The Warburg Institute Summer School

Unfortunately due to the Covid-19 pandemeic the 2020 Summer School has had to be postponed until 2021. We will announce the dates and full details in due course. 

 

Week 1: A Visual Theory of Civilisation: Aby Warburg and his Bilderatlas ​

Week 2: A Material History of Knowledge: The Warburg Institute and its Collections​

mnemosyne atlas panelThe two independent, but complementary, weeks will focus on the work of Aby Warburg and his picture atlas Mnemosyne, and questions around the Institute’s unique approach to the organisation of knowledge. Taught by Warburg Institute staff and The Bilderfahrzeuge Research Group, the courses will combine lectures, discussions of readings, hands-on-work with primary materials in the Warburg Institute, and visits to relevant collections around London (including the National Gallery, British Museum and Victoria and Albert Museum).

Each week may be booked as a separate 5-day course, or together as an integrated two-week programme. Booking will open soon. If you would like to be notified when the course is available to book please email us at warburg@sas.ac.uk.

The Warburg Institute is located at Woburn Square in Bloomsbury, London. It has a history unlike any other institution within the humanities, being home to such luminaries as Ernst Gombrich,Frances Yates and Michael Baxandall. Its outstanding achievements within various fields of research - art history as well as history of philosophy, religion or sciences - are reflected in the intellectual culture of the Institute today and materially accessible due to what is probably ‘the most complete institutional archive within the humanities’ (Elizabeth Sears, University of Michigan). The Warburg Institute Summer School is a unique opportunity to engage with this history and its big ideas by working with original archival documents, books and images.

Please see below for the full two-week programme. 

Fees

TBC.

Please note that there will be two full fee bursaries available and details of how to apply for them will be published when the Summer School opens for payment.

 

    

 

Full Programme

Conveners: Professor Bill Sherman (Director, Warburg Institute) and Dr. Johannes von Müller (Bilderfahrzeuge Research Project). Seminars will be taught by staff of the Warburg Institute and associates of the research project ‘Bilderfahrzeuge: Aby Warburg’s Legacy and the Future of Iconology’

Week 1 | A Visual Theory of Civilisation: Aby Warburg and his Bilderatlas 

Students will be introduced to the work of Aby Warburg and his theory of a history of civilisation. They will have the exclusive opportunity to explore the rich collections of the Institute reflecting its unique intellectual history. A particular focus will lie on Warburg’s famous Bilderatlas Mnemosyne, its materials, methodologies and its aftermath.

  • Monday – The Warburg Insitute, its history and the Bilderatlas

Welcome and introduction to the Bilderatlas; introduction to collections; screening of Warburg film; opening reception

  • Tuesday  – Tracing Memory: Introduction to the Bilderatlas

Reading of selected texts by Aby Warburg; discussion of individual panels of the Bilderatlas; introduction to group work (in response to a contemporary image, each group of students will construct a visual essay using materials from the Institute’s Photographic Collection)

  • Wednesday  – Materialising Memory: Photographic Reproductions

Visit to the National Gallery; reading of selected texts by Aby Warburg; discussion of individual panels of the Bilderatlas; group work; keynote lecture

  • Thursday – Politicising Memory: Contemporary History and Newspapers

Reading of selected texts by Aby Warburg; discussion of materials of the Institute’s Archive and Photographic Collection; group work

  • Friday – Exhibiting Memory: Survival od the Bilderatlas 

Visit to the Victoria and Albert Museum; discussion of concepts of exhibiting memory in research, museums and contemporary art; presentations of group work; closing reception

Week 2 | A Material History of Knowledge: The Warburg Institute and its Collections

Students will be introduced to the pertinent history of the organisation of knowledge. The Warburg Institute not only holds in its collections materials most relevant to the study of this field, but the organisation of its own collections serves as an exemplary case which will be examined in depth. Thus, students will have the opportunity to familiarise themselves with the world-famous structure of the Warburg Institute, the history of scholarship that it brought forth, and the material traces that it left.

  • Monday – The Warburg Institute’s Organisation of Knowledge

Welcome and introduction to Institute’s structure of knowledge; presentation of collections; screening of Warburg film; opening reception

  • Tuesday – Action: From Collection to Discipline

Reading of selected texts on the history of the Warburg Institute and the organisation of knowledge; visit to the British Museum, Enlightenment Galleries, introduction to group work (each group of students will survey a specific collection in Bloomsbury considering its organisation of knowledge, and select exemplary elements of these museums which they will reassemble in a new, reflective structure)

  • Wednesday – Orientation: Space, Cosmos, Clue

Reading of selected texts by scholars who have been working with the Warburg Library in Hamburg and London; group work with visits to respective collections

  • Thursday – Image: Knowledge and Style

Reading of selected texts by scholars inspired by the Warburgian paradigm of organisation; group work with visits to respective collections; keynote lecture

  • Friday – Word: From Page to Library

Discussion of the history of organising and translating knowledge; discussion of materials from the Institute’s library; presentation of group works.

 

Please note that lunch and refreshments will be included each day.

 


...it has significantly changed my approach to studies and research - perhaps even the ultimate goal of my studies...