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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 

Early modern sensory and spatial thresholds

Posted By David Karmon, Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Sensory studies have begun to critically expand our ways of thinking about how people interacted with buildings and spaces in the early modern world. This session builds on this momentum by exploring the sensory experience of early modern physical environments, focusing in particular on how the experience of thresholds, edges, and borders triggered powerful responses and shaped new kinds of knowledge. Cultural anthropologists such as Arnold Van Gennep and Victor Turner have long emphasized the significance of such liminal transitions, the ceremonial “rites of passage” that signal key moments of transformation. It is clear that sensory experience plays a vital role in negotiating these transitions, where our sensitivity to sensory stimuli is often at its most acute precisely at the moment when we first enter into a new setting. How did people in the early modern world respond to these sensory impulses, where entering a new physical environment might also mean entering into a new state of being?

Proposals should include the author’s name, professional affiliation, and contact information; a preliminary title; a brief abstract (150 words or less); a brief curriculum vitae (300 words maximum). Please submit proposals to by Wednesday 31 May 2017.

Tags:  architecture  corporeality  early modern  new approaches  senses  sensorium  sensory experience  sight  smell  sound  space  taste  touch  urbanism 

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CFP – Digital Humanities

Posted By Angela Dressen, Wednesday, May 10, 2017

CFP – Digital Humanities

As the discipline representative for Digital Humanities at the RSA I am organizing up to five sessions dedicated to DH and Renaissance Studies. If you are considering to participate at the next RSA in New Orleans (March 22-24, 2016) please send me your DH related proposals. Of specific interest (but not limited to these) are topics on

* networking

* mapping

* text encoding

* digital Art History

* projects including Linked Open Data

Kindly send me your proposal with a max. 150 word abstract and a short CV by May 25. A short note in advance would be helpful.


Dr. Angela Dressen ( )

Discipline Representative for Digital Humanities, Renaissance Society of America

Tags:  digital humanities 

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The Problem of Style in Fifteenth-Century Italian Art

Posted By David J. Drogin, Tuesday, May 9, 2017

This session examines artists and artworks that challenge conventional norms or narratives of style in fifteenth-century Italian art. Since the period itself, the quattrocento has been understood as a moment of stylistic revolution, in which new formal ideals replaced old. With the benefit of hindsight, art historians from Vasari onward have emphasized the innovations they saw as laying the foundations of academic art. Revolutions, however, are messy, and stylistic development in the fifteenth century was not as straightforward or unidimensional as such teleological narratives suggest.


We invite proposals for papers that explore the complexities of formal practices in quattrocento Italy and help define alternative narratives of style. Issues to be addressed might include:


  • rethinking the Renaissance vs. Gothic binary

  • rethinking the significance of textbook innovations, such as empirical naturalism, scientific perspective, or antiquity as formal model

  • rethinking the relationship between humanist conceptions of literary style and the visual arts

  • patronage and style; style and self-fashioning

  • style in regional traditions or in centers vs. peripheries

  • style in relation to medium and technique, subject matter, or site


Please email proposals to both Robert Glass ( and David Drogin ( by Friday, May 26.


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

Tags:  architecture  art  art history  artistic practice  early Renaissance  fifteenth century  Italian  Italy  painting  quattrocento  sculpture  style 


Bloodlines: Re-Framing Artists’ Families in the Early Modern Period

Posted By Francesco Freddolini, Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Family ties in early modern art history were ubiquitous, and crucial to establish career patterns. Although many artists received their training and conducted their activity within the context of a family, art historians have often examined individual families as isolated case studies. Especially in the field of Western art, families of artists such as the Della Robbia, Vecellio, Brueghel, Teniers, and many others, have been investigated in depth, but ultimately regarded as enclosed entities. Few scholars, in recent years (e.g. Koenraad Brosens, Leen Kelchetmans, and Katlijne Van der Stighelen on the Low Countries), have tackled the topic of the artists’ families as a field of inquiry in its own right, exploring its socio-economic values and the networks it established.

This panel aims to switch the focus from the micro-histories of individual families, to broader questions related to the intersection between family as a social institution and art practice in the early modern period. When we investigate families of artists as families—nodes of networks where the career of an individual was often part of broader group objectives—relevant questions arise: what strategies did inform career trajectories, and decisions? How did family politics contribute to the commercial success of artists? Which economic aspects regulated the operational routine of a family of artists? Did family members work independently, or did they contribute to common household objectives, especially in terms of financial achievements and social affirmation?

Furthermore, we propose to investigate the differences, similarities, and overlaps between family and workshop, and examine how training differed in a family, compared to a standard workshop, how family relations and networks influenced the organization of the work, and to what extent the roles within the household group tallied with the distribution of specific competences and responsibilities within the workshop.

We also aim to broaden the view and investigate the expansion of families, in relation to the workshop, for example through the adoption of pupils. Further topics could include: how family networks defined material and visual legacies (models, drawings), to be transferred to the offspring; how such networks influenced style, practice, transmission of knowledge and competences; how parents promoted the careers of their descendants; whether families of artists were different from families specialized in other businesses.

We invite papers from across disciplines that explore families of artists by focusing especially, but not exclusively, on the socio-economic aspects of their history, the mechanics of workshop organization, production system, and career development. We encourage, in particular, papers that cast light on lesser-known names, as well as on non-European contexts. Case studies as well as more theoretically driven papers are welcome.

Further topics might include, but are not limited to:

  • Families of artists, compared to families in other trades/professions

  • Families of artists in non-European contexts

  • Family alliances

  • Adoptive sons vs. bloodline

  • Gender relationships

  • Professional relations and kinship relations: advantage or problem?

Please submit your paper proposals to Francesco Freddolini, Luther College, University of Regina ( and Giorgio Tagliaferro, University of Warwick ( by June 2, 2017. Proposal should include:

  • Name, affiliation, email address

  • Paper title (max. 15 words)

  • Abstract (max. 150 words)

  • Keywords

  • C.V. (max. 300 words; prose bios will not be accepted)

Tags:  arists' families  art market  artistic practice  family history  socio-economic history  workshop 

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New Directions in Representation of the Italian Landscape

Posted By Melissa Yuen, Monday, May 8, 2017

Session Sponsored by the Italian Art Society

Images of the Italian landscape, both real and imagined, have been the subject of many fruitful investigations, from research on broad trends and refined definitions to focused monographs on individual artists. Recent studies have shed new light on the display of landscape paintings in palaces and villas, artistic practice, professional networks, and the intersections between antiquity and natural history. In particular, research into the growing interest in empirical study and the interpretation of nature in early modern Italy has led to a greater understanding of representations of the natural world. This panel seeks papers that build on these themes and present new ways to reconsider the portrayal of the landscape and landscape artists working in Italy.

We welcome proposals that consider the following issues:

  • Landscapes and natural history/antiquity
  • Connections between northern Europe and Italy
  • The display and function of landscape imagery
  • The relationship between drawing and painting the landscape
  • Economics and the market for landscapes
  • The poetics of landscape and connection to literature
  • The spiritual dimension of the landscape


Please send a brief abstract (no more than 150 words); a selection of keywords for your talk; and a brief curriculum vitae (300-word maximum in outline form) to Sarah Cantor ( and Melissa Yuen ( by Friday, May 26, 2017.

Tags:  antiquity  art history  Early Modern  landscape  literature  painting  poetics 

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Reconnecting: New Thoughts on Art and the Spectator in Renaissance Italy

Posted By Steven J. Cody, Monday, May 8, 2017


2018 marks the thirtieth anniversary of John Shearman’s A.W. Mellon Lectures in the Fine Arts. These lectures developed bold strategies for approaching works of art that are completed outside of themselves, in the viewer’s experience. They were subsequently published under the title, Only Connect… (1992), which is now a classic in the field, and which continues to inspire some truly searching art historical commentary.

This panel looks to capitalize on the anniversary of Shearman’s lectures and to honor their legacy in the best way possible, by continuing the conversation—by re-connecting, as it were. In keeping with the spirit of Only Connect… itself, we invite proposals that consider the experience of viewing Italian Renaissance art from new and innovative perspectives.

Presenters are welcome to engage with Shearman’s interpretative frameworks, to grapple with them, and/or to develop different ways of thinking about early modern spectatorship.

Please send proposals and direct any queries to Steven Cody ( Proposals must be submitted by 1 June and include the following items:

-          The presenter’s name, affiliation, and email address

-          The paper’s title

-          An abstract (150-word maximum)

-          Keywords

-          A brief CV (300-word maximum)

Tags:  Art  art history  New Approaches  Renaissance  Shearman  spectator 

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Art and Memory Beyond Rulers: Family Art Patronage in Early Modern Italy

Posted By Maria DePrano, Monday, May 8, 2017
Updated: Monday, May 8, 2017

Families across the Italian peninsula actively engaged in art and architectural patronage for the benefit of their social status and to perpetuate family memory. Research analyzing the works commissioned by families in Early Modern Italy frequently concentrates on buildings and artworks ordered by rulers. This scholarly emphasis has been motivated by the leading artists of the works, significant numbers of surviving objects and buildings, the families’ historical importance and extant archival documentation. But, this concentration on art commissioned by rulers means that less is known about art patronage by minor noblemen,  professional elites, merchants, scholars and working class families . Using family archives and existing works can we determine what these men and women commissioned? How did they use art? What concerns and interests may have shaped the works? What could be learned by considering families of other class levels and their engagement with the arts? This CFP invites paper proposals from scholars working on non-ruling families throughout the Italian peninsula in the Early Modern period. Please send title (15-word maximum), abstract (150-word maximum), keywords, and short C.V. to the organizers: Maria DePrano ( and Kathleen Arthur ( by June 1, 2017. 

Tags:  architecture  art  family  Italy  memory  patronage  social status 

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CFP: Historians of Netherlandish Art Sponsored Sessions

Posted By Stephanie S. Dickey, Sunday, May 7, 2017
Historians of Netherlandish Art ( is seeking session topics for up to three sponsored sessions at the RSA 2018 conference in New Orleans. If you are interested in chairing a session, please send a session abstract (150 words maximum) and short CV to Stephanie Dickey at: by Friday, May 12. Once sessions have been chosen, we will circulate a CFP via the HNA list.
Please note that HNA sponsorship guarantees acceptance of the session by RSA but does not provide financial support. Session chairs and speakers are required to be members of RSA at the time of the conference and should also be members of HNA. Topics should address themes of broad interest to our members (Netherlandish, German, and Franco-Flemish art and architecture 135o-1750; topics placing the arts of the Netherlands in a broader context are also welcome). 

Tags:  art  HNA  Netherlandish 


SSEMW Call for Panel Proposals

Posted By Molly Bourne, Sunday, May 7, 2017

The Society for the Study of Early Modern Women (SSEMW) will sponsor up to three panels at the 2018 annual conference of the Renaissance Society of America (RSA), to be held in New Orleans, 22-24 March. Organizers of a panel in any discipline that explores women and their contributions to the cultural, political, economic, or social spheres of the early modern period are invited to apply for SSEMW sponsorship by submitting their proposals for complete panels to Molly Bourne (, SSEMW liaison for RSA, by no later than 24 May 2017 with the following materials:


-Abstract (max 150 words) describing the panel’s objective

 -Names & emails of panel organizer(s), chair, speakers, and any respondent(s)

-One-page CV (for organizers/speakers only), max 300 words, not in prose

-For each paper: title (max 15 words) & abstract (max 150 words)

-Specification of any audio/visual needs


Sponsorship of panels by the SSEMW signifies that panels are pre-approved and automatically accepted for the RSA annual meeting.


Per RSA rules, panels must include at least one scholar who is postdoctoral; graduate student participants should be within one or two years of defending their dissertations.


Decisions regarding SSEMW panel sponsorship will be sent out at least seven days prior to the regular RSA deadline (7 June 2017) for submission of panel or paper proposals. The SSEMW requires that scholars whose panels are accepted for sponsorship be/become members of the Society ( 

Tags:  gender  women 

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Materiality of Early Modern Alchemy: Objects, Materials, and Art Practices

Posted By Ivana Horacek, Saturday, May 6, 2017

Alchemy has recently become an important concept through which to consider various interconnected early modern practices—ranging from magical to medical, philosophical to Christological, artistic to technological—that prominently feature processes of transformation, conversion, and renovation. An entangled concept that relates to different social, political, and religious aspects of early modern knowledge making, alchemy has as some scholars have suggested come to mean too many things. Rather than reversing the productive conceptualization of alchemy as a symbolic, ideological, and theoretical concept, this panel seeks to utilize the extended understanding of its complex traditions and interdisciplinary approaches to probe its association with materials, technologies, and objects. As a physical and technological process that brings into being purified materials and objects, alchemy offered its practitioners a new understanding of creation, and the act of making. We are thus particularly interested in considering the materiality of early modern alchemy.

Probing into the materiality of alchemy, we invite papers that consider specific modes in which alchemy intersected with art practices. These might for example reflect on the following questions: What did alchemy as practice and concept offer to early modern artists and theorists? Which materials and objects connected to alchemy found their ways into artworks, artists’ workshops, and collections? Were these derived alchemically or simply appropriated to become part of art making? Did patronage and collecting of objects considered to have been derived from alchemical technologies prescribe or influence artistic, aesthetic, or epistemological value?


Please send 150-word abstracts, with a title page and keywords, and a 300-word CV to Ivana Vranic ( and Ivana Horacek ( by June 1, 2017. 

Tags:  alchemy  early modern  making  materiality  science 

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