Call for Papers
IAS-Sponsored Session at 59th International Congress on Medieval Studies
Kalamazoo, MI, 9-11 May 2024
Sessions Sponsored by the Italian Art Society

Italian Art for a Persecuting Society

Session Organizer: Theresa Flanigan, Texas Tech University,

Abstract: R.I. Moore’s The Formation of a Persecuting Society (2007) argued that late medieval Europe experienced the systematic, targeted persecution of diverse minority groups (i.e., heretics, Jews, lepers, and sexual deviants), which society proclaimed “dangerous,” thereby legitimizing violence against them. Notable about this period was the creation of a “rhetoric and apparatus of persecution capable of being turned at will from one category of victim to another, including, if necessary, those invented for this purpose,” establishing “patterns of persecution that endure in our own times” (pp. 145-51). 
Art’s role in the construction and reinforcement of systems of marginalization, exclusion, and persecution has been explored by art historians focused primarily on Northern Europe, including Mellinkoff’s Outcasts (1993), Strickland’s Saracens, Demons and Jews (2003), and Camille’s Image on the Edge (2004); and exhibitions, including Outcasts: Prejudice and Persecution in the Medieval World (Getty, 2018), and Medieval Monsters: Terrors, Aliens, Wonders (Morgan, 2018). This session explores the role of Italian art in the construction and reinforcement of persecuting systems and seeks to test Moore’s theory about the relationship between medieval institutional systems of persecution and those of the modern day.

Please submit your full name, current affiliation, email address, paper title, abstract (300 word maximum), PhD completion date (past or expected), keywords, and a 1-page CV to the organizer, Theresa Flanigan (
The deadline for submissions is 1 September 2023

Please note: As this is a sponsored panel, all speakers must be (or become) members of the Italian Art Society in 2023. Please note that there are free one-year sospesi memberships available for eligible speakers in IAS sponsored sessions. Information can be found on our website here:

The IAS offers several types of conference travel grants which help support graduate students and junior scholars, as well as scholars who are traveling internationally to present in IAS- Sponsored sessions. Applications for these grants are announced and opened in the late fall.

More information on the various conference travel grants be found on our website:

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