Session Title

Controlling the Power of Material Things

Sponsoring Organization(s)

Special Session

Organizer Name

Theresa Flanigan, Holly Flora

Organizer Affiliation

College of St. Rose, Tulane Univ.

Presider Name

Theresa Flanigan

Paper Title 1

The Mound and the Fountain: The Role of Human/Nonhuman Assemblages in Medieval Welsh Stories

Presenter 1 Name

Kathleen P. J. Brennan

Presenter 1 Affiliation

Univ. of Hawaii-Manoa

Paper Title 2

Countenances as Lightning: The Materiality of the Noli me tangere Fresco in Assisi

Presenter 2 Name

Sarah S. Wilkins

Presenter 2 Affiliation

Pratt Institute

Paper Title 3

Holy Bread and Holy Child: The Pseudo-Sacramental Performances of Margaretha Ebner

Presenter 3 Name

Erin Carter

Presenter 3 Affiliation

Independent Scholar

Start Date

10-5-2014 10:00 AM

Session Location

Schneider 1350

Description

Much recent scholarship has expanded our understanding of the active nature of medieval objects, which we now know were thought capable of penetrating and transforming other objects in their vicinity, including the bodies and souls of their beholders. In addition, new materialist theories have called scholars to consider the ethical implications of such intimate relationships between material things and their beholders. The ethical implications of this newly (re)discovered intimacy between medieval humans and objects calls for greater investigation. This session seeks papers that further our understanding of the affective power and material vibrancy of medieval objects by inquiring into the various methods used to control or condition the beholder’s ethical experience and/or response to such objects. Such methods might include: training on how to use, interpret, and/or respond to certain objects, regulation of the use of certain materials, instructions on sensual contact, limits on access to or total censorship of “dangerous” objects, encouragement of experiences beyond the materially sensible, and artistic theory indicating how art objects should be made or experienced.

Theresa Flanigan

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May 10th, 10:00 AM

Controlling the Power of Material Things

Schneider 1350

Much recent scholarship has expanded our understanding of the active nature of medieval objects, which we now know were thought capable of penetrating and transforming other objects in their vicinity, including the bodies and souls of their beholders. In addition, new materialist theories have called scholars to consider the ethical implications of such intimate relationships between material things and their beholders. The ethical implications of this newly (re)discovered intimacy between medieval humans and objects calls for greater investigation. This session seeks papers that further our understanding of the affective power and material vibrancy of medieval objects by inquiring into the various methods used to control or condition the beholder’s ethical experience and/or response to such objects. Such methods might include: training on how to use, interpret, and/or respond to certain objects, regulation of the use of certain materials, instructions on sensual contact, limits on access to or total censorship of “dangerous” objects, encouragement of experiences beyond the materially sensible, and artistic theory indicating how art objects should be made or experienced.

Theresa Flanigan