Out of Bounds: Exploring the Limits of Medieval Art

Personification of Wisdom holding a world map
Wisdom holding a Map of the World, from Petrus de Ebulo: Liber ad honorem Augusti (Bern, Burgerbibliothek, Cod. 120.II, fol. 140r)

The next Index Conference, “Out of Bounds: Exploring the Limits of Medieval Art,” will be held on November 17, 2018. Conceived in collaboration between the Department of Art & Archaeology and the Index of Medieval Art, the conference will bring an international roster of scholars together with Princeton graduate students for a half-day workshop on November 16, prior to a full day of public lectures on the impact of the global turn on current study of medieval visual culture.

The conference responds to a question of current interest throughout medieval studies: what are the boundaries of medieval culture? As scholarly awareness of the global dimensions of the medieval world provokes new ways of considering traditional questions, what geographical, cultural, or chronological parameters now direct our study of the Middle Ages, and how do these reshape scholarly assumptions about medieval communities, identities, traditions, and interrelationships? Pushing beyond the center-periphery debate that once governed such questions, we ask what scholars and students can learn from a more flexible, decentered understanding of the medieval world and its visual culture.

Speakers for the conference will include:

Suzanne Conklin Akbari, Professor of English and Medieval Studies, University of Toronto

“Alexander the Great’s Encounters with the Sacred in Medieval History Writing, from the Shahnameh to the Histoire ancienne jusqu’a Cesar

Michele Bacci, Professor of Medieval Art, University of Fribourg

“Dynamics of Artistic Exchange in the Mediterranean and Beyond: Some Thoughts on Terminology and Methodology”

Jill Caskey, Associate Professor of Medieval Art, University of Toronto

“What’s In and What’s Out: The Challenges of an Inclusive Medieval Art”

Eva Frojmovic, Lecturer in History of Art and Cultural Studies, University of Leeds

“Autoethnography and Gender: Intersectionality in Medieval Jewish Book Culture”

Sarah Guérin, Assistant Professor in the History of Art, University of Pennsylvania

“Medieval Masks? Meditations on Method between Western and African Art of the Middle Ages”

Christina Maranci, Professor of Art History, Tufts University

“‘The Summit of the Earth:’ Reflections on Armenia in Art History”

Alice I. Sullivan, Lecturer, University of Michigan

“Beyond Traditional Boundaries: Medieval Art and Architecture in Eastern Europe”

Michele Tomasi, Professor of Art History, Université de Lausanne

“Art History, Literary History, Historiography: Reading French Chronicles of the Later Middle Ages from an Art-Historical Viewpoint.”


Thelma K. Thomas, Associate Professor of Fine Arts, Institute of Fine Arts, New York University

Alicia Wilcox Walker, Associate Professor of History of Art, Bryn Mawr College

The conference is free, but registration is required to guarantee seating. Please register here.