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History CFPs for RSA 2018 New Orleans
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This blog is for CFPs for sessions in 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: Historiography  early modern  Renaissance  History  material culture  art  court culture  gender  identity  Italy  Materiality  religion  rhetoric  technologies  women  art history  bodies  body  cartography  Classical Reception  Devotion  Diasporas  early modern Spain  Eschatology  family  geography  global empires  Historical Drama  Iberia  Literature 

Worlding Early Modern France

Posted By Robert Wellington, Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Session title: Worlding Early Modern France

Session keywords: Material culture, the global turn, ancien-régime France, court culture, cross-cultural encounters, transcultural aesthetics.

Discipline: History/Art History

Chair: Dr Robert Wellington (Australian National University)

Panel abstract:

The early modern age (1500-1700) was, perhaps, the first truly global period in human history. As many recent studies have shown, migration and global movement are not just modern phenomena. Indeed, scholars of early modern history, art and visual culture have cogently argued that studies of the historical movement of people, objects, and cultural ideas are vital to understanding and reconciling the myriad cultural perspectives of our own societies. The resistance to ‘globalisation’ in the academy—with its implicit cultural homogeneity—raises the question of how people, objects, images and ideas operate in communities that aspire to celebrate and maintain cultural diversity. Surveys that promise a ‘global’ or ‘world’ history run the risk of subsuming all cultures to a single simplistic narrative that fails to engage with the complex and varied epistemologies that are evident in different cultures. This has led scholars to call for a ‘worlding’ of history, to support pluralities of local, national and international discourse, to accommodate a variety of worldviews.

This session responds to this call, inviting proposals for papers that reveal complex networks of cultural exchange between France, her colonies, and other cultures in the early modern world. Papers that address this theme with a focus on the following issues are especially welcome: Embassies, emissaries and ambassadorial gifts to and from the French Court; the movement of people and things across international borders; the individual agents and bureaucratic mechanisms of that process; local and international trade networks; the complex ‘lives’ of objects as they move into new cultural contexts; centres and peripheries of power in the francophone world; and the cultural agency of slaves and occupied people in French colonies.

Proposals, to be submitted by email to by Friday, May 27, must include the following:

·       a paper title (15-word maximum)

·       abstract (150-word maximum) abstract guidelines

·       keywords

·       a very brief curriculum vitae (300-word maximum). Prose bios will not be accepted. CV guidelines and models

·       first, middle, and last name; affiliation; and email address

Tags:  ancien-régime France  court culture  cross-cultural encounters  Material culture  the global turn  transcultural aesthetics 

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Remapping Influence. New Studies of Lyric and the Iberian Empires

Posted By Elizabeth B. Davis, Monday, May 1, 2017

Narratives of influence are usually unidirectional. This is especially the case for narratives of imperial centers and peripheries in which influence is often depicted as belated, exaggerated or marked by artistic anxiety. Curiously, however, the imperial peripheries of Spanish and Portuguese empires were also locales of innovative experiments that often anticipated or surpassed metropolitan lyric form. These panels seek papers that invert common narratives of influence by discussing the innovation of lyric in peripheral geographies, boomerang effects of imperial lyric on the metropolis, lyric form that traveled with authors to and from imperial frontiers, dislocated centers of experimentation, and ways in which the geography of empire itself forced new forms of lyric circulation. How do these innovations and renewals force a reconsideration of the terms of imperial lyric? What does lyric do in and to Iberian empires?

 Please send a 200-word abstract, a list of key words, and a brief CV (no more than 300 words) in a single Word document to Juan Vitulli ( and Anna More ( by by Monday, 15 May 2017. See guidelines for CVs on the RSA’s annual meeting page. While the RSA requests that participants make an effort to prepare papers in English, Spanish presentations will be considered (note that abstract and paper must be written in the same language).

This panel is sponsored by the Society for Renaissance and Baroque Hispanic Poetry.

Tags:  Barroco de Indias  early modern Spain  Iberia  imperial lyric  Latin American Colonial  Portugal 


Confraternities In Public and In Private

Posted By Samantha J. C. Hughes-Johnson, Monday, May 1, 2017

CALL FOR PAPERS (Deadline: 24 May 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 24 May 2017.

Tags:  charity  confraternities  philanthropy 

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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 and Federico Barbierato
- 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. 

Download File (PDF)

Tags:  Blasphemy  Dissent  Propaganda  Radicalism  Religious Discourse  Satire  Stereotype 

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Materiality, the Senses, and the Everyday

Posted By Karen-edis Barzman, Monday, May 1, 2017
Updated: Monday, May 1, 2017

This interdisciplinary Call for Papers seeks submissions that consider the use of material culture in the everyday, and the sensorial experience of objects in their original contexts. Papers could include the way objects engaged a variety of senses and/or encouraged bodily movement, prompting ritualized responses or eliciting new forms of spatial practice. Examples could investigate the use of liturgical objects in sacred spaces, the role of domestic or devotional items in residential quarters, the effects on the body of new materials and technologies in the trades and professions, and the incorporation of props in the performance of urban life. Papers related to understudied aspects of the sensorium are particularly welcome, especially those that consider objects and context engaging smell and taste. Geographic focus is unrestricted; temporal limits, c. 1300-1700.

Submissions Guidelines                                    
Proposals should be for 20-minute papers and should include

  • a preliminary title for the paper
  • an abstract of 150 words
  • a 1-page CV, including current institutional affiliation(s)
  • current contact information

Submit your proposal to by Wednesday, May 31, 2017. Subject line: “RSA – Materiality, the Senses, and the Everyday.”

Tags:  devotional  domestic  everyday  liturgical  materiality  objects  performance  professions  props  residential  ritualized responses  senses  sensorium  smell  spatial practice  taste  technologies  trades  urban life 

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The space in between: Reconsidering the distance that separates early modern fact from fiction

Posted By Kelsey Ihinger, Monday, May 1, 2017
Updated: Monday, May 29, 2017

In the era of “alternative facts” and “fake news” one may rightfully question where objectivity lies. It may seem that the distance between fact and fiction is growing increasingly blurrier in today’s world, but this is not a question relevant only in our current, rapidly-changing political climate. History as a discipline has evolved since the early modern period into a genre epitomized by its objectivity, yet according to Hayden White all historians perform a “poetic act” upon writing down the stories they plan to tell. We may consider, then, the space that exists between the literary and historical genres as a space of productive contemplation. This panel seeks papers that consider the question of separation or contact between fact and fiction in the early modern period, when histories and chronicles were written with royal patronage, when religion permeated a country’s understanding of truth, and when news came in the form of propagandistic pamphlets. In this era, can there exist a real division between fact and fiction? How does our reading of the chronicle change when considered through the lens of literary criticism rather than historiography? How do the various historical genres—historical drama, news pamphlets, chronicles—interact with their historical subject and the author’s ability to manipulate it? How does the early modern author who writes about history conceive of his own task? These are questions that this panel will explore as it seeks to open up the space that exists between history and literature in the early modern period.

 Please send a 150-word abstract and a 300-word CV to Kelsey Ihinger ( Proposals must be received by end of day on Friday, May 12. This panel will be sponsored by the Center for Early Modern Studies of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Tags:  Chronicles  Historical Drama  Historiography  Literature 

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Iberian Pornographies, 1300-1650

Posted By Chad Leahy, 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  Bodies  erotic  Historiography  Literature  pornography 

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Consuming Medicinals in the Early Modern World

Posted By Sharon Strocchia, Tuesday, April 25, 2017
Updated: Tuesday, April 25, 2017

This CfP invites papers that explore the consumption of non-native medicinals—plant, animal, mineral—across the early modern globe. Recent studies have shown how the circulation of medicinals helped foster the development of transregional economies and global networks of exchange, but we know less about how these substances were actually integrated into traditional pharmacopeia and household medicine chests in both European and non-European settings. How did therapeutic substances acquire new cultural uses, identities and meanings as they traveled the globe? What processes and mechanisms facilitated the adoption and transculturation of previously unknown medicinals? How was the efficacy of “new” medicinals evaluated and certified, and by whom? Papers examining the commodification of medicinals, their transformation into consumer products, and their impact on material culture (e.g. print, objects, collectables) are also welcome. Geographic focus is unrestricted; temporal focus c. 1400-1700.  

Proposals for 20-minute papers should include

·         The author’s name, professional affiliation, and current contact information

·         Paper title (15 word maximum)

·         Abstract (150 words maximum)

·         Brief CV (maximum 300 words)

Submit your proposal to Sharon Strocchia,, by Wednesday, May 24, 2017. Subject line: “RSA – Consuming Medicinals.”

Tags:  commodities  consumption  drugs  material culture  medicine  print  recipes  trade 

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Sacred Geography

Posted By Jessica Weiss, Monday, April 24, 2017

Papers are invited for a session on sacred space at the Renaissance Society of America meeting in New Orleans from March 22-24, 2018. References to space and place abound during the Early Modern era, alongside changing ideas about theology and global geography. This session poses the questions: How did ideas about location, broadly defined, interact or intersect with notions of the sacred during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries? What can references, descriptions, depictions, or evocations of place through texts, images, and materials reveal about devotional ideas, practices, theological constructs, or belief systems? All papers related to place/space and spirituality will be considered, and proposals that push the boundaries of these categories are especially welcome.

Proposals for 20-minute papers should be sent to Jessica Weiss ( by May 25th and should include the author’s name, professional affiliation, and contact information; the paper title (15-word maximum); a brief abstract (150-word maximum); and a brief CV (300-word maximum).

Tags:  Devotion  Geography  Materiality  Religion  Space  Spirituality  Visual Culture 

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Renaissance Skin

Posted By Hannah Murphy, Monday, April 24, 2017
Updated: Friday, May 26, 2017

We are seeking papers interrogating conceptions and practices of and around skin in early modern Europe. From Galen through to Mercurialis, medical writing on skin conceptualized it as a porous boundary to the body. Health depended on protecting skin, but also breaking it, and a wide range of cosmetic, fashion and medical practices converged on skin as a site of dangerous invasion, but also a site of important excretion, where waste, ill-humours and infections could leave the body. As a surface, skin was a site of diagnosis, but also artistic fascination and cultural preoccupation, while the relationship between hair, feathers and fur was a subject of great interest to natural historians and artists alike. Skin and the practices one should and could acceptably do it clarified links, but also differences between humans and animals.

Exploring skin by necessity cuts across disciplinary concerns and invites us to think across, rather than within, medicine, art and craft practices, as well as along political and religious lines. All papers relating to skin are welcome - we hope to collect and display new approaches to this subject, and better shape our understanding of its possibilities and its methodologies.

Anyone interested should submit a title, 150 word abstract and short CV (300 words) to the panel organizers Hannah Murphy and Evelyn Welch at by May 29th.

Tags:  anatomy  art  artisans  body  cosmetics  fashion  medicine  patients  recipes  skin  surgeons  technologies  touch 

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