Babel with its tower, in its truncated ascension without limits, assumed the vertigo of imposed, translatable linguistic identities, the vertigo of the impossible rebellion of the inextensible against the absolute, of the finite versus the infinite. Thought and its expression got trapped in the ruins of the dense walls erected by the mediate power in its eagerness to reach the fullness of the whole, which was none other than that of the omnipotent Other. The emulation, the conquest and the overflow of power by power, the dominion of the possible or the thinkable reality by the existing reality, accompanied the slow and complex wandering, individual and collective of the human being. With their physical or symbolic verticals, Babel’s ambitions and revolutions continually and unsuccessfully challenged history. The technology of the global, the World Wide Web and hyperconnectivity have buried the last exhalations of the resounding demolition of Babel, the homologous has critically eroded the identitarian elements and flatness has done the same with the ascension. The towers of Babel now are only simulacra like the giraffe is to the spider.
Panel 1: THE TOWER OF BABEL. MYTH AND KNOWLEDGE
Keynote Speaker: Joan Sureda
Moderator: María Bendito
The panel, without territorial or chronological limits, poses the theme of the conquest of the individual or collective paradise, of transcendence, of the perennial, of the sacred and of power. A claim that takes on the character of a myth in the Tower of Babel as a literary or visual narrative that arises in the primordial time when the troops of Nebuchadnezzar II invaded the kingdom of Judah and destroyed its temple. A time when the nationalist factions exiled in Babylon not only trusted that Yahweh would restore the state of Israel, but that the dead humans, who until then had only communicated with living humans, would enjoy a new community and a new life, that of heaven. The conquest of that heaven has shaped a human being continually confronted with abrupt challenges, begging support from followers and allies, who suffers the attacks both of enemies and of his/her own desires, which needs and demands challenges and rebellions. A being that, at last, being abandoned by its daring, succumbs, is expelled from glory, and returns to the daily existence that, despite everything, it seeks to transform before undertaking the last episode: the descent into hell.
Panel 2: BABEL, OLD AND NEW. GLOBAL ART AND UNFINISHED PROJECTS
Keynote Speaker: Victor Stoichita
Moderator: Julia Ramírez Blanco
Throughout history, the Tower of Babel has been configured as a mythical project that refers to truncated dreams and impossible ambitions. Occupied in its iconographic analysis, the art historian Juan Antonio Ramírez pointed out how, in its classical representations, Babel always appears as a perpetually unfinished project, whose spiral structure, however, suggests a path of ascension and progression towards the future. In relation to its form, Babel was also linked to representations of buildings that were considered positive, such as the lighthouse of Alexandria, thus gaining evocations of light and knowledge. The constructive process of the Tower of Babel, carried out at a time prior to the division of languages, also evokes the dream of a primitive undivided humanity, which was capable of embarking on projects as ambitious as building a tower that would reach heaven. The universal language is, therefore, another of the utopias associated with the tradition of Babel, where the excessive human ambition of this cooperating population was punished by God, who brought the confusion of languages, thus truncating the building process and turning the Tower into a premature ruin. These are only some of the various metaphoric layers that add to a complex symbolism, which will also be inherited in contemporary art´s reinterpretation of this topic. From the designs of Tatlin´s Monument to the Third International to Ilya and Emilia Kabakov´s Tower of projects, we can associate Babel´s echoes to the utopias of the impossible, linked to dreams for a future that never came (Ramírez), as well relating them to the fantasies of a humanity without linguistic barriers. In this panel we want to collect reinterpretations and echoes of Babel, focusing mainly on the utopian idea of the unfinished project and its ruin, as well as on the notion of a global art and of global language. Proposals that deal with both historical and contemporary issues will be welcome.
Panel 3: VISUAL TRANSLATION IN GLOBAL CONTEXTS
Keynote Speaker: Birgit Mersmann
Moderator: Modesta di Paola
The notion of “visual translation”, as a set of practices and theoretical positions subject to constant negotiations, is imposed within an interdisciplinary framework that encompasses both art history and comparative literature, critical iconology, visual studies, philosophy and translation studies. Current studies of the vision motivate us to use the term “visual translation” not only to refer to a theoretical comparison between the arts and literature or linguistics (as in the case of ekphrasis and in general of the interartistic phenomena) but also to interpret, through new readings and methodologies, contemporary artistic phenomena, whose conceptual axes are identity, society, territory and politics. In this context, the act of interpreting arises from the need to decode the work of art in relation to the historical and geographical context in which it was produced, but also in relation to the context in which its reception takes place. In a global world, however, many works of art seem to remain within an intellectual oblivion given by the difficulty of understanding and deciphering them. The concept of visual translation is therefore related to a hermeneutical notion that reflects on the complexities of the contemporary artistic artifact, but also with an epistemological attempt at reflection on the cultural and linguistic exchanges that take place between subjects and international events. In the era of the globalization of art, its public is heterogeneous, mobile, unpredictable, diasporic, hybrid. Visual translation, therefore, falls within the broader scope of visual communication, the transmission of messages, the means used as vehicles of information and consequently the way of receiving and decoding them culturally. As a metaphor, translation can include any visual process. That is why you need to detect some tropes in the relationship between translation and art. To use familiar terminology for translation studies, we could call these issues “contact zones” in which to find the affinities and interferences between translation and visual production. Closing keynote lectures:
Francisco Jarauta, Babel, mito moderno
Antoni Muntadas, Interpretations and translations
Home page: https://artglobalizationinterculturality.com/conferences/the-vertigo-of-infinity-babel-in-the-era-of-the-global/
Papers, creative projects and other non-traditional presentations exploring the aforementioned topics are welcome. In pdf format, a 300 words abstract and a short biography (300 words) should be directed to Maria Bendito (University of Barcelona), and submitted to email@example.com. Participants must specify the language (Spanish or English) in which they will present, as well as the panel in which their paper will be presented. The deadline is May 11, 2018.
Authors will be notified of their acceptance for a panel, the publication, or both, by June 21, 2018. Presenters must confirm their participation by July 15, 2018. After peer review, all abstract submissions will be considered for the publication of an edited volume presenting the results of this conference to be published by the University of Barcelona or in the journal Acta-Artis. Estudis d’ Art Modern.
Please note that the conference organizers cannot provide travel grants or accommodation stipends for presenters.
R+D Excelency Project Critical Cartography of Art and Visuality in the Global Age. Third Part (I+D MICINN: HAR2013-43122P). Spanish Ministry of Economy and Productivity/ Research Group GRC: Art, Globalization, Interculturality (SGR 2017 SGR 577). Government of Catalunya. Departament d’ Empresa i Coneixement.
Geography and History Faculty, Art History Department, University of Barcelona.
Excellency R+D Project ACAF/ART IV Critical Cartographies, Analytic and Selective of the Artistic and Monumental Environment of the Mediterranean Era in the Modern Age (I+D MICINN: HAR2015-66579-P). Spanish Ministry of Economy and Productivity/Research Group GRC: Grup d’ Estudis d’ Art Modern a l’ Àrea Mediterrània ACAF/ART GEAM (2017 SGR 462). Government of Catalunya. Departament d’ Empresa i Coneixement.
ACIS 40th Anniversary Conference, 5-7 September, Universitat de Barcelona
Call for Papers
The Association will hold its 40th Anniversary Conference, organised jointly by the GREL, àrea de Ciència Política, Facultat de Dret de la Universitat de Barcelona with the University of Chester, UK and Humboldt State University, USA from 5-7 September 2018. The conference will take place at the Universitat de Barcelona with accommodation available nearby.
If you wish to offer a paper, please see the Guidelines for Papers (link below) and send your proposal to the ACIS 2018 Programme Convenors (Mark Gant, University of Chester and Jared D. Larson, Humboldt State University) at the email address: firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday 11th May 2018. Informal inquiries concerning papers and topics are welcome before the deadlines. (The deadline will be extended, details to come later.)
Partial bursaries for graduate students are also available.
For complete information, see the CFP on our website:
Dr. Elka Klein Memorial Travel Grant
A cash grant of $1500 will be awarded in memory of Dr. Elka Klein to a doctoral candidate preparing to spend a month or more abroad conducting historical research towards his/her dissertation.
The grant recipient will be selected by a panel of scholars based on the relevance and potential contribution of the proposed work to the fields and concerns important to Dr. Klein, such as Sephardic culture, medieval history, gender studies, and Jewish studies.
Applicants for the grant are asked to submit the following information by e-mail to the address below:
• A c.v.
• A copy of the applicant’s dissertation proposal
• A description of the specific research to be undertaken abroad
• A working budget, including what other funds have already been secured
• A letter of recommendation from the applicant’s dissertation supervisor, addressing the applicant’s qualifications and the significance of the research s/he will be undertaking. Letters of recommendation should be printed on official stationary and scanned.
Deadline: April 9, 2018
To submit an application, or for more information, please contact Dr. Gail Labovitz, email@example.com
The selected applicant will be expected to acknowledge the grant in the dissertation and in any subsequent publications that result from the research subsidized by the grant. We thank the Association for Jewish Studies for their help in fund-raising and administration to make this grant possible.
Dr. Elka Klein (1965-2005) was passionate about her vocation as a historian and a teacher. Her untimely death in the spring of 2005 was a great loss to all who knew her, whether personally or professionally. In her memory, her friends and academic colleagues in the fields of History and Jewish Studies have created this memorial to honor her dedication to and her achievements in her academic life.
Works by Dr. Elka Klein:
Jews, Christian Society and Royal Power in Medieval Barcelona (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2006)
Hebrew Deeds of Catalan Jews 1117-1316 (Barcelona, Girona: Societat Catalana d’Estudis Hebraics, 2004)
“Splitting heirs: patterns of inheritance among Barcelona’s Jews,” Jewish History 16,1 (2002), 49-71
“The widow’s portion: law, custom and marital property among medieval Catalan Jews,” Viator 31 (2000), 147-163
“Protecting the widow and the orphan: a case study from 13th century Barcelona,” Mosaic 14 (1993), 65-81
If you would like to contribute to the Dr. Elka Klein Memorial Travel Grant, so that we can continue to offer grants in future years, please send your donation to:
The Association for Jewish Studies
Center for Jewish History
15 W. 16th Street
New York, NY 10011-6301
Checks should be made out to the Association for Jewish Studies, with the words “Elka Klein memorial” in the memo line (if you do not put this somewhere on the check, it will not go to the right account!)
The Editors of the Bulletin for Spanish and Portuguese Historical Studies invite submissions for a proposed Special Issue on Digital Humanities for our December 2018 publication. The aim of the issue is to examine the digital resources, research methodologies and pedagogical practices that have been developed by scholars working in the fields of Spanish and Portuguese historical studies.
Authors are invited to submit 300-500 word proposals in PDF or Microsoft Word format to editors Andrew H. Lee firstname.lastname@example.org and Andrea Davis email@example.com by 1 May 2017. Submissions in English are preferred; however the BSPHS will also accept submissions in Spanish and Portuguese. All accepted proposal must be submitted in article form (maximum 10,000 words) for peer review by 1 October 2017. For more information on submission guidelines, consult: https://digitalcommons.asphs.net/bsphs/policies.html#whatcansubmit.
INSTITUTE FOR ADVANCED STUDY, School of Historical Studies, Opportunities for Scholars 2019-2020. The Institute is an independent private institution founded in 1930 to create a community of scholars focused on intellectual inquiry, free from teaching and other university obligations. Scholars from around the world come to the Institute to pursue their own research. Candidates of any nationality may apply for a single term or a full academic year. Scholars may apply for a stipend, but those with sabbatical funding, other grants, retirement funding or other means are also invited to apply for a non-stipendiary membership. Some short-term visitorships (for less than a full term, and without stipend) are also available on an ad-hoc basis. Open to all fields of historical research, the School of Historical Studies’ principal interests are the history of western, near eastern and Asian civilizations, with particular emphasis upon Greek and Roman civilization, the history of Europe (medieval, early modern, and modern), the Islamic world, East Asian studies, art history, the history of science and philosophy, modern international relations, and music studies. Residence in Princeton during term time is required. The only other obligation of Members is to pursue their own research. The Ph.D. (or equivalent) and substantial publications are required. Information and application forms may be found on the School’s web site, www.hs.ias.edu, or contact the School of Historical Studies, Institute for Advanced Study, Einstein Dr., Princeton, N.J. 08540 (E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org). Deadline: October 15, 2018.
Special exhibition, 14th June to 7th October 2018 daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The large-scale special exhibition in summer 2018 at Ambras Castle Innsbruck focuses on three remarkable Renaissance women, rulers and collectors of the House of Habsburg engaged in the arts: Margaret of Austria, Mary of Hungary, and Catherine of Austria. For the first time in an exhibition, not only by the Kunsthistorisches Museum but generally, a comparative analysis of courtly female patronage will be undertaken.
This high-calibre exhibition presents some one hundred works from important European collections, including objects from Ambras Castle, Innsbruck and outstanding pieces from the Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna.
This major special exhibition is curated by Dagmar Eichberger and Annemarie Jordan Gschwend and will be accompanied by a catalogue in German/English.
For more information: www.schlossambras-innsbruck.at
Indigenous Knowledge as a Resource? Transmission, Reception, and Interaction of Global and Local Knowledge between Europe and the Americas, 1492-1800 (texto en español a continuación)
September 10-11, 2018 in Tuebingen, Germany
Since antiquity, knowledge has often been juxtaposed with opinion. Whereas opinion referred to subjective perceptions and viewpoints, knowledge was intended to represent objective and verifiable propositions. On this view, knowledge per se had a universal dimension in that it pretended to be approvable through the reason of everyone, everywhere. This universal aspect of the occidental concept of knowledge stands in marked contrast to cultures of local knowledge, where the generation of knowledge was dependent on specific times and places.
One such example is the validity of indigenous knowledge contested by Europeans and likewise, indigenous challenges to European knowledge. Based on religious, linguistic, demographic, and cultural disparities, knowledge operative in one context was adapted, manipulated, reframed, or dismissed, as spurious or heretical in another framework. Focusing on the early modern period, this multidisciplinary workshop will focus on specific examples of global and local knowledge transmission, reception, and interaction between Europe and the Americas, including the Canary Islands and the Philippines. Among the broad range of possible topics and textual/pictorial/material sources are bi-lingual and pictorial catechisms, archive inventories, European natural histories, maps, commodity money, sources on indigenous medicine and nutrition, child-specific knowledge, and climate and the environment.
We also encourage comparative perspectives on the knowledge dynamics and policies in the territories dominated by the Spanish and the Portuguese, such as from the English, French, Dutch and Nordic (e.g. Russian, Danish, Swedish) colonies in the Caribbean, North America, and the Guianas. In addition, ways in which indigenous knowledge was preserved or included in archives, libraries or manuals allows for further angles of inquiry. Last, historiographical discussions on ‘indigenous knowledge’ will examine to what extent the concept was manifested in early modern societies, or whether the concept is exclusively a modern analytical tool.
Possible thematic questions:
• In which ways was local knowledge a fragile resource?
• When and how was local knowledge valued; when was it contested?
• How were European epistemologies challenged by indigenous knowledge?
• Can we reconstruct assumptions of global knowledge by Meso- and South American empires?
• To what extent did indigenous groups manipulate information fed to European conquerors, missionaries, traders, and settlers?
• Which material objects were integral to local knowledge?
• How did creole and mestizo Americans mediate between European and indigenous knowledge?
• How do archives in the Americas reflect the circulation and transmission of information between Europe and the wider world? In which ways was information sorted out?
Organizers: Laura Dierksmeier (email@example.com), Fabian Fechner (firstname.lastname@example.org), Kazuhisa Takeda (email@example.com)
Submission: Historians, linguists, archeologists, art historians, ethnologists and anthropologists of the Americas are cordially invited to submit an abstract of 250 words in English or Spanish with a narrative C.V. of 100 words to firstname.lastname@example.org for a presentation (in English or Spanish) of 15 minutes.
Submission Deadline: March 1, 2018
Notification Deadline: April 15, 2018
Workshop Dates: September 10 – 11, 2018
Location: University of Tuebingen in the medieval town of Tuebingen, Germany
Closest airport: Stuttgart (33 km / 20 miles); Trains from Frankfurt am Main airport (221 km / 137 miles / 2-hour high speed train) and Munich airport (249 km / 154 miles / 4 hours) also possible.
Included: Workshop fees and catering will be covered for all accepted participants through the generous funding of the German Research Council (DFG) and the research group: SFB1070 “Resource Cultures.”
Travel Grants: Very limited funds are available to assist participants who otherwise could not attend. Please contact Laura Dierksmeier for further information.
¿Conocimientos indígenas como un recurso? Transmisión, recepción e interacción del conocimiento global y local entre Europa y las Américas, 1492-1800
10-11 de septiembre de 2018 en Tubinga, Alemania
Desde la antigüedad, el conocimiento a menudo se ha yuxtapuesto con la opinión. Aunque la opinión se refería a percepciones y puntos de vista subjetivos, el conocimiento tenía la intención de representar proposiciones objetivas y verificables. En esta vista, conocimiento per se tenía una dimensión universal en el sentido de que pretendía ser aprobada por la razón de todos, en todas partes. Este aspecto universal del concepto occidental de conocimiento contrasta notablemente con las culturas de conocimiento local, donde la generación de conocimiento dependía de tiempos y lugares específicos.
Un ejemplo de ello es la validez del conocimiento indígena impugnado por los europeos y, asimismo, los desafíos indígenas al conocimiento europeo. Con base en disparidades religiosas, lingüísticas, demográficas y culturales, el conocimiento operativo en un contexto fue adaptado, manipulado, reformulado o descartado, como falso o herético en otro marco. Centrándose en el período colonial, este taller multidisciplinario se centrará en ejemplos específicos de transmisión, recepción e interacción del conocimiento global y local entre Europa y las Américas, incluidas las Islas Canarias y Filipinas. Entre la amplia gama de temas posibles y fuentes textuales/pictóricas/materiales se encuentran los catecismos bilingües y pictóricos, los inventarios de archivos, las historias naturales europeas, los mapas, dinero-mercancía y las fuentes sobre medicina y nutrición indígena, conocimiento específico de niños, así como el clima y el medio ambiente.
También fomentamos perspectivas comparativas sobre las dinámicas y políticas de conocimiento en los territorios dominados por los españoles y portugueses, como las colonias inglesas, francesas, holandesas y nórdicas (por ejemplo, rusa, danesa, sueca) en el Caribe, América del Norte y las Guayanas. Además, las formas en que el conocimiento indígena se conservaba o se incluía en los archivos, bibliotecas o manuales permite nuevos ángulos de investigación. Por último, las discusiones historiográficas sobre el “conocimiento indígena” examinarán en qué medida el concepto se manifestó en las sociedades de la época o si el concepto es exclusivamente una herramienta analítica moderna.
Posibles preguntas temáticas:
• ¿De qué maneras fue el conocimiento local un recurso frágil?
• ¿Cuándo y cómo se valoró el conocimiento local y cuándo fue disputado?
• ¿Cómo fueron desafiadas las epistemologías europeas por el conocimiento indígena?
• ¿Podemos reconstruir los supuestos del conocimiento global por los imperios mesoamericano y sudamericano?
• ¿En qué medida manipularon los grupos indígenas la información alimentada a los conquistadores, misioneros, comerciantes y colonos europeos?
• ¿Qué objetos materiales fueron esenciales para el conocimiento local?
• ¿Cómo median los criollos y mestizos entre el conocimiento europeo y el indígena?
• ¿Cómo reflejan los archivos en las Américas la circulación y transmisión de información entre Europa y el resto del mundo? ¿De qué maneras se clasificó la información?
Organizadores: Laura Dierksmeier (Universität Tübingen, email@example.com), Fabian Fechner (FernUniversität Hagen, Alemania, firstname.lastname@example.org), Kazuhisa Takeda (Universidad de Meiji, Japón, email@example.com)
Presentación: los historiadores, lingüistas, arqueólogos, historiadores del arte, etnólogos y antropólogos de las Américas están cordialmente invitados a enviar un resumen de 250 palabras en inglés o español con un CV narrativo de 100 palabras a firstname.lastname@example.org para una presentación (en inglés o español) de 15 minutos.
Fecha límite de presentación: 1 de marzo de 2018
Fecha límite de notificación: 15 de abril de 2018
Fechas del taller: 10 – 11 de septiembre de 2018
Ubicación: Universidad de Tubinga en la ciudad medieval de Tubinga (Tübingen), Alemania. Aeropuerto más cercano: Stuttgart (33 km / 20 millas); trenes del aeropuerto de Fráncfort del Meno (221 km / 137 millas / 2 horas en tren de alta velocidad) y del aeropuerto de Múnich (249 km / 154 millas / 4 horas en tren) también posibles.
Incluido: las tarifas de los talleres y la restauración se cubrirán para todos los participantes aceptados a través de la generosa financiación del Fundación Alemana para la Investigación Científica (DFG) y el grupo de investigación: SFB1070 “Resource Cultures.”
Subvenciones para viajes: fondos muy limitados están disponibles para ayudar a los participantes que de otro modo no puedan asistir. Póngase en contacto con Laura Dierksmeier para más información.
In light of recent events in Spain, the ASPHS leadership and conference organizers are seeking discussants for a roundtable exploration of Catalan nationalism at the 49th annual meeting in Portland, Oregon. This roundtable will be held on Saturday April 7th 2018. Participants should anticipate offering 10-15 minutes of commentary on relevant historical aspects of Catalan nationalism, including the referendum and its international implications. The General Secretary, Sandie Holguín, will act as moderator. Roundtable participants must be members of the ASPHS. Please submit a 250-word abstract and short c.v. to email@example.com by the conference’s panel deadline of December 4, 2017.