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Art History CFPs for RSA 2018 New Orleans
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Renaissance Skin

Posted By Hannah Murphy, Monday, April 24, 2017
Updated: Friday, May 26, 2017

We are seeking papers interrogating conceptions and practices of and around skin in early modern Europe. From Galen through to Mercurialis, medical writing on skin conceptualized it as a porous boundary to the body. Health depended on protecting skin, but also breaking it, and a wide range of cosmetic, fashion and medical practices converged on skin as a site of dangerous invasion, but also a site of important excretion, where waste, ill-humours and infections could leave the body. As a surface, skin was a site of diagnosis, but also artistic fascination and cultural preoccupation, while the relationship between hair, feathers and fur was a subject of great interest to natural historians and artists alike. Skin and the practices one should and could acceptably do it clarified links, but also differences between humans and animals.

Exploring skin by necessity cuts across disciplinary concerns and invites us to think across, rather than within, medicine, art and craft practices, as well as along political and religious lines. All papers relating to skin are welcome - we hope to collect and display new approaches to this subject, and better shape our understanding of its possibilities and its methodologies.

Anyone interested should submit a title, 150 word abstract and short CV (300 words) to the panel organizers Hannah Murphy and Evelyn Welch at by May 29th.

Tags:  anatomy  art  artisans  body  cosmetics  fashion  medicine  patients  recipes  skin  surgeons  technologies  touch 

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