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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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“Deep Classics” and the Renaissance

Posted By Caroline G. Stark, Thursday, May 4, 2017

As a new Associate Organization of the Renaissance Society of America, the Society for Early Modern Classical Reception (SEMCR) invites proposals for papers to be delivered at the 2018 meeting of the RSA in New Orleans, LA.  For one of its inaugural panels, SEMCR invites abstracts on “Deep Classics” and the Renaissance.

Drawing on metaphors from fields as diverse as geology and evolution, the concept of “Deep Classics” has recently arisen out of, and in response to, the extraordinarily fertile field of classical reception studies. The term itself signals a consciousness of the distance, occlusions, and multiple strata that define any engagement with classical antiquity. In what has amounted to a programmatic statement of Deep Classics - or, perhaps more aptly, a programmatic fragment - Shane Butler has described its focus as “the very pose by which the human present turns its attention to the distant human past” (S. Butler, Deep Classics: Rethinking Classical Reception, Bloomsbury 2016). Although the founding volume of Deep Classics continues a trend in classical reception study, especially in the UK, of privileging Greek over Latin and modernity over early modernity, Butler is acutely sensitive to the broader applicability of the idea - “indeed, certain aspects of that pose have been important to Renaissance studies for a while now” - citing Barkan and, more recently, Nagel and Wood. We therefore welcome proposals that explore the relationship between Deep Classics and the Renaissance, in particular concerning ideas that “have less to do with ‘knowing’ than with other modes of affect and experience”.  In accordance with another central feature of Deep Classics, we also seek proposals that interrogate disciplinary configurations and self-conceptions.

The Society is committed to creating a congenial and collaborative forum for the infusion of new ideas into classics and early modern studies, and hence welcomes abstracts that are exploratory in nature as well as abstracts of latter-stage research.

Abstracts (150 words) and a short CV (300 words) should be sent as separate email attachments to (see the RSA's abstract guidelines and CV guidelines and models) by May 31, 2017.  The abstracts will be judged anonymously: please do not identify yourself on the abstract page.

Please include in the body of the email:

  • your name, affiliation, email address
  • your paper title (15-word maximum)
  • relevant keywords

Tags:  antiquity  Classical Reception  Classics  distance  Early Modernity  Renaissance  self-conception  sensory experience 

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CFP Worlding the Early Modern: Case Studies in Visual and Material Culture

Posted By Ivana Vranic, Tuesday, May 2, 2017
Updated: Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Initiated by the Making Worlds Project, which investigates recent questions posed by the global turn in the humanities (including art history, literature, anthropology and history), this panel seeks papers that engage with the representational and conceptual ways in which the world was conceived, imagined and inscribed between the fifteenth and seventeenth centuries. Through representing, collecting, utopian writing, map-making, trading, encountering and describing the world, early modern artists, traders, writers and natural philosophers were in fact bringing the world nearer to them. Taking cue from Martin Heidegger’s concept of worlding as an ontological process of bringing-near—or thinging—the world, which is always both pre-existing and historically contingent, we are interested in gaining a more nuanced understanding of what the world meant epistemologically, philosophically, geographically, technologically and cosmologically in the longue durée of the early modern period. In particular, we want to explore how things, such as objects, texts, and works of artistic and visual culture, mediated and participated in world-making.


We invite papers that take up different case studies which engage with material and visual representations of the world, including those that attend to how and why in its making such conceptualizations were either totalizing, flawed, or even impossible. Please send your 150-word abstracts, with a title, keywords, and a 300-word CV to Tomasz Grusiecki ( and Ivana Vranic ( by May 30, 2017. 


Tags:  Art  Art History  cartography  Continents  Counter-Reformation  drawings  Early Modernity  Geography  Historiography  image and text  materiality  painting  portraiture  print culture  representation  sculpture  the global turn  Travel Accounts  Visual Culture 

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Painted Faces, Tainted Morals: Renaissance Cosmetics and Makeup

Posted By Tijana Zakula, Monday, May 1, 2017

The pain and dangers of beauty have been known for a long time and have been inextricably intertwined with art. Not only in terms of emulating the ideal, but also in terms of the know-how: diverse pigments and materials used for painting oftentimes served as beautifying aides. Not infrequently these substances were highly toxic and would lead to severe disfigurements and one’s untimely demise.

The social implications of using cosmetics and make up were no less damaging either. Improving on one’s outer appearance was nothing short of scandalous. One’s attempt to come closer to the unattainable ideal was considered immoral, and inextricably intertwined with vanity – the mother of all sins.

This multidisciplinary session seeks contributions that consider the use and abuse of cosmetics and makeup from the point of view of art history, sociology, chemistry, medicine and history and philosophy of science.

Please send proposals to Tijana Zakula ( and Gert Jan Vroege ( no later than 4 June.

Include in your proposal:

·        name and affiliation

·        paper title (max. 15 words)

·        abstract (max. 150 words)

·        a brief CV (max. 300 words).


Tags:  Art History  beauty  Early Modernity  etiquette  fashion  history and philosophy of sciencecosmetics  makeup  skin  taste  technologies 

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Ekphrastic Image-making in Early Modern Europe and the Americas

Posted By Arthur J. DiFuria, Tuesday, April 25, 2017
Updated: Sunday, May 7, 2017

In epideictic oratory, ekphrasis is typically identified as an advanced rhetorical exercise that verbally reproduces the experience of viewing a person, place, or thing; more specifically, it often purports to replicate the experience of viewing a work of art.  Not only what was seen, but also how it was beheld, and the emotions attendant upon first viewing it, are implicitly construed as recoverable, indeed reproducible.  Ekphrasis describes the object of sight in vivid, imaginative, even hyperbolic terms, bodying it forth as something that having once been viewed, is now presently viewable or, better, visualizable, in the form of an image.  For this reason, the artisanal processes of drawing, painting, or sculpting were sometimes troped as instances of ekphrastic image-making; and conversely, ekphrasis could stand proxy for the making of images in various media.  This is to say that ekphrasis—as a rhetorical device, and as an analogue to a wide range of medially specific processes—operates complexly in the registers of time (making past experience present), affect (recovering and restaging affective experience), and mimesis (fashioning an image of something seen, or an image of a work of art).

 Ekphrasis was integral to the reception, discourse, and production of early modern art and poetry.  Amongst theoreticians and historians of art, Antonio di Tuccio di Manetti, Giorgio Vasari, Karel van Mander, Giovanni Pietro Bellori, Arnold Houbraken, to name but a few, deployed the ekphrastic mode to richly varied effects. Moreover, one could plausibly argue that many examples of early modern art operate ekphrastically: they claim to reconstitute works of art that solely survived in the textual form of an ekphrasis; or they invite the beholder to respond to a picture in the way he responds to a stirringly ekphrastic image; or they call attention to their status as an image, in the way that ekphrasis, as a rhetorical figure, makes one conscious of the process of image-making; or finally, they foreground the artist’s or the viewer’s agency, in the way that the rhetor or auditor is adduced as agent of the image being verbally produced. Specific examples abound: the smooth yet virtually haptic surface textures of paintings by Jan van Eyck, the drolleries of Hieronymus Bosch and Pieter Bruegel, the impossible architecture of the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili, the anthropomorphic devices embedded in landscapes by Herri met de Bles, the antiquarian architectural fantasie of Maarten van Heemskerck and Hans Vredeman de Vries, or Francesco Borromini’s ‘moving’ concavities and convexities confronted viewers with visual and bodily experiences that call quotidian regimes of perception and cognition into question, challenging them to impose order by describing that novel experience in the form of an ekphrasis. In this particular sense, ekphrasis could operate as a normalizing instrument. Implicit in such uses of ekphrasis is the paragone of word and image, text and picture. Contrariwise, other kinds of picture or building proved resistant to ekphrastic manipulation, just as certain kinds of verbal image were neither visually nor spatially translatable.

 This session invites an expansive range of approaches to the ekphrastic tradition. Topics could include but are not limited to: the local origins of the ekphrastic tradition in various major artistic and literary centers such as Florence, Rome, Paris, and the Low Countries; the ekphrastic mode—be it visual or verbal—as courtly panegyric; ekphrastic responses to travel by artists and / or patrons, and in particular, ekphrastic responses to the new world; ekphrastic descriptions of buildings, ancient and modern, in architectural treatises; ekphrasis as an expression of antiquarianism and humanism both in text and in image; the visual functions of ekphrasis as an epideictic or probative instrument; ekphrastic accounts of historical events and the pictorial and sculptural images generated by these descriptions; the use of ekphrasis in the discourse and art of contemporary image debates; the relation of ekphrastic description to the use of topoi in early modern art writing; the human figure as a locus of ekphrastic display; landscape as an alternative locus for such display; ekphrasis in the service of the sacred; the role of ekphrasis in visual and textual exegesis; the operations of ekphrasis within patronage, collecting, and the art market; the form, function, and meaning of ekphrasis within various poetic-pictorial modes, such as the lyrical or the epic; ekphrasis as an emblematic device; and the intimacy of ekphrastic descriptions in epistolary writing.

Papers will be considered for publication in an anthology on the topic.

Send an abstract of no longer than 150 words and and CV to Arthur J. DiFuria ( and Walter S. Melion (

Deadline: June 2, 2017. 


Tags:  antiquarianism  Art History  artistic process  Early Modernity  ekphrasis  epideictic  hyperbole  image and text  making  mediality  reception  rhetoric  visualization 

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Imagining the Heretic: Visual Narratives

Posted By Lara R. Langer, Friday, April 21, 2017

CFP: RSA 2018

Imagining the Heretic: Visual Narratives


Religious and social strife in the Early Modern period gave rise to a host of “heretics,” including significant thinkers like Savonarola, Luther, Campanella, or Bruno and commoners accused of heretical acts. The religious reshaping of Europe led to massive groups of people being indiscriminately labelled “heretics” according to faith despite instances of nicodemism. While the famous cases got reasonable exposure, the lesser known examples could serve to further understand this multifaceted “geography of the heretic” in Early Modern Europe. This panel is interested in the process of historicizing, memorializing, and imagining the heretic. Papers may address issues related to images of heretics as incriminating, exonerating, or ambiguous statements of one’s orthodoxy. What does art tell us about the life, death, and burial practices of a heretic? How could a heretic navigate the tensions between group and individual identity? How was the notion of “heretic” contextualized beyond its European borders?


Please send an abstract of 150 words maximum, a title of 15 words maximum, and a brief CV of 300 words maximum to Silvia Tita at and to Lara Langer at by May 30, 2017.

Tags:  Art  Art History  Early Modernity  Heresy  Heretic  Medal  portraiture  Sculpture  Spanish and Italian Renaissance 

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Alonso Cano, painter, draughtsman, sculptor, and architect

Posted By Livia Stoenescu, Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Papers are sought for panel presentations on the seminal seventeenth-century painter, draughtsman, sculptor, and architect Alonso Cano (1601-1667). 500 – 1,000-word abstracts are invited for consideration on topics including but not limited to the following: Cano and Early Modernity; Cano and the Italian Renaissance; Cano and the Spanish Golden Age; Cano and the Modern Painter; Cano and the Age of Aesthetics; Cano and the Court Commissions for Philip IV (Madrid, Valencia, and Granada); The Extensive Body of Cano’s Drawings; Cano and Theatre/Theatricality; Cano as Architect; Cano as Sculptor; Cano’s Personal Library; Cano, Forerunners, and Inheritors.


Abstracts, one-page CV, and keywords should be sent by May 10th, 2017 to Livia Stoenescu at


Scholarly attention to the work of Alonso Canso has been irregular, consisting of a handful of articles in academic journals, and the anniversary exhibitions held in 2001/2002. Scholars attending to Cano include Zahira Véliz, Alonso Cano: 1601-1667; dibujos; catálogo razonado (Santander: Fundación Botín, 2011), and Ángel Aterido Fernández, Corpus Alonso Cano: documentos y textos (Madrid,  2002). Benito Navarrete has published various articles on Cano’s drawings and included new drawings in the catalog of Spanish drawings of the Uffizi, I Segni nel tempo. Dibujos españoles de los Uffizi (Fundación Mapfre-Galleria degli Uffizi, 2016). José Álvarez Lopera has provided a comprehensive study on Cano in Figuras e imágenes del barroco:estudios sobre el barroco español y sobre la obra de Alonso Cano (Madrid, Fundación Argentaria, Visor: 1999), provoking insights into the life and work of Cano that await further investigation.   


The presentations comprising “Alonso Cano, painter, draughtsman, sculptor, and architect” address this gap in scholarship in ways that will appeal to interests in Early Modern Art History and Culture, Spanish Baroque Art and Architecture, and the Spanish Golden Age. Collectively, these presentations situate Cano at the center of cultural change and read his work as profound early modern critique. Harold Wethey called attention to Cano’s complexity in his fundamental Alonso Cano: Painter, Sculptor, and Architect (Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1955).


A CFP for an edited collection will follow shortly after the 2018 meeting of New Orleans RSA with the expectation that this special session will have stimulated renewed scholarly consideration of the work of this seminal seventeenth-century figure.


Tags:  Early Modernity  Spanish and Italian Renaissance  Spanish Golden Age 

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