GC Medieval Studies Conference March 4

The Sixth Annual Pearl Kibre Medieval Studies Conference at the CUNY Graduate Center on Friday, March 4, including a talk by Curator Melanie Holcomb at 2 pm in Room 9204/5:

Betwixt and Between: Archaeological Treasures and the East/West Divide

This talk will discuss the phenomenon of treasure both as a social practice in Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages and as a construction of modern scholars, art dealers, museums and others. It will examine how buried assemblages of precious objects have been used by scholars in the past to define and demarcate boundaries between the Byzantine East and the Roman West. It will in turn explore how new approaches to such treasures can help us imagine the late antique/early medieval world as one in which creativity and communication trump regional divides.

Dr. Melanie Holcomb is a curator in the Department of Medieval Art and The Cloisters at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Her most recent exhibition was Pen and Parchment: Drawing in the Middle Ages, which examined the aesthetics, uses, and techniques of drawings before the Old Masters. Though that exhibition spanned the ninth through the fourteenth centuries, her first and greatest love is the Early Middle Ages—the topic of a recent course at The Graduate Center.

This talk will be part of the Sixth Annual Medieval Studies/Pearl Kibre Medieval Study Interdisciplinary Graduate Student Conference, made possible with the generous support of the MSCP, DSC, and Art History and Comp Lit departments. The conference will be held in GC room 9204/5 from 10 am to 4:45 pm. The event is free, and all are welcome to attend.

Conference Schedule:

9:30-10:00 — Registration and coffee (room 9204/5)

10:00-11:15 — Geographical Frontiers (room 9204/5):
Thomas Carlson, “Community Self-Concepts and Social Diversity From Trebizond to Tabriz”
David Heayn, ” The Gate between East and West: Cilicia and Isauria”
Clare Wilson, “Substantiating the Power of the Khan in Thirteenth-Century Mongolia”

11:15-11:30 — Break

11:30-12:45 — Scholarly Frontiers (room 9204/5):
Ethan Zadoff, “Where East Meets West: Some Thoughts on the Interpretative Turn of the Babylonian
Talmud in Northern France and Germany During the Twelfth and Thirteenth Centuries”

12:45-2:00 — Lunch (room 5409)

2:00-2:15 — Introducing “Sententia: The Pearl Kibre Medieval Review”, Ethan Zadoff (room 9204/5)
2:15-3:15 — Keynote: Melanie Holcomb, “Betwixt and Between: Archaeological Treasures and the East/West Divide” (room 9204/5)

3:15-3:30 – Break

3:30-4:45 — Byzantium as a Frontier (room 9204/5):
Alice Lynn McMichael, “Star Followers: Faith and Conversion in Early Christian Depictions of the Magi”
Joy Partridge, “Appropriation and Annotation of Byzantine Reliquaries in the Stavelot Triptych”
John Massey, “Patriarch and Papacy: The Struggle for Stability on the Italian Peninsula in the Long Eighth Century”

4:45 — Reception (room 5105)



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