CFP: L’ouvre en mouvement (Amiens, 7-8 Jun 18)

«Movement in Text and Object: Antiquity through the Eighteenth Century»

Université de Picardie Jules Verne (UPJV)
Logis du Roy 9 Square Jules Bocquet
80000 Amiens
June 7 – 08, 2018

Deadline: Dec 1, 2017

Can movement be seen in a positive light before the development of the notion of sensitivity in the eighteenth century and the contemporary period? In Paul Valéry’s Eupalinos, Socrates presents the work of art as primarily concerned with movement – it is lively because it is mobile and touching on account of its very changeability. Yet in the Middle Ages, movement is frequently seen as agitation, representing madness or demonic possession. Rather than gesture, it is gesticulation, to be codified and curbed through monastic rule. However, situated between action and power, movement touches all categories of Aristotelian being. Moreover, movement is present in the visual arts: kinetic expression and the visual articulation of emotion appear in a variety of artistic movements, from Cluny through the exuberance of Rhenish art and up to the codification of the rhetoric of the passions during the Counter-Reformation.

Movement represents life itself or of the dissolution of the very being, yet can be seen as a fundamental aspect of that being. The conference aims to raise questions of how to think about and represent movement in order to place it in relation to a work of art. Particular attention will be accorded to religious art: does movement aid or hinder meditation, and what is its role in the fabrication of sacred images and devotional practices?

Movement will be examined from multiple points of view, including the creation and the perception of works of art from Antiquity through the Middle Ages to the Early Modern period. Perspectives from varied disciplines – archaeology, history, history of art, literature, theatre, sociology and philosophy – are welcome.

Proposals are invited on the following, non-exhaustive aspects of movement:

  • Theoretical approaches to movement: philosophical or theological reflection; prescriptive texts including aesthetic or rhetorical treatises
  • Movement and kinetics: the form, perception and significance of gesture, displacement and rhythm in the visual and performing arts (dance, theatre and other installations)
  • The movement and mobility, whether singular or repeated, of works of art: commemorative or ritual displacement, processions, royal entrances or ostensions
  • The means of making a work of art visible through moving parts: polyptychs, Opening Virgins or detachable parts
  • Techniques of representing movement
  • The relation of movement to the form or even identity of a work of art (variation, amplification or metamorphosis)


Languages : English, French, Italian.

Proposals for papers should be sent to one of the members of the Conference committee before 1 December 2017. Proposals should include the following:

  • A title
  • A short abstract (500 words) including the field(s) in which the paper falls
  • The author’s University or research affiliation

Conference committee:
EA 4284 TrAme, UPJV, axe «Cultures Matérielles» / Material Cultures

Morgan Dickson (Medieval Literature in English):

Véronique Dominguez (Medieval French Language and Literature):

Marie-Laurence Haack (History, Antiquity and Classics):

Dominique Poulain (History of Art, Medieval):

Philippe Sénéchal (History of Art, Early Modern):

Reference: CFP: L’œuvre en mouvement (Amiens, 7-8 Jun 18). In:, Sep 28, 2017. <>.