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IMC 2009: Sessions

Session 115: Heretical Destructions: Incitement and Symbolic Violence

Monday 13 July 2009, 11.15-12.45

Moderator/Chair:James R. Simpson, Centre for Medieval & Renaissance Studies, University of Glasgow
Paper 115-aMoving Violence: Images of Persecution in Late Medieval Art
(Language: English)
Assaf Pinkus, Department of Art History, Tel Aviv University
Index terms: Art History - Sculpture, Hagiography, Mentalities, Social History
Paper 115-bThe Destruction of Heretical Books
(Language: English)
Alexander Murray, University College, University of Oxford
Index terms: Ecclesiastical History, Religious Life

This session deals with the place of public violence against minority groups - incitement, images, or symbolic acts.

Paper -a:
14th-century sculpture reveals a wide range of realistic, detailed, and extreme violence: decapitation, split skulls, severed limbs, mutilated sexual organs etc. Whereas earlier studies of violence have focused mainly on illuminated manuscripts and gender issues, or on allegorical stylized representations (combating monsters, fighting knights, the damned in Hell, etc.), this talk engages with a monumental public art of violence, which has never been documented before. Was this brutalism encoded in the scriptures or in social reality? Was it designed to evoke vicarious empathy, or rejection? What was the sensibility of the viewer to such imagery? And finally - what was the aesthetics of late medieval violence?

Paper -b:
Abstract to follow