Collecting as a Cultural Practice and Literary Theme in Antiquity, the Middle Ages and Renaissance

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“Infinite riches in a little room”: Collecting as a Cultural Practice and Literary Theme in Antiquity, the Middle Ages and Renaissance

The 6th Annual International Conference of the Taiwan Association
of Classical, Medieval and Renaissance Studies

Tunghai University, Taiwan, 26-27 Octobre 2012

Appel à contributions
Date limite : 15 mars 2012

 

 

Collecting is a topic which has attracted much attention in recent years. William Gibson, the pioneer of cyberpunk fiction, observed that “the idea of the Collectible is everywhere today.” Yet, if we are to believe one critical study of the subject, the cultural practice of collecting goes back to the mythical beginnings of humanity: “Noah was the first collector. Adam had given names to the animals, but it fell to Noah to collect them … And Noah, perhaps alone of all collectors, achieved the complete set.” (John Elsner and Roger Cardinal) A more recent collector, the Assyrian king Ashurbanipal (669-626 BCE) may not have had a complete set, but he did maintain a great library that held thousands of clay tablets. The Hellenistic Greeks and Romans collected books, statues, gems, etc. and created the first musea, those of Alexandria and Pergamon being the most prominent examples. They also wrote about collecting and were avid encyclopedists. Pliny the Elder's Naturalis Historia is the model for many later writings in the genre which includes Isidore of Seville's Etymologiae (ca. 630), the 10th Century Byzantine Suda, and Vincent of Beauvais' high medieval Speculum majus (13th Century). The monastic libraries of the Middle Ages and their scriptoria copied and collected books and in doing so preserved the European heritage. Yet, it was the global commerce in knowledge, people, and objects during the age of discovery and exploration which aroused a passion for collecting as never before as princes, scientists, merchants, and artists all over Europe from Ferrante Imperato in Naples to Peter the Great in Russia competed in creating increasingly spectacular and luxurious studiolos, cabinets of curiosities, Wunderkammer, and Kunstkamers. Yet, the habit could be costly. King Charles I of England, a lavish spender and great collector of art, first lost his kingdom and then his life. Less than a decade later, the Dutch painter Rembrandt ran into debts and had to sell his house and his collections.

TACMRS provides an interdisciplinary forum for discussions and debates on collecting as a cultural practice and literary theme from Antiquity to the Renaissance and seeks to create dialogue between and across disciplines and periods. We encourage submissions with crosscultural approaches, and on this premise welcome papers that reach beyond the traditional chronological and disciplinary borders of classical, medieval and Renaissance studies. Thus, in addition to the historical categories and thematic questions raised above, topics such as collecting practices East and West; the representation of ancient libraries, collectible objects or cultural treasures in modern literature and film; the cabinet of curiosities in modern art; and other topics that engage critically with the conference theme will be considered. In addition, as in years past, TACMRS welcomes papers on any other subjects that fall within the historical periods and disciplinary areas covered by the Association.
This conference is under the auspices of the Taiwan Association of Classical, Medieval, and Renaissance Studies and the Department of Foreign Languages and Literature of Tunghai University in Taichung, Taiwan.
1. Conference Location: Tunghai University; Taichung 40704, Taiwan
2. Conference Language: All papers are required to be written and presented in English.
3. Guidelines for Abstract Submission:
3.1 The length of the abstract should be maximum 350 words.
3.2 Abstracts should be typed in fonts of size 12 and spacing of 1.5 and saved in MS Word format.
3.3 Do not include the name or other identifying information of the author(s) in the abstract; there will be a blind review of the submissions.
3.4 Send the abstract by e-mail to flld[at]thu.edu.tw with a subject line stating “Submission for the 6th TACMRS Conference.”
3.5 Include information regarding academic affiliation of presenter(s) in email.
3.6 Send abstracts/proposals for papers to:
Henk Vynckier, Chair
Department of Foreign Languages and Literature
Tunghai University; Taichung 407; Taiwan
flld[at]thu.edu.tw
Tel.: 04/2359-0121 Ext.: 31200
Fax: 04/2359-4002
4. Important Dates:
Due date for abstract submission: March 15, 2012
Notification of abstract acceptance: May 1, 2012
Deadline for registration: Oct. 1, 2012
Due date for full paper submission: Oct. 5, 2012
5. Contact Information:
Phone Number: 04-2359-0121 Ext. 31200: Ms. Sherry Jan (Assistant)
Email: sj1109[at]thu.edu.tw (Assistant Sherry Jan) or hvynck[at]thu.edu.tw (Dr. Henk Vynckier, Chair)

 

Source : Tunghai University.

 

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