Past Event

Branner Forum: Katherine Boivin (Associate Professor, Bard College), "Bridge Encounters"

November 30, 2023
6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
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612 Schermerhorn Hall

"Bridge Encounters"

Thursday, November 30th, 6:00 PM ET

612 Schermerhorn Hall, Columbia University

Chapels were once the most common type of structure found on medieval bridges throughout Europe, though today only few survive. Focusing on fifteenth-century examples from Germany and Switzerland, this talk considers medieval bridge chapels as small spaces that contoured the experience of travelers across bridges. Sited at the heart of a series of encounters, often at the threshold of a town, bridge chapels engaged the passerby, imbricating them into systems of identification predicated on the bridge as a site of collective striving. Bridge chapels thus raise questions about how the built environment helped constitute medieval subjectivity and community.