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  • Workshop "Female Moral–Doctrinal Authority in the Middle Ages"

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Workshop

Female Moral–Doctrinal Authority in the Middle Ages

UNISA on Teams

14 May 2021

h 10.00–16.00 Central European Standard Time


This workshop is the ideal following of two sessions organised by Francesca Dell’Acqua and sponsored by the International Center of Medieval Art–NYC and held on 15 April 2021 at the Association for Art History Annual Conference, an online event (https://forarthistory.org.uk/our-work/conference/2021-annual-conference/).

The workshop aims at exploring the issue of female authority in the medieval period through the lens of visual/material culture. It involves prominently, but not only, the Virgin Mary. In the late twentieth century feminist thinkers pointed at the ‘negative model’ offered by the Virgin Mary, branded for centuries by the Catholic Church as a role model for modesty, submission, and virginity. However, between late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, the Virgin Mary was portrayed as a very strong, authoritative figure, rather than weak and compliant, in texts and visual arts. The case studies presented at the workshop are varied. The meeting will be introduced by the organiser, Francesca Dell’Acqua and opened with a key-note lecture by a renowned scholar in Byzantine studies, Niki Tsironis of the Institute for Historical Research–National Hellenic Research Foundation, on the “The Virgin of Valour” (Ανδρεία Θεοτόκος) in the homilies of the ninth-century Greek author George of Nicomedia. All in all, the six papers, by young international scholars, will highlight the figure of Mary as a woman with her fragility but at the same time characterised by virtues of valour, wisdom, moral and spiritual authority. Moreover, at the end of each session four students/young scholars of UNISA will present on-going research on related themes.

Organiser: prof. Francesca Dell’Acqua, UNISA, fdellacqua@unisa.it



Il workshop è il seguito ideale di due sessioni organizzate da Francesca Dell'Acqua e sponsorizzate dall’International Center of Medieval Art–NYC tenutesi il 15 aprile 2021 alla conferenza annuale dell’Association for Art History, un evento online (https://forarthistory.org.uk/our-work/conference/2021-annual-conference/). Il workshop si propone di esplorare la questione dell'autorità femminile nel periodo medievale attraverso la lente della cultura visiva/materiale. Coinvolge in modo prominente, ma non solo, la Vergine Maria. Alla fine del XX secolo le pensatrici femministe hanno indicato il "modello negativo" offerto dalla Vergine Maria, promossa per secoli dalla Chiesa cattolica come un modello di modestia, sottomissione e verginità. Tuttavia, tra la tarda antichità e il medioevo la Vergine Maria è stata invece ritratta nei testi e nelle arti visive come figura molto forte e autorevole, piuttosto che debole e arrendevole. I casi di studio presentati al workshop sono molteplici. L'incontro sarà introdotto dall'organizzatrice, Francesca Dell'Acqua e si aprirà con una key-note lecture di una nota studiosa di studi bizantini, Niki Tsironis dell’Institute for Historical Research-National Hellenic Research Foundation, sul tema della “Vergine del Coraggio” (ΑνδρείαΘεοτόκος) nelle omelie dell'autore greco di IX secolo Giorgio di Nicomedia. In totale, le sei relazioni, di giovani studiosi internazionali, metteranno in luce la figura di Maria come donna caratterizzata da fragilità ma allo stesso tempo da virtù di valore, saggezza, autorità morale e spirituale. Inoltre, al termine di ogni sessione quattro studentesse/giovani studiose di UNISA presenteranno ricerche in corso su tematiche correlate.

Organizzatore: prof. Francesca Dell’Acqua, UNISA, fdellacqua@unisa.it

Programme/Programma:

h 10.00 Introduction: Francesca Dell’Acqua, UNISA, fdellacqua@unisa.it

h 10.15 Keynote lecture (20 min): Ανδρεία Θεοτόκος: The Virgin of Valour in the work of George of Nicomedia; Speaker: Niki Tsironis, Institute for Historical Research–National Hellenic Research Foundation, niki.tsironi@gmail.com

h 10.45 The Auctoritas of Spinners: Mary, Eve, and the Female Leader; Speaker: Emily Shartrand, University of Delaware, English Language Institute, eshartra@udel.edu

h 11.15 Authorizing Grief: Marian Laments and Gendered Mourning in the Later Middle Ages; Speaker: Vanessa R. Corcoran, Georgetown University, vc475@georgetown.edu

h 11.45 Mary as Preacher and Priest in the sermons of Archbishop Jenštejn and contemporary works of art (1378–96); Speaker: Juliette Calvarin, jcalvarin@g.harvard.edu or juliette.calvarin@gmail.com

Presentation of ongoing research (10 mins each; 5 min q&a)

h 12.15 The Virgin on the Sarcophagus of Zaragoza: Uniqueness and… Auctoritas? Speaker: Francesca Carota, MA student, UNISA; f.carota@studenti.unisa.it

h 12. 30 The Importance of Being Bisantia: Names and Authority in Medieval Salerno; Speaker: Jessica Varsallona, PhD University of Birmingham/VASARI project, UNISA, jessica.varsallona@gmail.com

Afternoon Session (20 min each paper; 5 min q&a)

Chair: Francesca Dell’Acqua

h 14.30 The Authority of Mary Magdalene in the Basilica di San Francesco at Assisi; Speaker: Nieve Cassidy, MA student, University College London, nieveanne@outlook.com

h 15.00 Female Authority in Late Byzantine Mystras: Isabelle de Lusignan Basilissa of Morea; Speaker: Andrea Mattiello, Christies’ Education, andrea.mattiello@icloud.com

Presentation of ongoing research (10 mins each; 5 min q&a)

h 15.30 Mothers, Saints, Queens and the Virgin Mary. The Shaping of Ottonian Queenship; Speaker: Miriam Sorrentino, MA student, UNISA, m.sorrentino102@studenti.unisa.it

h 15.45 The Depiction of Eve’s Motherhood in the Ninth-Century Touronian Bibles; Speaker: Cynthia Bailon, MA student, UNISA, c.bailonabad@studenti.unisa.it

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