Colloquium: Walter Melion

Date(s) - 02/10/2022 - 02/11/2022
All Day


Walter Melion is Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Art History at Emory University in Atlanta, where he directs the Fox Center for Humanistic Inquiry (Emory’s institute for advanced study in the humanities).  He is author of three monographs and over eighty articles, co-author of two exhibition catalogues, and editor or co-editor of more than twenty volumes.  He will be our Colloquium presenter on Thursday, February 10th.

For those who prefer to join via Zoom:

Title: Praying through Prints: Interpolated Images as Exegetical Glosses in a Customized Copy of Franciscus Costerus’s Dutch New Testament into an Exegetical Prayerbook

Art historians, codicologists, and historians of the book have increasingly come to recognize that printed books, like other categories of book, such as codices, were ‘permeable’ rather than ‘fixed’ objects.  Just as manuscripts were mutable, their material form and constituent parts manipulable, so too, printed books could be adapted to need or use, their format altered to fit a wide spectrum of functions, in response to contingent circumstances of all kinds.  Our session focuses on the ways in which pictorial images anchored processes of customization specific to the printed book.  How did the presence of images condition alterations to the physical structure of the book—through insertion or interpolation, subtraction or deletion, adjustments in the ordering of folios or quires, amendments of image or text?  Although our primary interest is in printed books and print series bound like books, we shall also consider how meaningful alterations made to incunabula and early printed books often followed (though also diverged from) the patterns such changes took in manuscript codices.  In particular, we are interested in exploring the manner and meaning of autograph insertions—both written and drawn—into printed books, and conversely, of printed images embedded or interpolated into manuscripts.  Throughout “Customizing Books Around Images,” the emphasis will fall on the hermeneutic functions of the modifications made by makers and users to the structure of their books.

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