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The Schematization of Time

May 11 - May 14

52nd International Congress on Medieval Studies

‘The Schematization of Time’  —  Call for Papers

This session proposes to investigate visual strategies used in time-reckoning and calendar constructions. Medieval illustrations of scientific works, computus treatises, historical chronicles, almanacs and moral and theological tracts, display a vast spectrum of images dealing with the natural and divine causes of time phenomena, their manifestations, their various effects on the world and their universal significations.

These images testify to a wide range of subjects and interests, from cosmological and astronomical explanations, to practical considerations regarding liturgy, astrology, medicine, divination, prognostication, to history and geography, to practical and speculative mathematics, and to symbolic devices working as visual exegesis of the creation.

Given the rich corpus of source material, how might the visualization of time through schematization help us understand the role of time in medieval life and culture? How did schemata and diagrams represent specific strategies of knowledge transmission through geometrical relationships, colour systems, and numerical and spatial representations? Whilst modern medieval studies witness an increasing interest in schemata and diagrams, the omnipresence and diversity of visual reflexions on time in the Middle Ages contrasts with the small number of case studies dedicated to the subject.

This session welcomes papers focused on, but not limited to:

the visualization of relationships between time, space and matter;
the schematization of time in medical theory and practice;
the depiction of liturgical time;
the correlation between time-reckoning and celestial phenomena, either astronomical or astrological;
the calculation of past and future dates through images concerning chronology and eschatology.

The panel features 15-20 minutes papers. Please send an abstract (150 to 350 words), a short CV and completed Participant Information Form to Arthur Hénaff (arthur.henaff@etu.ephe.fr) and Sarah Griffin (sarah.griffin@kellogg.ox.ac.uk) by September 15, 2016


May 11
May 14


Arthur Hénaff, École Pratique des Hautes Études
Sarah Griffin, University of Oxford


Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave, Walwood Halll
Kalamazoo, MI 49008-5432 United States
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