Call for papers for events organised in relation with the project

"Emotion and Martyr Celebration in Late Antiquity" - session at the 57th International Congress on Medieval Studies, which will be held live online Monday through Saturday, May 9-14, 2022.

Despite the existence of numerous sources that would allow it, few studies on the late antique period focused on emotion(s). Drawing on Angelos Chaniotis’ work on emotion at ancient sanctuaries and on Derek Krueger’s studies of the use of joy and grief in the early Byzantine liturgy, this session opens the discussion on the late antique martyr panegyris as testing site of emotion manipulation in late antique Christianity; where strategies developed in classical Antiquity were adapted and the refined mechanism of identity formation identified by Krueger in the following period was prepared.
Late antique martyr panegyria emerge from the sources as highly emotional experiences. The martyr’s drama, into which the audience was drawn through the preacher’s rhetorical mastery and/or the artisan’s virtuosity, constituted the emotional apex. This intense moment of identification with the martyr and of vicarious suffering was preceded and succeeded by several other emotions, some elicited by the ritual’s mise-en-scène, some stirred by its presiders. We invite papers that identify the various emotions and/or discuss their stimuli and effects, in an effort to identify the emotional profile of the experience and the use(s) of emotion.
We welcome proposals for twenty-minutes papers that consider which emotions are inherent to the form of the experience, which are explicitly mentioned by sources (and why), how the emotions’ succession shaped the experiencing of specific moments through either the amassing of positive emotions or the contrasting of positive and negative ones. Aspects that are not explicitly mentioned here, whether related to the material setting of the celebration, the representations of martyrdom, or the characteristics of late Roman society to which the celebration pertained, will also be considered.

This panel pertains to Crafting Emotion: The Late Antique Panegyris as Embodied Experience (ca. 330-ca. 500) research project, which uses methodologies developed across the Historical, Social, and Cognitive Sciences to produce a comprehensive analysis of late antique martyr panegyria and to develop an interdisciplinary model for the study of emotion manipulation in ritual contexts. The project received funding from both the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) and the European Commission (Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship) and was granted a third year of funding by the University of Vienna.

For additional information, please contact Vladimir Ivanovici at

Information on how to submit a proposal is available on the Congress’ webpage:


"Pain - From the Senses to Body Memory", session at the 6th Forum Kunst des Mittelalters "Senses", Goethe University Frankfurt am Main, 28.9.2022-01.10.2022.

Session 11b invites papers that consider the use of pain from an embodied perspective. Visual and aural narratives of human suffering were applied to elicit a visceral response which resulted in the audience’s physical identification with their subject. The artefact / performance, the physical senses, affect, and the body thus are brought together in a chain reaction that instills power in the artefact/performance and establishes an intimate relation between the suffering subject and the audience. Rather than introducing instances in which human suffering was depicted, described, or performed, papers should focus on their mise-en-scène. From late antique martyr homilies detailing every wound, to audiences physically exhausted by travel and vigils, to manuscripts decorated with images of suffering that were read as part of specific private or public rituals, to witnessing self-flagellation on the streets of medieval Spanish cities as the emotional apex of Lent on Holy Thursday, assuring that pain did not only catch one’s eye, but that it left a long-lasting impression on onlookers required careful orchestration of the experience. Papers that consider the secular aspects of this phenomenon by discussing how images of physical suffering and punishment were used to deter criminality—thus attesting to the use of the same visual strategy to repel rather than to attract—are equally welcome.

Papers should last 20–30 minutes. Please apply with an abstract (max. one page) to one of the sessions at by 15th October 2020.

Session organised by Daniela Mondini and Vladimir Ivanovici.