Departmental Events

Transformation & Modernity around 1300: Medium, Spirituality, Experience

Ceiling of Giotto's Arena Chapel (Cappella degli Scrovegni).
Ceiling of Giotto's Arena Chapel (Cappella degli Scrovegni).

9:00 am | 2/21/2020 | 308A Doe Library, UC Berkeley | Until 5:00 pm | 2/21/2020

Revolving around a new reading of Giotto’s acclaimed Arena Chapel (Cappella degli Scrovegni) in Padua, this international book conference will pair some of the most eminent art historians in the field of Italian Renaissance / Early Modern Studies from Europe and the US east coast with interdisciplinary responses from prominent local historians, art historians, and specialists in related fields such as Classics, medieval, Renaissance, and literature studies from California (UCB, UCD, Stanford, and UCLA). 

On the conference day, speakers will engage themes from Henrike Lange’s book manuscript, Giotto’s Arena Chapel and the Triumph of Humility (Cambridge University Press) in five sections: I. The Sources of Antiquity as Other: Triumphal Architecture and the Lever of Humility, II. Crystallization: Matter and Illusion, III. Mystic Intelligence: Vision, Words, Cognition, IV. Giotto Historiographies, and V. Modernity & Modernities.

All respondents having read the manuscript beforehand, the five main speakers will offer comments on their section theme in relation to the manuscript as well as to their own expertise. Their presentations of about 30 minutes each will be complemented by two respective co-respondents adding a commentary of 5-10 minutes from an interdisciplinary perspective. 

Graduate students from the Fall 2019 graduate seminar in Italian Studies “Spiritual Reading / Spiritual Seeing, from Dante to Montale” will introduce the speakers throughout the day and contribute comments on Giotto’s modernity in a grad round table towards the end of the conference day, followed by the author’s Q&A. 


Due the limited number of seats in the event space, please RSVP if you would like to be added to the waitlist, indicating if you would like to attend the morning session, the afternoon session, or the entire day, under the subject line “RSVP Giotto Conference 2020” to

This conference is generously supported by:

The Institute of International Studies at UC Berkeley, The Stoddard Fund in the History of Art Department UC Berkeley, The UC Berkeley Department of History of Art, The UC Berkeley Department of Italian Studies, The Designated Emphasis in Renaissance and Early Modern Studies, The Berkeley Center for the Study of Religion, and The UC Berkeley Department of German.

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