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Mocking the Other and Defining the Self. The Use of Stereotypes, Satire, and Blasphemy in Early Modern Religious Discourse

Posted By Stefano Villani, Monday, May 1, 2017
Updated: Monday, May 1, 2017
EMoDiR (Early Modern religious Dissents and Radicalism) 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. 

Mocking the Other and Defining the Self
The use of stereotypes, satire, and blasphemy in early modern religious discourse

An essential passage in building your own religious identity is the criticism of other confessional or ethnoreligious groups. This criticism has often taken on the character of satire, parody, and sarcasm. This panel wants to investigate how these discursive modes have been used in the early modern age and how they have contributed to building up a definition of the self of churches, sects, religious movements and individuals. We are interested in investigating the social reality of these texts, documenting, wherever possible, the way in which they were read by contemporaries and the direct or indirect responses that they provoked.

Possible paper themes for panels will include:

- the use of satire in Protestant anti-Catholic propaganda and in Catholic anti-Protestant propaganda both in written and caricature depictions
- the use of satire and sarcasm to ridicule radical and mystical movements
- the use of racial stereotypes to attack specific ethnoreligious groups
- the ridiculing of different alimentary, sexual and  behavioral costumes to attack religious adversaries  
- the use of anti-religious satire
- blasphemy as a creative act to build  a libertine, or irreligious identity
- the defensive strategies put in place to respond to this type of attack
- the efficacy of satirical propaganda, investigating how it sometimes contributed to the opposite effect of raising sympathy and solidarity with those who were attacked

We would be happy to receive proposals that address these themes from historical, literary, art-historical, or other perspectives.

Please send  to Stefano Villani villani@umd.edu and Federico Barbierato federico.barbierato@univr.it:
- a paper title (15-word maximum)
- abstract (150-word maximum)  
- keywords
- a very brief curriculum vitae (300-word maximum). Prose bios will not be accepted. 

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Tags:  Blasphemy  Dissent  Propaganda  Radicalism  Religious Discourse  Satire  Stereotype 

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