Postcolonial theories have transformed literary, historical and cultural studies over the past three decades. Yet the study of medieval art and visualities has, in general, remained Eurocentric in its canon and conservative in its approaches. 'Postcolonising', as the eleven essays in this volume show, entails active intervention into the field of medieval art history and visual studies through a theoretical reframing of research. This approach poses and elicits new research questions, and tests how concepts current in postcolonial studies - such as diaspora and migration, under-represented artistic cultures, accented art making, displacement, intercultural versus transcultural, hybridity, presence/absence - can help medievalists to reinvigorate the study of art and visuality. Postcolonial concepts are deployed in order to redraft the canon of medieval art, thereby seeking to build bridges between medievalist and modernist communities of scholars. Among the varied topics explored in the volume are the appropriation of Roman iconography by early medieval Scandinavian metalworkers, multilingualism and materiality in Anglo-Saxon culture, the circulation and display of Islamic secular ceramics on Pisan churches, cultural negotiation by Jewish minorities in Central Europe and the Iberian peninsula, Holy Land maps and medieval imaginative geography, and the uses of Thomas Becket in the colonial imaginary of the Plantagenet court.
Table of Contents
Eva Frojmovic and Catherine E. Karkov
Part 1 The language of the postcolonial
Chapter 1. Decolonising gold bracteates: From Late Roman medallions to Scandinavian Migration Period pendants
Nancy L. Wicker
Chapter 2. The Franks Casket speaks back: The bones of the past, the becoming of England
Catherine E. Karkov
Chapter 3. Camouflaging and echoing the Latin mass in an illuminated French-language missal
Margaret E. Hadley
Part 2 The location of the postcolonial
Chapter 4. Mandeville’s Jews, colonialism, certainty, and art history
Asa Simon Mittman
Chapter 5. Conquest and coexistence in sixteenth-century Granada: Imposing orders in the Alhambra’s Mexuar
Chapter 6. Beyond Foucault’s laugh: On the ethical practice of medieval art history
Part 3 The ambivalence of the postcolonial
Chapter 7. Postcolonising Thomas Becket: The saint as resistant site
Alyce A. Jordan
Chapter 8. Defining a merchant identity and aesthetic in Pisa: Muslim ceramics as commodities, mementos, and architectural decoration on eleventh-century churches
Karen Rose Mathews
Chapter 9. The Muslim warrior at the Seder meal: Dynamics between minorities in the Rylands Haggadah
Chapter 10. Neighbouring and mixta in thirteenth-century Ashkenaz
Eva Frojmovic is Lecturer in the School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies at University of Leeds. She specialises in medieval Jewish art and manuscript illumination. She is also Director of the Centre for Jewish Studies. She edited the collection Imagining the Self, Imagining the Other: Visual Representation and Jewish Culture in the Middle Ages and Early Modern Period (Leiden: Brill, 2002).
Catherine E. Karkov is Chair of Art History at the University of Leeds and has published widely on Insular and Anglo-Saxon art and archaeology. She is the author of Text and Picture in Anglo-Saxon England: Narrative Strategies in the Junius 11 Manuscript (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001), The Ruler Portraits of Anglo-Saxon England (Woodbridge: Boydell Press, 2004), and The Art of Anglo-Saxon England (Boydell Press, 2011).