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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 

Visions and the Reliability of Sight, 1500–1700 [Deadline Extended - June 5, 2017]

Posted By Marsha Libina, Thursday, June 1, 2017

During the Reformation, a period in which claims to religious truths were highly contested, attitudes toward vision and visionary experience became a vital topic of debate among religious thinkers, reformers, image-makers, and art theorists. Phenomena such as apparitions, revelations, prophecies, and dreams were thought to be grounded in sensory perception, but the fallibility of the senses raised serious concerns regarding the veracity and authenticity of visionary accounts, as well as the capacity of the religious image to transmit these accounts to a broader audience. What is more, the risk of demonic spirits infiltrating the artist’s imagination – itself conceived of as a visual process – called into question the reliability of image-makers as mediators of the divine. Representations and accounts of visions thus reinforced and disseminated authorized narratives about proper Christian belief and practice, on the one hand, and opened up a space for uncontrolled and potentially heterodox thinking, on the other.

This panel seeks to open up conversation about Early Modern anxieties surrounding visionary experience, the miraculous, and the reliability of sight, as these play out in the art of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Europe and the colonial Americas. In particular, it aims to investigate how visions, and the discourses surrounding them, challenged artists to invent a new visual language capable of representing a wide range of visionary experiences. We welcome papers that take a global and interdisciplinary approach.

We invite paper proposals that address such topics as:

  • Corporeal, imaginary, and intellectual vision; the role of the artistic image in facilitating contemplation of the divine
  • The artist’s imagination
  • The incorporation of scientific and theological literature on spiritual discernment into discourses on art making
  • The role of socially marginalized groups in reshaping traditional theological narratives through visionary experiences
  • The representation of visions and visionaries
  • The mobilization of images to authenticate visionary experiences
  • Issues of false or deceptive vision in art
  • Pictorial engagements with concerns about the reliability, objectivity, and certainty of vision
  • Local cults and miraculous images that brought about visions of the divine or whose foundations had visionary origins
  • The importation of European iconographies of visionary experience to the Americas

These themes are meant to serve as starting points for possible investigations. Papers that go beyond these topics are welcome.

Please submit your paper proposal by June 5, 2017 to Marsha Libina ( and Alexandra Letvin ( Your proposal should include the following:

  • Name, affiliation, email address
  • Paper title (max. 15 words)
  • Abstract (max. 150 words)
  • Keywords
  • A brief CV (max. 300 words, in ordinary CV format)

Tags:  Americas  art history  devotion  discernment  Europe  imagination  invisible  miraculous  senses  sight  vision 

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CFP Confraternities In Public and In Private (DEADLINE EXTENDED - 1 JUNE 2017)

Posted By Samantha J. Hughes-Johnson, Thursday, May 25, 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 1 June 2017.


Tags:  archives.Art history  Art history  artistic patronage  charity  confraternity  cultural production  devotional space  lay company  pageants  ritual space  sodality  Works of Corporal Mercy 

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Following the Paper Trail? Complexities, Implications and Problems in Interpreting Primary Sources for Artistic Production

Posted By Costanza L. Beltrami, Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Following the Paper Trail? Complexities, Implications and Problems in Interpreting Primary Sources for Artistic Production

Organised by: Maggie Crosland, Saida Bondini and Costanza Beltrami, The Courtauld Institute of Art

As (art) historians we often use documents as evidence. Indeed, what could offer us more direct information about an object, artwork or building than the records of the material used to construct it, or the payments for its labor?

And yet, the mechanisms through which uniquely useful documents such as inventories, contracts and payment accounts are produced are not always transparent. In fact, these are formulaic documents written within tight conventions, for specific economic or legal ends. In this session, we aim to investigate how these records came to be, how they relate to the objects they purportedly explain and how they influence our perception, analysis and conclusions on the past and its relics.

In proposing this session, we are interested in uncovering what documents hide. For example, a contract must often be the final product of a long and multiple discussion. As such, this document reduces the interaction of several people — masters, family members, advisors, apprentices etc. to the legal agreement between just two, effacing all the other voices as well as the temporal dimension of reflection, creation, and changes of mind.

A goal of this session is to provide a platform through which scholars of different media and geographic location can discuss the complexities and implications of relying on and using primary documents. As such, we are interested in paper proposals that engage with such documents from a range of standpoints. Suggested topics include:

-       The temporal and plural vision of the past as revealed or hidden by documents

-       Establishing patron-artist networks through primary sources

-       Implications of agency and patronage 

-       The bureaucratic nature of artist contracts and payment accounts

-       Missing conversations – how to look beyond the one-to-one relationship suggested by contracts and payment accounts

-       Reconstructing the lost/missing archive

-       Early modern and modern historiography on the use of primary sources

-       What information remains hidden in the archive, and what is published and promoted instead? What does this tell us about our changing perception and efforts to shape the past?

To be considered for our panel, please email with:

  • The title of your proposed paper (15-word maximum)
  • Abstract (150-word maximum)
  • Keywords
  • A very brief curriculum vitae (300-word maximum), formatted to the RSA’s standards.

Please note that the deadline for submitting your paper proposal to the organizers is June 4, 2017.


Tags:  archive  Art History  documents  historiography  interdisciplinary  interpretation  networks  paper trail  primary sources 

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Particularities of Place: Collecting Early Modern European Art in the Southern United States

Posted By Alexis R. Culotta, Wednesday, May 24, 2017


Particularities of Place: Collecting Early Modern European Art in the Southern United States 


The history of early modern European art collections in the American south offers a complex yet compelling narrative. In the spirit of this year's host city of New Orleans, this session aims to examine the history of early modern holdings across the southern United States and the extent to which cultural and/or sociological connections informed the development of these collections.


This session invites submissions from all art historical and museological disciplines on any form of artistic production dating to the early modern era (roughly 1400-1750) provided it bears connection the general geographic footprint of the southern United States. Paper topics can range from individual art work case studies to larger surveys, and those that look to the driving forces behind these collections – such as collector's or curator's personalities; finding a place in history; or a passion for education – are particularly encouraged. 


Please send an abstract of 150 words, a one-page CV, and contact information by email attachment to Alexis Culotta ( and Vanessa Schmid ( no later than 3 June 2017. 

Tags:  Art  Art history  Baroque  collecting culture  construction  early modern  Netherlandish  reception  Renaissance  Spanish and Italian Renaissance  Visual Culture 

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The Aesthetics of Suffering in Early Modern Europe

Posted By Sarah R. Kyle, Tuesday, May 23, 2017
Updated: Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Boccaccio described Florence in 1348 as a living tomb riddled with fear and hypocrisy where “the multitude of the deaths . . . was such that those who heard the tale . . . were struck dumb with amazement.”  His account of the incomprehensibility of the Black Death roughly coincides with the beginning of a seismic shift in the conceptualization of suffering.  Pre-modern European sensibilities generally regarded suffering, even its most extreme forms, as part of an inalterable divine order of redemption—nowhere more evident than in the ubiquitous image of the Crucifixion.  However, by the time of the Lisbon earthquake of 1755 philosophers like Voltaire found it impossible to make sense of “evil” with reference to the plan of God.  Between the Black Death and the Lisbon earthquake, the human ability and responsibility to reshape nature radically increased, even though the response to suffering was still unstably compounded with the pious acceptance of suffering.  From “dance” or “triumph” of death imagery to illustrated parables, humanist iconographies of “soul care,” and physicians' regimens of physical and mental health, artists, writers, and philosophers navigated the space between meaningless and meaningful tragedy, depicting suffering in ways that reflected and shaped the shifting cultural ground that would eventually consolidate the modern concepts of nature, pain, and medicine. This session invites papers that explore questions of how visual art created an aesthetics of suffering to explore the spaces between meaningless and meaningful tragedy.

Please send your proposal (150-word maximum), paper title, and a brief CV (300-word maximum) to Sarah Kyle ( and Scott Samuelson ( by Friday, June 2, 2017.

Tags:  Art History  Devotion  early modern  history of medicine  humanism  interdisciplinary  magic  poetry and painting  punishment  Religion  ritualized responses  sensory experience 

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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 


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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