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Art History CfPs for RSA 2019 Toronto
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This blog is for CfPs for sessions in art history for RSA 2019 Toronto. 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  material culture  art history  architecture  gender  Italian art  patronage  circulation  courts  devotion  digital humanities  global  literature  religion  central Europe  charity  class  confraternity  cultural history  diplomacy  domestic interior  dress history  eastern Europe  ephemera  exchange  Florence  Genoa  Habsburg  history  History of Science 

Material Culture and the Domestic Interior: New Questions, New Approaches

Posted By Maria DePrano, Tuesday, May 22, 2018
Updated: Tuesday, May 22, 2018

While examinations of the Early Modern home flourished in the early twentieth century with works such as Paul Schubring’s on cassoni, the At Home in Renaissance Italy exhibition, which opened at the Victoria and Albert Museum in fall 2006, was a watershed for the examination of material culture. This was followed by the Art and Love in Renaissance Italy exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2008. These exhibitions both responded to a growing interest in material culture and inspired additional studies. Scholars have approached the domestic interior and material culture from diverse directions examining particular rooms, religious communities, types of furnishings, and private homes in major cities. What has been learned in the decade since the groundswell of research around At Home in Renaissance Italy? What avenues remain to be explored? What regions, cities, classes, or ethnic and religious minorities need to be examined? Has gender in the domestic interior been sufficiently considered? Could more work be done on unmarried women and widows? This CFP invites paper proposals from scholars working on the material culture and the domestic interior of Early Modern Europe. Please send title (15-word maximum), abstract (150-word maximum), keywords, and short C.V. to the organizers, Erin J. Campbell ( and Maria DePrano ( by August 1, 2018.

Tags:  class  domestic interior  gender  home furnishings  material culture  palaces  religious communities 

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Beyond Eastern Europe, 1400–1700

Posted By Tomasz Grusiecki, Tuesday, May 22, 2018

In the early modern period, eastern Europe was a mosaic of cultures. Multi-ethnic, multi-lingual and multi-denominational, it was situated at the crossroads of trade routes, political affairs, and cultural flows. Yet in the eighteenth century, the region’s perceived distance from the main centers of the Enlightenment led to its subsequent framing as the space of socio-economic backwardness, political disorder and cultural periphery. This binary positioning has had profound consequences on the perceptions of this region to this day.


This panel seeks to explore and redress two interconnected problems: (1) the terminology and methodologies that have been applied to conceptually situate the lands between the Baltic and Black Seas—for example, the ‘East’, ‘periphery’, and more recently, ‘borderland’; (2) and, in turn, the different ways in which art, architecture and literature can challenge the conventional definitions of the region.


We thus invite scholars of central and eastern Europe to explore new approaches, terms, and questions that address the place of this region in its various complexities and thematic contexts. We seek papers that cover any aspect of culture (art, architecture, material culture, literature) that might shed new light on the region from within, across, and from without.


Please send a 150-word abstract and a brief curriculum vitae (300-word maximum) to Katie Jakobiec ( and Tomasz Grusiecki ( before Monday, 6 August 2018. Presenters will have to be active RSA members.

Tags:  architecture  art  Art History  central Europe  circulation  cultural history  eastern Europe  global  literature  material culture  transcultural  visual culture 

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Lower-Class Dress, Fashion and Identity in Europe, 1450-1650

Posted By Michele N. Robinson, Tuesday, May 22, 2018
Updated: Tuesday, May 22, 2018

In recent years there has been a surge in interest in Renaissance and Early Modern dress, especially in the context of European courts and wealthy households. Although revealing of important aspects of identity, consumption, social practices and more, these studies consider just a small segment of the population; what did average men and women wear and why? How and why did they create or cultivate particular looks? How did ideas about fashionable dress and appearance spread throughout the lower classes? How can modern scholars recover information about lower-class dress, when we rarely have extant examples, archival references or visual sources?

This panel aims to broaden our knowledge of dress and fashion in the past and seeks papers that ask questions about how the average person – for example artisans, shopkeepers, farmers, or peasants -  dressed in Europe from 1450-1650. Papers may utilise objects in museum collections, archival sources, visual and material culture, or printed or manuscript material and address questions around reconstruction, curatorial practice, production and/or consumption, gender, sexuality or other aspects of identity. Interdisciplinarity is strongly encouraged and speakers may bring knowledge from dress history, material/visual culture studies, economic history, archaeology, art/social/cultural history, digital humanities or other fields. Papers from PhD students, early career scholars and established academics are all welcome.

Please send an abstract of no more than 150 words, proposed paper title (15-words maximum), a short CV (300-words maximum), and a brief list of keywords along with your name, email address, and institutional affiliation to Michele Robinson at by 1 August 2018.

Tags:  art history  digital humanities  dress history  material culture 

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Humanism Discipline Sponsored Sessions CFP

Posted By Brian J. Maxson, Monday, May 21, 2018

The Humanism discipline seeks to sponsor panels for the 2019 annual conference of the Renaissance Society of America, to be held in Toronto, March 17-19, 2019.

I am soliciting proposals for up to three panels on any topic related to Renaissance humanism, broadly defined. Proposals and panels could focus on individual writers and/or specific texts; could situate humanist culture into broader historical contexts; or could explore themes related to humanism from a range of methodologies and evidentiary sources.

Please send proposals to Brian Maxson (, discipline representative for humanism, by July 20, 2018. These proposals should include a panel title (15-word maximum); names of panel organizer(s), chair, and speakers; the institutional affiliation and email address for each proposed participant; a one-page c.v. for each participant (up to 300 words); a title (up to 15-words) and abstract for each proposed paper (up to 150 words).

Please note that accepted participants must join the RSA and register for the conference, and are responsible for their own travel and lodging.

Please contact me if you have any questions or inquiries!

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Papal Patronage and Interventions

Posted By Tracy Cosgriff, Wednesday, May 16, 2018
Updated: Wednesday, May 16, 2018

From the Schism to the Counter-Reformation, the pope and his court are among the greatest patrons of early modern Europe, seizing upon art and literature as harbingers of Christian order, power, and prosperity. These commissions include a dazzling array of objects, ensembles, and spaces, ranging from miniature vessels to grand palaces – even the renovation of Saint Peter's itself. We invite proposals for papers that examine the role of artistic and architectural activities in shaping the image, identity, and office of the papacy in the Renaissance. What were the visual, ecclesiastical, and political motors that inspired patterns of patronage? In what ways did these currents stimulate artistic response? What were the stakes of individual objects and monuments commissioned in this heady atmosphere? We conceive of subjects broadly, spanning the European continent from the thirteenth through the sixteenth century.

This panel is sponsored by the Association of Textual Scholarship in Art History.

Please send a short C.V. (no more than one page), a 150-word abstract, and a list of keywords to Tracy Cosgriff ( and Sara Nair James ( by July 15.

Tags:  devotion  papacy  patronage  Pope  theology  Vatican 


A Matter of Access – Collections and their Availability to a Public Organisers: Susan Bracken, Andrea M. Gáldy, Adriana Turpin (International Forum Collecting & Display)

Posted By Andrea M. Gáldy, Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Since its foundation in 2004, the international forum Collecting & Display has investigated numerous aspects of both collections and collectors. Such activity has taken place at regular seminars and at our own conferences and has resulted in a number of publications. We have also participated in meetings organised by other societies.

For the 2019 annual meeting of the Renaissance Society of America in Toronto we are proposing three inter-related panels, which would examine the question of access to the collection from different perspectives. This session proposes to extend the discussion of the nature and pertinence of collections by focusing on the spaces in which they were displayed and how access to those spaces was controlled. By examining how collections were displayed, used and presented and who had access to these spaces, we hope to develop a deeper understanding of the meaning of the collection to its owner and its significance to contemporaries.

The first strand we envisage to be about places and locations: how the site of a collection might have both enabled or hampered access; how the location itself could have been used to characterise the collection or enhance the reputation of the collector. Possible topics might include the diverse locales used to house and display collections, such as gardens, galleries, churches etc. This strand could also address the issue of early museums, which often institutionalised private collections in early modern Europe and necessitated a new etiquette to control the interested audience wishing to see the treasures amassed.

The second topic is envisaged as studying the related issue of “advertising” collections, for example, by means of publications, such as that of the Giustiniani Collection. Such compilations were frequently used to increase the fame attached to a particular collection. In disseminating information about it, they provided another kind of imaginative access. Another type of such “marketing” happened in the guise of less formal, but no less intentional, spreading of information e.g. through reports sent as letters between renaissance courts. Access to a particular collection and contact with a particular collector may thus have been vicarious – and not always entirely based on facts – but without some kind of advertisement, a collection might have been excluded from public awareness. In that case, the number of those wishing to see it, but being denied access, would have been very limited.

Finally, our third topic is ‘Intimate geographies’. Examining the spaces in which women displayed their collection, provides an opportunity to investigate the meaning of their collections and to challenge preconceived notions of privacy and the personal. We invite discussion as to the role of women in the household and whether they had their own spaces or shared the spaces of their consorts. In discussing the collecting and patronage of women, it may also be important to investigate ephemeral collections. Through the breadth of discussion we hope to demonstrate the multi-faceted roles of women as collectors from the 15th to the 17th centuries.

We encourage proposals that consider the many different types of collections, including collections of natural objects, flora or fauna as well as collections of drawings, miniatures and works of art. Please send your proposals on any of the three topics with abstracts of no more than 250 words together with a short bio by 30th May 2018 to

Please be aware that to be part of the panel in March 2019 you will have to be a member of RSA and be enrolled for the annual meeting at the time of the deadlines set by the society.

Tags:  art  art history  courts  gender  material culture  patronage 


Parallel Patronage: Art and Social Antagonism in Italian Cities (1400-1600).

Posted By Marcello Calogero, Monday, May 14, 2018

Organizers: Saida Bondini, Courtauld Institute of Art/University of Lausanne and Marcello Calogero, Scuola Normale Superiore. 

The interplay between artistic patronage and socio-political power has long been at the centre of scholarly writings. Scholarship has deeply investigated the visual strategies put in place by princes, kings, and ruling families, to reinforce their political preeminence and convey an image of absolute power. Thus, public sites of patronage were often employed to make manifest the presence of the ruler in the city.   Despite these hierarchical systems, various centres of power existed. In courtly and oligarchic contexts, many individuals or families not having a political position relied on considerable financial means and newly acquired social status. Often in these cases, the lack of institutional power was counterbalanced by a pursuit for social distinction, fostered, also, through artistic patronage. This was made possible by conspicuous wealth, sometimes even surpassing that of the ruling power. Tensions arising from this socio-political condition affected not only courtly enviroments. Cities like Venice or Bologna promoted an ideal egalitarianism between the members of the oligarchic power, but this often led to social clashes that impacted the practice of commissioning art. In these cases proper strategies of parallel patronage emerged.   This panel aims to determine the extent to which these conflicts were visualised and displayed in the urban public spaces of Italian cities. Do typological, stylistic, and iconographical choices allow us to trace these kind of social tensions? To what extent were ‘parallel patrons’ perceived as a threat to centralised power? When and why were princely or dominant patterns imitated or deliberately challenged? And finally, how can we track those reactions? Are there any documentary or literary sources which give an idea of the extent to which these practices were publicly disapproved of or accepted? Papers are welcome from postgraduate, early career and established researchers working in different fields (art history, history, literature, etc.).

Proposals of no more than 300 words can be submitted together with a short CV to Marcello Calogero ( and Saida Bondini ( by June 30.

Tags:  art history  courts  Italian art  patronage 


Southern Italian Confraternities

Posted By David D'Andrea, Tuesday, May 8, 2018


(Deadline: 1 August 2018)

The Society for Confraternity Studies will sponsor a number of sessions at the 65th Annual Meeting of the Renaissance Society of America (17-19 March 2019) in Toronto, Canada. Accordingly, it invites proposals for papers on the following theme:

Confraternities, Charity, and Hospitals in Southern Italy

In 2019 the Society for Confraternity Studies will celebrate 30 years of fostering and collecting studies of medieval and early modern confraternities.  A survey of the Society’s publications and submissions reveals an overwhelming concentration on northern Italian confraternities.  As we reflect on the last generation of scholarship and think about the next generation of confraternity studies, we would like papers addressing southern Italian confraternal activities, lay piety, and charitable activity.  The sessions will contextualize the current state of the field and suggest approaches that will broaden our understanding of Italian civil and religious life across the peninsula. 

Papers might focus on, but are not limited to the following topics:    

-Charities and hospitals

-Iconography and architecture

-Material culture and objects of devotion

-Diffusion of southern Italian confraternal saints and devotions

-Historiography and archival sources

Proposals should include the presenter’s name, academic affiliation, email address, 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 categories of information are clearly provided.

Please submit your proposal to Dr. David D’Andrea at by 1 August 2018.

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CfP: Beyond the Microcosm: The Impact of Confraternities on the Civic Sphere

Posted By Samantha J. Hughes-Johnson, Tuesday, May 8, 2018
Updated: Tuesday, May 8, 2018


(Deadline: 1 August 2018)


The Society for Confraternity Studies will sponsor a number of sessions at the 65th Annual Meeting of the Renaissance Society of America (17 - 19 March 2019) in Toronto, Canada. Accordingly, it invites proposals for papers on the following theme:


Beyond the Microcosm: The Impact of Confraternities on the Civic Sphere.


Since the formation of the Society for Confraternity Studies, which celebrates it 30th anniversary in 2019, the subject of Confraternity Studies has moved on from what Konrad Eisenbichler once described as an “invisible history” to become an authoritative sub-field of late medieval and early modern scholarship. Accordingly, in order to encourage a discourse that places confraternities at the center of essential historical developments rather than at their periphery, we invite proposals for papers that explore the amplitude and impact of lay sodalities in Europe, the Americas, the East and Asia in relation to the activities of wider late medieval and early modern society. Papers might focus on, but are not limited to the following topics:

·     The reach and range of lesser traversed sodalities. For example, slave confraternities.

·     The relationships between lay companies and non members. For instance, confraternal liaisons with artisans, food merchants or second-hand clothes sellers.

·     Confratelli and consorelle entrusted with public service, healthcare and the custody of people or objects.

·     The influence of confraternal ritual and recreation on urban spaces.

·     Individual and familial investment in lay companies in order to garner social influence or to gain political power.

·     Associations between the devotional lives of non-clerics and the ordained: how these affinities played out in rituals, drama and music.

·     The impact of art, architecture and ephemera commissioned by confraternities on public spaces and/or the popular conscience.

Papers should concentrate on confraternal activities between 1300 and 1700. We are however, also particularly interested in proposals that discuss retrospectively, the value of studies that have emerged since the conference in 1989 and consider how Confraternity Studies will advance into the twenty-first century.

Proposals should include the presenter’s name, academic affiliation, email, 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 (7) categories of information are clearly provided. 

Please submit your proposal to Dr Samantha J.C. Hughes-Johnson at by 1 August 2018.

Tags:  architecture  art  charity  confraternity  devotion  ephemera  global  hospitals  impact  lay company  music drama  piety  ritual  sodality  urban spaces 

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Fiat Lux: Art, Religion, and Science in Early Modern Italy

Posted By Steven J. Cody, Thursday, May 3, 2018

Light is essential to the visual arts and, indeed, to vision itself. Over seventy years ago, Millard Meiss drew our attention to the ethereal, often overlooked representation of light in some fifteenth-century paintings, eventually arguing that it “could become a major pictorial theme.” As we now know, Renaissance artists engaged with notions of divinity, sacred wisdom, and visual experience—all through the effects of light. But how does one talk, in any serious manner, about something that is fundamentally intangible? The ethereal nature of light presents a challenge for the artist who attempts to depict it, the beholder who attempts to appreciate it, and the art historian who attempts to study it.


These panels serve as a forum for scholars who explore light’s formal, symbolic, metaphoric, and scientific dimensions. We seek participants who take innovative approaches to pictorial light and to theories of sight. Presenters are welcome to consider works of art produced in any of Italy’s locales and at any point in the early modern period, so long as the works are religious in nature. Papers that adopt an interdisciplinary focus are especially encouraged. It is our hope that, through these conversations, we will be able to reconstruct the rich context in which art, religion, and science found a common language in light.

Proposal Instructions:

Please send proposals and direct any queries to both Eric Hupe ( and Steven Cody ( Proposals must be submitted by 1 August and include the following items:

- The presenter’s name, affiliation, and email address
- The paper’s title
- An abstract (150-word maximum)
- Keywords
- A brief CV

- PhD completion date (past or expected)

Tags:  art  History of Science  Italian art  Light  religion 

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