Byzantium/Modernism: Art, Cultural Heritage, and the Avant-Gardes

full name / name of organization: 
Roland Betancourt, Yale University
contact email: 
Roland.Betancourt@Yale.edu

Byzantium/Modernism:
Art, Cultural Heritage, and the Avant-Gardes
20-22 April 2012, Yale University

Keynote Speakers:
Marie-José Mondzain, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique
Robert S. Nelson, Yale University

The Byzantine Empire cultivated a thriving community of theologians and philosophers that debated the ontological, phenomenological, and broader epistemic foundations of the image, upon which the Empire and the Church grounded their physical and metaphysical rule. Since the nineteenth century, artists, critics, and scholars have utilized the Byzantine as a manner of articulating the development of modernity and its image-world. For example, in 1958, Clement Greenberg famously remarked on the formal homologies between Byzantine art and contemporary abstraction. Before him, Roger Fry coined the term "Proto-Byzantines" to describe the Post-Impressionists, and Alfred Barr described Byzantine art and its iconic heritage as fundamental to modern art. The connection between Byzantium and modernity, however, is usually relegated to passing references or mere formal parallels, lacking a sustained consideration and archaeology of its conceptual grounding.

What does modern art have to gain from Byzantium? How can Byzantine philosophy enrich our understanding of the modern and contemporary image? The goal of this conference is twofold: First, to investigate the prolific interest in Byzantine art at the turn of the century and its effects on the historical Avant-Gardes in art, architecture, archaeology, and visual culture to the present; second, to articulate how Byzantine art and image philosophy can contribute to modern and contemporary visual culture. The intention is to produce an intellectual history of art from the nineteenth century to the present that uses Byzantium/Modernism as a paradigmatic fissure for the co-identification of said terms.

The core of this analysis is a shared visual heritage with a complex social life, layered with political, economic, social, religious, and ethnic turmoil that indexes the complex processes of orientalization and modernization in America, Western and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. Papers are encouraged from all relevant disciplines, which further the investigation of modern and contemporary visual worlds through the question of the Byzantine.

Please send a 500-word abstract and CV to byzmod2012@gmail.com by 1 September 2011.

Organizers: Roland Betancourt and Maria Taroutina

cfp categories: 
american
classical_studies
cultural_studies_and_historical_approaches
ethnicity_and_national_identity
film_and_television
gender_studies_and_sexuality
general_announcements
interdisciplinary
international_conferences
journals_and_collections_of_essays
medieval
modernist studies
poetry
popular_culture
postcolonial
religion
rhetoric_and_composition
romantic
science_and_culture
theatre
theory
travel_writing
twentieth_century_and_beyond
victorian