Full Details

Friday, November 2

Erwin Panofsky in Translation
11:00 am to 3:00 pm
Shirin Fozi
602 Cathedral of Learning
Sponsored by:
European Studies Center along with Department of History of Art and Architecture, Department of Medieval & Renaissance Studies, Department of Jewish Studies and Humanities Center
Karoline Swiontek
Contact Email:

Speakers: Sonja Drimmer (University of Massachusetts, Amherst), Josh Ellenbogen (University of Pittsburgh), Jacqueline Jung (Yale University), and Karl Whittington (The Ohio State University). Organizer: Shirin Fozi (University of Pittsburgh).

Fifty years after his passing, Erwin Panofsky (1892-1968) remains one of the most widely read art historians of the past century, and perhaps the single most influential figure in establishing (in his own phrase) "the history of art as a humanistic discipline." He also belongs to a generation of German Jewish scholars who began their careers in their native country but were displaced by World War II, and eventually came to North America where they had a profound impact on Anglophone scholarship. In Panofsky's case this has led to an odd but powerful historiographic divide: his early work, published in German, is still widely read in Europe but scarcely known in the United States -- especially compared to his later, widely renowned English-language publications.

This colloquium seeks to address that gap by bringing together a small, focused group of scholars to address Panofsky's early work in a set of new, unpublished translations. Participants will read pre-circulated English versions of three texts: "The Problem of Style" (1915), German Sculpture of the Eleventh through Thirteenth Centuries (1924), and "Imago Pietatis" (1927). The colloquium will be an opportunity to discuss the essays, consider their position in the humanities today, and also reflect on the process of translation as a means of increasing access to a pivotal era of transatlantic scholarly exchange.

Interested participants must RSVP to Karoline Swiontek (karoline@pitt.edu) no later than Friday, October 26. Participation is open to all, but space is limited and RSVPs are required in order to receive access to the pre-circulated texts. Coffee and a light lunch will be served.