Back to Opportunities

CFP: Embodied concepts (Tuebingen, 22-23 Nov 18)

Interdisciplinary workshop: "Embodied concepts - personifications as carriers of religious knowledge in art and literature of the pre-modern"

To give abstract concepts by personification a physical shape and a voice that is from antiquity aesthetic procedures in art and literature. This not only served to enliven and conviction of the listener or viewer, as it is formulated in rhetoric treatises from antiquity to the early modern period. The transfer of an abstract concept into a concrete physical form has also provided an illustration and regulations of the respective concept and the associated knowledge. This process could thus also contribute to the updating, production and transformation of knowledge. Accordingly basis of the workshop is a Personifikationsbegriff who does not just understand this aesthetic process as repetition of the same design elements and attributes, but attaches his own epistemic potential.

The workshop takes particular forms, strategies and functions of the embodiment of concepts in the view that can be classified as so important for the pre-modern range of religious knowledge. These include philosophical and theological concepts such virtues and vices ("Faith," "justice," "Envy", etc.) or abstract concepts ("truth", "church", etc.). But even personifications from the fields of nature, science or the arts can be related to various religious knowledge. As these bodies of knowledge are themselves subject to continuous changes, adjustments and negotiations, the obvious question is what the consequences were taking place transformation processes for the visual and linguistic personification of the respective approaches.

The contributions of the workshop can broach concrete examples from all media and genres of art and literature. But the subject of the lectures can also theoretical reflections on the personification of abstractions, such as the theory of art or poetic writings. Questions that can thereby be in the foreground, are:
- How to convey, create, add to or alter the respective personifications (religious) knowledge? What is the intention was followed by that? What features and strategies were conducting?
- What was the role of concrete production and reception context of a work for the design of personification and the choice of a particular medium?
- What consequences had the changed meaning or interpretation of a concept for its personification? What is the relationship of (iconographic, literary, theological ...) Tradition and Transformation can be observed?
- Which individual logic, problems or frictions arose in transmitting the Abstraktums in a concrete physical form? How were these reflected?

The interdisciplinary workshop is organized by graduate students of the graduate program "Religious knowledge in pre-modern Europe" at the University of Tuebingen. It is particularly aimed at young scientists * inside from all humanities disciplines. To promote the intensive interdisciplinary conversation, the talks will be discussed in detail in each case on the basis of formulated hypotheses and questions of the presenters.

Please send an abstract for a 20 minute presentation (max. 500 words) in addition to a short biography (max. 300 words) to and

Travel and accommodation costs are anticipated to be incurred. For questions, please feel free to contact:

Michael Neumaier
University of Tübingen
Research Training Group 1662 "Religious knowledge in pre-modern Europe"
Tel .: +49 (0) 7071 / 29-77334


Mariam Hammami
University of Tübingen
Research Training Group 1662 "Religious knowledge in pre-modern Europe"
Tel .: +49 (0) 7071 / 29-77316

Leave a Reply