Text and images. New critical perspectives

Text and image in the Middle Ages
New critical perspectives
Call for papers
Perspectives médiévales #38

The massive juxtaposition of text and image in the medieval arts and
literature is a well-known fact. In manuscripts or on stained-glass
windows, on buildings or everyday objects, in reliquaries or in
administrative and legal documents, the interaction and
complementarity between iconography and text have been the focus,
throughout the 20th century, of constant questioning, hesitantly at
first, but then more and more systematically as new epistemological
fields were developed.

For the last thirty years, the front stage has mainly been occupied in
France by historical studies, with a resolutely anthropological
orientation. Serial analysis or the study of textual, spatial, social,
political and theological contexts have renewed the point of view on
text-image dynamics, opening their analysis to others, beyond the
prerogatives of traditional art history.

Notwithstanding, does this renewed point of view exhaust or
circumscribe all possible discourse on text-image relations? Other
current disciplinary fields, such as literature, linguistics,
philosophy, art history, musicology, but also psychoanalysis,
sociology or law, may have something to say on the subject, but what?

Moreover, has the contextual point of view that renewed the critical
discourse underplayed the interpretation of the text or of the image
in favour of their interaction? Is the considered context as easy to
define as it seems? Do digital tools, and the serialisation of images
they allow, create the misleading illusion of unlimited access to
sources, to the detriment of a more comprehensive understanding of
their context of creation and use?

The extreme rarity of academic handbooks on the subject reveals how
very difficult it still is to define theories and methods of analysis
that could help create an epistemological and pedagogical consensus in
a field devoid, as yet, of proper academic autonomy, and complicated
in its emergence by its intrinsic transdisciplinarity. The diversity
of corpuses is not the smallest obstacle to its emergence.

The next issue of Perspectives médiévales wants to highlight
practices, new theoretical reflexions and current point of views on
text-image relations in contemporary critical horizons and
disciplinary fields. Consequently, this call for papers is open to all
– academics, artists, writers, editors, etc. – whose reflection
could shine a new light on the current state of research and of
creation on the subject.

Article projects (one page in length, including a bibliography) should
be sent jointly to Sébastien Douchet (sebastien.douchet@gmail.com)
and Maud Pérez-Simon (msimon@univ-paris3.fr) before February 15,

The submission deadlines are as follow:
• By the February 15, 2016: submission deadline for initial
• March 15, 2016: appraisal by the scientific committee of the
• September 1, 2016: submission deadline for articles before
evaluation by the scientific committee
• December 1, 2016: submission deadline for the final version of
• January 15, 2017: online publication of the issue