Call for Papers & Applications

The scope of the OSCOP project ( is to study and promote the collection of photographs of South Caucasian art and architecture taken by the research group of Adriano Alpago Novello between the 1960s and 1980s, now preserved in the Centre of Study and Documentation of Armenian Culture in Venice. The photographs show the monumental and natural heritage of Georgia and Armenia, in particular the so-called 'crystal churches' (Brandi 1969). With their pure forms, geometrically defined spaces, and central dome, they offer a highly articulate expression of ‘architectural spirituality’ in which the landscape takes part. Alpago Novello’s collection is particular in its context. Together with his colleagues from Italy and the Armenian diaspora he recorded the Armenian and Georgian historical landscape at a time when the territory was politically and theoretically part of the Soviet Union, and any reference to the sacred and spiritual was excluded from the critical discourse on the natural and monumental heritage.

Beyond this, the photo collection raises questions about the specific elements that make a landscape ‘spiritual’. What prompted people to define a landscape as spiritual rather than sacred? The study of landscape involves the consideration of the role of human interventions in its shaping, the perception of geomorphology, and of the interplay between human and non-human agencies, such as vegetation. Under which premise and in which ways is a spiritual dimension attributed to them? What is the role of architecture in the making and marking, as well as experiencing of, hierotopic landscapes (Lidov), or vice versa? While inviting contributions to the discussion of these and related questions, the workshop will also engage with photographic images and ask if photographs can stimulate or convey a religious, mystical, or ascetic experience – and, if so, how do photographs mediate such a ‘sense of spirituality’, for instance, through light, composition, scaling, proximity, or distance. Can strategies of ‘spiritualization’ (or ‘de-spiritualization’) be identified, which are site-specific, regional or transcultural?

Photographs, with their own forms of spiritual engagement require, imply or promote specific settings and dynamics of spectatorship. There may be a spiritual dimension to the personal experience of the photographer regarding her or his interest in capturing markers from the past (such as churches or khachkars), and also the spirituality of local communities around them.

The conference aims to cross-examine photographs of spiritual landscapes from various point of view, with the double lens of seeking innovative methodological approaches to study the interplay between nature, humans, artifacts, and the underlying transcendental relations on the one hand and the role of the spiritual in related photographs and photographic aesthetics on the other. Contributions presenting case studies that consider wider geographical areas, from the Caucasus to the Mediterranean, and which engage with broader spiritual frameworks, from religion to mysticism, are welcome’.

Please send a proposal of no more than 500 words, as well as a short CV, by 2 April 2024 to and

Förderungsfähig sind Promotionsvorhaben mit Forschungsschwerpunkten zur Kunstgeschichte Italiens und des Mittelmeerraums von der Spätantike bis zur Moderne.
Antragsberechtigt sind ausschließlich Kandidatinnen und Kandidaten, die an einer baden-württembergischen Universität als  Doktorand/in angenommen sind.

Allgemeine Informationen zum Antrag auf ein Individualstipendium am KHI Florenz


Bewerbungsschluss:  15. März 2024
Stipendienbeginn: 01. Juni 2024
Stipendienlaufzeit: Bis zu 3 Jahre
Stipendienhöhe: Voraussichtlich 1.968 Euro/Monat inkl. einer Sach- und Reisekostenpauschale i.H.v. 103 Euro/Monat


Voraussetzungen zur Bewerbung:

  • Abgeschlossenes Hochschulstudium
  • Annahme als Doktorand/in an einer baden-württembergischen Hochschule
  • Wissenschaftliche Betreuung durch einen Professor/eine Professorin bzw. Privatdozent/Privatdozentin
  • Herausragende Qualifikation und ein wissenschaftliches Arbeitsvorhaben, das einen wichtigen Beitrag zur Forschung erwarten lässt

Detaillierte Informationen zur Bewerbung finden Sie hier: 

The workshop “The Art of AI: Narratives, Creativities, and Ethics” is a journey through the historical development of automata, robots, androids, and artificial intelligence (in the broad sense). Spanning mythology and ancient narratives, we will explore the origins and idealizations of automata and trace their evolution through the Middle Ages and the Early Modern Period to our present time. On one hand we will offer critical reflections on artificial intelligence from antiquity to today in visual culture and literature, and examine how these cultural imaginaries have shaped expectations, fears, and understanding of AI over time. At the same time, we will also ask whether we need to question and revision our concepts of ‘creativity’ and reflect on the possibilities and limits of unexpected ‘deviation’ and ‘rupture’. Thus, the discussion will encompass an in-depth exploration of the current capabilities of creative machines, as well as their potential not to only reach but eventually also surpass human creativity.

On the other hand, we will delve into the pressing philosophical, ethical, and societal questions raised by these advancements. On a meta-theoretical level, our goal is to synthesize historical analysis, philosophical perspectives on art, aesthetics and ethics, and technical expertise. While maintaining a critical-historical eye towards these developments, we are also attuned to the productive horizons posed by automata, particularly in areas such as consciousness, language, ethics, and risks for society. Ultimately, we aim to better understand the implications of technological advancements and their profound ethical and societal effects in the changing landscape of AI, and in quotidian life.

Contributors are invited to present a short talk dealing with one of the above-mentioned thematic fields as well as the range of related questions and topics of about 20 min (followed by a discussion). Please send an abstract of max. 2000 characters and a short CV (summarised in a pdf) in English by e-mail to: and

We kindly request that the abstract be submitted by 4 March 2024.

Feedback on workshop participation as well as information on lodging and travel reimbursement will be provided by 15 March 2024.


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