Appel à communication : Baroque Times: The table’s scenography (Vila Nova de Foz Côa, 14-16 Nov 24)

International Congress: « Baroque Times: The table’s scenography ».

Call for Papers:
When discussing the table or the act of being at the table, our immediate thoughts go to the act of eating, the company present, and the food to be shared. However, the table transcends its practical function to become a richly layered symbol, both materially and conceptually, embodying sociability in myriad ways throughout history.

During the modern era (17th-18th centuries), the table’s significance unfolded across diverse contexts and environments, from the opulent settings of palaces to the humble abodes of common citizens. Regardless of setting, the table served as a focal point, drawing together a spectrum of personalities and activities, thus assuming a central role in daily life. In palatial settings, the table symbolized power and sophistication, showcasing culinary refinement and adherence to social etiquette.

The table epitomizes socialization, serving as a nexus for fundamental human experiences—the nourishment of the body and the establishment of communal identity within society. As such, it acts as a microcosm of cultural norms and interpersonal dynamics, revealing insights into societal values and individuals’ relationships with one another and with themselves.

Inspired by Christian traditions, the Western table echoes the teachings of Christ, who in the Gospels elevated the table to a sacred space for gatherings, sharing, inclusion and teaching. Depicted in various biblical scenes, such as the Wedding at Cana, the home of Martha, the Emmaus supper, and the Last Supper, the table emerges as a locus of truth and reverence, where communal sharing imbues food with deeper meaning.

At the table, physical proximity, and eye contact foster connections, yet may also give rise to discord. It is a space where alliances are forged, love and friendship blossom, and adversaries may surface.

In its multifaceted nature, the table serves as a catalyst for a myriad of human activities, offering profound insights into the essence of human existence, whether amidst moments of serenity or the complexities of social interaction.

The following themes are proposed, although other related topics may also be accepted:
-The Table as Object: consideration of the table as a piece of furniture, in its various functions, such as: dining, campaign, gaming.
– The Everyday Table: a space for daily gatherings, where routines and eating habits intertwine.
– Table and Power: dynamics of power and social hierarchy that manifest through table arrangement and associated rituals.
– Dressing the Table: the importance of porcelain, glassware, cutlery, textiles, and other elements in the aesthetic and functional composition of the table.
– The Table and Etiquette: the norms and social conventions that govern behavior at the table across different cultures and historical contexts.
– Table and Food: the relationship between the table and the culinary space, including kitchens and food preparation areas.
– Table and Celebration: how it becomes the centrepiece of festive celebrations (attire, theatre, dance, fireworks, music, and ephemeral art in general).
– The Table in Literature: representations and symbolism associated with the table in literary works.
– Cross-Cultural Perspectives on the Table: Investigating intercultural practices related to the table and their mutual influences.
– Representations of the Table in Visual Arts: how artists depict the table in painting, sculpture, tiles, textiles, and other decorative arts.
– Virtualization of the Table: how the table is reinterpreted and recreated in virtual and digital environments.
– The Table in Cinema: representation and role of the table in neo-baroque movies of different genres.
– The Neo-Baroque Table: How the aesthetic and cultural principles of the Baroque continue to influence contemporary representations of the table.

The abstract should have a maximum of 300 words, addressing the objectives, methodology, and relevance of the work to the themes of the Congress. Biographical Note (maximum of 150 words).
To submit a proposal, send an abstract and a brief Biographical Note to:

Important dates:
Deadline for submissions: July 15, 2024
Notification of acceptance: July 31, 2024

Scientific Committee:
Carla Sofia Ferreira Queirós (ESEPP; CITCEM/FLUP)
Margarida Rebocho (ARS LUMINAE)
Maria João Pereira Coutinho (IHA – NOVA FCSH / IN2PAST)
Rui De Luna (Associação Cultural Castilho e Távora)
Sílvia Ferreira (IHA – NOVA FCSH / IN2PAST)

Scientific Committee:
Ana Isabel Buescu (CHAM – NOVA FCSH)
Caroline Heering (Université catholique de Louvain)
Fátima Eusébio (Secretariado Nacional para os Bens Culturais da Igreja)
Fernando Quiles García (Universidad Pablo Olavide)
Gonçalo Vasconcelos e Sousa (Universidade Católica Portuguesa-Porto)
Inês de Ornelas e Castro (IELT – NOVA FCSH)
Isabel Drumond Braga (FLUL, CIDEHUS-UÉ; CH-UL)
Jaromir Olsovsky (University of Ostrava, Czech Republic)
Luis Javier Cuesta Hernández (Universidad Iberoamericana, Ciudad de México)
Ricardo Bernardes (Fundação Casa de Mateus)


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