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Literature CFPs for RSA 2018 New Orleans
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Panels sponsored by the FISIER

Posted By Eugenio Refini, Saturday, May 20, 2017

Representing the Self in the Renaissance 

A common trope in scholarship is that the Renaissance invented the modern notion of identity. Within this narrative, the invention of the “self” is usually singled out as one of the most important achievements of Renaissance culture. Seminal studies such as Greenblatt’s Renaissance Self-Fashioning (1980) contributed to enlighten the many ways in which authors, artists, and philosophers found new communicative tools to construct and stage their “self.” More recently, works such as Charles Taylor’s Sources of the Self: The Making of the Modern Identity (1992), Thierry Wanegffelen’s Le Roseau pensant. Ruse de la modernité occidentale (2010), and Marie-Clarté Lagrée’s «C'est moy que je peins»: Figures de soi à l'automne de la Renaissance (2012) have widened our understanding of the new status acquired by the “self” in the Renaissance. However, the way in which the notion of the self and the notion of identity were shaped in the period remain controversial and difficult to seize. The primary aim of these panels is to reconsider our current assumptions about the emergence of the self as a category of thought in the Renaissance through the analysis and discussion of texts and other relevant sources from the period. We invite proposals for three-paper panels focusing on the ways in which the category was used, described, performed, denied. Possible topics include (but are not limited to):

1. The Renaissance reflection on the self in contemporary theory and criticism.
2. Representation of the self in the context of poetry of art.
3. Representation of the self in political contexts (including the ways in which rulers and
public figures stage themselves, for instance in historical memoirs, epistles, etc.).
4. Representation of the self in private contexts (autobiography, personal memoirs, essays).
5. Representation of the self in religious contexts (preaching, meditation, prayers, mystical literature, etc.).
6. Representation of the self in scholarly contexts (thinkers, humanists, scholars, translators who represent themselves in philosophical and scientific texts).
7. Representation of the self in motion (travel literature, memoirs, etc.).

Proposals for panels should include:
- Title (15-word maximum), abstract (150-word maximum), and keywords for each of the three papers;
- CV, affiliation and contact details for each panelist (300-word maximum, NO prose bios);
- Chair.

Individual paper proposals are also accepted.

Please send your proposals to by May 31st.

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