IMC 2019 CfP: Material Africa: Global Techniques, Influences, and Exchanges

Africa has a rich history of materiality. Not only are numerous African societies long renowned for their material skills, particularly in metal work, African materials have continually been used in workshops further afield, notably gold and ivory. Medieval Africa offers a rich and varied collection of techniques, designs, and uses for objects across its regions for both art and ceremony.

This call for papers seeks contributions for sessions centred on the main strand of the 2019 International Medieval Congress: ‘Materialities’. The aim of the sessions is to bring a diverse selection of research on medieval Africa to the Congress, with topics ranging geographically across Africa from north to south, west to east, and including the story of African objects and craftsmanship outside of Africa. Participants are invited to submit papers addressing all aspects of medieval African materiality, including but not limited to:

  • The journey and circulation of objects
  • Object-making techniques and tools, including small-scale technologies
  • Object-making communities
  • Object-making training, apprenticeship, and education
  • The sourcing of materials
  • Object forms
  • Object influences
  • Object roles
  • Object messages
  • Object design and aesthetics
  • Appropriation of objects by others
  • Object afterlives
  • Contemporary understanding of object significance
  • Intellectual history of objects
  • Indigenous theorization of objects and object making

We welcome proposals for papers of 20 minutes’ length across four sessions from historical, literary, archaeological, philological, art historical and interdisciplinary angles, from scholars of all career stages and research backgrounds.
A bursary to support applicants’ participation may be available.

Abstracts of up to 250 words should be sent to the email account by Sunday, 23rd of September 2018. Please include your preferred paper titleA-V requirements and your contact details (full name, title, affiliation, address, email address).

Organizers / Contacts

Verena Krebs, Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany •

Adam Simmons, Lancaster University, UK •

Abdallah Fili, Chouaib Coukkali University at El-Jadida, Morocco  •

Wendy L. Belcher, Princeton University, USA •

Solomon Gebreyes Beyene, Hamburg University, Germany •

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