"Slipstream: Making Frontiers in the Medieval Black Sea"
A Lecture by Dr. Ittai Weinryb
Friday, April 22, 2022
Radio/TV Building, Room 245
Abstract: 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 missionaries and merchants in Crimea during the fourteenth century. Through a close look into how art and material culture worked to produce, define, and profess the actual and conceptual space of the frontier, I argue, a new understanding of art, habits and practices the European centers can simultaneously arise.
Dr. Ittai Weinryb is Associate Professor and Director of Doctoral Studies at the Bard Graduate Center, and Editor of “West 86th: A Journal of Decorative Arts, Design History, and Material Culture.”