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• Medieval and early modern.
• Theories of interpretation, Hermeneutics, visual-studies and rhetorical perspectivesm, memory-studies (mnemology).
• Art- and cultural-history, history of ideas, religious history. Some particular themes: The power of images and visual culture and the idea of “tradition” and visual culture, history of the gaze/sight and the understanding of the medieval sensorium. Counter-Reformation and Post-Reformation Chatolicism in Scandinavia.
The Optics of Understanding: Sight, Perception and Discourses of Knowledge in Early Modern Europe. The topic for this study is what we might call the optics of understanding – with its point of departure in the importance of sight that might be seen as a common feature in the discourses of knowledge and understanding in Early Modern Europe. That is, the importance of sight in early modern theories and understanding of the psychology of knowledge.
Icons in /of Memory, a mnemological study of the significance of memory in the medieval period. Dealing with the topics of theories of memory, the understanding of memory and its relation to knowledge, ars memoria and the visual.
The Texture of Thinking. Memory - Its Arts and Media, This study focuses on the medieval understanding of cognition and the importance of memory as a pre-requisite for thinking. In the medieval understanding memory seems to be regarded as the very texture of thinking, continually engaging a multiple array of media – inner and outer – encompassing the totality of the human sensorium in an interlaced manner. The study will investigate the visual, textual and material/physical aspect of memory, memory techniques and practices. The different media for memory (remediation); images (internal/external), practices (performativity), texts and objects (the text as a body to be inscribed etc.).
The Living Image (LIMA): On the ontology, agency and personhood of living images and objects — medieval and modern.The Living Image (LIMA) is concerned with the agency and life of material objects, and evolves around the investigation of two interlaced objectives. First, the project will shed light on understudied aspects of medieval visual culture, focusing in particular on the agency of images and material objects. Second, it will provide new cutting-edge theoretical reflections and methodologies concerning the study of material agency and “living images” today. We argue that the cultural use of and interaction with images may be regarded as more than mere historically or culturally specific phenomenon. Rather, it concerns the ontology of images and constitutes a fundamental aspect of our life with images, in the premodern as well as in the contemporary. This points to the need for a re-evaluation of visual culture in general. It is our contention that images are embedded in social interaction and that animation is deeply constitutive of the production of meaning. Animation, we argue, is not located in the mind of the beholder, but in the epistemology, creation, interaction and materiality of images. Furthermore, we will argue that medieval animation may inform contemporary views on animation and provide us with a more precise vocabulary to capture current phenomena in the digital world. The project is fundamentally interdisciplinary and transhistorical in its perspective. Our research will be highly relevant for visual studies, material studies, study of religions, anthropology, medieval studies and theology. It is also relevant more generally for current discussions about the life and agency of seemingly dead matter.
Protestant and Catholic Reformations in Denmark-Norway and Britain and Ireland, c1517-c.1650: Comparative Perspectives. The project aims to bring together Reformation scholars from Denmark, Norway, Britain and Ireland to examine the experience of the Reformations in these regions from the perspectives of comparison and contact. The aim of the project is, on the one hand, to examine the parallel experiences of the Reformations in Denmark-Norway and Britain and Ireland, but also to discuss instances of contact between the Reformations in both realms. The project aims at a broad comparative survey of the beginnings and progress of the Reformations in these lands. The project consortium consists of James Kelly, Durham University, Salvador Ryan, St Patrick’s College, Maynooth and Henning Laugerud, University of Bergen.
ATLAS: Texts on Images. ‘Atlas’ will be a collection of essays on texts about images. These texts can be descriptive,instructive, or work as manifestos in favour of or against the use of images. The texts and theimages can be of a devotional, scientific, literary, historical, topographical or virtual nature.The project’s main concern is to revitalise the discussion about the complex relationshipbetween images and words. The book aims to discuss the relationship between the two mediaas a generator of tension, and, in particular, to focus on examples in which this tensiongenerates manifestations of intermedial agency. To say that the book explores thisrelationship as a generator of tension is to say that it examines the dynamic and complexencounter between words and images not merely as one built on competition and a strugglefor artistic supremacy, nor as a completely harmonious one, but as a relationship of coexistentrivalry and affection. A book project in the research-group: Images of Knowledge.