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Interdisciplinary and Other CFPs for RSA 2018 New Orleans
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This blog is for CFPs for interdisciplinary and miscellaneous sessions 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: Literature  philosophy  Italy  Religion  Art History  Devotion  music  translation  visual culture  early modern  gender  Historiography  Renaissance  Spain  architecture  Classical Reception  Colonial Latin America  Digital Humanities  France  humanism  Interdisciplinarity  language  Latin  Materiality  poetry  rhetoric  Art  classics  England  history 

The Far North in the Early Modern Imagination

Posted By Kjell Wangensteen, Monday, May 22, 2017

Since at least the time of Hesiod, the land of the far north has been described in wondrous, exotic, and even paradisiacal terms.  The Hyperboreans—those living “beyond the north wind”—were extolled by Pindar as an especially peaceful and long-lived race.  In his famous Historia de Gentibus Septentrionalibus (History of the Northern Peoples), printed in Rome in 1555, the exiled Swedish archbishop Olaus Magnus (1490-1557) described his homeland as a place of noble warriors, strange myths, fantastic beasts, and extraordinary natural phenomena.  Magnus’s account was reprinted in numerous editions and translated into six languages, stoking interest throughout Europe in the far north and its inhabitants.  Well into the seventeenth century, this fascination manifested in nearly all aspects of European culture, from politics and literature to art and the natural sciences. 

This session invites papers from a variety of disciplines that investigate and interpret the early modern understanding of the far north (broadly defined), from the sixteenth century through the beginning of the eighteenth.  Topics may include travel accounts to northern climes and their reception, contemporary visual depictions of the lands and people of the far north, the discovery and publication of rune stones and other pre-Christian archaeological finds, historical claims to Gothic lineage and their use for political ends, the construction of patriotic narratives and mythologies, and the study, depiction, and analysis of northern flora and fauna.

Please email paper proposals, including a title and abstract of approximately 150 words, as well as a list of keywords, a current C.V. and a short bio (300-word maximum) to Kjell Wangensteen ( by Saturday, June 3.

Tags:  Art History  History  History of Science  Landscape  Northern Europe  Scandinavia  Travel Accounts 

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Languages of Heterodoxy: Translating Religious Dissent

Posted By Claudia Rossignoli, Monday, May 22, 2017
Updated: Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Organizers: Eugenio Refini, Claudia Rossignoli, Eleonora Stoppino


The translation into the Italian vernacular of doctrinal, spiritual and exegetical texts written by Reformation thinkers had a direct and significant impact on the way in which sixteenth-century Italian believers approached, interpreted and experienced faith. Translations from the works of leading reformers, including Luther, Calvin, Melanchthon, Bullinger, Juan de Valdés had a central function in disseminating ideas and aspirations. But alongside their spiritual message, these translations offered a renewed language to express religious attitudes and articulate spiritual needs, becoming a crucial medium for the expression of religious dissent. A uniquely varied body of works, exemplifying the transmission, interpretation, and appropriation of values and beliefs across cultures, communities and languages, they also highlight the crucial function of intermediaries in the transfer of religious meaning across different cultural systems. And yet their linguistic significance remains virtually unexplored, except for a number of studies concentrating on the circulation of single works or specific individuals. This panel aims to investigate this less charted aspect of the circulation of Reformed ideas, and will aim to address (without being limited to) the following issues:


  • The mapping of communities and social groups in terms of the doctrinal, linguistic, or even political factors involved in the production and circulation of these texts. A case in point would be Renée of France’s circles in Ferrara and Montargis;
  •  The physical characteristics of the volumes in which these translations were transmitted and their principal channels of production and circulation;
  • The presence and use of paratextual materials, and their function in explicitly framing these texts within a defined spiritual and theological approach to reform;
  • The mediating and often transforming function of translators;
  • The strategies they employed to transmit to their audiences notions and attitudes often inextricably rooted in the culture and identity of different countries and cultural traditions;
  • The linguistic and rhetorical strategies translators chose to utilize, and the connections between such strategies and contemporary linguistic theories and debates;
  • Issues of authorship, anonymity, censorship and literariness;
  • The relationship between these texts (and their translating techniques and approaches) and contemporary translations of the Scripture, especially of books with particular exegetical and theological interest (such as the Psalms);
  • The ways in which the imposition by the Catholic authorities of a specific  linguistic framework affected the individual’s assimilation of doctrinal principles and involvement into religious behaviours.


Proposals for this panel (in adherence with RSA guidelines) should include:

-Title (15-word maximum);

-Abstract (150-word maximum), and keywords;

-CV, with affiliation and contact details (300-word maximum, no prose bios).

Please send your proposals to by 31st May. 

Tags:  heterodoxy  Italy  language  Religion  religious discourse  translation 


Teaching Race: A Roundtable

Posted By Anna Wainwright, Saturday, May 20, 2017
Updated: Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Organizers: Alison Frazier, Anna Wainwright

This roundtable explores how we early modernists engage race in our classrooms. We seek five-six participants, each willing to share an innovative lesson plan: what sources do you use, what activities and projects have you found successful for introducing students of different race-, class-, and gender-positions to the history, philosophy, art, and literature of the early modern world? More generally, this panel aims to encourage discussion about public engagement: what does it mean to teach Renaissance constructions of race in this global moment, so fraught with racial violence? How do we at once acknowledge the historiographical traditions of our disciplines, as we surpass the limits of those traditions to fashion inclusive and "intersectional" historiographies of the Renaissance?

Contact Anna Wainwright (NYU) with your titled abstract of not more than 150 words.

For questions about submissions, see

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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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Thomas More in history, literature, and theology

Posted By Emily A. Ransom, Wednesday, May 17, 2017

On the heels of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, the International Association for Thomas More Studies is continuing to garner enthusiasm for Thomas More studies among both rising and established scholars at the Renaissance Society of America annual meeting (New Orleans, March 22–24).  Any research relating to Thomas More is invited, including:

  • Utopia (and utopias, law, transatlantic studies, travel literature, satire, etc.)
  • Richard III (and historiography, tyranny, drama, influence on Shakespeare, etc.)
  • The epigrams (and translation, poetic theory, polemics, proverbs, jestbooks, afterlife, etc.)
  • Reformation controversy (and law, ecclesiology, consensus, polemics, rhetoric, biblical translation, Luther, Tyndale, Henry VIII, etc.)
  • Martyrdom (and consolation, devotion, historiography, afterlife, competing literary legacies, Shakespeare’s Book of Thomas More, etc.)

To submit a proposal, please send a 150-word abstract and current CV to Emily Ransom ( by June 1.  Proposals will be considered as they come with a fast turn-around time.  Scholars at any stage of their careers are warmly welcome.

Tags:  devotion  Historiography  humanism  martyrdom  poetry  politics  Religion  rhetoric  translation 

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Philology (AAR-SOF sponsor)

Posted By Alison K. Frazier, Wednesday, May 17, 2017
Updated: Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Sponsor: American Academy in Rome-Society of Fellows

Philology, Broadly Speaking

The AAR-SOF invites papers on theoretical, historical, and procedural aspects of philology, with special attention to the capacity of philology to open connections to the past, to establish cultural meaning, and to frame a scholarly way of life. Philology helped scholars to address questions of antiquaarina interest, but also to establihs cultural meaning, and to orient themselves regarding the world of ideas, thereby delineating a philological way of life. Papers treating Renaissance engagement with patristic and late antique texts are most welcome.

Recent proliferating attention to philology—witness new handbooks (e.g. Trovato 2014, Hanna 2015) and trade histories (e.g., Turner 2014), and well as radical re-positionings (e.g. Pollack-Elman-Chang 2015) and reconceptualizations (e.g. Butler 2016)—suggests that this cultural moment of disdain for the humanities figures equally as a renewal and re-thinking of ancient global traditions of learning. 

Contact Alison Frazier with your titled abstract of not more than 150 words. You need not be a fellow of the American Academy at Rome to participate. Questions about procedure? Consult


Tags:  classical reception  classics  linguistics  philology  philosophy 

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The German Nation in the Writings of the Humanists, Luther, and the Early Lutherans

Posted By Kristin M. Bezio, Wednesday, May 17, 2017

This panel deals with the idea of the German nation and the Holy Roman Empire in the works of the humanists (particularly German), Martin Luther, and the Lutherans (including Ulrich von Hutten and Melanchthon). This session discusses the concept of the nation in both Catholic and Lutheran (and sympathizers) authors, and how they attempted to reconcile the nation with the Holy Roman Empire. Papers may focus on any aspect of nation, patriotism, or nationalism in the writings of humanists and reformers during 1480-1560.

Please email proposals (150-word abstracts and 300-word CVs) to Thomas Renna at on or before May 30th.

Tags:  Germany  history  Holy Roman Empire  Humanism  Literature  Luther 

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Exoticism and Renaissance Music

Posted By Janie Cole, Wednesday, May 17, 2017

CfP for Panel at RSA NOLA 2018: "Exoticism and Renaissance Music"

Inspired by Ralph Locke’s multi-layered book "Music and the Exotic from the Renaissance to Mozart", we are calling for paper presentations on exoticism and Renaissance music. The aim of the panel is to investigate exoticism in both structural-formal and socio-cultural terms with different presentations that address sources, cultural transfer, and historical accounts to current performance practice, signification, and reception. Please email a 250-word abstract and short bio by June 1st 2017 to David Kjar:

Tags:  exotica  music 

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Conchophilia: Shells as Exotica in the Early Modern World

Posted By Marisa A. Bass, Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Amidst the extraordinary efflorescence of commerce and culture in early modernity, shells were objects of particular curiosity and value. Often hard to come by and always expensive, they participated in one of the period’s signal developments: the passion for rare and unusual objects of distant or mysterious origin. 

This session singles out the shell among other popular exotica, which ranged from bezoar stones and feathers to lacquerware and textiles—from naturalia and artificilia to some combination thereof. Shells were intrinsically prized, but they were also transformed into elaborate drinking vessels, their surfaces manipulated with virtuosic relief, engraving, and chemical processes. Indeed, shells were simultaneous subjects of intellectual inquiry and natural history, their origins linked to fossils and the Flood, and their forms studied for a mathematical complexity that aligned them with the wonders of divine creation. Their representation in innumerable contemporary paintings and prints—from still lifes to depictions of collector’s cabinets—further attests to their manifold significance.   

We invite papers that address any aspect of shell crafting, collecting, study, and/or representation from the sixteenth to the eighteenth century. Especially welcome are proposals that consider how shells and their complex biographies embody the practices, social configurations, and politics of early modern connoisseurship; that query the extent to which the topos of play between art and nature is sufficient for describing nautilus cups and other such combinatory creations; or that address the archeology of shells in terms of materiality, handling, and the historical record.

Please send a brief abstract (no more than 150 words), and a brief curriculum vitae (300-word maximum in outline form) to Marisa Bass (, Anne Goldgar (, Hanneke Grootenboer (, and Claudia Swan ( Anne by Wednesday, May 31, 2017.

Tags:  collecting  collecting culture  commerce  early modern art  exotica  fossils  Italy  kunstkammers  natural history  nautilus cups  Netherlandish  Netherlands  Renaissance art  science  shells  still life  wonder 

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The Early Modern Memento Mori [extended deadline, 5 June]

Posted By Kaara L. Peterson, Tuesday, May 16, 2017
Updated: Wednesday, May 31, 2017

The Early Modern Memento Mori

The most recognizable memento mori image in all of Western culture is still probably Shakespeare's Hamlet holding Yorick's skull aloft in the play's graveyard scene, with Holbein's anamorphic work, The Ambassadors (1533), perhaps running a close second. Recently, however, NPG London curator Tarnya Cooper has explored the broad range of vanitas portraits painted of the bourgeois citizens of 16th- and 17th-c. England and Europe, attesting to the wider appeal and popularity of the vanitas portrait for Renaissance culture.

This panel solicits papers for the 2018 RSA meeting in New Orleans that will consider new scholarship on the early modern memento mori or vanitas tradition, broadly construed. Cross-disciplinary work is particularly welcome, but papers may be focused on portraiture or other visual arts (natures mortes, etc.), literature, material culture artifacts, theater performance, etc.

Please send the following by Monday, June 5 to Kaara L. Peterson,

Tags:  memento mori  natures mortes  vanitas 

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