Call for Papers: The Politics of Visual Translations of Jerusalem, History of Art, University of York, March 2015

The History of Art Department at the University of York is hosting a cross-period, interdisciplinary conference in March 2015 on ‘The Politics of Visual Translations of Jerusalem’. The Call for Papers is below, and you can download it as a PDF here.

Access to and sovereignty over the holy places of Jerusalem is a frequent source of political tension amongst the three Abrahamic faiths, while further discord has developed over the religious and secular identities of the city. There is no question that contemporary visualisations of Jerusalem are concerned with the political status and symbolism of Jerusalem as a divided city, disputed state capital and key issue for the peaceful resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. However, despite acknowledgment of the deep historical roots of contemporary political conflicts in the Middle East, the political significance of earlier visual translations of Jerusalem has often escaped scholarly attention. This conference aims to address this important issue. It seeks to look across different historical periods, geographical boundaries and religious traditions to bring out the range of political ideas and agendas which underpin architectural translations, visual representations and physical relics of Jerusalem in Europe and beyond. Considering the ways in which Jerusalem and its holy places were imagined, visually represented, and replicated across the medieval, early modern and modern periods, the conference will ask: What political interests or regimes have become invested in the recreation of Jerusalem? How have local or wider political events impacted on Jerusalem translations and their histories, for example with regard to iconoclasm and politically motivated acts of vandalism and destruction? As such, the conference will examine political dimensions in the construction, use, appropriation, and reception history of visual translations of Jerusalem, seeking to establish a productive scholarly dialogue between place, period and political agenda.

Keynote lectures will be given by Achim Timmermann (University of Michigan) and Antony Eastmond (Courtauld Institute).

Papers are invited from researchers in the fields of history of art and architecture, politics, history, literature, religion, archaeology, and other relevant disciplines. Areas of particular interest include:

Jerusalem recreations and the definition of nations, states, empires, cities and peoples

Political regimes: the recreation of Jerusalem at centres of power and within political territories; the importance of Jerusalem for the self or public image of rulers

Current events: the role of visual translations of Jerusalem in political debates, polemics, propaganda, and political movements; Jerusalem sites as places of political resistance or rebellion

The politics of performance, exhibition and consumption

The use or reuse of Jerusalem sites as memorials

The politics of loss: destruction or neglect of Jerusalem translations

Please send an abstract of up to 300 words to Laura Slater (jerusalemeuropeconference@gmail.com). Deadline for submission of proposals is 10 October 2014. Limited funding is available to help cover external speakers’ travel and accommodation expenses. Please let us know in your email if you require funding. The conference is organized in the context of the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/20072013)/ ERC grant agreement no.249466.

For further information see: https://www.york.ac.uk/historyofart/ visualtranslationsjerusalem/

Filming Israel/Palestine: The Honourable Woman

Hugo Blick’s The Honourable Woman (BBC2), starring Maggie Gyllenhaal as the would-be peacemaking heir to an Israeli family’s arms fortune, is a rare example of British TV taking on one of the riskiest subjects for a weeknight drama: the Israel-Palestine conflict.

I say risky, because Israeli and Palestinian history and politics aren’t subjects that are familiar to British audiences, and which will produce reliably high viewing figures – they’re not Nordic Noir or The Great British Bake Off.

Israel/Palestine is also perhaps the archetypal topic on which venturing a comment can lead to frenzied justifications, backtracking and speedy regrets, as reporters and many celebrities found during in a summer which saw Israel launch devastating attacks on the Gaza Strip during Operation Protective Edge. In a way, it’s surprising that The Honourable Woman made it onto our screens this summer at all, and wasn’t held back for a less volatile time – although perhaps someone made the calculation that it’s a show which might benefit from being topical (as it did).

Beyond news programmes, Peter Kosminsky’s Channel 4 drama The Promise (2011) has been the only recent UK programme to take on Israel/Palestine (although see our member Anna Bernard’s 2012 article ‘Consuming Palestine’ for a survey of Israel/Palestine in British theatre and American popular culture, where it’s more prominent).

So, while The Honourable Woman isn’t about our topic of Jerusalem as such, it’s worth thinking more about how it represented Israelis, Palestinians, and the conflict, given its level of influence, which will have been extended by viewers seeking deeper explanations for the recent increase in tension (and, I’d less charitably suggest, hoping to look clever in the pub).

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CFP: Sharing the Holy Land: Perceptions of Shared Sacred Spaces (London, June 12-13 & Leeds, July 6-9, 2015)

Hannah Boast:

A Call for Papers and Symposium that sound very relevant to our network interests. The deadline for the CFP is 12 September, so if you want to submit a paper, you’ll need to act quickly!

Originally posted on Medieval Art Research:

Call for Papers:
Sharing the Holy Land: Perceptions of Shared Sacred Spaces
International Medieval Congress, University of Leeds, 6-9 July 2015
Deadline: 12 September 2014

A symposium, Sharing the Holy Land: Perceptions of Shared Sacred Space in the Medieval and Early Modern Eastern Mediterranean will be held at The Warburg Institute, in London on 12-13 June 2015, featuring keynote speakers, Prof. Bernard Hamilton, Prof. Benjamin Kedar, and Prof. Ora Limor. See http://warburg.sas.ac.uk/events/colloquia-2014-15/sharing-the-holy-land/ for information.
detail-of-middle-eastholy-land-on-mainz-world-map-c-1110

Following on this, three sessions are being organized for the International Medieval Conference to be held at Leeds on 6-9 July, 2015. The three sessions seek to address how both Western pilgrims, and the indigenous Christian, Jewish, and Muslim Levantine populations perceived the sharing of religious shrines with other faiths. Of particular interest is how this sharing was described and explained in contemporary accounts and how this influenced the knowledge of other faiths among the Semitic religions…

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Professor Nabil Matar added as keynote speaker at ‘Remembering Jerusalem’ conference

We are delighted to announce that Professor Nabil Matar, of the University of Minnesota, will join us at ‘Remembering Jerusalem: Imagination, Memory, and the City’ on 6-7 November, to deliver a keynote lecture.

Professor Matar is renowned for his research on relations between early modern Britain, Western Europe, and the Islamic Mediterranean. His many book projects include the recently published British Captives in the Mediterranean and the Atlantic: 1563-1760 (Brill, Leiden, 2014), Through the Eyes of the Beholder: The Holy Land, 1517-1713 (Brill, Leiden, 2013),  with Judy Hayden, and a forthcoming abridged, translated and introduced edition of An Arab Ambassador in the Mediterranean: Muhammad ibn Ahmad al-Miknasi, 1779-1788 (Routledge, 2015).

In recognition of his “pioneering scholarship on the relationship between Islamic civilisation and early modern Europe,” Professor Matar was given the Building Bridges award at the University of Cambridge in 2012.

Professor Matar’s lecture will be entitled “Sufi Jerusalem in Arabic Pilgrimage Accounts, 13th-18th Centuries”. We will share more details in an abstract in the near future, and are very much looking forward to welcoming Professor Matar to King’s College London.

3,000 photos of Middle East from 1867-1914 now online

Stereoscopic view of Al-Aqsa Mosque, Jerusalem.

Stereoscopic view of Al-Aqsa Mosque, Jerusalem.

The British Library’s Endangered Archives Programme (EAP) has recently digitised 3,000 photographs of the Middle East from the Maison Bonfils collection, dating from 1867-1914.

The collection includes many images of Jerusalem and Palestine, including the photograph of Al-Aqsa Mosque featured above.

As the project overview explains, these photographs are a small selection from a vast archive of 40,000 photographs produced by the French Bonfils family, who in 1867 established the first photographic studio in Beirut, which they named ‘Maison Bonfils’.

The archive is currently under threat, given that it is not housed in an institution which will secure its future, while its contents are not catalogued, and difficult to navigate.

The creation of a database of the photographs by the EAP will provide a useful resource for scholars, while preserving this valuable heritage from the Ottoman Middle East. It’s also a fascinating archive to browse through, for a glimpse of a familiar region at a very different time.

Via Cathy Collins of the EAP, on Twitter.

Accommodation, registration, travel grants for ‘Remembering Jerusalem’ London conference

This post contains practical information for delegates to our conference ‘Remembering Jerusalem: Imagination, Memory, which will be taking place at King’s College London on 6-7 November 2014.

Travel

The conference will take place on the Strand Campus of King’s College London. Travel information for arriving at the campus from around London can be found on the University website.

If you are flying to one of London’s airports for the conference, details about how to get from there to the conference location by train can be found on the appropriate airport websites: Heathrow, Luton, Stansted.

The nearest tube stops to the conference hotels are London Euston and Russell Square. A tube map is here.

Accommodation

We have reserved a number of rooms for delegates at three hotels close to the conference venue. These are the Tavistock Hotel, the President Hotel, and the Royal National Hotel.

The rates (per night) are as follows:

Tavistock Hotel
Single @ £91.00
Twin( or twin sole use) @ £117.00

President Hotel
Single @ £96.00
Twin ( or twin sole use) @ £125.00

Royal National Hotel
Single @ £96.00
Twin ( or twin sole use) @ £121.00

These prices include a full English breakfast, and VAT.

The hotels are managed by one company, so to make a booking, please contact the Central Reservation Office, on 0207 278 7871, or info@imperialhotels.co.uk, quoting the reference ‘King’s College London’.

The number of these rooms is limited, and we would encourage you to book as soon as you can.

Registration

Fees for the conference are as follows:

Waged: £30 one day; £45 both days
Unwaged: £15 one day; £25 both days

Registration will be possible soon via the University of York Online Store.

Travel Grants

Delegates are assumed to attend in an individual capacity, rather than as representatives of their universities or other institutions.

Limited funds are available to support conference travel for presenters from outside the UK who cannot or would prefer not to rely on funding from their own institution. Applications to this fund are due by 30 September. Update: moved forward to 15th September.

Please send your name, affiliation (if applicable), paper title, and a breakdown of costs requested, to the network coordinator, Hannah Boast, at imagining-jerusalem[at]york.ac.uk.

If you have further questions about these topics, or others not mentioned here, please get in touch on the above address.

Free access to Society and Space virtual theme issue on Israel-Palestine

The editors of the journal Society and Space have made available a collection of articles from their archives on the topic of Israel-Palestine, as part of a virtual theme issue.

As they write in the accompanying blog post, the articles cover topics including ‘geopolitics, sovereignty, citizenship, nationalism, environmental issues, urbanism, and more’, and ‘demonstrate the power of incorporating a spatial analysis into analyses of Israel-Palestine.’

The issue is free to access online until November 13 2014.