Why Make Art?


A group of people have hiked to a tall and splendid waterfall. They all stand back to look at the magnificent sight.

A geologist in the group studies the rock, ponders the composition of the sedimentary layers. An historian remembers the origins of the area, the Native Americans who dwelt there. An engineer may calculate the rate of the water’s  flow and recall an old waterwheel and mill he saw further downstream.

The photographer in the group is taking photos from different angles, pursuing a certain idea. The dancer is watching the water flow over the rocks, dreaming of expressing it in a waterfall dance. The poet is composing verse in his head to express the sight in words. The artist is studying the atmosphere around the falling water, the light and rainbow play in the mist, the color of the water and rock. The musician is listening to the…

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CfP: The Cleric’s Craft: Crossroads of Medieval Spanish Literature and Modern Critique (University of Texas, El Paso, 21-24 Oct 2015)

Medieval Art Research

The thirteenth century was a dynamic time in the Iberian Peninsula, as political and cultural changes were occurring throughout the realms that occupied what is now Spain and Portugal. Much of the literature of this period was learned in nature and composed by clerics, and although the works were read and studied individually from the time of composition, they did not see collective examination until the nineteenth century. It was in 1865 that the Spanish scholar Manuel Milà i Fontanals used the term “mester de clerecía” (the cleric’s craft) for the first time to refer to this learned literary production.

The study of the mester de clerecía is now 150 years old, and an international conference entitled “The Cleric’s Craft: Crossroads of Medieval Spanish Literature and Modern Critique” will be convened in 2015 to mark this important milestone, to reassess this literature and its study, as well as…

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