CfP: Material cultures and iconography in flux – Asian objects in Naples and Lisbon through the sixteenth century and beyond (International Conference)

Date of event:   30/09/2022 − 30/09/2022

Title: Material cultures and iconography in flux: Asian objects in Naples and Lisbon through the sixteenth century and beyond
Format: Hybrid (online and onsite)
Event duration: 27-28 July 2023
Deadline: 30 September 2022
Venue: School of Arts and Humanities, University of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal

We welcome proposals for papers for this international conference that will be held on Zoom in synchronous webinar format on 27-28 July 2023.

The Portuguese Seaborne Empire (cf. Charles Boxer) and the enhancement of sea routes between Portugal and Asia made possible the flux of Asian (im)materiality to Europe promoted the introduction of Western ideas, customs, iconography and artefacts in Asia and vice-versa. Renaissance Europe gradually opened its doors to new challenges and knowledge from Asia increasingly spread westward. This was just the beginning of a constant flow of exchanges that started in the sixteenth century and is still ongoing.

Lisbon and Naples have played a pivotal role in the circulation of Asian spices, precious objects, porcelain, silk and even flora and fauna, which filled the rooms in the palaces of European royalty and wealthy families alike. The maritime trade of diverse kinds of goods was part of a larger web of East-West connections that went far beyond mere commercial purposes. During the long period commonly known as the time of “discoveries”, the curiosity of European humanists, scientists, artists as well as ordinary people was stimulated by “exotic” objects and ideas.

The goal of this conference is to examine how the flow of material cultures, iconography and symbols is reflected in the collections of Asian objects in Europe, with a particular focus on Naples and Lisbon. Thus, we welcome submissions from interdisciplinary fields that propose novel approaches to new and old theoretical challenges.

All abstracts must be submitted in English. The abstract should be written in 250-300 words containing title, brief introduction, objectives, relevance, methodology and major findings of the paper. Please submit the abstract to: by 30 September 2022. The notification of acceptance/rejection of the abstracts submitted will be sent to you via email by 15 December 2022.

For more information, please visit the website here.