Session Title

Illustration, Complication, Contradiction: Dialogue between Word and Image

Sponsoring Organization(s)

Schoenberg Institute for Manuscript Studies

Organizer Name

Shana E. Thompson

Organizer Affiliation

Tarrant County College

Presider Name

Shana E. Thompson

Paper Title 1

Interpretive Spaces: Opening the Medieval Manuscript using Comic Book Theory

Presenter 1 Name

Jesse D. Hurlbut

Presenter 1 Affiliation

Medieval and Renaissance Drama Society

Paper Title 2

"O Lord, make haste to help me": The Complex Interplay of Image and Text in Early Medieval Manuscripts

Presenter 2 Name

William F. Endres

Presenter 2 Affiliation

Univ. of Kentucky

Paper Title 3

History Mapped: Reading and Visualizing the World in Medieval Britain

Presenter 3 Name

Meagan Loftin

Presenter 3 Affiliation

Univ. of Washington-Seattle

Paper Title 4

Conflating Forest and Desert in the Spiritual Landscape: Text and Image in The Desert of Religion

Presenter 4 Name

Elizabeth Melick

Presenter 4 Affiliation

Kent State Univ.

Start Date

14-5-2015 7:30 PM

Session Location

Schneider 1130

Description

This session seeks to explore and expand our comprehension of the ways in which images interacted with the written and spoken word. How do the illuminations of a manuscript support, challenge, complicate, or interpret the message and ideology of their related text? Do the images reference other writings or events that may shape a reader’s interpretation of the text? How is the placement of imagery significant in understanding the text and the function of its images? How might illuminations function for an audience when the text is read aloud, as they often were in medieval Europe? Moving beyond the flat page, how does the structure or decoration of a medieval church relate to its liturgy or to the writings of its leading clergymen? How does the architecture shape or alter the experience of the liturgy within that space? How might life within such a space, as in monastic communities, shape what was written by its residents? Moreover, the enduring nature of the written word and the carved or painted image imparts a temporal component to this dialogue. The images we have today survived for hundreds of years, so we can expect that many of the earlier medieval artworks that still exist would have been seen by later medieval viewers. Did viewing such imagery inspire or shape what was written by later authors? How might earlier images have then been interpreted in light of later texts? How did artists, perhaps at the behest of their patrons, depict historical texts in ways that responded to contemporary issues? How did these visual interpretations influence the viewer’s understanding of the related text? With these questions in mind, this session includes both case studies and broader theoretical examinations of the dialogue between word and image in the medieval period.

Shana E. Thompson

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May 14th, 7:30 PM

Illustration, Complication, Contradiction: Dialogue between Word and Image

Schneider 1130

This session seeks to explore and expand our comprehension of the ways in which images interacted with the written and spoken word. How do the illuminations of a manuscript support, challenge, complicate, or interpret the message and ideology of their related text? Do the images reference other writings or events that may shape a reader’s interpretation of the text? How is the placement of imagery significant in understanding the text and the function of its images? How might illuminations function for an audience when the text is read aloud, as they often were in medieval Europe? Moving beyond the flat page, how does the structure or decoration of a medieval church relate to its liturgy or to the writings of its leading clergymen? How does the architecture shape or alter the experience of the liturgy within that space? How might life within such a space, as in monastic communities, shape what was written by its residents? Moreover, the enduring nature of the written word and the carved or painted image imparts a temporal component to this dialogue. The images we have today survived for hundreds of years, so we can expect that many of the earlier medieval artworks that still exist would have been seen by later medieval viewers. Did viewing such imagery inspire or shape what was written by later authors? How might earlier images have then been interpreted in light of later texts? How did artists, perhaps at the behest of their patrons, depict historical texts in ways that responded to contemporary issues? How did these visual interpretations influence the viewer’s understanding of the related text? With these questions in mind, this session includes both case studies and broader theoretical examinations of the dialogue between word and image in the medieval period.

Shana E. Thompson