CONF Dec 7, 2017

The Icon as Cultural Model (Amsterdam, 25-26 Jan 18)

Amsterdam, Jan 25–26, 2018
Registration deadline: Jan 20, 2018

Marieke Winkler

International Conference 'The Icon as Cultural Model: Past, Present and Future'


On Thursday 25th and Friday 26th of January 2018 the Humanities Department of the Open University the Netherlands organizes the international conference ‘The Icon as Cultural Model: Past, Present and Future’.
Keynotes by prof.dr. Ann Rigney (Utrecht University), prof.dr. Kees Ribbens (NOID, Erasmus University), prof.dr. Jeroen Stumpel (Utrecht University) and prof. Ginette Vincendeau (King's College London).

The conference brings together scholars from various disciplines such as art history, literary studies, media studies, philosophy and history, to stimulate interdisciplinary reflection on how the study of cultural icons may contribute to our understanding of the dynamics of culture in general.
How do specific historical events, persons or places become iconic? How do artifacts such as novels, paintings, sculptures, and films construct iconic images of the past and/or future? Who attributes power to the icon? How, why and by whom is its cultural meaning altered? And why at present does the search, and explication of, cultural models occurs to be highly relevant?
During this two-day conference we will be investigating these, and related questions to further our understanding of the diverse ways the icon has functioned and still functions as a cultural model.


DAY I (January 25th)
Venue: PC Hoofthuis, Spuistraat 134, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

9.30 Welcome (room 1.04)

9.45 Keynote by prof. Ann Rigney (Utrecht University) (room 1.04)

11.00 Parallel Sessions:
What Iconic Narratives Can Teach Us (room 1.04)
- Pieter de Bruijn (Open University) – ‘Connecting Histories: Iconic Narrative Structures in Museum Exhibitions’
- Kirsten E. Kumpf Baele (The University of Iowa) – ‘Turning over a New Leaf: Pedagogical Opportunities of a Cultural Icon, Anne Frank’s Chestnut Tree’
- Jilt Jorritsma (Koninklijk Nederlands Historisch Gezelschap, KNHG) – ‘The Faustian Legacy of Das Abendland: A Cultural Model for Dealing with Unintended Consequences’
- Herman Simissen (Open University) – ‘Theodor Lessing and the Arbitrary Nature of Cultural Icons’

Iconic Persons as Cultural Models (room 1.05)
Nina Geerdink (University Utrecht) – ‘Vondel as an Iconic Model for Honourable Authorship’
Jeroen Vanheste (Open University) – ‘T.S. Eliot: the Rise and Fall of a Cultural Icon’
Erica van Boven (Open University) – ‘The Cover of Ik Jan Cremer’
Gaston Franssen (University of Amsterdam) – ‘Representing Science and Schizophrenia: John Nash as Icon of the Mad Genius’

13.00 Lunch

14.15 Parallel Sessions:

Spatial Dimensions of the Icon (room 1.04)
- Frank Inklaar (Open University) – ‘The Making of an Icon: Hanzestad Zwolle’
- Paul van den Akker (Open University) – ‘The Renaissance at a Glance. The Panoramic view of Florence’
- Rudi van Etteger & Kevin Raaphorst (Wageningen University) – ‘Central Park as Icon’
- Connell Vaughan (Dublin School of Creative Arts) – ‘The Enlisted Icon’

Icons, Objects & Materiality (room 1.05)
- Lieke van Deinsen & Jan de Hond (Rijksmuseum) – ‘The Sword and the Album. Johan van Oldebarnevelt (1547-1619) and his Tragic Death as Cultural Icons in the Early Modern Dutch Republic’
- Meghen Jones (Alfred University)– ‘Tea Bowls as National Treasures and Cultural Icons in 1950’s Japan’
- Breanne Robertson (Marine Corps University) – ‘Uncommon Valor as a Common Virtue: The Iwo Jima Flag Raising as Cultural Model’
- Maria Mackinnery-Valentin (The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts) – ‘The Necktie as Satorial Icon: Performing Contemporary Masculinity’

15.45 Coffee/tea

16.00 Keynote by prof. Ginette Vincendeau (King’s College London) (room 1.04)

18.00 Conference dinner

DAY II (January 26th)
Venue: Oude Manhuispoort 4-6, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

9.30 Keynote by prof. Kees Ribbens (NOID/Erasmus University) (room C.0.17)

10.45 Parallel Sessions:

Traveling Icons: Comparative Approaches (room C.0.17)
- Jan Oosterholt (Open University) – ‘The Iconicity of Lord Byron in the 19th Century Netherlands and Europe’
- Janneke van de Stadt (Williams College) – ‘Out from under Carrol’s Pinafore: Alice’s Adventures in Soviet Russia’
- Katherin Mann (Texas Tech University) – ‘The Irish Bridget and The American Gibson Girl’
- Rui Lopes (NOVA University of Lisbon) – ‘Lisbon as an Iconic Setting of Romantic Intrigue’
- Elisabeth Den Hartog (Open University) – ‘Plato’s Cave: an Icon of Lasting Appeal’

Icons, Popular Culture & Mediality (room C.1.17)
- Camille Rouquet (Paris Diderot University) – ‘Photojournalistic icons: models for reading wars and interpreting public opinion’
- Yvonne Delhey (Radboud University) – ‘Hitler Goes Pop. Reflections on the interaction between media representation and cultural memory’
- Eddo Evink (Open University) – ‘Che che che! The Icon in the Age of Digital Reproduction’
- Laura Rorato (University of Hull) – ‘Caravaggio a Pop(ular) Icon?’

12.30 Lunch

14.00 Parallel Sessions:

Re-writing the Icon: Political Dimensions of the Icon (room C.0.17)
- Catherine Makhumula (University of Malawi) – ‘Can a Cultural Icon Fall? #Rhodesmustfall and the Rewriting of Cultural Meaning’
- Veronique Bragard (UC Louvain) – ‘Decolonizing Belgium: Belgo-congolese Creative Revisions of Iconic Monuments’
- Maria Brock (Stockholm University) – ‘Lenin as Cultural Icon’
- Carla Zoethout (Open University) – The Fall of the Berlin Wall: from Communism to Liberalism to Illiberal Democracy’

Analyzing Visual Icons: In Search of a Definition (room C.1.17)
- Frauke Laarmann (Open University) – ‘The Recognizablity of the Visual Icon’
- Holly Crawford (AC Institute NYC) – ‘Mass Media Mouse and Artists: The Making and Appropriation of an Iconic Image’
- Adrienne Galosi (University of Pécs Hungary) – ‘Iconic Idols’
- Timea Andrea Lelik (Leiden University) – ‘Portraying the Icon: Unmasking the Image of the Cultural Model in the Work of Marlene Dumas’

15.30 Coffee/tea

15.45 Keynote by prof. Jeroen Stumpel (Utrecht University) (room C.0.17)

17.00 Closing remarks by dean prof. Rein de Wilde (Open University) (room C.0.17)

See the conference website for more information:

The conference takes place in Amsterdam and is supported by NICA (Netherlands Institute for Cultural Analysis).

To register for the conference use the registration form on our website. Admission: 30 euro's (regular)/10 euro's (PhD's and students).

We hope to welcome you in January!

dr. Marieke Winkler
(conference coordinator)

CONF: The Icon as Cultural Model (Amsterdam, 25-26 Jan 18). In:, Dec 7, 2017 (accessed Dec 7, 2021), <>.