Welcome back! Join us for the first Clareity event of the year. Come listen to Alexandra Clarà Saracho discuss sustainable engineering and design for dams, and Maria Harvey explore the role of the visual arts in creating hybrid religious communities in southern Italy. As always pizza, snacks, wine, and other drinks provided!
Please read the abstracts below
‘Ageing and sustainable management of earth embankment dams’
Dams are structures tightly connected with the environment; they provide drought and flood protection, water provision, and energy. However, their failure can be catastrophic. This research first describes the results of an inductive analysis of failures and incidents of earth embankment dams, showing that internal erosion is the greatest hazard. To date, the most common approach to bind soil particles together has been to inject grout, despite being toxic, difficult to distribute uniformly, and having a high-energy demand. As a result, there is a societal need to develop sustainable soil improvement techniques. Bio-mediated geochemical processes, such as MICP (or microbially induced calcite precipitation), could be tailored for preventing or slowing down the migration of upstream finer particles through a downstream coarse material.
‘It’s all Greek to me: cross-confessional identity and interaction in late medieval Southern Italian churches’
How are visual arts used to express identity? What elements make a church Latin? What does it mean that a church ‘looks Orthodox’? How were churches built in an area where both Greek and Latin Christians lived? And what did they look like?
These are some of the core questions of my PhD, which is based on the case study of the church of Santa Caterina (1385-91) at Galatina, in Salento, the heel of the Italian boot. There, Orthodoxy survived until the early 1900s and Italians continue to speak a dialect heavily influenced by Greek. The church was founded with the specific aim of bringing Latin-rite to a majority Greek-speaking town, and its architecture and fresco decoration refer to both Greek and Latin traditions in order to communicate with both communities. By using Santa Caterina as a case study, I will consider some of the more wide-ranging questions on identity and visual arts, exploring how identity is communicated and mediated, continuously appropriated and constructed, forged and reclaimed.