Tuesday, November 4, 2014 at 7 pm
at Parsons The New School for Design,
2 West 13th Street, in the Bark Room (off the lobby)
Free and open to the public
Marlene Villalobos Hennessy on “Chameleon Images in the Late Medieval Religious Cartoon.”
My talk examines a range of late medieval illustrated religious texts or ‘cartoons’ in which artists and illuminators converted letters, words, and even phrases into visual images. Several of the ‘cartoons’ I discuss show words and pictures in the process of transmutation into one another, revealing the image’s capacity for shifting, ever-changing, often textualized permutation. By looking at this rare, exceptional, or enigmatic iconography in a group of mostly understudied late medieval British manuscripts, this talk identifies and explains how medieval manuscript artists took on this subject and captured some of these enigmatic transformations. Hence maim is to unravel some of the networks of association between words and pictures, devotional readers and monastic artists, in a range of illustrated late medieval religious cartoons.
Marlene Villalobos Hennessy is Associate Professor in the Department of English at Hunter College, CUNY, where she teaches classes on Medieval Literature, Visual Culture, and the History of the Book. She has published numerous articles on late medieval British manuscripts and religious culture and has edited a collection of essays, English Medieval Manuscripts: Readers, Makers and Illuminators (London and Turnhout: Harvey Miller/Brepols, 2009). She is currently completing research on a reference work entitled An Index of Images in English Manuscripts from the Time of Chaucer to Henry VIII, c.1380 – c.1509: The Scottish Libraries and Collections, as well as a book-length project, Blood Writing: Manuscripts and Metaphors in the Late Middle Ages.