"Objects of Desire: The Materiality of the Middle Ages" is the focus of the 39th Annual New England Medieval Conference to be held in the Campus Center on Saturday, Oct. 13.
The conference will feature eight distinguished speakers from Harvard, MIT, Yale, Holy Cross, Brown, West Virginia, Dartmouth and Boston College. All talks will take place in 160 Campus Center.
According to the conference organizers, “We inhabit a world filled with material objects. As these objects circulate through our lives, they take on different meanings at different times, affect our emotions, our desires, our fears, and our hopes. From naming cars to keeping umbrellas closed indoors, we seem to endow objects with lives of their own. “Objects of Desire” will turn to the Middle Ages to ask: what are the totemic powers of everyday things? How do things of the household, not only devotional objects per se, but also tools, furnishings, and ornaments of everyday life, intersect with literary and artistic practice? How do encounters with new objects ripple through social and literary practice? And how can we tell if and when such things have had any effect at all?”
Conference registration is free for all Five College faculty and graduate students.
"Objects of Desire" is supported by the College of Humanities and Fine Art; the English departments at UMass Amherst, Amherst College, Mount Holyoke College; the dean of the faculty and Smith College; the Five Colleges; the Graduate School; and the Mount Holyoke art history department.
Image: The Staffordshire Hoard