A Three-Day International and Interdisciplinary Conference

University of Bern, 9–11 December 2015
Hallerstrasse 6, Room 205

Organized by Christine Göttler, University of Bern, in collaboration with Karl A. E. Enenkel, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität, Münster

This conference asks about the construction, imagination and representation of the space of solitude in art, architecture,
literature, church history and theology throughout the late medieval and early modern periods. It addresses, among other themes, the
construction of ‘sacred solitude’ by various monastic orders; the literary and visual imagination of coenobitic or communal solitude; and
the role of interiority and solitude in reform movements. Are there liturgical time periods specifically associated with solitude such as
Lent and Easter? How was the space of prayer conceived of, imagined and represented in the late medieval and early modern European world? Other
major questions concern the imagery and different forms of contemptus mundi and the role of early modern cultural criticism, including court
criticism. From the 1300s onwards, solitude also became intrinsically connected with the space of aesthetic production (writing, drawing,
painting). Topics discussed in the conference include discourses, practices, spaces, places and objects that shaped the construction of solitary selves in various societal environments and cultures.

Attendance is free of charge but due to limited seats, registration is required until 30 November 2015. Contact: Michèle Seehafer, michele.seehafer@ikg.unibe.ch

For more information please visit our website: http://www.ikg.unibe.ch/ueber_uns/aktuell/


Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Welcome and Introduction (Christine Göttler and Karl A. E. Enenkel)

Session 1: Solitude in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe
chaired by Walter S. Melion

Karl A. E. Enenkel, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität, Münster
Petrarch’s construction of the Sacred Place (locus sacer) in ‘De vita solitaria’ and other writings

Christine Göttler, University of Bern
The re-invention of solitude in late sixteenth- and seventeenth-century art

Coffee and tea

Session 2: Solitude in the Forest and on the Mountain Top
chaired by Agnès Guiderdoni

Stefan Abel, University of Bern
Wolfram’s ‘soltâne’: On the impossibility of an artificial paradise

Bernd Roling, Freie Universität Berlin
Seeress in the Woods: The early modern debate on Veleda, Auricinia and Vola

Isabella Augart, University of Hamburg
Stony solitudes: Rock formations in Trecento painting as sites of poetic inspiration and hermit contemplation

Buffet for speakers and invited guests

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Session 3: Hermit Iconographies
chaired by Richard Nemec

Dominic E. Delarue, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven
Late medieval legendaries as a summa of solitude: Different forms of hermit iconography in the illustrations of the Legenda aurea and other hagiographic manuscripts

James Clifton, Sarah Campbell Blaffer Foundation, Houston
“Ne viderent oculi mei arbores”: Landscape and prayer in eremetical and mystical practice and imagery

Coffee and tea

Session 4: Solitude in Jesuit Emblematics
chaired by James Clifton

Agnès Guiderdoni, Université catholique de Louvain
Compositio loci: Constructing the imaginary desert of the soul in the emblematic literature

Walter S. Melion, Emory University
Emblemata solitariae Passionis: Jan David, S.J. on the solitary Passion of Christ

Lunch break

Session 5: Places of Solitude: The Chapel, the Ermitage, and the Studiolo
chaired by Christine Göttler

Steffen Zierholz, University of Bern
Solitude in the chapel of Fra Mariano del Piombo in San Silvestro al Quirinale in Rome

Carla Benzan, University of Essex
Alone at the summit: Solitude and the ascetic imagination at Varallo’s Mount Tabor

Christiane J. Hessler, Berlin
Dead men talking: The studiolo of Urbino – A Duke in mourning and the Petrarchan tradition

Coffee and tea

Keynote Lecture: University of Bern, Hauptgebäude, Hörsaal 220

Karl A. E. Enenkel, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität, Münster
Petrarcas Stadtkritik in ‘De vita solitaria’ und anderen Schriften

Maria Bindschedler-Gastvorlesung, Berner Mittelalter Zentrum,
Ringvorlesung: Stadtgemeinschaften – Stadtkulturen

Introduction: Christine Göttler and Gerlinde Huber-Rebenich, University
of Bern

Dinner for speakers and invited guests (Haus der Universität)

Friday, 11 December 2015

Session 6: Solitude in the World: The Monastery and the School
chaired by Bernd Roling

Mette Birkedal Bruun, University of Copenhagen
Solitudes with permeable boundaries: La Trappe and its repercussions

Lars Nørgaard, University of Copenhagen
Crafting solitude: Individual and collective transitions at Saint Cyr

Coffee and tea

Session 7: The Construction of Female Solitudes
chaired by Arnold Witte

Eelco Nagelsmit, University of Copenhagen
The solitary tree: Mademoiselle de Guise between ‘salonnière’ and ‘solitaire’

Marie Theres Stauffer, University of Geneva
The hermitage in Bayreuth and the ‘Spiegelscherbenkabinett’

Lunch break

Session 8: The Architecture of Solitude
chaired by Eelco Nagelsmit

Richard Nemec, University of Bern
‘Solitudo and ostentatio’: The papal and royal-imperial residences of Benedict XI and Charles IV

Arnold Witte, Royal Netherlands Institute, Rome
From literature to architecture: Pliny’s diaeta and the origins of the early modern hermitage as a space for aesthetics

David R. Marshall, University of Melbourne
Aristocratic solitude: The Villa Patrizi and the early modern romitorio

Coffee and tea

Session 9: Aesthetics and Poetry of Solitude
chaired by Mette Birkedal Bruun

Paul J. Smith, Leiden University
‘Passer solitarius in tecto’: Tribulations of a lonely bird in poetry and natural history, from Petrarch to Buffon

Barbara Baert, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven
The sleeping nymph: Genius loci and silence

Concluding discussion (Karl A. E. Enenkel and Christine Göttler)


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