skip to primary navigationskip to content

Graduate Research Seminar Series, Lent Term 2016: 'Art / Religion / Controversy'

Graduate research seminars take place at 5.00pm each Wednesday during the Michaelmas and Lent terms in the History of Art graduate centre, 4A Trumpington Street.

Each term the seminars are built around a different theme. Distinguished guest speakers are invited from across the UK and abroad, as well as from within Cambridge. The talks are followed by a short Q&A session, and informal drinks and snacks. All are welcome to attend

Graduate Research Seminar Series, Lent Term 2016: 'Art / Religion / Controversy' 
Convenors: Christina Farley and Zuzanna Sarnecka

In the modern world we see hundreds of images each day. Yet rather than losing their power through such overexposure, art in the broadest sense continues to cause controversy in the religious and moral spheres - from the Charlie Hebdo shootings, through banning Marcin Swieszewski's 'Last Supper' from Expo in Milan, to ISIS' destruction of Palmyra. It seems that to describe the role of art in shaping religious identities in various parts of the world and at different times, one would have to invariably tell a story of controversy, censorship, religious propaganda, fanaticism and destruction. This seminar series seeks to explore those problematic instances, when art created out of piety or to stimulate certain religious behaviours, caused political turmoil, raptures and bloodsheds in communities around the world.


20 January

Malu Halasa, Independent Writer and Curator

Power and Aesthetics of Religious Imagery in the Syrian Conflict


27 January

Sussan Babaie, Courtauld Institute of Art, London

The monarch and the mystic: religious conflict and the congregational mosque of Isfahan


3 February

Grazyna Jurkowlaniec, University of Warsaw

St Augustine at the crossroads between nursing Mary and crucified Christ. Late medieval origins and early modern controversies


10 February          

Wendy Pullan, University of Cambridge     

At the Boundaries of the Sacred. The reinvention of everyday life in Jerusalem's Muslim Quarter


17 February

Vid Simoniti, University of Cambridge

Genetic Art and Sanctity of Life


24 February

Anna Gannon, University of Cambridge

Firmly I believe and truly: religious iconography on early Anglo-Saxon coins


2 March

Aaron Rosen, King's College London

How to offend Jews with pictures


9 March                      

Lucy Wooding, King's College London                   

Swearers and Sabbath-breakers: images of transgression in Reformation England