From Influence to Translation: Art of the Global Middle Ages
University of Edinburgh 16-18 May 2012
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European, Islamic and Chinese societies engaged in a broad practice of cultural, artistic and ideological exchange during the period that was known in Europe as the ‘Middle Ages’ and that coincided with classical phases in eastern and western Asia. Adopting and passing on traditions through trade, pilgrimage and a range of other encounters, peoples of diverse backgrounds developed patterns of representation and exchange that have attracted the interest of scholars for several centuries.
Beginning with suggestions of influence and evolving through to theories of translation, the study of societal interactions during this period has been a transitional one. As such, this conference seeks to explore the embodiment of cultural exchange through the art and architecture of the medieval period as well as the methodological shifts that have occurred in the study of this period of wide multi-cultural engagement.
Themes include, but are not limited to:
- The exchange of visual and material culture through diplomatic gifts, pilgrimage, commerce and conquest
- Conceptions of influence, appropriation and translation in scholarly discourse and curatorial practice.
- Patterns of encounter and the process of exchange
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