Session Title

Un/making Mistakes in Medieval Media

Sponsoring Organization(s)

Special Session

Organizer Name

Barbara M. Eggert, Christine M. Schott

Organizer Affiliation

Humboldt-Univ. Berlin, Erskine College

Presider Name

Christine M. Schott

Paper Title 1

Virginal Body and Reproductive Mind: The Implications of the So-Called “Mistake” of the Zodiac Window at Chartres

Presenter 1 Name

Karen Webb

Presenter 1 Affiliation

Univ. of Pittsburgh

Paper Title 2

Mistakes Made, Unmade, and Remade: A Millennium of Making the Nowell Codex

Presenter 2 Name

Simon Thomson

Presenter 2 Affiliation

Univ. College London

Paper Title 3

The Presence of Authorial and Editorial Errors in the Golden Legend and in the Abbreviatio in gestis sanctorum

Presenter 3 Name

Giovanni Paolo Maggioni

Presenter 3 Affiliation

Univ. degli Studi del Molise

Paper Title 4

Restoring the Image of God: Origen of Alexandria’s Archetypal Way

Presenter 4 Name

Karl F. Morrison

Presenter 4 Affiliation

Rutgers Univ.

Start Date

10-5-2014 3:30 PM

Session Location

Schneider 2345

Description

Errare humanum est – and just as today, errors and mistakes occurred in every field of medieval culture, concerning the sacred and the secular sphere alike.

During the Holy Mass, priests lost focus, words were omitted from liturgical texts, wine got spilled on sacred garments - and there were texts, of course, telling you how to deal with these failings, how to unmake these mistakes. In the legal context, mistakes of law or fact could have a vital influence on the sentence – therefore, following the Roman Law, errors and mistakes were categorized, classed, and addressed in legal texts. While scholars of medieval arts usually focus on the craftsmanship of the artifacts, errors and mistakes of a different nature are to be found in any genre; some of them, like flaws in pottery, obviously happened accidentally; others, like portraits of figures with two left hands, belong to the category of deliberate mistakes.

As a follow-up of the questions raised in the session UN/MAKING MISTAKES IN MEDIEVAL MANUSCRIPTS (Kalamazoo 2013), the purpose of this session is to examine errors and mistakes and the "corrections" thereof from different angles:

On the one hand, the session focuses on theory by analyzing how medieval scholars of different fields defined error and mistake and the consequences these phenomena could have. What mistakes mattered, and in what context – and (how) could they be corrected?

On the other hand, the session is dedicated to the material aspects of error, that is the exploration of mistakes in medieval artifacts. It invites paper proposals from both scholars of text as well as scholars of images of any genre (manuscripts, textiles, stained glass windows, etc.) that explore the nature of errors, mistakes, and obscurities in medieval media as well as the “corrections” thereof to gain insight into the contemporary assumptions about what a particular medium should look like.

Barbara M. Eggert, Christine M. Schott

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May 10th, 3:30 PM

Un/making Mistakes in Medieval Media

Schneider 2345

Errare humanum est – and just as today, errors and mistakes occurred in every field of medieval culture, concerning the sacred and the secular sphere alike.

During the Holy Mass, priests lost focus, words were omitted from liturgical texts, wine got spilled on sacred garments - and there were texts, of course, telling you how to deal with these failings, how to unmake these mistakes. In the legal context, mistakes of law or fact could have a vital influence on the sentence – therefore, following the Roman Law, errors and mistakes were categorized, classed, and addressed in legal texts. While scholars of medieval arts usually focus on the craftsmanship of the artifacts, errors and mistakes of a different nature are to be found in any genre; some of them, like flaws in pottery, obviously happened accidentally; others, like portraits of figures with two left hands, belong to the category of deliberate mistakes.

As a follow-up of the questions raised in the session UN/MAKING MISTAKES IN MEDIEVAL MANUSCRIPTS (Kalamazoo 2013), the purpose of this session is to examine errors and mistakes and the "corrections" thereof from different angles:

On the one hand, the session focuses on theory by analyzing how medieval scholars of different fields defined error and mistake and the consequences these phenomena could have. What mistakes mattered, and in what context – and (how) could they be corrected?

On the other hand, the session is dedicated to the material aspects of error, that is the exploration of mistakes in medieval artifacts. It invites paper proposals from both scholars of text as well as scholars of images of any genre (manuscripts, textiles, stained glass windows, etc.) that explore the nature of errors, mistakes, and obscurities in medieval media as well as the “corrections” thereof to gain insight into the contemporary assumptions about what a particular medium should look like.

Barbara M. Eggert, Christine M. Schott