Introduction/Conclusion: Are We Still Being Historical? Exposing the Ehenheim Epitaph Using History and Theory

 

Corine Schleif • Arizona State University

 

Download PDF

 

Preface and Acknowledgments

The volume had its beginnings in 2004 when sessions on Madeline Caviness’s theoretical model were proposed to the International Center for Medieval Art for sponsorship at the International Congress on Medieval Studies in Kalamazoo. Accepted for 2006, the sessions were honored with the distinction of commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of the International Center for Medieval Art. In addition to issuing the open call for papers we invited individual scholars from as far away as Europe and Japan. Due to the overwhelming response, what began as a double session was expanded to five sessions. I would like to thank many who made these sessions possible: Alyce Jordan, co-organizer of the sessions and the chair of the ICMA program committee; Annemarie Weyl Carr and Mary Shepard, past presidents of the ICMA; Elizabeth Teviotdale, Associate Director of the Medieval Institute at Western Michigan University; and the presiders: Evelyn Lane, Elizabeth Pastan, Virginia Chieffo Raguin, Ellen Shortell, and Anne Rudloff Stanton. Not all the papers delivered are re-presented in the following volume. Many participants had otherwise committed their work or planned for its publication: Anna Bücheler, “Bilder im Auftrag Gottes: Zur Konzeption des Wiesbadener Scivias der Hildegard von Bingen,” (MA Thesis, Eberhard-Karls-Universität, Tübingen, 2003); Kathleen Nolan, Queens in Stone and Silver: The Creation of a Visual Imagery of Queenship in Capetian France (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, announced for 2009); Pamela Sheingorn, “Subjection and Reception in Claude of France’s Book of First Prayers,” in Four Modes of Seeing. Approaches to Medieval Images in the Honor of Madeline Caviness edited by Evelyn Lane, Elizabeth Pastan, and Ellen Shortell (Basingstoke: Ashgate, announced for 2008), 313-32; Debra Strickland, “The Holy and the Unholy: Analogies for the Numinous in Later Medieval Art,” in Images of Medieval Sanctity. Essays in Honour of Gary Dickson, edited by D. Strickland (Leiden: Brill, 2007), 101-20; and Sarah Stanbury, The Visual Object of Desire in Late Medieval England (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008). The additional papers delivered were “The Bayeux Tapestry and Nazi Germany” by William Diebold, and “The Crucifix of St. John Gualbertus: The Creation of A Cult Image in Late Medieval Florence” by Felicity Ratté. Maija Kule was unable to deliver her paper “Visualizing Women in the Latvian Culture” due to unexpected bureaucratic difficulties associated with international travel. Anne Harris chose a topic different from that presented at Kalamazoo. My own article was also not presented at Kalamazoo but resulted from my interaction with the other participants and my work on this volume.

Special thanks are due to Rachel Dressler, who, early on, even before the sessions had taken place, raised the possibility of establishing an online journal in which the otherwise ephemeral presentations could be expanded and circulated beyond the conference audience and more rapidly than is usually now possible with print media. She has acquired the support of the University of Albany and promoted the endeavor with her own efforts and resources, assuming the responsibility for those time-consuming tasks necessary for publication in any venue including copyediting, page design, and image reproduction. Different Visions will hopefully one day demonstrate that within the storms and urgencies that have been termed the crisis in scholarly (art historical) publishing, necessity can be a very nurturing mother of invention. Many thanks are also due to the anonymous readers who provided detailed and constructive reports on the essays as well as to my fellow members on the editorial board of Different Visions, Virginia Blanton, Richard Emmerson, Linda Seidel, Debra Strickland, and Christine Verzar, who offered advice and direction in initiating the journal and establishing its policies. In the course of the preparations of this volume a great deal of communication has taken place among the contributors and editors, many of whom have sought input and criticism from one another and to a far greater extent than that to which we are accustomed in conventional journal publishing venues. I hope that this is a sign of new modalities on the horizon that will one day supplant the current process that requires editors to persuade colleagues to join them and invest their time and research efforts in developing an anthology on a topic after which individually and collectively all must wait patiently for a thumbs-up or thumbs-down decision from a publisher whose proficiencies more often than not lie in marketing and not in the discipline of art history or in historical and/or theoretical scholarship.