Appel à contribution – Innovationes Lovanienses: Crossroads of Knowledge Transfer between Antiquity, Middle Ages, and Renaissance

KU Leuven, 6-8 December 2023*

The XIIth Annual Conference of LECTIO in 2023 will examine the foundation and first centuries of the University of Leuven as a unique crossroads of the transfer of knowledge between Antiquity, Middle Ages and Renaissance. It serves as a stepping stone for the celebrations of 600 years KU Leuven in 2025.
Check our hashtag #Leuven1425.

Between 1425 and 1432, Louvain was founded as a rather prototypical medieval studium generale, modeled after similar institutions for higher education in Paris and Cologne, and vested with charters copied from contemporary foundations such as Rostock and Genève. At this crossroads of Europe, the University of Leuven would soon function as a distinctive nucleus for receiving and transferring ancient and modern ideas and teachings. Until the abolition of the university in 1797, scholars and students in Louvain innovated and refashioned the results of antique scholarship and schooling, both in teaching and writing, while also engaging in the renewal of the Catholic faith and discipline as a reaction to the Protestant Reformation. The

Louvain legacy of ideas, texts, and teaching practices will be situated in the European and worldwide ‘web of knowledge’ by offering transregional as well as global perspectives. The conference will examine the legacy of Louvain scholars and students and their intellectual and geographical itineraries in Europe and the broader Habsburg World.

The LECTIO conference is collaborating with Museum M on the occasion of their exhibition on Dieric Bouts, and the ‘City Festival’ in Leuven on ‘Bouts, New Perspectives’. Therefore, the conference also welcomes contributions to the visual culture at the time of Dieric Bouts in Leuven, and the new and changing perspectives he brought about. Special attention can be paid to: the impact of Modern Devotion on the iconography and functions of the devotional object (empathy & Andachtsbild, the animated devotional object, mutual gazing between Christ and the spectator), the role of new optics and scholarship (perspective, organizations of space in painting, metaphors of theater and staging, techniques to involving the spectator in space, etc.), the use of details in a non-symbolic manner (the idea of the Barthesian ‘reality effect’, the use of banality in painting), the development of the landscape in painting (the need to show real or fantasy landscapes in a changing society, the landscape as a virtual, symbolic or social space of meaning).

Confirmed keynote speakers

Susanna Berger (University of Southern California) Monica Brinzei (IRHT-CNRS)
Lidia Lanza (Lisbon)
Valentina Lepri (Warsaw)

Jacob Schmutz (UCLouvain)


Please send your proposal to and before 15 March 2023. Proposals should consist of a (provisional) title, an abstract of 250-300 words, and information concerning your name, current position, academic affiliation and contact details You will receive notification of acceptance no later than 15 May 2023. The conference volume will appear within the LECTIO series at Brepols Publishers in February 2025 to mark the sixth centenary of the first university foundation. Therefore, we will work with pre-circulated papers before 25 October 2023 and final submission on 1 March 2024.

Organizing committee:

Barbara Baert (KU Leuven), Wim Decock (UCLouvain), Wouter Druwé (KU Leuven), Ralph Dekoninck (UCLouvain), Wim François (KU Leuven), Violet Soen (KU Leuven), Gerd Van Riel (KU Leuven), with the assistance of LECTIO’s Managing Director Marleen Reynders

Check these online datasets about Leuven’s ‘Old University’

  • Magister Dixit (digitized college notes by Louvain students)
  • Lovaniensia & its Scholars page (printed books by Louvain scholars)
  • Manuale Lovaniense (textbooks printed for the Louvain academic market)
  • Impressae (Women printers in Louvain and Douai)
  • (database of the Leuven Trilingue)
  • Leonardi.DB (The Leuven Ontology for Aristotelian Diagrams Database)
  • Aristoteles Latinus Environment (DALE)
  • Impressa Catholica Cameracensia (Books printed in the francophone sister university of Habsburg Douai)

A propos RMBLF

Réseau des médiévistes belges de langue française
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