13 October 2018
Arts Lecture Room 6 (G.62, Ground Floor, Arts Building), The University of Western Australia

Keynote Speaker: Dr Lisa Beaven (La Trobe University), ‘Skin and Stone: Metamorphosis and the Villa Culture of Seventeenth-Century Rome’.

Skin as a material served a vital role in premodern economies. It was an essential ingredient in clothing and tools, and it formed the primary material for the manuscripts on which knowledge and ideas were recorded and preserved. Beyond the many uses for the skins of animals, the idea of skin interested artists, scholars, and theologians. As a boundary or surface, skin presented a range of symbolic possibilities. Images of skin, such as its piercing, often acted as metaphors for the uncovering of secrets or the interpretation of allegory. Premodern observers, likewise, often believed that the appearance and colour of an individual’s skin indicated truths about their inner nature. Diseases of the skin, such as leprosy, attracted legislation and intellectual speculation, drawing together the immaterial world of ideas regarding skin and the treatment of actual human skins.

This conference will address the many premodern uses of skin, as well representations of and ideas about skin. It is multidisciplinary and wide-ranging; welcoming papers from the fields of book culture and manuscript studies, history, material culture, medicine, art and literature.

The Call for Papers has now closed. Registration details will be posted here soon.

For other enquiries: pmrg.cmems.conference@gmail.com

View the CFP.