Three members of the HWS art history faculty recently presented their research at three conferences.
Elena Ciletti, associate professor of art history, organized a panel titled “Jerome and His Legacy: The Rhetoric and Imagery of Female Piety,” for the 53rd annual meeting of the Renaissance Society of America in Miami.
Her paper for the panel, “St. Jerome, Judith, and the Visual Poetics of Chastity,” examined 16th- and 17th-century Italian images of Judith, focusing on her definition as the antetype of the Virgin Mary (a concept associated with St. Jerome and revived by the Counter-Reformation Church) and her use as a weapon of Catholic militancy and a behavioral model for women.
Michael C. Tinkler, assistant professor of art history, presented at the 16th Romance Languages and Literatures Conference at Binghamton University, “Humor and Laughter in Literature and Film.”
He participated in the panel “Humor in French Farces and Molière,” contributing a paper titled “The Soul's Progress – right side up and upside down.” Tinkler's talk compared death-bed scenes in medieval French literary and visual versions to examine the theme of the “world turned upside down” – in this case the soul sometimes exiting the corpse through the mouth and sometimes through the backside as a fart – with angels and devils waiting to take it to Heaven or to Hell.
Lara C. W. Blanchard, the Henry Luce Assistant Professor of East Asian Art, discussed her research at the 59th annual meeting of the Association for Asian Studies in Boston.
Her talk, “The Emperor's New Clothes: Desire and Politics in Huizong's Court Ladies Preparing Newly Woven Silk,” was included in the panel “What Is Not-So-Ordinary about the Ordinary: Decoding the Social and Political Rhetoric behind Early Modern Chinese Imagery.” She argued that an early 12th-century painting of imperial concubines making clothes, apparently in the traditional rite of palace sericulture, actually draws upon the imagery of erotic poetry and thus can be read as an allegory of Emperor Huizong's ability to command devotion and loyalty, thereby attesting to his fitness as ruler.