Images of human suffering regularly populate Western screens, most recently following the attacks on civilians in Ukraine, Afghanistan, and Syria. News media outlets and witnesses on the ground circulate graphic pictures in real time: fleeing families torn apart; injured civilian “soldiers”; and the bodies of the dead lying in the streets as their homes burn around them. Recognizing the age-old siege techniques employed in Ukraine, and considering the centuries of warfare that destroyed so many lives in the early modern period (e.g., wars of religion, Spanish Furies, Sack of Rome, etc.), this panel examines how and why artists depicted bodies at war between 1350 and 1800. For example, artistic representations commemorate lives lost, report atrocities against humanity, stake claims for victors and/or victims, inspire others to join the fight, and depict the consequences of war on human bodies. Papers in this session could examine a variety of media: paintings, prints, drawings, sculpture, metalwork, tapestries, or monuments, to name a few. We encourage papers to consider how artworks also engage the viewer’s body through scale, color, relationships between words and images, materials, and the activation of the senses. How do depictions of bodies engaged in war mediate our understanding of those historic traumas?
—collective military bodies
—soldiers, militia members, peasants, commanders, rulers
—sieged cities from afar and from inside the walls
—women at war (heroines, victims, camp followers, personifications)
—consequences of war (tormented or deceased figures, famine and destruction, disfigured or disabled soldiers)
—ekphrastic writing (eyewitness reports, news reports, inscriptions)
To submit, please send a shortened CV (2 pages) and a completed proposal form (available to download at https://caa.confex.com/caa/
All participants are required to be members of the College Art Association at the time of the final submission of accepted papers and during the conference period (February 15-18, 2023). Please also note that “Bodies at War” will be an in-person session in New York.