Aden Kumler will be coming to speak at the Seminar in Comparative Medieval Material Culture (China, Islam, Europe) on Wednesday, December 5, 2012. Her talk is entitled “The Ordeals of Substance: Material Economies of Passion and Probation in the Middle Ages.”

Aden Kumler is Assistant Professor of Art History and affiliate faculty in the Department of Romance Languages & Literatures, the Center for Gender Studies, and the Medieval Studies Program at the University of Chicago. She received her B.A. with Honors in Humanities from the University of Chicago and her M.A. in Medieval Studies from the University of Toronto. In 2007, she received a Ph.D. in the History of Art and Architecture from Harvard University and has since completed a License in Mediaeval Studies from the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies. Dr. Kumler has been the recipient of several prestigious fellowships, including a Mellon postdoctoral fellowship at the Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies and a David E. Finley fellowship at the Center for Advanced Studies in the Visual Arts (CASVA) at the National Gallery of Art. In addition, her book, Translating Truth: Ambitious Images and Religious Knowledge in Late Medieval France and England (Yale University Press, 2011), was awarded a Medieval Academy of America Book Subvention and shortlisted for the ACE/Mercer’s International Book Award.

In the life of certain privileged medieval things, processes of purification, refinement, testing and destruction play a suggestive part. Focused on how these formative ordeals were implicated in the production of presence and meaning in the Middle Ages, Kumler’s lecture will explore the interaction of metaphor and materiality in relation to three auratic object types: coins, seals, and Eucharistic wafers.

Light refreshments will be served at 5:45 pm. The presentation will begin at 6:00 pm.

RSVP is required.

PLEASE NOTE that our Lecture Hall can only accommodate a limited number of people, so please come early if you would like to have a seat in the main room. We also have overflow seating available; all registrants who arrive late will be seated in the overflow area.