Call for Papers | Society for Emblem Studies Conference

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on July 6, 2013

Call for Papers from the Kunsthistorisches Institut at Kiel:

10th International Conference of the Society for Emblem Studies
Some light up, when we read them / Manche leuchten, wenn man sie liest
Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel, Kunsthistorisches Institut, 28 July — 1 August 2014

Proposals due by 1 September 2013

The conference will devote itself to the entire spectrum of emblem studies, and papers on all aspects of emblematics are welcome. Please submit proposals by 1 September 2013. In additional to a traditional focus on emblem books, the conference will focus on four thematic clusters:

The Domains of the Emblem: Changes in Medium

University Library Kiel. Text was designed by Elsbeth Arlt (Flensburg) in 2002, from André Gide, Les nourritures terrestres et Les nouvelles nourritures (1897), translated into German by Hans Prinzhorn (1930). Photo: Katrin Ulrich, Kunsthistorisches Institut, Kiel.

University Library Kiel. Text was designed by Elsbeth Arlt (Flensburg) in 2002, from André Gide, Les nourritures terrestres et Les nouvelles nourritures (1897), translated into German by Hans Prinzhorn (1930). Photo: Katrin Ulrich, Kunsthistorisches Institut, Kiel.

While emblems are closely associated with the development of printing, emblems can be found in all aspects of life and culture, and they were adapted to these new spaces and uses beyond the page. The choice, application, space, adaption and invention, the compilation of emblematic programs in sacred and secular architectural spaces, and their application to furniture and objects constitute one thematic cluster of the conference. This includes, of course, ephemeral emblems in festivals and theater, and in baptismal and funeral rituals. Emblems in devotional books, novels and other literary genres, on title pages and in paintings and graphics are further topics for consideration. This rubric also includes transitional forms of emblematic expressions, such as emblematized fables and imprese and devices as manifestations of individual or dynastic maxims.

History of Emblem Research
The Tenth Conference of the Society for Emblem Studies provides the opportunity to continue the impetus from the Glasgow conference in 2011 by looking both forward and backward. The beginnings and development of the study of emblems and its most important representatives, beginning with Henry Green, the discoverer of Alciato, and the scholar of mannerism, Mario Praz, will provide the focus here. It will be particularly interesting to compare the various national research traditions and various directions in emblem research with one another, as well as to discover other relationships and contexts. The critical look back is intended to give impetus to new directions in research.

Digitization and Documentation
This area has increasingly become an important focus of research. In addition to completed individual emblem projects with a national or thematic focus, Emblematica Online and its OpenEmblem Portal are now established, providing cross-repository searching across international boundaries. While work continues to expand the scope of the Portal, there now exists a substantial online corpus for emblem studies that facilitates and supports comparative research. There is now greater access to emblem books than ever before. This also supports the study of non-literary emblems.

Text and Image Combinations in Modern Art
The juxtaposition of textual and pictorial elements can be observed in many forms of modern art: photography and painting with integrated or accompanying texts, films, and videos, interactive and internet-based art, and performative art strategies and interventions in public spaces create tension between image and language/text elements. Previously unknown and entirely new forms of expression have been created by assuming textual structures into pictorial forms and by fixing and encoding syntactic models in pictorial contexts. This thematic cluster of the conference is dedicated to questions concerning how modern art employs emblematic strategies that are, however, distinctly different from emblematic ways of constituting meaning. An exhibition in Kiel’s Kunsthalle will complement this part of the conference.

Papers and entire panels on all aspects of your research into emblematics, in addition to these topics, are welcome. Papers can be given in German, English, French, or Spanish. Please let us know if you would like to suggest a panel or moderate a section. Please send us your abstract for a twenty-minute presentation by 1 September 2013.


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