waardering genoemd. Anderen binnen de universitaire gemeenschap kenden Anne eveneens op die manier, zoals de medewerkers van het ondersteunend personeel en van de Universiteitsbibliotheek. In deze bibliotheek was zij een graag geziene bezoeker. Ze leende daar zoveel boeken dat men zich weleens afvroeg of het gewicht daarvan haar niet teveel zou zijn. Ze gaf waardevolle aanschafsuggesties voor de collectie, begeleidde enthousiast de studenten bij rondleidingen en deelde hen na zo’n rondleiding of na een tentamen soms dubbele exemplaren van bibliotheekboeken uit, dan vaak voorzien van een persoonlijk advies. En als iemand van de medewerkers een tijdje afwezig was geweest, informeerde ze altijd bezorgd naar diens gezondheid.

Tegen het eind van haar leven bleek tijdens het opruimen van de mediëvistische boeken in haar werkkamer pas goed met hoeveel mensen Anne in vriendschap en onderzoek verbonden is geweest. Veel boeken bevatten persoonlijke briefjes en notities van medeonderzoekers, ook van ver buiten Groningen. Daaruit kwam steeds grote achting naar voren voor haar persoon en voor haar wetenschappelijke arbeid. Anne zal zeer gemist worden.

Annes promotor Alasdair MacDonald, haar ‘Doktorvater’ zoals Anne zelf zei, verwoordde zijn warme waardering voor Anne in de tekst die hieronder volgt.

– Cora Zwart

 

Anne Bollmann, who passed away on 14 November 2018, was for over twenty years a familiar and much liked figure in and around the University of Groningen. She was born in Germany, and had her training at the University of Münster, where she graduated in Germanistik, with a speciality in the Middle Ages. She came to Groningen as the result of a research co-operation agreement between the Netherlands National Research School for Medieval Studies and the University of Münster. Under this scheme, graduate students were able to pursue their higher studies in the ‘other’ country, and Anne wasthe first to come to Groningen.

From the very beginning, Anne’s friendly personality and her ability to speak Dutch allowedher to integrate easily within the new environment. Anne was outstanding in her culture and learning, in her academic and practical skills, in her sense of dedication and duty, in her psychological maturity and in her emotional intelligence. In 2004 she obtained a cum laude for her impressive dissertation on an aspect of the devotio moderna movement of the later Middle Ages ̶ whereby groups ofindependently-minded women set up, within bustling towns, religious houses in which they could lead a life of piety, support themselves by their own work, and manage their own affairs. Anne very clearly felt an affinity with the subject of her research.

Anne was appointed to a lectureship in the Faculty of Arts at Groningen, where she taught German language and also literature, both medieval and modern. She was a gifted and dedicated teacher, and was much liked by her students, who respected her high standards. She was deeply committed to improving the public image of German Studies in the Netherlands, and she also gladly made good contacts with students and colleagues in other Departments within the Faculty. Anne was always open, good-humoured and collegial, and she participated willingly in activities that crossed the artificial boundaries between disciplines. Her contribution to German and Medieval Studies at Groningen was profound, and the impact of her scholarship, though now sadly cut short, was admirable.

All those who were privileged to know Anne will feel the deepest sadness at the loss of such a caring teacher, learned colleague, and warm-hearted friend.

– Alasdair A. MacDonald