Gateways to Medieval Naples, Field Seminar in Naples, June 8-10, 2020

In recent years, the art and architecture of medieval Naples has been the subject of renewed scholarly activity that is generating important research on understudied monuments and exploring fresh approaches to the history of the city's material culture. A next generation of scholars is reassessing Neapolitan studies and advancing research with greater interdisciplinary breadth and expanded geographic scope. Given the vitality of ongoing scholarship, it is an ideal moment to address the city's monuments as gateways to understanding medieval Naples as a monumental whole, comprising diverse artistic and cultural practices, shifting topographies, and complex urban networks. To this end, the Bibliotheca Hertziana – Max-Planck-Institut für Kunstgeschichte (Rome), the Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II - Dipartimento di Studi Umanistici (Naples), and the Centro per la Storia dell'Arte e dell'Architettura delle Città Portuali (Naples) are co-organizing a field seminar called Gateways to Medieval Naples, to be held in Naples June 8–10, 2020. Grounded in collaborative on-site study of works of art and animated by collegial exchange of ideas, the seminar will convene a small group of scholars to share and further develop the latest research on Naples and to chart new methodological approaches to this complex nexus of the medieval world. Each morning, participants will present their research on site at a series of monuments and collections in the city. Each afternoon, the Centro per la Storia dell'Arte e dell'Architettura delle Città Portuali will host roundtable discussions with presentations that address new avenues for research, questions of methodological practice, and topics of a broader nature not related to a single site. The organizing committee invites established and emerging scholars to submit proposals for on-site or roundtable presentations on topics from late antiquity through the fifteenth century. As the title Gateways to Medieval Naples suggests, the seminar will both foreground the city's material heritage and invite passage across times and places. Potential themes include (but are not limited to) continuity, rupture, and exchange between the medieval city and its ancient past; the city's unique land- and sea-scape as a port through and within which artists, artworks, materials, and ideas circulated; ritual practices that framed monuments as sites of passage within greater webs of performances; the transformation of urban topography from late antiquity through the fifteenth century; patterns of urban patronage; the use of digital technologies to examine and understand the medieval city; and the interplay between the subjects and methodologies of historical research, with monuments providing multiple points of access to Naples's material past. We welcome proposals from art and architectural historians as well as from scholars in adjacent fields including archaeology, history, literary studies, anthropology, and musicology. The final program will be arranged topographically, thematically, and chronologically around the selected proposals. The plan (with grant funds pending) is for participants to receive a modest travel stipend (approximately 300 Euros for those traveling to Naples from within Europe and 800 US Dollars for those traveling from outside Europe). Lunches, opening and closing receptions, admissions fees, and local transportation costs will be covered by the seminar.

Proposals should include a curriculum vitae, a brief narrative biography (max. 150 words), and an abstract (max. 350 words), and may be in either Italian or English. The abstract should indicate the topic's relevance to the themes outlined in the CFP above and whether the proposed contribution would take the form of an on-site presentation or a presentation in the afternoon roundtables held at the Centro. Final presentations may be made in Italian or English. Please combine these materials in a single Word or PDF document with Lastname_Firstname as the title, and send to lacapraia@gmail.com by 17 November 2019. Selected participants will be notified in early January.

Call for Proposals Deadline: November 17, 2019

Organizing Committee:
Tanja Michalsky, Elisabetta Scirocco, Antonino Tranchina, and Adrian Bremenkamp (Bibliotheca Hertziana - Max-Planck-Institut für Kunstgeschichte, Rome); Vinni Lucherini and Stefano D'Ovidio (Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II - Dipartimento di Studi Umanistici, Naples); Sarah Kozlowski and Francesca Santamaria (Centro per la Storia dell'Arte e dell'Architettura delle Città Portuali, Naples, a collaboration between the Museo e Real Bosco di Capodimonte and the Edith O'Donnell Institute of Art History at the University of Texas at Dallas); Janis Elliott (Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX); Cathleen A. Fleck (Saint Louis University, Saint Louis, MO).

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