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Meetings and Conferences

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The Society For Emblem Studies Ninth International Conference:

The 2011 conference will be held in the University of Glasgow, home of the famous Stirling Maxwell Collection of emblem books.

Please follow this link to the conference web-site


Jesuitica Conference

Leuven, 3-5 December 2009.

For details see:

The Conference Programme [PDF]
The Conference Flyer [PDF]


The Eighth International Conference of the Society for Emblem Studies

To be held at Winchester College, Winchester, England, 28 July-2 August 2008.

Further details can be found on the conference website. One theme already decided upon is the relationship between emblems and medals.

Download a pdf file of the call for papers, and Registration Form.

Ideas for papers and sessions should be addressed to either the Chairman of the Society (Michael Bath: or the Conference Organiser (Simon McKeown:


43rd International Congress on Medieval Studies

To be held at the Medieval Institute at Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan, May 8-11 2008

Proposals are invited for the Emblem Sessions, organised by the Society:

Suggested Topics:
Emblem Books. Medieval Sources for Emblems. Emblem Motifs and their Sources; Emblems and Literature; Emblem and the Arts; Emblems and Architecture; Emblems and Royal Entries; Emblems and Heraldry.

Deadline for proposals: September 1, 2007

Session Organizer: Sabine Mödersheim
University of Wisconsin - Madison
Department of German
818 Van Hise Hall
1220 Linden Drive
Madison, WI 53706
Fax (608) 262 7949

Congress Web site:


Emblems in the Twenty-First Century: the Material and the Medium.
The Seventh International Conference of the Society for Emblem Studies

To be held at the University of Illinois, Champaign/Urbana, 24-30 July 2005.

For details see:


VI Congreso Internacional de Emblemática, Society for Emblem Studies, La Coruña, 10-14 de septiembre, 2002

For information on the Conference, including the Provisional Programme (Programa específico), visit the Conference Web Page at:


The Society for Emblem Studies, Fifth International Conference: Polyvalenz und Multi-funktionalität der Emblematik/Multivalence and Multifunctionality of the Emblem, August 1999

From August 10-14, 1999, 95 scholars from 20 countries gathered in Munich for the 5th International Emblem Congress, organized by Wolfgang Harms and Dietmar Peil at the Ludwigs-Maximilians-University of Munich. It was the first time that the convention was held in Germany.

Panels covered emblemata sacra, moralia, physica et academica, politica, as well as applied and regional emblematics. The topics of papers ranged from studies of individual emblem books and authors to emblem and image theory and to the production and reception of emblems in several European countries, including Germany, France, Spain, and countries in central Europe. Emblematics in architecture, festive entries, academic ceremonies etc. formed another focus of interest. New emblem books or manuscripts were discovered or identified, including 19th century American emblems or a unique book of spa emblems. Some contributions examined the influence of the emblematic mode well into the early 19th century.

The first plenary lecture, ‘Das Emblem als offenes Kunstwerk’—‘The emblem as an open work’ by Rüdiger Zymner (Wuppertal) examined recent research on emblem theory and the definition of the emblem. Zymner suggested the term ‘inter-medial’ or ‘syn-medial’ instead of ‘bi-medial’ genre to better describe the synthesising function as the distinctive feature of the emblem. Its semantic multivalence and its syn-mediality thus renders the emblem to be an ‘open work’ which requires the construction of its aesthetic unity by the reader.

Günther Heß (Würzburg), in his lecture on ‘Amor in Munich: De dei et mundi amore. Jacob Baldes Münchner Emblemhandschrift von 1627-28’ introduced an emblem manuscript by Jacob Balde (today in the BSB München) of which he is preparing a commented edition.

Peter Daly, in his closing plenary lecture ‘Emblematics in Modern Advertising’ showed examples of political advertising, especially from the recent Quebec which, he claims, employs methods similar to the emblematic mode.

Selected contributions will be published in a conference volume the Mikrokosmos Series (Bern: Lang), ed. by Wolfgang Harms and Dietmar Peil.

Munich proved to be an apt location for the conference, located in an area of a rich emblematic tradition. The Bayerische Staatsbibliothek München holds one of the largest collections of emblem books in Germany. Participants were grateful for a preliminary list of emblem books in the BSB which was already available online in advance. Unfortunately, the limited opening hours of the library did not leave much time to explore the rich holdings. An exhibition compiled by Gilbert Heß, Dietmar Peil, and Wolfgang Harms displayed examples of emblemata politica and ethica, emblems compiled from natural history, as well as academic emblems such as the medals of the Altdorf Academy. Another part of the exhibition showed emblems in the material culture, such as emblems on coins, on goblets, alba amicorum, or emblems in ephemeral architecture, e.g. castra doloris, including examples of emblematic programs designed for the Wittelsbach dynasty.

A catalogue of the exhibition ‘Sinnbilderwelten. Emblematische Medien in der Frühen Neuzeit’, ed. by Wolfgang Harms, Gilbert Heß and Dietmar Peil, is available from the Institut für Deutsche Philologie, Schellingstraße 3, 80799 München, Germany.

Another exhibition ‘Music for a While: Music and Dance in 16th Century Prints’ in the Staatliche Graphische Sammlung, Neue Pinakothek München, showed exquisit prints from the outstanding collection. The exhibition was curated by Thea Vigneau-Wilberg who also gave an introduction. A catalogue ‘O Musica du edle Kunst—Musik und Tanz im 16. Jahrhundert’ (German and English) is available from the museum:

Meiserstr. 10, 80333 München, Tel. 089 - 28 92 76 50, Fax: 089 - 28 92 76 53 or

Two extensive excursions guided by Wolfgang Harms and Cornelia Kemp showcased the architectural history of southern Germany which is extraordinarily rich in iconographic and emblematic programs.

Munich also happened to be in the main corridor of the eclipse of August 11, 1999 and this event was appropriately introduced by Cornelia Kemp's lecture presenting a series of eclipse emblems.

Report on SES General Business Meeting, Munich 1999

Sabine Moedersheim


Jesuit Emblematics in Bavaria: Impact and Influence
Munich, July 1998. International Symposium under the auspices of the Southern Province of the Society of Jesus and the Baumannskollege, Hochschule fur Philosophie, Munich. Further information: Peter M. Daly, E-mail:
The Proceedings of this conference have been published as Emblematik und Kunst der Jesuiten in Bayern: Einfluss und Wirkung, ed. Daly, Dimler and Haub (Turnhout: Brepols, 2000, ‘Imago Figurata Studies’, vol 3).

Glasgow Emblem Studies:
24 June 1998. Colloquium on Emblems and Alchemy, organised in association with the Society for Emblem Studies. Proceedings published in Glasgow Emblem Studies Vol. 3. For further information contact: Alison Adams (, Department of French, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G12 8QQ Scotland.


August: Fourth International Emblem Conference. Katholieke Universiteit, Leuven. Five-day meeting.


April: 'The Ages of Life and Learning: Second Minnesota Conference on Cultural Emblematics.' University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. Three-day meeting.

June: 'Emblem Studies: the States of the Art.' Wroclaw, Poland. Five-day international conference.


September: 'Simposio Internacional de Literatura Emblematica Hispanica.' Universidad de Coruna. Three-day meeting. Proceedings: ed. S. Lopez Poza (Universidad da Coruna, 1996) ISBN 84 88301 03 0.

October: 'Architecture and the Emblem.' Montreal, Canadian Center for Architecture/ McGill University. Proceedings: ed. P.M. Daly (Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press, 1997).

November: 'Renaissance Text and Image.' University of Glasgow. Society for Renaissance Studies/ Society for Elblem Studies. One-day colloquium.


April: 'The Anglo-Dutch Literary Trade in Matters Emblematical.' Leiden University, Sir Thomas Browne Inst. Two-day meeting. Publication, ed. B. Westerweel (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1997)

May: 'Andrea Alciato: umanista europea.' Three-day inaugural convention of Society for the Study of Andrea Alciato.

June: 'European Iconogrpahy East and West.' Attila Jozsef University, Szeged, Hungary. Four-day conference.

August: Third Internationsl Emblem Conference. University of Pittsburgh. Four-day meeting. Proceedings: ed. M.Bath and D. Russell, Deviceful Settings (NY: AMS Press, 1998)


May: 'Aspects of Renaissance Symbol Theory (1500-1700).' University of Tennessee (Chattanooga). Three-day meeting. Proceedings: ed. P.M. Daly (NY: AMS Press, 1998).


April: Session: 'The Emblem and the English Renaissance' at South Central Renaissance Conference, Loyola University, New Orleans.

April- present: Session:'Renaissance Emblems' sponsored by Society for Emblem Studies at annual meetings of the Renaissance Society of America. (Duke University, N. Carolina, 1991; New York, 1995; Bloomington, 1996).

October: 'Simposop Internationsl de Emblematica.' Instituto de Estudios Turolensis, Teruel. Two-day meeting. Proceedings: ed. S. Sebastian Lopez (Teruel: Inst. de Estudios Turolenses, 1994) ISBN 84 8698243 X.


August: 'Emblems and Illuminations.' One-day Symposium organised by the Emblem Studies Group, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.

August: Second International Emblem Conference. Glasgow University. Four-day conference. Proceedings: ed. A. Adams and Harper, The Emblem in Renaissance and Baroque Europe: Tradition and Variety(Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1992).


April: 'Emblem Books and the Telling Image.' Two-day conference organized at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. Proceedings, The Telling Image, ed. A. Bagley, Griffin, and McLean (NY: AMS Press, 1996).

July: Simposio de Emblematica. University of Santiago da Compostela. Two-day meeting.

August: Simposio de Emblematica. Universidad Internacional Menendez Pelayo, Santander. five-day meeting.

December: 'The Emblem in the Low Countries: requirements of International Research.' Katholieke Universiteit, Leuven.


September: 'Andrea Alciati and the Emblem Tradition.' One-day symposium organized by the Princeton University Library in association with the Society for Emblem Studies. Proceedings: Andrea Alciati and the Emblem Tradition: Essays in Honor of Virginia Woods Callahan, ed. P.M. Daly (NY: AMD Press, 1989).

September: 'Index of Emblematic Art: Ways and Means.' McGill University, Montreal. Two-day symposium. Proceedings: ed. P.M. Daly (NY: AMS Press, 1990).


August: 'The European Emblem.' First International Emblem Conference. Four-day inaugural meeting of the Society of Emblem Studies, University of Strathclyde/ Glasgow University. Proceedings: The European Emblem, ed. B.F. Scholz, Bath and Weston (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1990).


February: 'the Renaissance Emblem.' University of Strathclyde, Glasgow. Sponsored by the Society for Renaissance Studies. One-day colloquium.

April- present: 'Emblem Literature sessions sponsored and organized annually by the Society for Emblem Studies at the Internationsl Congress on Medieval Studies at the University of Western Michigan, Kalamazoo.

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Last updated: 24 July 2004