Workshop – visual representations of revolts 2014

CfP Workshop

“Visualizing revolt and punishment in early modern times: conflict- and contact-zones between different visual cultures and policies”

(Mahindra Humanities Center at Harvard, funded by Volkswagenstiftung, Germany)

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Time and location: April 25-26, 2014, Harvard University, Mahindra Humanities Center.

Deadline for submissions (Summary and CV): January 6, 2014

In most of early modern Europe visual representations of punishment played an important part in governments’ strategies to reinvigorate social hierarchies and to reestablish public order after the traumatizing experience of socio-political upheaval and revolt. Scenarios of punishment and executions of ringleaders were not only staged publicly, they were also disseminated in print, both through text and image. Thereby the authorities hoped to reach a much broader public, including the illiterate majority of the population, and to enforce a policy of damnatio memoriae with regard to the very events of revolt. These events were often depicted and painted abroad, beyond the range of the concerned authorities. Representations of both revolts and punishment often showed extremely violent acts, sometimes in an affirmative and sometimes in a denunciatory way.

But visual cultures varied considerably across more or less clear-cut or floating confessional, political, social and other boundaries. On the workshop we want to explore different visual cultures from the perspective of such boundaries. In an interdisciplinary endeavor we try to retrace zones of encounter between differing visual codes in representing revolts and related acts of violence. Only when it came to dissonances in the basic evaluations of images and a subsequent feeling of estrangement were early modern people pushed to articulate and make explicit what was otherwise taken for granted and cannot be traced in sources. In this way the confrontation of divergent modes of visual representation and the voiced experiences of irritation can shed light on both the literary “syntaxes” and the visual “codes” of representation.

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We invite original papers which could be related to fields such as:

  • Media history of rebellion prints in comparison to general booktrade
  • Artistic genres used to defy, defend or memorize early-modern revolts
  • General and/or theoretical analysis of picture-spectator interaction
  • Art-historical and legal discourses in early modern sources
  • Paradigm shifts of perception (and/or production) in time
  • Religious and secular representations
  • Dividing lines related to different political cultures
  • Public/arcane and popular/genteel circulation, different degrees of publicity
  •  “We” and “them” / questions of legitimacy, loyalty and identity:
  • Symbolic/naturalistic representations:

Please consult the more detailed description on Since these issues have hitherto hardly been addressed the event is explicitly conceived as a workshop, open for experiments. Ongoing work is welcome. Please submit a short description of your inteded paper (max. 1.500 characters) and a biographical note (max. 700 characters) to Malte Griesse at by January 6, 2014.

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Monika Barget

Studies in history, art history and Catholic theology at Augsburg University (Magistra Artium). 2009-2013 employment in content management, copy-editing, customer service and broadcasting. 2013-2017 doctoral studies at the Centre of Excellence "Cultural Foundations of Integration", Konstanz University. 2017-2018 academic project management at the Centre for Digital Humanities, National University of Ireland Maynooth. Since January 2019: postdoctoral researcher at IEG Mainz (Digital Humanities Lab/Digital Historical Research).

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