Cover image for Art, Power, and Resistance in the Middle Ages Edited by Pamela A. Patton

Art, Power, and Resistance in the Middle Ages

Edited by Pamela A. Patton

Coming in December

$99.95 | Hardcover Edition
ISBN: 978-0-271-09737-4
Coming in December

236 pages
8" × 10"
45 color/29 b&w illustrations
2025
Co-published with The Index of Medieval Art at Princeton University

Signa: Papers of the Index of Medieval Art at Princeton University

Art, Power, and Resistance in the Middle Ages

Edited by Pamela A. Patton

“Each study in Art, Power, and Resistance in the Middle Ages productively challenges readers to reassess disciplinary assumptions. No comparable study engages so diverse a range of material through such a lens.”

 

  • Description
  • Reviews
  • Bio
  • Subjects
This volume addresses a vital point of intersection between images in the Middle Ages and those in the modern world: the potential of medieval works of art to convey messages of power and resistance. Provoked by the misuse of medieval imagery in modern discussions, the contributors to this volume assess how medieval images connect to discourses of power in both the past and the present.

The contributors each began with a single question: In the eyes of their makers and viewers, how were medieval images understood to assert or to resist forces of power? Their case studies come from a wide range of cultural, geographic, and historical contexts: the Byzantine, Ottonian, and Valois courts; the Umayyad and Castilian regimes of the Iberian Peninsula; the pluralistic military and commercial zones of the eastern Mediterranean; and the metaphorical as well as personal battlegrounds linked to medieval “courtly love” culture. Over eight chapters, the authors highlight patterns of visual rhetoric still evident in art today. They invite readers to contemplate how modern priorities and sensibilities might amplify, mute, or transform the discourses related to power and resistance that were threaded through the visual culture of the Middle Ages.

This insightful book should be of value to anyone interested in medieval art history and art’s relationship to power and authority in society.

In addition to the editor, the contributors include Heather A. Badamo, Elena N. Boeck, Thomas E. A. Dale, Martha Easton, Eliza Garrison, Anne D. Hedeman, Tom Nickson, and Avinoam Shalem.

“Each study in Art, Power, and Resistance in the Middle Ages productively challenges readers to reassess disciplinary assumptions. No comparable study engages so diverse a range of material through such a lens.”
“The relationship of art to power was no less complex in the Middle Ages than it is today, as we witness the toppling of monuments testifying to histories of racial conflict. This volume reinvigorates our conversations about works of art and the contingencies of power across the medieval world through a range of provocative chapters tracing how medieval artworks come to serve as sites of resistance over time.”

Pamela A. Patton is Director of the Index of Medieval Art at Princeton University. She is the author or editor of several books, including Envisioning Others: Race, Color, and the Visual in Iberia and Latin America and Art of Estrangement: Redefining Jews in Reconquest Spain, the latter also published by Penn State University Press.

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