The IZMF/IMAREAL Conference 2023 is dedicated to the relationship between materiality and virtuality in the pre-modern era.

Materiality and virtuality do not form an irreconcilable binary opposition, but in their productive interplay create the texture of meanings from which “realities” are made. Based on the assumption that people produce culture in ever new processes of negotiation in the interplay of virtuality and materiality, the contributions are particularly interested in the extent to which people generate virtuality and the extent to which they require sensual points of reference and connection in and with the material world.

The potential associated with the virtualisation of research data and the various stages of modelling and analysis will also be reflected upon, in particular the challenges associated with the digital transformation of material objects.

The contributions to the interdisciplinary conference will discuss the following topics: Materiality and Virtuality in the History of Knowledge | Visualisation of Materiality and Virtuality | Perception of Materiality and Virtuality | Materiality and Virtuality in Space | Manuscripts Between Materiality and Virtuality.

You can download the programme here!

Conference Programme

19 September


Opening of the Conference

Christina Antenhofer/Elisabeth Gruber/Alexander Zerfaß, Salzburg


Materiality and Virtuality in the History of Knowledge

Chair: Alexander Zerfaß, Salzburg

Virtual Materialities in the History of Substances: Understanding the Emergence of “Modern” Raw Materials between the 18th and 19th Centuries

Sebastian Haumann, Salzburg

Materialität als Potenzialität zur Aufnahme von Form. Die Rolle der Materie im Platonismus der Spätantike

Christian Pietsch, Münster

16.45–17.15 Coffee


Visualizing Materiality and Virtuality

Chair: Barbara Denicolò, Salzburg

Virtuality through Materiality. Grave Monuments as a Medial Strategy of Visualizing the Dead on the Example of Klosterneuburg Abbey

Edith Kapeller | Julia Anna Schön, Vienna

Museum Materialities in-between Virtual Objects and Digital Materials

Chiara Zuanni, Graz



Chair: Christina Antenhofer, Salzburg

Cadavers, Dead Bodies, and Human Biomaterials – The Sliding Scale of Human Remains in Mortuary Ritual, Cultural Heritage, and Research Ethics

Liv Nilsson Stutz, Växjö/Sweden


Karin Harrasser, Linz

20 September


Sensing Materiality and Virtuality I

Chair: Matthias Däumer, Krems

Virtual Insanity Is What We Are Living in. Attempt at a Systematic Concept of Virtuality (on the Basis of Medieval Afterlife Journeys)

Matthias Däumer, Krems

Durch auflegung des wunter detigen gnaten stein ist mir geholfen wortenPhysical Contact as a Practice of Mediating Salvation Using the Example of the so-called ›Fraisensteine‹ from the Pilgrimage Destination Sonntagberg (Lower Austria)

Thomas Kühtreiber/Sabine Miesgang, Krems

10.30–11.00 Coffee


Sensing Materiality and Virtuality II

Chair: Matthias Däumer, Krems

Insights into the Mechanisms of Materiality and Virtuality. Using the Example of the Lucerne Weinmarkt Plays

Heidy Greco-Kaufmann, Bern

Apple Variation. Case Studies from the Latin Middle Ages

Katja Weidner, Vienna

12.30–14.00 Lunch


Materiality and Virtuality in Space

Chair: Thomas Kühtreiber, Krems

Built Space and Virtual Space: Remodeling the Historical Rooms of Hohensalzburg from Material and Written Sources

Christina Antenhofer/Walter Brandstätter | Stefan Zedlacher, Salzburg

Inventing a Medieval Liberty in the Landscape: Materiality, Virtuality, and the Liberty of Whitby Strand

Thomas Pickles, Chester

Representing the Absent King? Material Dimensions of Royal Presence in Late Medieval France

Michael Brauer, Salzburg



IMC Piaristengasse

Chair: Elisabeth Gruber, Krems

Materiality and Virtuality, Reconstructing and Exploring the Past Through Objects: Mobility of Objects Across Boundaries 1000–1700

Katherine Wilson, Chester


21 September


Manuscripts between Materiality and Virtuality

Chair: Manfred Kern, Salzburg

The Codex Manesse in TEI format. Towards a Transcription Database for Manuscript C (Große Heidelberger Liederhandschrift, cpg 848)

Claudia Maria Kraml | Dominik Nießl, Augsburg

New Imaging Technologies and the Invisible Materiality of the Book

Sean Winslow, Graz

The Fascination for Materiality and the Hiatus between Editorial Practice and Literary Criticism. Some Remarks on the Omnipresence of Virtual Manuscripts

Florian Kragl, Erlangen



Christina Antenhofer | Elisabeth Gruber | Alexander Zerfaß, Salzburg