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Theater and Festival in Early Modern Europe

Posted By Francesca Bortoletti, Wednesday, May 25, 2016
Updated: Friday, May 27, 2016

Organizers: Francesca Bortoletti (University of Minnesota) and Janet Smarr (UC San Diego)

The Renaissance Theater found its most extensive formalizing unit in the Court Festival. The festival is an extraordinary political event and a unique vehicle of transmission of classical imagery in which different privileged forms of spectacle and dramas coexist as part of a coherent project that generates new form of poetry, visual arts and drama.  Might Renaissance festival and theater be considered a living (or performing) archive? In what terms can scholars recompose the festive events and grasp the traces that the performance leaves? What role do literary and dramatic texts play in the festival’s transmission process of classical heritage and the adaptation of the classical culture in the European Renaissance court theater and festivals?
Presentations should examine single festivals or works, concepts, drama and challenges of Renaissance poets, performer or artists  (playwrights, designers, architects, ‘ordinatori’, companies, etc.), highlight/examine pivotal contributions, or, present scholarly/professional ideas towards the advancement of Festival and Theatre.

Presentations may highlight (but are not limited to) the following areas:
The survival of Antiquity in the Renaissance Festivals
Performances of Greek and Roman plays in Renaissance Festival
Ancient Epic in Renaissance Festivals, triumphal entries, and ceremonies
Afterlife of Ovid in the Renaissance festival and mythological drama
Afterlife of Virgil in the Renaissance festival and pastoral drama
Music, poetry and drama in Renaissance festivals
Renaissance festivals and emblems
Renaissance festivals and arts
Strategies of Imitation and Innovation
Data research in Digital Humanities

Please contact Francesca Bortoletti ( by June 3rd with proposals

All proposals should include:

  • a paper title 
  • abstract (150-word maximum) 
  • keywords for your paper 
  • a very brief curriculum vitae (300-word maximum)


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