Index of Medieval Art



A gold pendant inscribed with a cross on a pedestal and Greek inscriptions
Gold reliquary pendant/medical amulet (?), 10th–11th c, reverse. British Museum, London, inv. no. AF.354. © Trustees of the British Museum

Saturday, November 12, 2022

9:00 am to 5:15 pm, with reception to follow

Julis Romo Rabinowitz A17, Princeton University

Pending any major changes in university COVID protocols, the conference will be hosted in person and also livestreamed. Registration is free and needed ONLY for in-person attendance. To register, please visit our conference registration page.

The conference livestream will be available in real time at No registration is needed for this.

Eight scholars in a wide range of specializations will address the many relationships between language and works of art, including the literal use and/or representation of language in creating a work; the linguistic traditions that surrounded its creation and reception, and the language now used to analyze and understand it.

Morning Schedule:

8:45 Coffee and Pastries

9:15 Welcome

9:30 Sarit Shalev-Eyni (Hebrew University, Jerusalem), “Looking at Language in a Multilingual Environment: The Case of the Iberian Kaufmann Haggadah.” (Zoom lecture plus Q&A)

10:15 Pause

10:30 Benjamin C. Tilghman (Washington College / The Material Collective), “Looking through the Gloss: Script, Style, and Historical Consciousness in Early Medieval England.”

11:00 Sean Leatherbury (University College Dublin), “Scripted Offerings: The Verbal and Visual Languages of Early Byzantine Votives.”

11:30 Warren T. Woodfin (Queens College, City University of New York), “By the Book? What Mosaic Misspellings Tell Us about Iconographic Models.”

12:00 Q&A, followed by lunch break

Afternoon Schedule:

2:00 Ludovico V. Geymonat (Louisiana State University), “Twisted Latin in Monumental Images: Two Case Studies from 13th-Century Europe.”

2:30 Kathryn Starkey (Stanford University), “Inscribing Women: Stories within Stories in Medieval German Literature.”

3:00 Coffee Break

3:30 Ruba Kana’an (University of Toronto, Mississauga), “Words and Worlds: Iconography and Polemics in a 1526 Painting from Safavid Tabriz.”

4:00 Margaret S. Graves (Indiana University), “The Limits of Language.”

4:30 Q&A and Closing

5:15 Reception

Manuscript image of a woman in a chariot drawn by doves, flying over a landscape.

Graduate Student Travel Grant

This year, the Index will offer one graduate student travel grant for a non-Princeton student who wishes to attend the conferences but lacks the financial resources to do so. Review the application process here.

Online Taxonomy Workshop

In connection with the “Looking at Language” conference, on Tuesday, 8 November 2022, 12:00 – 1:00pm EDT, the Index will be holding a workshop on Zoom titled Looking at (Index) Language: A Dive into Taxonomy at the Index of Medieval Art. This workshop is open to anyone interested in learning about Index language standardization practices and preferred terms in Index cataloging. Find out more about the workshop and how to register here.