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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 

L'Architettura che non c’è: Imagining and Reconstructing the Unbuilt in Early Modern Italy

Posted By Alexandra Dodson, Monday, May 15, 2017

The streets of Italian cities are littered with architectural specters: the buildings that were demolished by fire, war, and developing infrastructure, and the buildings that never were, those that were conceived but never born due to the lack of power, wealth, or labor. For this panel, we invite papers that resurrect and imagine the unbuilt environments of these cities. We seek proposals that reconstruct demolished or drastically renovated buildings, as well as papers that propose hypothetical constructions of buildings that were designed but never built. We encourage projects that utilize digital technology to explicate and illustrate the historical record and appearance of spaces.

Please send your proposal to Alexandra Dodson ( and Jasmine Cloud ( by May 31. Proposals should include your title (max. 15 words, abstract (max. 150 words), and brief CV (max. 300 words).

Tags:  architecture  art history  digital humanities  Italy  urban 

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HNA Sponsored Session: Northerners in Italy: Negotiating Style, Art Markets, and Comunità [DEADLINE EXTENDED 2 JUNE 2017]

Posted By Erin Downey, Sunday, May 14, 2017
Updated: Friday, June 2, 2017

Northerners in Italy: Negotiating Style, Art Markets, and Comunità

Historians of Netherlandish Art (HNA) Sponsored Session

The lure of Italy enticed hundreds of northern European artists to cross the Alps during the early modern period in search of artistic inspiration and fame in centers such as Venice, Rome, and Florence. How these artists negotiated their new surroundings, however, depended upon economic and social factors specific to each particular center. Recent studies focused upon artistic migration, emerging art academies, and expanding art markets in Italy have highlighted how complex and mercurial this process could be. However, a broader study that identifies consistent patterns concerning artistic mobility is still needed. This session seeks to address this lacuna, probing further the process of acclimation for northern European artists in Italy and the effect of travel on artistic practice and theory.

We invite proposals that consider the following:   

  • The role of networks in Italy for supporting foreign artists; and how these networks may have shifted and changed over time and within particular regions.
  • The significance of community between local and foreign, including institutions and organizations.
  • The meaning and nature of acclimation processes, such as negotiation, synthesis, integration, and assimilation.
  • The effect of travel on artistic production, including experimentation with new techniques, materials, and styles in various contexts and centers.
  • The art markets in Italy, and the role of northern European artists in their expansion and professionalization.
  • The relationship between travel, mobility, and artistic theory in northern Europe and Italy during the early modern period.
  • Artistic identity and identity formation among foreign artists and communities.


Proposals should be for 20-minute papers and must include a title, abstract of no more than 150 words, keywords, 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 Erin Downey ( and Sophia Quach McCabe ( by 2 June 2017. Applicants will be notified before 3 June.

Tags:  art practice and theory  Italy  migration  mobility  negotiation  networks  Northern European 


Reassessing Francesco I de’ Medici: Art, Science, and Materiality in Late Renaissance Florence

Posted By Lisa Boutin Vitela, Friday, May 12, 2017
Updated: Friday, May 12, 2017

Francesco I de’ Medici, the second Grand Duke of Tuscany, is worthy of scholarly reassessment based on new research about his rule and patronage. Previously maligned as a reclusive intellectual who lacked leadership skills when compared to his more dynamic father Cosimo and brother Ferdinando, Francesco has been redefined as a ruler and patron through analysis of his collections, building projects, scientific pursuits, and sponsorship of Medici porcelain. With his interests in alchemy, the natural world, unusual materials, and art objects from abroad, Francesco represents an example of “global Renaissance” pursuits in late sixteenth-century Florence.

Paper topics might include:

  • The Studiolo of Francesco I in the Palazzo Vecchio
  • Francesco’s additions to the Uffizi, including the Tribuna
  • Medici porcelain manufactory
  • Grotta Grande of the Boboli Gardens
  • Giorgio Vasari and Bernardo Buontalenti
  • Francesco’s alchemical interests
  • Francesco’s second wife, Bianca Cappello, and their death in 1587
  • Francesco and Cosimo I
  • Francesco and Ferdinando de’ Medici

Please email proposals to Lisa Boutin-Vitela ( and Lindsay Alberts ( by June 1.

Proposals should include paper title (15-word maximum), abstract (150-word maximum), keywords, very brief CV (300-word maximum), and a-v requests.

Tags:  Alchemy  Bianca Cappello  Buontalenti  Cosimo I de’ Medici  Ferdinando de’ Medici  Francesco de’ Medici  Global Renaissance  Materiality  Medici  Palazzo Vecchio  Porcelain  Studiolo  Uffizi  Vasari 


Beyond Surface: Interrogating the Early Modern Wall and Page

Posted By Joan Boychuk, Friday, May 12, 2017

In this panel, we seek to explore early modern sites that were frequently shaped by the combination, juxtaposition, and overlapping of diverse media and forms: the wall and the page. Both sites—defined variously as surfaces, supports, fields, and screens—facilitated as well as encouraged acts of assemblage, innovation, and collaboration. Walls could feature topographical views framed by grotesque ornament; trompe l’oeil frescoes could share a surface with stucco relief; mosaics could abut painted panels representing mythological figures and courtly scenes. Pages—as folios in manuscripts, leaves in printed publications, or independent miniatures, maps, and broadsheets—would often bring together pictorial and textual elements from a range of sources, disciplines, and genres. Both the wall and the page played a crucial role in the (re)emergence of certain artistic forms in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, such as the grotesque, landscape painting, nature study, and still life.  Despite the many similarities and affinities between the wall and the page, they also diverge in numerous ways. While the wall is characterized by permanence, singularity, and immobility, the page verges toward ephemerality, multiplicity, and mobility.

We invite papers that take up the early modern wall or page, as well as studies that explore intersections between the two. Papers might address one of the following themes:

  • The capacity of the wall/page to assemble or gather multiple forms or media
  • The role of the wall/page in early modern collecting
  • The role of the wall/page in the development of early modern genres
  • The ways in which the wall/page invited or facilitated collaboration
  • The modes of viewing solicited by the wall/page
  • The temporal dimension of engaging with the wall/page
  • The remediation of forms from wall to page or from page to wall
  • The characterization of the wall/page as a support, surface, and/or field
  • The intersections between wall and page – architectural drawings or prints, wallpaper, inventories, etc.
  • Issues of dimensionality or planarity in relation to the wall/page
  • Issues of materiality – paper, parchment, plaster, stone, etc.

Please send the title of your paper, an abstract (maximum 150 words), and a brief CV (maximum 300 words) by June 2, 2017 to:

Joan Boychuk:
Lisa Andersen:

Tags:  art history  assemble  collection  frame  materiality  multimedial  page  support  surface  wall 

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Instruments of Power

Posted By Christopher Brown, Friday, May 12, 2017

This interdisciplinary panel or series of panels will examine the relationship between our objects of study and power, between material objects of human creativity, authority, and influence. How does literature, art, architecture, science, theater, philosophy, cartography, music, or historiography become a means of advancing, suppressing, questioning, and/or subverting power? How does the creation, use, manipulation, and/or reception of a given work affect its status as an instrument of power? How does the representation of certain objects, figures, or spaces within a given work become an exploration of power dynamics? We welcome both discipline-specific and interdisciplinary papers from all fields of study and all national traditions on works between 1300-1700.


Please submit your proposal (150-word maximum), along with paper title (15-word maximum) and brief CV (300-word maximum) by June 1st at 11:59 pm EST to Christopher Brown ( and Sanam Nader-Esfahani (

Tags:  ency  fluence  jects  power  terdisciplinary  thority  wer dynamics 

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New Research in Italian Quattrocento Sculpture

Posted By Elizabeth Petersen, Thursday, May 11, 2017

CFP: New Research in Italian Quattrocento Sculpture”

RSA 2018 New Orleans

Quattrocento sculpture in central Italy has been fundamental to the study and understanding of the Italian RenaissanceThe glow of fifteenth century sculpture has faded somewhat in recent decades, however, because of anunderstandable desire to expand knowledge about and appreciation for works outside of such long privileged areas.  A revival of interest seems to be underway, however, with the appearance of a  few recent books such as Amy Bloch’s Lorenzo Ghiberti's Gates of Paradise and some eye-opening exhibitions, such as “’Fece di scoltura di legname e colorì’. La scultura del Quattrocento in legnodipinto a Firenze.We seek proposals that continue to consider sculpture in fifteenth century Italy, but from more up-to-date points of view.  Research that encompasses new approaches to the material, such as digital and technical analysis or interdisciplinary studies, will be especially welcome.


Please email proposals to both Elizabeth Petersen ( and Martha Dunkelman ( by Thursday, 1 June 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  Early Modern  Italy  New Approaches  quattrocento  Renaissance  sculpture 

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Confraternities In Public and In Private

Posted By Samantha J. Hughes-Johnson, Thursday, May 11, 2017


(Deadline: 24 May 2017)


The Society for Confraternity Studies will sponsor a number of sessions at the 64th Annual Meeting of the Renaissance Society of America (22 - 24 March 2018) in New Orleans, USA. We invite proposals for papers on the following theme:


Confraternities In Public and In Private


The term “Janus faced” has been employed to describe the sometimes incongruous nature of confraternal patronage and membership. While confraternities’ public and private life might have contrasted sharply, this did not always end in dissonance. Medieval and Renaissance lay companies the world over routinely consolidated public and private spheres (either consciously or unconsciously) to ensure the continuance of their various operations.  We invite papers that explore the balance and coherence between facets that were seemingly diametrically opposed. Papers might focus on:


Visible Activities and Output

·      Cultural productions (artworks, drama, poetry, music, architecture, regalia).

·      Festive nature (pageants, processions, feasting, theatrical tableau, field sports).

·      Use of shared urban spaces for ritual or devotion.

·      Philanthropic relationships with humankind (conspicuous acts of charity, artistic patronage and social auspice).


Clandestine Activities

·      Record keeping and other archival practices.

·      Private prayers, meals, meetings, voting and rituals.

·      Inconspicuous acts of charity.


Papers must concentrate on confraternal activities between 1400 and 1750 CE and may deal with groups of any race, denomination or faith in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East or Asia. We are particularly interested in papers dealing with Franco-American, Luso-American, Meso-American and slave confraternities.


Proposals should include the presenter’s name, academic affiliation, postal address, email, telephone, the paper title (no longer than 15 words), the abstract of the paper (no longer than 150 words), a brief academic C.V. (not longer than 300 words), and a series of key-words that suit the presentation. Please be sure all nine (9) categories of information are clearly provided.

Please submit your proposal to Dr Samantha J.C. Hughes-Johnson at by 24 May 2017.


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The Glory of Inscriptions: epigraphic writing, classical architecture and monumental art in the Renaissance (15th-17th century)

Posted By Emmanuel A. Lurin, Thursday, May 11, 2017

Call for Papers:

The Glory of Inscriptions: epigraphic writing, classical architecture and monumental art in the Renaissance (15th-17th century)


Two of the most remarkable aspects of the Imitatio Antiquitatis in the Renaissance are the taste for inscriptions among the humanists and the imitation of ancient epigraphy in the field of the arts. The desire to surpass the Ancients, especially in the art of inscription, is particularly noticeable in architecture and in the various forms of monumental art. Motto, titulature, praises and dedications, tituli of saints, consecrations of monuments, funeral epitaphs, poems or simple distiches, all'antica signatures, etc. – inscriptions are numerous on public monuments, churches facades, palaces portals and courtyards, but also in mural painting, on large-scale sculptures, in ephemeral decorations for feasts or royal processionals, and even on engineered structures such as bridges. During the Renaissance, as in the Greco-Roman civilization, the writing of monumental inscriptions was praised as an art and epigraphic texts were generally considered a major element of composition: a written form, endowed with aesthetic qualities, which visually enriches the building or the work of art, but also in some cases reveals its meaning, origin or ambition.


Historians of art or architecture as well as philologists are invited to apply to this panel which will study the practice of Greek, Latin, hieroglyphic and Hebrew inscriptions in the field of monumental art between the fifteenth and the seventeenth centuries. Speakers may also consider the formal characteristics of the inscriptions as well as their literary sources, the identification of their authors, the methods of writing, the layout of texts and their conditions of reading in a monumental composition. We shall also endeavor to identify literary genres and interpret the inscriptions, as well as assessing, at each level of art historical analysis, the properties and mechanisms of the artistic devices. What kind of relationship can be drawn between the form, layout and content of inscriptions and the questions of style, composition or distribution in architecture? How did they affect the different categories of viewers, who were not always able to read and understand the texts? What is the place of inscriptions in the figurative arts, in artistic theory and in the practice of the great masters? If easel painting tends to banish the texts, mural painting, monumental sculpture and religious furnishings, on the contrary, place them in the forefront. The case of Michelangelo, who generally avoided inscriptions, is all the more interesting as he had a singular talent for writing. In the range of sacred art, it will also be possible to study how and to what extent the Tridentine injunctions (docere, movere, delectare) changed the practice of inscriptions in religious architecture, church decoration and liturgical furnishings from the second half of the 16th century onward.



Please send proposals to Anne Lepoittevin, and Emmanuel Lurin, by Sunday, 28 May 2017.


As per RSA guidelines, proposals must include the following: paper title (15-word maximum), abstract (150-word maximum), keywords, and a brief curriculum vitae (300-word maximum). See




Download File (DOCX)

Tags:  Art History  Epigraphy  Epitaphs  Inscriptions  Monumental Art  Renaissance  tituli 

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Between Word and Image: Multiform Arguments in the Historiography of Early Modern Women

Posted By Noa Yaari, Thursday, May 11, 2017
Updated: Thursday, May 11, 2017

This panel explores historians’ arguments that combine verbal and visual means in their published work. These ‘multiform arguments’ create and communicate historical knowledge through verbal and visual evidence. As such, they represent a methodology or rhetorical device in historical research and writing. Focusing on the history of early modern women, the main questions of the panel are: Reading and observing the arguments, what are the techniques that historians use to lead their readers between the verbal and the visual components of their arguments? Do the connections between the verbal and the visual components enhance a particular understanding of early modern women? Considering the words, images and the transitions between them as parts of a unified grammatical sequence, can we identify typical challenges or potentials in constructing ‘multiform arguments’? And finally, can the study of early modern women be an insightful path to better understand the turn to hybrid epistemologies?

If you have published a study on early modern women that combines verbal and visual evidence and means, and would like to share your experience and insights at the RSA 2018 meeting, please email paper proposals, including files or scans of your publication/s, which you will discuss in your paper, to:

Noa Yaari ( by Wednesday, 17 May 2017. I will serve as a respondent at the panel. 

The proposals must include:
* paper title (15 words max)
* abstract (150 words max)
* keywords
* short curriculum vitae
(300 words max, NOT in prose form)
* audiovisual requirements

This is a CFP for a panel which will be submitted to The Society for the Study of Early Modern Women (SSEMW) as a sponsored panel at the RSA 2018, New Orleans

Tags:  Historiography  hybridity  image and text  New Approaches  women 

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Architect/Craftsman: Professional Identity and Skill in the Early Modern Era

Posted By Sarah W. Lynch, Thursday, May 11, 2017
Updated: Friday, May 12, 2017

What makes an architect an architect? What skills, knowledge or achievements separate an architect from a stonemason, engineer, craftsman, or simple builder? Plato divided each field of knowledge into practical and theoretical branches, valuing the theoretical (knowledge of truths) over manual skill. Architectural literature of antiquity and the early modern period generally observed this divide and asserted that “theoretical” knowledge separated the craftsman from the architect. Vitruvius stated that an architect possessed almost universal knowledge and that a carpenter was only a tool in his hands, thus establishing a clear hierarchy in the design and construction of a building. Alberti, Serlio and other fifteenth and sixteenth-century authors prioritized design over manual execution. Walther Ryff stated that a Baumeister could only become an Architekt by reading Vitruvius, thus suggesting that the distinction between the two categories lay in learned discourse. Yet other authors including Francesco di Giorgio emphasized the importance of training on a building site and manual skill for the architect-designer.

How do these discourses influence our interpretation of early modern architectural work today, and how much did they reflect the reality of architectural practice? Builders often made unauthorized changes to a design in the process of construction and architects who trained as painters and sculptors ran into conflicts with the skilled builders on their projects. These issues suggest that the responsibilities of architects and building professionals were not clearly defined and frequently overlapped. Further, modern concepts of authorship, in which a single designer is considered primarily responsible for the outcome of a building, may not apply in this environment.

This panel seeks to address the questions of the professional identity and responsibilities of architects and builders in the early modern era. Papers addressing all geographic areas and periods 1300-1700 are welcome. Possible topics include (but are not limited to):


What distinction was made in the early modern era between design and building?

How can we assess the meanings of different professional titles (architect, engineer, stonemason, Baumeister, provveditore, proto, etc.) and what distinguishes them?

Can economic factors such as pay scale be used to distinguish a clear hierarchy in the design and construction process? Are salaries related to professional titles?

To what extent do early modern texts about architecture reflect the lived experience of designing and building a structure? Do the ideal architects described by Vitruvius and others exist anywhere other than on the page?

In regions where masons’ guilds controlled building trades, what role did they play in determining titles and qualification for specialized roles and skills? Was it possible to work outside of these guild structures?

How did architects who trained as painters or sculptors interact with the builders on their projects?

How did architects, patrons, and viewers discuss authorship with regard to building projects?

Who was ultimately responsible for the outcome of a building project and how were the results evaluated? Is it possible to assess when or where builders made changes to the design in the process of construction?


Please send paper proposals to Sarah Lynch at before June 1. Proposals should be formatted according to RSA guidelines (found here) including title, an abstract of no more than 150 words, keywords, and a 300 word CV including your current affiliation (prose form not accepted).



Tags:  architecture  art literature  artistic practice  artistic process  construction  design  professions  skill 

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