Appel à contribution — The Virgin and the City

Call for Papers for Special Session at the 57th International Congress on Medieval Studies, Western Michigan University
May 9-14, 2022
Online Event

The session wishes to analyze the Marian presence in Late Medieval European cities. The scholarly importance of the session lies in understanding how the Virgin became a part of urban landscapes and how the political and civic powers enhanced religious place‐making practices. How was the Mother of God accommodated and exhibited in civic space? What does Marian images’ location reveal about the relationship between devotion and public places? Why did the Virgin become the guarantor of civic unity? And finally, how did Mary personify the “urban ideology”?

On a methodological level, the session will encourage an interdisciplinary socio-spatial approach. Topography, urbanism, and art will be examined in relation with Marian devotion to understand the semantization of the civic space. The analysis of case studies will aim not only to highlight specific aspects and general phenomena in Late Medieval Europe, but also to define key concepts, identities, and devotional practices in urban development processes.

Scholars are invited to submit a 300-word abstract, excluding references. Proposals should also include name, affiliation, email address, the title of the presentation, 6 keywords, a selective bibliography, and a short CV. Please send the documents to by September 1, 2021.

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