Appel à publication : « Objects Beyond the Senses, Convivium VIII/1, 2021 »

Appel à publication : « Objects Beyond the Senses, Convivium VIII/1, 2021 »

CFP: Objects Beyond the Senses, Convivium VIII/1, 2021, Edited by Philippe Cordez and Ivan Foletti

“What is beyond the senses” – ea quae in sensu non cadunt –, writes Thomas Aquinas about the way in which divine truth is to be made known, “cannot be grasped by human understanding except so far as knowledge is gathered of [it] through the senses” (Summa Contra Gentiles, Book 1, ch. 3). How can this statement be explored through contemporary medieval art history? ‘Object’, as is well known, derives from the Latin obiectum, a word coined in thirteenth-century scholastic philosophy referring to what affects the human senses – that is, perceptible properties, or something more abstract which can also become the ‘object’ of human attention. Talking about ‘objects’ thus always involves perception, cognition and ontology – of the perceiver and of that which is perceived.

The central question of this thematic issue is whether and how objects are present, perceptible, and conceivable not only within, but also beyond the senses. This question addresses – in medieval experiences and representations – the imperfections of human perception, and the ordinary struggle to make sense of the realities of the world. Medieval women and men, it can be argued, developed a specific virtuosity in experiencing and shaping a world defined by the limits of the perceptible. Art history, it must be added, also deals with such limits in its endeavor to make sense of the realities of the past.

We seek contributions exploring how medieval objects and images – as singular items, types, or notions – materialized the articulation of what is within and what is beyond the senses. We also wish to explore what made this articulation a structuring feature of social relations, within Christianity and beyond in the European and Mediterranean space.

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Deadline for abstracts: 31 January 2020

Deadline for complete articles: 15 June 2020

Abstracts and articles should be sent to Karolina Foletti, executive editor of the journal ( After acceptance of an abstract by the editors, the finalized article will be submitted to a process of double-blind peer review.


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