Appel à contribution : « Authority and Identity in the Middle Ages », Londres, The Courtauld, 15 mars 2024, date limite le 31 janvier 2024

The Courtauld Postgraduate Medieval Colloquium

Studies of medieval art have often focused on works of art featuring, or patronised by, those in positions of authority. More recently, scholars have moved towards a wider understanding of the ways in which works of art established a sense of authority and impacted the identity of the communities who viewed and used them. However, concepts of ‘authority’ and ‘identity’ and their complex interrelationship are rarely interrogated in a holistic way.

The two concepts are often inextricably linked. Identities were shaped by those in positions of authority; images endowed with ‘authority’ could influence how those interacting with them self-identified; patrons claimed authority through images, often forging their public identity as charitable, pious figures. But what did it mean to claim authority in the Middle Ages, and what exactly did it mean to have an identity? Even today, these concepts are complex and multi-faceted – most notably, one’s self-identification can differ dramatically from that imposed by others.

In this colloquium we want to address these topics afresh, exploring how art and material culture reflect and produce concepts of identity and authority. Papers might consider issues such as gender, sexuality, race, religion, and culture more broadly. We will also consider how alternative perspectives could reinforce or subvert ideas of an authoritative figure, voice or image.

The Courtauld Institute’s Annual Postgraduate Medieval Colloquium invites speakers to consider the complex intersections of authority and identity and how these two distinct, but often bound concepts were presented and experienced in the art and material culture of the Middle Ages.

We welcome applications from research students at all levels, in the UK and abroad, though regrettably we cannot cover speakers’ travel or accommodation costs. Papers could embrace a variety of topics including, but in no way limited to:

  • How works of art are mediated through links to religious or secular authority figure(s)
  • The mythologizing of identity by authority figures
  • The ways in which personal or communal identities are reflected or projected
  • The subversion of authority and authority figures
  • Minority versus majority identity and authority
  • Groups and belonging
  • Identity and non-belonging: Ideas of ‘otherness’ or monstrosity
  • Subversion of cultural/religious/personal/communal identity
  • Suppression of identity.
  • Revealing and concealing identities
  • Identity and authority in relation to gender and sexuality
  • Identity and authority of genealogy and lineage
  • The ‘afterlives’ of identities: changes in reception and perception through time

The Medieval Postgraduate Colloquium will take place at the Courtauld’s Vernon Square campus, in person only. To apply, please send a proposal of up to 250 words for a 20-minute paper, together with a CV to and by the 31st January 2024.


Citer ce billet
Florence Larcher (2024, 28 janvier). Appel à contribution : « Authority and Identity in the Middle Ages », Londres, The Courtauld, 15 mars 2024, date limite le 31 janvier 2024. Centre d'Histoire de l'Art de la Renaissance. Consulté le 24 mai 2024, à l’adresse

Florence Larcher

Florence Larcher est doctorante à l'Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne. Ses recherches sur les images de saint Roch en Italie de 1350 à 1680 l'amènent à étudier la peinture murale, la sérialité et l'itinérance des peintres.

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