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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 

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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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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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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CFP: Ut pictura medicina? Relations and Analogies between Medicine and the Visual Arts

Posted By Fabian Jonietz, Thursday, May 4, 2017
Updated: Thursday, May 4, 2017

Beyond the traditional nexus of art, anatomy, and optics, Early Modern sources often suggest a broader, more complex interdisciplinary transfer of knowledge between art and medicine: Lorenzo Ghiberti, for example, recommended that artists know "medicine" in addition to "anatomy." One level of the relationship concerned both disciplines’ need to grasp the particularity of a given body in light of the universal. Physicians thus sought artists to produce color scales for use in diagnosis, just as artists utilized medical knowledge to sharpen their visual judgment. Another level concerned broader historical circumstances. Not only did artists and physicians share Saint Luke as a common patron; in Renaissance Florence, for example, they also belonged to the same guild, engaged in similar debates regarding their "liberal" status, and – arguably – conceived their histories in similar ways. What can we conclude about such multivalent relationships? For example, did the two disciplines’ commitment to the observation of particular phenomena engender inconsistencies with traditional doctrine that demanded a similar reckoning with status, authority, and history?


This panel investigates the relationship between medicine and art at all levels: the social position of practitioners, the exchange of theoretical and practical knowledge, the existence of shared nomenclature and concepts, and the latter’s tendency to generate shared modes of observation and description.


Please submit a title, abstract (150 words maximum) and a short CV (300 words) to the panel organizers Robert Brennan ( and Fabian Jonietz ( by May 30.

Tags:  Art History  Art Theory  Body  Guilds  Historiography  History of Science  medicine 


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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Iberian Pornographies, 1300-1650

Posted By Chad Leahy, Sunday, April 30, 2017
Updated: Sunday, April 30, 2017

 We invite papers that broadly interrogate ‘pornography’ and ‘the pornographic’ in the context of Early Modern Iberia and its global colonial kingdoms. We encourage innovative responses to questions that include, but are not limited to: What new critical and theoretical tools can be brought to bear in putting the post-Enlightenment category of the ‘pornographic’ in dialogue with Early Modern texts and practices? What constitutes ‘pornography’ and where do we locate it in Imperial Spain and Portugal? What social, political, economic work does ‘pornography’ do in this context? How is ‘pornography’ regulated or resisted by institutions or individuals (i.e.  confessors, moralists, theologians, the Inquisition)? How is it circulated and consumed? In what media (manuscript or print; painting, sculpture, tapestry; poetry, prose, theater; music) is it transmitted? How do the particular material or structural constraints of a given medium affect representation, circulation, or consumption? How might the ‘pornographic’ manifest itself in unexpected places (i.e. religious art or treatises)? How might a ‘pornographic’ lens help shed new light on early modern Iberian artistic, literary, and historiographic canons? 

Please send paper titles, abstracts (150 words max.), and keywords to and by Wednesday, May 24.

Tags:  Art  body  erotic  historiography  Literature  pornography 

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The Problem and Promise of the Baroque: New Approaches in Research, Historiography, and Pedagogy

Posted By Rachel Miller, Monday, April 10, 2017

In the 2011 book, Rethinking Baroque, editor Helen Hills and the contributing authors proposed to both interrogate and re-energize the study of the baroque, a much-maligned concept and one Hills termed the “grit in the oyster of art history.”  The authors sought to come to grips with the term from a wide array of chronological and methodological approaches, problematizing and reshaping the landscape of inquiry.  By contrast, the following year Gauvin Bailey’s Baroque and Rococo re-entrenched the Baroque as a category for study, seeing it as a moment of unified global exuberance.  More than five years later, however, it is unclear where these two divergent approaches have left researchers and teachers. In what ways is the Baroque continuing to be critically reevaluated and used as an interpretive tool? Where does the study of Baroque art currently stand and where is it going, especially in relation to the rising emphasis on the “Early Modern”? What is at stake in surrendering the Baroque in favor of modernity? Hills herself asked “Can the apparent contradictions between periodization and critical strategy be reconciled?” In this panel, we seek to engage with and extend these questions.

This session will examine the utility of the ‘Baroque’ in several different ways.  First, we are interested in historical case studies of objects, spaces, and experiences that engage with or challenge the Baroque style in new and exciting ways. We are open to research that argues for the preservation of the term as a site of legitimate scholarly discourse or provides a compelling argument to reject it.  Second, we seek approaches that deal with the historiography of the Baroque, but also with the state of the field, critically interrogating the risks and benefits of how we discuss periodization and the problems inherent in a linear approach to art historical inquiry.  Third, we seek to include papers that address what is at stake pedagogically when dealing with the period 1580-1730. How do educators approach the paradox of the Baroque at a time when the term itself has been challenged and reassessed in ways that are not often reflected in standard undergraduate course offerings and textbooks? How do we leverage these complex discussions into more fruitful classroom discourse?  Papers need not deal with all three prongs of inquiry though crossover is encouraged.

Please submit your paper proposal by May 15 to Saskia Beranek ( and Rachel Miller ( Proposals must include the following:

·      Name, affiliation, email address

·      Paper title

·      Abstract (250-word maximum)

·      Keywords

·      CV (1 page)

Download File (PDF)

Tags:  Art History  Baroque  Case Studies  Historiography  New Approaches  Pedagogy 

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