Workshop – Histories, things, and anthropological approaches –
materiality and gender in the Medieval and Early Modern Studies
Date: Wed 19 April – Thu 20 April 2017
Place: Salle Crozet – CESCM, 24 rue de la Chaîne – POITIERS
For a decade now, medieval and early modern studies have been influenced by the so-called anthropological turn. This has revived the long tradition in the Medieval studies of researching the Middle Ages as ‘another culture’, distant from our own, but also prompted new attentiveness to material things, giving agency to them as objects not only used by people, but actually working together with people. A renewed concern with the presence and efficacy of crafted things falls onto the ontology of images and challenges such oppositions as object-subject or animate-inanimate. Gender historical approach, in turn, invites the scholars to think about men and women as agents, or how men and women or feminine and masculine were presented in the medieval times.
The workshop aims to look at different phenomena across Medieval and Early modern Europe from the perspective of how anthropology has affected the research, and how both the concepts of materiality and gender have been intertwined to this – where has this ‘turn’ placed us? How could different approaches have fruitful discussion over the disciplinary discourses? We wish in particular to encourage a discussion of methods and means of analysing gender and material culture within multiple research materials carried on by various disciplines.
Wed 19 April
9:30 – Coffee
10:00 – Martin Aurell (CESCM, University of Poitiers): Opening words
- Key note Éric Palazzo (CESCM, University of Poitiers): Painting and Praying
- Nevena Dimitrova (Charles University in Prague): Distinction and Division – the approach to Gender in 7th century
12:00 – Lunch break
13:00 – Presentations
- Martin Aurell (CESCM, University of Poitiers): Aristocratic Women and the Book, 1050-1320: the Material and the Spiritual
- Elina Räsänen & Visa Immonen (University of Helsinki): The Vast Complexities of the Small – Miniaturisation in Nordic Late-Medieval Material Culture
15: 00 Coffee
- Marie Charbonnel (Ausonius Institute, University of Bordeaux-Montaigne): Gendered spaces. The Gendered Division of Space in Medieval Churches and its Materialization in wall Painting
- Katri Vuola (University of Helsinki): Look inside! A Multidisciplinary Approach to Medival Wooden Sculptures
- Anu Lahtinen (University of Helsinki): From Books to Blocks. New Research on Gender and Materiality in Premodern Nordic History (a short presentation of various research projects collaborating with the GeM-project)
Thursday 20 April
- Estelle Ingrand Varenne (CESCM): Women’s voices in the Biblical Inscriptions
- Marika Räsänen (CESCM/University of Turku): Reflections on gendered uses of Relics in late Middle Ages
- Janika Aho (University of Helsinki): Power and Priesthood: commissionning Church Paintings in the Reformation Sweden
12:00 Lunch break
- Cheyenne Noel (CESCM): Medieval Patens: Materiality as Instrument and Place of Transformation
- Anu Lahtinen (University of Helsinki): Books, Shoes, and Little Boxes. Gender & personal belongings in late Medieval Swedish documents
14:30 Coffee & Final panel, Discussion
Material culture, gender and multidisciplinary analyses in medieval studies (GeM) is a series of workshops funded by Suomen Kulttuurirahasto (Finnish Cultural Fund). The aim is to bring together scholars on various phases of their careers who are interested in developing gender perspective and issues related to material culture and to medieval and early modern studies. Project is connected to the Medieval Gender History Network, a Nordic network aiming to enhance co-operation between scholars interested in gender and the Middle Ages in the North of Europe (see the theme issue in the web journal Mirator: http://www.glossa.fi/mirator/index_fi.html). The project is led by prof. Anu Lahtinen (University of Helsinki) with co-organizers, assistant prof. Visa Immonen and senior lecturer Elina Räsänen (University of Helsinki).
The first workshop in Copenhagen (June 15–17, 2016) was organized together with Louise Berglund (University of Örebro) and Martin Wangsgaard Jürgensen (National Museum, Copenhagen). This workshop aimed to inspire discussion of how ecclesiastical spaces were constructed and used by women as well as men, and how the various artefacts expressed and mediated the participation and agency of the medieval users.