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Ittai Weinryb
Associate Professor, Bard Graduate Center

“Slipstream: Making Frontiers in the Medieval Black Sea”

A frontier is an imaginary boundary that divides space into two: that which belongs to you and that which does not. It is the edge of your own human cognition; it creates a theoretical (and sometimes physical) line between the known and the unknown, designating a geographic realm where the rules of conduct and cultural practice differ from the center. Ultimately, a frontier offers ways to question conceptualizations of self and identity through geographic proclamations of alterity—mapping personal, social, and political perspectives onto the visible world. In this paper I center on the European frontier of the Black Sea during the Middle Ages by focusing on art and material culture produced and consumed by merchants in Crimea during the fourteenth century. A close look into how art and material culture worked to produce, define, and profess the actual and conceptual space of the frontier allows us, simultaneously, to develop new understanding as to the centrality of the frontier and the art it produced in the heart of the European center.

Tuesday, December 1, 12:15 pm

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A Zoom link will be circulated the morning of the talk.