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CFP, NetMAR International Conference: The Arts and Rituals of Pilgrimage

NetMAR international conference at the University of Cyprus, 1-3 December 2022.

Call for papers: International Conference:The Arts and Rituals of Pilgrimage

University of Cyprus, Nicosia, 1-3 December 2022

Confirmed Speakers: Stavroula Constantinou, Ivan Foletti, Georgia Frank, Cornelia Horn, Stephen Jaeger, Gerhard Jaritz, and Nils Holger Petersen

The Network for Medieval Arts & Rituals (NetMAR), an international, interdisciplinary network investigating the overlaps between medieval arts and rituals, invites applications for 20-minute papers that address the broad theme of Arts & Rituals of Pilgrimage.

Pilgrimage is a religious practice that, though originating in antiquity and still active in various forms, constitutes the predominant ritual of the Middle Ages. Rich evidence from various traditions shows that medieval pilgrimage was not only a ritual by itself but that it also involved other rituals – and that it in fact operated through them. Medieval pilgrims engaged in a series of rituals before, during, and after their religious journey(s). Furthermore, they participated in rituals that were performed on pilgrimage sites: sanctuaries, shrines, cult churches, cathedrals, and monasteries.

Moreover, as an essential element of medieval social, political, and religious life, pilgrimage was a relational and complex practice. Its power and efficacy did not only emanate from its associated rituals, but also from its arts. In fact, visual, literary, and performing arts were the sine qua non of medieval pilgrimage, just as they were integral elements of all important medieval rituals. For example, church music and church furnishings – such as icons, panels, sculptures, tapestries, precious books, and other liturgical objects – were not independent artistic expressions (as most scholars tend to treat them) but parts of ecclesiastical rituals for which they were created and used. In short, the transformative experience that pilgrims sought through pilgrimage was achieved through the interaction of arts and rituals.

The conference invites papers from scholars of all career levels that engage with questions and themes including but not limited to:

  • The practice of pilgrimage and its place in medieval literature and visual arts
  • Pilgrimage in literature and literature as pilgrimage
  • Pilgrimage in painting/sculpture/music/rhetoric and/or performance
  • The architecture of pilgrimage
  • The communities of pilgrimage-goers and of pilgrimage sites
  • Pilgrim routes
  • The afterlives of pilgrimages

For the full call for papers please see here.

Please send an abstract of 250 words (including a title and the thematic stream you are applying for) together with a short biographical note (100 words) to by no later than 31 July 2022. Notifications of acceptance will be sent by September 2022.

Editing was completed: 20.01.2022