This is a past event
May 11, 2022 (All day)
Frost Library, CHI Think Tank

A daylong conference featuring contributors to The Virgin’s Milk in Global Perspective: On the Fluidity of Images and the Politics of Divine Presence, the volume co-edited by Visiting Professor of History Jutta Sperling. Keynote address by Elizabeth Bolman.

Organizers: Jutta Sperling, Mati Meyer, Vibeke Olson, Bronwen Gulkis.
In conjunction with the Kinney Center for Interdisciplinary Renaissance Studies.
Funded by the Department of Religious Studies, the Department of Art and Art History, the Department of History at Amherst College, the Center for Humanistic Inquiry at Amherst College, the Kinney Center for Interdisciplinary Renaissance Studies, the Time and Narrative Learning Collaborative at Hampshire College, and The Georges Lurcy Lecture Series Fund at Amherst College.

Keynote Lecture:
Liquid Flesh and the Medicine of Immortality: The Nursing Virgin Mary in Egypt

Elizabeth Bolman, Elsie B. Smith Professor in the Liberal Arts, Professor and Chair of Art History, Case Western Reserve University.
10am - 11:15am:

I. (In)Imitable Performances: Disembodied Breasts and Kinetic Lactations

1. The Radical Potential in Becoming: Disembodied Breasts and Maternal Femininity
Clare Johnson, University of the West of England
Jenny Rintoul, University of the West of England

2. Lactatio Performed – The Kinetics of the Melun Diptych
Roland Krischel, Walraff-Richartz Museum, Cologne
3. Milk, Blood and Dew in Male and Female Mystical Experience: Transference and Resignification of European Iconography in Seventeenth-Century Quito
Carmen Fernández-Salvador, Universidad San Francisco de Quito

11:15am – 12:30pm:

II. Iconographic Variance, Displaced Gestures, and (Dis)Identifications

4. Reassigning the Virgin’s Lactation in Byzantine Art
Mati Meyer, The Open University of Israel

5. The Virgo Lactans and Christ as a Mother: Suor Plautilla Nelli’s Last Supper Chrystine L. Keener, Ringling College of Art and Design, Sarasota, Florida
6. Essence of Mary: The Visual and Poetic Evocation of Fluids in Armenian Art
Ioanna Rapti, École Pratique des Hautes Études, Paris.
7. The Virgin, the Unicorn, and some Potent Drops of Milk
Christine Stephan-Kaissis, Johannes Gutenberg Universität Mainz


12:30-1:pm: Lunch Break


1pm - 2:15pm:
III. Function, Devotional Reception, and Patronage

8. The Lactating Virgin at Anzy-le-Duc: Nurturing the Devotees?
Gili Shalom, Tel Aviv University

9. The Nursing Virgin in the Crusader Era: A Middle Eastern Tradition?
Mat Immerzeel, Universiteit Leiden

10. The Madonna del Latte – the Nursing Virgin in Trecento Italy
Beth Williamson, University of Bristol

11. The Birgittine Tradition of the Nursing Madonna in Late Medieval Sweden
Jonas Carlquist, Umeå Universiteit
2:15pm - 3:30pm:

IV. Miracle-Working Images

12. Noetic Milk of the Virgin: Theotokos Galaktotrophousa of Hilandar Monastery
Fr. Nebojsa Tumara, Saint Athanasius College

13. Rethinking Saidnaya: An Oil-Pouring Icon and Its History
Michele Bacci, University in Fribourg, Switzerland

14. The Madonna del Ponte in Montevarchi
Tiziana Bonetti, Universität Luzern


3:30pm -4:15pm:

V. Milk of Sorrow, Milk of Creativity, Milk of Suffering: Decolonial, Feminist, and Gender-Fluid Approaches to the Visual Depiction of Lactation

15. Corporeal Address: The Aesthetics of Shocked Milk in Claudia Llosa’s The Milk of Sorrow
Norman S. Holland, Hampshire College
Monique Roelofs, University of Amsterdam

16. Artemisia Gentileschi and the Metaphoric Female Breast
Mary D. Garrard, American University

17. Gender Fluid/Gendered Fluids: Considerations of Lactation and Bleeding as Exempla in the Devotional Art and Thought of the Late Middle Ages
Vibeke Olson, University of North Carolina, Wilmington


4:15pm - 5:30pm:

VI. Copies, Hybrids, and Global Circuits

18. The Nursing Virgin in Mugal India
Bronwen Gulkis, Bowdoin College

19. The Global Circulation of a Nursing Virgin after Robert Campin: Japan, Peru, and Ethiopia
Jutta Sperling, Amherst College


6pm: In-person contributors: DINNER! Location t.b.a.


Additional Info

Zoom link

Contact Info

Jutta Sperling
image of e-mail