Call for Participation: Mediterranean Palimpsests: Connecting the Art and Architectural Histories of Medieval and Early Modern Cities


Call for Participation:

The Cyprus Institute, with support through the Getty Foundation’s Connecting Art Histories initiative, is launching a new research seminar project: Mediterranean Palimpsests: Connecting the Art and Architectural Histories of Medieval and Early Modern Cities. Interested scholars at a formative stage of their careers are encouraged to apply for participation in the project’s three planned workshops in Nicosia, Cordoba/Granada and Thessaloniki/Rhodes.

Directed by Nikolas Bakirtzis (The Cyprus Institute) and D. Fairchild Ruggles (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), the project investigates the layered art histories of medieval Mediterranean cities as the basis for scholarly connections that challenge and move beyond the boundaries of modern historiographies, national narratives and contemporary socioeconomic realities. Set in a region where issues of cultural heritage and identity are currently highly contested, the project looks at the material past to understand its relevance for the present and future. The project’s focus expands on collaborative research on historic Mediterranean cities pursued by the Cyprus Institute’s Science and Technology in Archaeology Research Center (STARC) and the Illinois’ National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) and the Department of Landscape Architecture of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Mediterranean Palimpsests explicitly avoids nation-based models that emphasize unique, disconnected histories, and instead challenges scholars to consider the medieval Mediterranean as a matrix of cities that, united by the connections forged through trade, royal courts, migrations, pilgrimages, and conquests, produced the material culture and spaces that we encounter today. Questions about spatial context, scale and complexity are not particular to any one city in the Mediterranean, and thus provide common ground for research collaboration.

Addressing these issues, the project’s directors will convene three research seminars that will engage expert advisors and selected emerging scholars, that will explore transition, appropriation and identity in art and architectural history; these will be ten-day programs held in Nicosia (May 7-16, 2018), Granada & Cordoba (January, 2019), and Rhodes & Thessaloniki (May 2019).

The intense focus on these cities addresses their formation during the medieval and early modern periods, which significantly shaped their subsequent growth and in turn framed the production and experience of art and architecture in the following centuries. But the comparison also extends to Cairo, Alexandria, Jerusalem, Istanbul, Palermo, and other important Mediterranean nodes with the goal of considering the Mediterranean as a connected field, in which medieval cities share the experience of survival, appropriation and reconstruction for modern use.

Eligible scholars, primarily from the Mediterranean region, are invited to apply for one of twelve positions. The program provides travel and lodging costs and museum entrance fees for participating scholars.

Eligibility: Scholars and researchers who received their PhD in or after 2008 (i.e. within past 10 years) in the fields of art history, architectural history, landscape history, and archaeology are eligible to apply. Scholars must be willing and able to participate in all three workshops.

Deadline: February 15, 2018. Applicants will be notified of results by the end of February

Application: Applicants should send as email attachments a 3-page Statement of Interest and a Curriculum Vitae to The C.V. should clearly state the field of doctoral study and date degree was received, applicant’s nationality, and applicant’s current place of employment or research.

Project website:

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