Mellon Research Initiative: Events

Beyond Representation: An Interdisciplinary Approach to the Nature of Things

(September 27-29, 2012)
This event is jointly sponsored by Bard Graduate Center and the IFA’s Mellon Research Initiative, and organized by Jas Elsner, Finbarr Barry Flood, and Ittai Weinryb.

The past two decades have been marked by a renewed concern with the agency, presence, and ontological status of crafted things, witnessed in a shift of interest across several fields from questions of iconography and meaning to questions of affect and efficacy. These developments call into question some of the binary oppositions that are foundational to the epistemologies and ontologies of Enlightenment (and post-Enlightenment) thought: animate-inanimate, subject-object, material-meaning, and so forth. They raise significant questions about the nature and operation of things in the world, their materiality, their ability to act or inspire action, and their relation to speech, texts, and words. Acknowledging the need for an interdisciplinary approach to the profound questions raised by these developments, the conference aims to examine the historical antecedents for these 'new' ways of thinking about the material world, to consider their implications, and to imagine the ways in which they might help us develop novel approaches to images, things, and words.

September 27, 2012
Bard Graduate Center

September 28-29, 2012
Institute of Fine Arts-NYU

AGENDA

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 2012



1:30-6:00pm
Bard Graduate Center
Lecture Hall, 38 West 86th Street, New York, NY

1:30pm
Peter N. Miller (Bard Graduate Center)
Welcome

1:35pm
Jas Elsner (Corpus Christi College, University of Oxford); Finbarr B. Flood (Institute of Fine Arts and College of Arts and Sciences, New York University); and Ittai Weinryb (Bard Graduate Center)
Introduction

2:00pm
Hugh Raffles (The New School)
Writing Stones

2:45pm
David Frankfurter (Boston University)
Female Figurines in Late Antique Egypt – Problems and Revelations in Mimesis and Efficacy

3:30pm
Coffee Break

4:00pm
Caroline van Eck (Leiden University)
Representation, Animation, and the Excessive Object

4:45pm
Richard Neer (University of Chicago)
Not Puzzling Enough: Gell, Art History and the Aesthetics of Disavowal

5:30pm
Zainab Bahrani (Columbia University)
Response

6:00pm
Reception

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2012


9:00am-6:00pm
Institute of Fine Arts, New York University

Lecture Hall, 1 East 78th Street, New York, NY

9:00am
Coffee and Registration

9:30am
Patricia Rubin (Institute of Fine Arts, New York University)
Welcome

9:35am
Brigitte Bedos-Rezak (New York University)
Media Regimes: Imprinted Matter and the Horizon of Agency (Western Europe, Twelfth-Fourteenth Century)

10:20am
Peter Geimer (Freie Universität, Berlin)
Relics/Stuff: On Composing and Decomposing Aura

11:05am
Coffee Break

11:30am
Milette Gaifman (Yale University)
The Life of Greek Painted Jugs

12:15pm
Glenn Peers (University of Texas, Austin)
Relation and Dividuation in Byzantium

1:00pm
Lunch Break

2:00pm
Beate Fricke (University of California, Berkeley)
Crafts of Blood and Shapes of Life

2:45pm
Frank Fehrenbach (Harvard University)
Infra ‘l vedi e non vedi. Enlivenment in Italian Renaissance Art

3:30pm
Coffee Break

4:00pm
Pamela Smith (Columbia University)
How to Study the Nature of Things: Material Complexes of the Early Modern World

4:45pm
Jane Bennett (Johns Hopkins University)
Posture and Sympathy in Leaves of Grass

5:30pm
Gerhard Wolf (Kunsthistorisches Institut, Florence)
Response

6:00pm
Reception

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 2012

9:30am-1:15pm
Institute of Fine Arts, New York University
Lecture Hall, 1 East 78th Street, New York, NY

9:30am
Coffee and Registration

10:00am
Spyros Papapetros (Princeton University)
Animist (Re)turns: Shifts in Approaches to Objects in Turn-of-the-Century Histories of Art

10:45am
Caroline Walker Bynum (Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton)
The Paradox of Anthropomorphic/Non-Anthropomorphic Materiality in the Middle Ages

11:30am
Horst Bredekamp (Humboldt Universität, Berlin)
The Hand Axe and the Anthropology of Picture Act

12:15pm
Christopher Wood (Yale University)
Closing Remarks

12:45pm-1:15pm
Discussion

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