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Art History CFPs for RSA 2018 New Orleans
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This blog is for CFPs for sessions in art history for RSA 2018 New Orleans. Members may post CFPs here: sign in to RSA and select "add new post" to do so. Your post should include a title, and the CFP itself should be no longer than 250 words. Adding tags (key words) to your post will help others find your CFP. Make sure the CFP includes the organizer's name, email address or mail-to link for email address, and a deadline for proposals. Non-members may email to post a CFP. Please use the email address of the session organizer posted in the CFP to submit a paper proposal. CFPs are posted in order of receipt, with the newest postings appearing at the top of the blog. Members may subscribe to the blog to be notified when new CFPs are posted: click on the word Subscribe next to the green checkmark above.


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Top tags: Art history  early modern  Art  Renaissance  Italy  materiality  Historiography  sculpture  architecture  body  devotion  Early Modernity  image and text  New Approaches  painting  Netherlandish  patronage  Artistic practice  Baroque  senses  sensory experience  technologies  Visual Culture  Americas  antiquarianism  artistic process  Book History  fashion  Geography  History of Science 

Self-Fashioning and Re-fashioning the Renaissance

Posted By Imogen Tedbury, Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Every major artistic, political, and ecclesiastical figure of the Renaissance consciously manipulated their public image, intentionally fashioning how diverse audiences in different contexts would perceive them. The creation of these personae rendered both identifying features and historical narratives malleable. This practice often extended beyond the self, with lineages traced to fantastic origins, remembered ancestors glorified through manipulated memory, and the narrative of historical events rewritten. Since the Renaissance, nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century scholarship has created new mythologies around these same Renaissance figures, sometimes derived from their original personae but often re-fashioned from more recent conceptions of history, patronage, art, or literature. In some instances, Renaissance self-fashioning has become obscured by the re-fashioned mythologies of scholarship.

At forty years’ distance from Stephen Greenblatt’s Renaissance Self-Fashioning and in light of recent research re-examining the reception of Renaissance art in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, this panel seeks to interrogate the relationship between Renaissance and modern mythologies. It aims to reconsider present-day conceptions of major artistic, political, and ecclesiastical individuals based on (or contrasting with) the crafting of identity in the Renaissance period, alongside mythologies now recognized as modern lore. We welcome proposals that explore the Renaissance self-fashioning and modern re-fashioning of figures from 1300-1700 throughout Europe. Topics might include, but are not limited to:

       Case studies and Comparisons: The reassessment of a Renaissance figure (artistic, political, ecclesiastical, etc.) and their contemporary or modern mythology; a discussion of an understudied individual who has remained overlooked; the examination of a figure who has had a cyclical resurgence of scholarship over the past centuries

       Reception Networks: The investigation of the relationship between patron, artist/writer, public, and/or scholar in the development of both modern and Renaissance myths

       Sources and Resources: Parallels and/or disjunctions between the art, literature, etc. that contributed to a figure's public image, the archival sources that fueled nineteenth or twentieth-century scholarship, and/or contemporary conceptions of an individual, including political, geographical, and personal agendas

Papers are welcome from multiple fields (art history, history, literature, sociology, etc.). Please send 150-word abstracts and a brief CV (see RSA guidelines here) to Alexander J. Noelle ( and Imogen Tedbury ( by Sunday 4th June 2017.

Tags:  Art  Art history  Historiography  identity  memory  reception  Renaissance  representation  representations 

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The Far North in the Early Modern Imagination

Posted By Kjell Wangensteen, Monday, May 22, 2017

Since at least the time of Hesiod, the land of the far north has been described in wondrous, exotic, and even paradisiacal terms.  The Hyperboreans—those living “beyond the north wind”—were extolled by Pindar as an especially peaceful and long-lived race.  In his famous Historia de Gentibus Septentrionalibus (History of the Northern Peoples), printed in Rome in 1555, the exiled Swedish archbishop Olaus Magnus (1490-1557) described his homeland as a place of noble warriors, strange myths, fantastic beasts, and extraordinary natural phenomena.  Magnus’s account was reprinted in numerous editions and translated into six languages, stoking interest throughout Europe in the far north and its inhabitants.  Well into the seventeenth century, this fascination manifested in nearly all aspects of European culture, from politics and literature to art and the natural sciences. 

This session invites papers from a variety of disciplines that investigate and interpret the early modern understanding of the far north (broadly defined), from the sixteenth century through the beginning of the eighteenth.  Topics may include travel accounts to northern climes and their reception, contemporary visual depictions of the lands and people of the far north, the discovery and publication of rune stones and other pre-Christian archaeological finds, historical claims to Gothic lineage and their use for political ends, the construction of patriotic narratives and mythologies, and the study, depiction, and analysis of northern flora and fauna.

Please email paper proposals, including a title and abstract of approximately 150 words, as well as a list of keywords, a current C.V. and a short bio (300-word maximum) to Kjell Wangensteen ( by Saturday, June 3.

Tags:  Art History  History  History of Science  Landscape  Northern Europe  Scandinavia  Travel Accounts 

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Mimesis and Fantasy in Early Modern Spanish Art

Posted By Elizabeth Gansen, Monday, May 22, 2017

We invite papers that offer new approaches to the study of the relationship between imitation and imagination in early modern Spanish artistic theory and practice.  Recent scholarship on Spanish artistic theory in general has revealed that, rather than slavishly following Italian examples, Spanish writers and artists produced nuanced and complex aesthetics.  While many authors and artists were undoubtedly interested in Italian developments, they were also invested in their own study of ancient ideas on the subject. Expanding beyond Plato’s definitions, Spanish visual and textual discourses on the uses of mimesis and fantasy suggest that the understanding of visual representation was both auspicious and problematic, extending beyond the artistic realm to encompass all human activity.

We seek contributions to the broadening understanding of these topics.  Papers may focus on a variety of issues and approaches, such as the elaboration of aesthetic ideas in textual or pictorial form, the impact of ideas in artistic practice, the influence of aesthetics on the development of new techniques or conventions, and the relationship of art to ideology.

Please email proposals to both Elizabeth Gansen ( and Alejandra Gimenez-Berger  ( by June 3rd, 2017. Proposals should adhere to RSA guidelines and include a paper title (15-word maximum), an abstract (150-word maximum), keywords, and a very brief curriculum vitae (300-word maximum).

Tags:  Art history  Artistic practice  Artistic theory  Book history  Image and text  Spain 


Sculpture in Rome, 1450 – 1650: New Perspectives

Posted By Joris van Gastel, Wednesday, May 17, 2017
Updated: Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Sculpture in Early Modern Rome has always enjoyed much attention. Indeed, a number of renowned artists working in Rome – first and foremost Michelangelo Buonarroti and Gian Lorenzo Bernini – have been extensively studied, as have specific kinds of monuments, such as papal tombs. Yet, many other aspects have been explored only more recently. Archival discoveries, more in-depth studies of lesser-known artists and their patrons, and a focus on more theoretical questions, have led to a wealth of new insights in Roman sculpture and its context. This session invites papers that develop a new perspective on sculpture in Rome between c. 1450 an 1650, either by offering a new reading of well-known works or by drawing attention to hitherto lesser known sculptures or less studied aspects of sculpture as an art.

Topics of interest include, but are not confined to: individual artists, workshop practice, specific commissions and works of art, the relationship between patrons and artists, the social and/or political dimension of particular commissions, contemporary perception and critical debates.

As required by the RSA, proposals should include a paper title (15-word maximum), an abstract (150-word maximum), keywords, and a very brief curriculum vitae.

Deadline: 31 May 2017

Please send your proposals to Joris van Gastel ( and Johannes Röll (


Tags:  Rome  Sculpture 

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Conchophilia: Shells as Exotica in the Early Modern World

Posted By Marisa A. Bass, Wednesday, May 17, 2017
Updated: Saturday, May 20, 2017

Amidst the extraordinary efflorescence of commerce and culture in early modernity, shells were objects of particular curiosity and value. Often hard to come by and always expensive, they participated in one of the period’s signal developments: the passion for rare and unusual objects of distant or mysterious origin.

This session singles out the shell among other popular exotica, which ranged from bezoar stones and feathers to lacquerware and textiles—from naturalia and artificilia to some combination thereof. Shells were intrinsically prized, but they were also transformed into elaborate drinking vessels, their surfaces manipulated with virtuosic relief, engraving, and chemical processes. Indeed, shells were simultaneous subjects of intellectual inquiry and natural history, their origins linked to fossils and the Flood, and their forms studied for a mathematical complexity that aligned them with the wonders of divine creation. Their representation in innumerable contemporary paintings and prints—from still lifes to depictions of collector’s cabinets—further attests to their manifold significance.   

We invite papers that address any aspect of shell crafting, collecting, study, and/or representation from the sixteenth to the eighteenth century. Especially welcome are proposals that consider how shells and their complex biographies embody the practices, social configurations, and politics of early modern connoisseurship; that query the extent to which the topos of play between art and nature is sufficient for describing nautilus cups and other such combinatory creations; or that address the archeology of shells in terms of materiality, handling, and the historical record.

Please send a brief abstract (no more than 150 words), and a brief curriculum vitae (300-word maximum in outline form) to Marisa Bass (, Anne Goldgar (, Hanneke Grootenboer (, and Claudia Swan ( Anne by Wednesday, May 31, 2017.

Tags:  collecting culture  commerce  early modern art  exotica  fossils  Italy  kunstkammers  natural history  nautilus cups  Netherlandish  Netherlands  Renaissance art  shells  still life  wonder 

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Assessing the Venetian Artists of the Sette Maniere

Posted By Maria Aresin, Tuesday, May 16, 2017

As early as 1557 Ludovico Dolce foresaw the end of the great Venetian painting tradition that he believed had reached the apex of innovation and quality with the achievements of Titian. At the conclusion of Dolce’s Dialogo della Pittura Aretino gives voice to this worry: “E di presente io temo, che la Pittura non torni a smarrirsi un’altra volta: percioche de’ giovani non si vede risorgere alcuno, che dia speranza di dover pervenire a qualche honesta eccelllenza...” Dolce’s proclamation of the end of what later became known as the golden period of Venetian Renaissance painting was also expressed by a number of writers after him, cementing the idea that subsequent to the deaths of Titian (1576), Veronese (1588) and Tintoretto (1594), Venetian painting fell into sharp decline.

The panel seeks to break with the rhetorical trope of the death or Crisis of the Venetian Renaissance Tradition (Rosand) by focusing on the group of seven artists active in the first half of the Seicento described by the art critic Marco Boschini in his Breve Instruzione of the 1674 edition of Le ricche minere:
“Da questi gran Maestri dell’Arte sono poi derivati infiniti Pittori di moltissima stima, ed in particolare ce ne sono al numero di sette, che hanno osservate le pedate di tre, cioè di Tiziano, del Tintoretto e di Paolo Veronese, e per questa cagione tengono molta simpatia fra di loro. Il Primo è Giacomo Palma il Giovine (così chiamato a distinzione del Vecchio); il secondo Leonardo Corona da Murano; il terzo Andrea Vicentino; il quarto Santo Peranda; il quinto Antonio Aliense; il sesto Pietro Malombra; il settimo Girolamo Pilotto. Molte volte, chi non è pratico del loro operare non è così pronto a farne di essi la distinzione.”

Almost completely neglected by art history, Boschini coined the term Sette Maniere for these painters, grouping these individuals together due to the fact that their works were very difficult to distinguish from one another.

The panel will consider counter-arguments to the accepted judgment of the abrupt end of the Venetian painting legacy at the end of the Cinquecento, and seeks to instead promote the idea of a continuity in the Venetian tradition in the Seicento. By focusing on the understudied, yet prolific group of artists of the Sette Maniere, we wish to shed new light on the artistic contributions they made to Venetian painting in the seventeenth century. This panel will also pose questions relating to the domination of the production of paintings in Venice by these artists in the Seicento, as well as considering artistic quality as the basis for art historical study. To put it bluntly, despite their ubiquity in Venice, have Palma il Giovane and his contemporaries been underrated, or are they simply not very good artists? 

 Please send an abstract (max. 150 words) and a short CV (max. 300 words) in a single PDF to and by May 25, 2017. 

Tags:  Andrea Vicentino  Antonio Vassilacchi  Girolamo Pilotto  Leonardo Corona  Palma il Giovane  Pietro Malombra  Sante Peranda  Sette Maniere  Venetian Art  Venice Seicento 

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First Impressions - ‘Urbs ab alia’ Printers in Renaissance Venice

Posted By Sally A. Hickson, Tuesday, May 16, 2017
This session explores printers from other Italian cities who visited, worked in or even settled in Venice and their role in the development of Venetian print culture in the sixteenth century.  Printers and publishers were conduits for intellectual, artistic and financial exchanges among the key Italian centres; the print shops of Venice constituted an early form of ‘social media’. Papers should examine the presses, publications and interactions between Tuscan, Florentine, Roman, Ferrarese and other Italian printers and Venetian publishing houses, print professionals, editors, investors or consumers.  Aldus Manutius, Anton Francesco Doni, Francesco Marcolini, Gabriele Giolito, Tommaso Porcacchi – all came from cities outside of Venice and established themselves as Venetian publishers; how did they obtain licences, properties, presses, platens, access to letterpress manufacturers, ink and paper; how did they find and employ woodcutters and engravers for illustrations; what were the costs, margins and profits; what was the nature of second-hand trade in resources – mechanical and human – from shop to shop?  How did printers who arrived as strangers establish themselves socially, economically, intellectually and professionally in Venice? Please send proposals to Sally Hickson ( and/or Sharon Gregory ( by 30 May 2017.

Tags:  book history  intra-urban relations  presses  print history  printers  publishers  Venice 


Violence and the Body in the City: 1300-1650

Posted By Jonathan Davies, Monday, May 15, 2017

‘The Body in the City, 1100-1800’ Focus Program of The Prato Consortium for Medieval and Renaissance Studies (University of Amsterdam, State University of Arizona, University of Edinburgh, University of Toronto, Birkbeck and Queen Mary Colleges at the University of London, Monash University, Warwick University, Archivio di Stato di Prato) is investigating the complex, diverse, and multi-layered realities and understandings of ‘the body’ in medieval and early modern societies. The research program encompasses various disciplines – art, architecture, literature, medicine, politics, religion, gender, society – and focusses on archival, textual, visual and environmental materials.  The geographic focus of the project is Italy, though comparative locations (including the New World) are welcome.


The PCMRS will be sponsoring up to three sessions on violence and the body in the city at the Renaissance Society of America Conference for the 2018 annual meeting, to be held in New Orleans next spring, 22-24 March 2018.

In relation to the idea and reality of ‘violence and the body in the city 1300-1650’ topics of interest for submission include, but are not limited to:

-          physical violence

-          verbal violence

-          ritual violence

-          private and public space

-          gender and violence

-          health care

-          justice and punishment

-          representations of violence


We welcome abstracts for 20-minute presentations. Please send a 150-word abstract (inclusive of keywords) and a 300-word curriculum vitae to by 26 May 2017 (sample CVs are available on the RSA website:

Tags:  body  gender  health  insult  justice  private  public  punishment  representations  ritual  violence 

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Revisiting Reproductive Printmaking

Posted By Amy R. Frederick, Monday, May 15, 2017
Updated: Monday, May 15, 2017

Historians of Netherlandish Art (HNA) Sponsored Session

Twenty-five years ago, Walter Melion, Timothy Riggs, and Larry Silver brought attention to the understudied subject of reproductive engraving in northern Europe with the exhibition and its accompanying catalogue, Graven Images: The Rise of Professional Printmaking in Antwerp and Haarlem 1540-1640. Their essays explored the work of individual artists, the processes of technique and dissemination, and contemporary writing about reproductive engraving.

In the ensuing quarter-century, with notable exceptions such as the Paper Museums exhibition and catalogue (2005), we have not returned to the topic of Netherlandish reproductive printmaking with sustained focus. Through deepening scholarly interest in early modern print culture over the same 25 years, how has our understanding of specifically the reproductive print changed? What can be learned, for example, from studies of reproductive printmaking centered in the Netherlands vs. a broader geographical conception of the subject? Does knowledge about how gender functioned in the early modern artistic workshop expand our perspective on reproductive printmaking? Papers are invited that address any aspect of our changing notion of the Netherlandish reproductive print from 1350-1750.

Proposals should be 20-minutes papers and must include a title, abstract of no more than 150 words, keywords, and a C.V. of 300 words (no prose), and a short bio. Speakers will need to be members of RSA at the time of the conference.

Please send your submission to Amy Frederick ( by 26 May 2017. Applicants will be notified by 1 June. 

Tags:  art history  early modern  engraving  Netherlandish  printmaking 

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CFP: New Directions in Dress and Identity Research

Posted By Lauren G. Kilroy-Ewbank, Monday, May 15, 2017

We seek papers that examine the importance of dress, the body, and ethnicity in the formation of early modern identities across the globe. Topics could include the socio-cultural contexts of dress, the use of dress to communicate or encode ethnic identity (or identities), body modification, clothing and embodiment, fashion and its connection to cross-cultural trade and consumption, the relationship between dress, adornment, and gender, etc. New approaches to the study of the body, dress, and ethnicity are encouraged. We especially welcome papers that address these issues outside of the confines of Western Europe, including but not limited to the Americas, Africa, and Asia.

Please email proposals to both Elena FitzPatrick Sifford ( and Lauren Kilroy-Ewbank (lauren.kilroy@pepperdine.eduby Friday, 2 June 2017. Proposals should include:

  • paper title (15-word maximum)
  • abstract (150-word maximum)
  • keywords related to the presentation
  • curriculum vitae (300-word maximum)
  • AV requirements

Tags:  art history  dress  early modern  ethnicity  fashion  global turn  identity 

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