CFP: ICMS Kalamazoo 2020

Remembering Robert Mark and Andrew Tallon 

  • I: Personal Perspectives (A Roundtable)
  • II: Interdisciplinarity in Studying Gothic
  • III: Gothic Structure
  • IV: Notre-Dame in Paris

Contact: Robert Bork, 150 Art Building West, The University of Iowa, North Riverside Drive, Iowa City, IA 52242-7000. Email:

Session #1: Remembering Robert Mark and Andrew Tallon, I: Personal Perspectives (A Roundtable)

In the past year, the world of Gothic architectural scholarship lost two particularly valuable contributors: Robert Mark, who first applied modern analytical techniques to the study of Gothic structure, and his former student Andrew Tallon, who pioneered the LiDAR scanning of Gothic churches while developing the “Mapping Gothic France” project in conjunction with Stephen Murray and Rory O’Neill.  Both Robert and Andrew had unique skills, which they generously shared with broad networks of students and collaborators.  This roundtable discussion will feature comments from scholars most directly touched by their work, exploring how it contributed to the development of the field.

Session #2 Remembering Robert Mark and Andrew Tallon, II: Interdisciplinarity in studying Gothic

The study of Gothic architecture can benefit greatly from interdisciplinary perspectives.  The portfolio of Villard de Honnecourt, AVISTA’s “patron saint,” attests clearly to the broad curiosity of its thirteenth-century author. In the past half-century, Robert Mark came to study Gothic after a career as an engineer, and Andrew Tallon began his studies in musicology, while other contributors to the discussion of Gothic have trained in fields as diverse as physics and studio art. This session seeks papers that explore the roles of inter- and cross-disciplinarity in the study of Gothic architecture.

Keywords: Gothic, architecture, interdisciplinary, engineering, acoustics, musicology

Session #3: Remembering Robert Mark and Andrew Tallon, III: Gothic Structure

Gothic buildings continue to impress viewers today in large part because of their scale and structural audacity. Robert Mark was among the first to bring modern engineering techniques to bear on the study of Gothic structure, and Andrew Tallon’s LiDAR scans provide valuable data on the way that Gothic buildings have deformed over time.  This session seeks papers that offer perspectives on the structural performance of Gothic buildings, and on the changing tools and techniques that allow current scholars to study these questions. 

Keywords: Gothic, Architecture, structure, engineering, LiDAR, deformation

Session #4: Remembering Robert Mark and Andrew Tallon, V: Notre-Dame in Paris

Notre-Dame in Paris occupies a crucial place in the history and historiography of Gothic architecture.  With iconic façade and dramatic flying buttresses, the cathedral defines the heart of the French capital, a fact recognized by Victor Hugo and underscored last year by the worldwide attention to the dramatic fire that destroyed its roof and nineteenth-century spire.  Robert Mark and Andrew Tallon both contributed significantly to the scholarly discussion of Notre-Dame, paying particular attention to its design history and structural performance.  In that spirit, this session seeks papers offering fresh perspectives on this great church, and on its place in history. 

Keywords: Gothic, architecture, Paris, Notre-Dame, structure, historiography

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