Elisabetta Scirocco: Mapping Sacred Spaces in Medieval Southern Italy

Tue May 16th 2023, 12:00 - 1:15pm
Wallenberg 433A

Sessa Aurunca (Campania, Southern Italy), Cathedral, interior (Photo: Roberto Sigismondi, ©Bibliotheca Hertziana – Max Planck Institute for Art History)

In medieval churches, liturgical monumental installations were fundamental for both the setting and practice of the sacred. Where they have been dismantled, destroyed, or heavily transformed, the understanding of a medieval sacred space is possible only through reconstructive projects that require multidisciplinary research and collaborative endeavors.

This talk will address these challenges through the experience of the project Mapping Sacred Spaces. Forms, Functions, and Aesthetics in Medieval Southern Italy (11th-14th c.), dedicated to a still understudied Mediterranean region where religious, artistic, and technical encounters found one of their main expressions inside sacred spaces. The variety, complexity, and fragmentariness of the materials preserved in this vast territory can be fruitfully addressed combining different scales of analysis and mapping methodologies.

This event is sponsored and organized by the SGS Global Approaches to Sacred Space. The Department of Religious Studies has also cosponsored the event.

The presentation will include lunch and take place at the Stanford Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis in Wallenberg 433A. A Zoom link is available upon request from Center Manager, Jonathan Clark (jclark93 [at] stanford.edu (jclark93[at]stanford[dot]edu)).

About the Speaker:

Elisabetta Scirocco is a permanent researcher at the Bibliotheca Hertziana Max Planck Institute for Art History. She specializes in medieval and early modern art and architecture, with a geographical focus on Central and Southern Italy. Her research and publications are mostly devoted to sacred spaces and ritual practices, to the afterlife of medieval art, and to the destructive and creative effects of natural disasters affecting cultural heritage. 

About the Respondent:

Elaine A. Sullivan is an Egyptologist and a Digital Humanist. Her work focuses on applying new technologies to ancient cultural materials. She acts as the project coordinator of the Digital Karnak Project, a multi-phased 3D virtual reality model of the famous ancient Egyptian temple complex of Karnak.  She is project director of 3D Saqqara, which harnesses Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technologies and 3D modeling to explore the ritual and natural landscape of the famous cemetery of Saqqara through both space and time.