Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Project Conference

Across Friday 20th and Saturday 21st March, the History of Art Department at the University of York hosted an ERC-funded international conference exploring 'The Politics of Visual Translations of Jerusalem.'

Photograph: Claudia Jung


The contemporary city of Jerusalem is as much a political as a devotional symbol: a profoundly divided city, a disputed state capital, and a core issue for the peaceful resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This research event explored the political significances of Jerusalem in other historical contexts. Our speakers examined the political meanings carried by visual and monumental translations of Jerusalem in Europe from the early medieval period to the twentieth century.


Two fascinating keynote addresses were given. The first, by Professor Achim Timmermann of the University of Michigan explored the 'poor sinners' crosses' set up across the Holy Roman Empire along the routes to local gallows. The identification of these routes with the via crucis enabled the condemmned criminal to make his last journey side by side with the suffering Christ. This material came from Professor Timmermann's forthcoming book, Representation and Redemption: The Public Monument in the Later Middle Ages.

Photograph: Claudia Jung


The second keynote address was given by Dr Antony Eastmond, the A.G.Leventis Reader in the History of Byzantine Art at The Courtauld Institute of Art in London. He examined the ways that Jerusalem was represented and imagined in medieval Georgia and the Caucasus, which included a special focus on the city as the site of the first Eucharist and a notably pragmatic response to the fall of the crusader city in 1187. Dr Eastmond's latest edited book, Viewing Inscriptions in the Late Antique and Medieval World, will be published in 2015 by Cambridge University Press.

Photograph: Claudia Jung


The conference welcomed speakers and delegates from America, Canada, France, Germany, Israel, the Netherlands, Norway and the United Kingdom.  Speakers enjoyed a guided tour around York before the conference and there was much lively discussion.  The event closed with concluding remarks from Professor Bianca K├╝hnel of The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Photograph: Claudia Jung



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