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Literature CfPs for RSA 2019 Toronto
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EXTENDED DEADLINE: Age and Gender in Early Modern Italy

Posted By Chiara Girardi, Saturday, July 28, 2018
Updated: Tuesday, August 7, 2018

While historians and art historians have deeply engaged in the analysis of elderly women in preindustrial societies, most notably Christiane Klapisch-Zuber in Women, Family, and Ritual in Renaissance Italy and, more recently,Erin J. Campbell in “Prophets, Saints, and Matriarchs: Portraits of Old Women in Early Modern Italy;” literary critics have yet to fully explore issues of aging and the portrayals of female old age in Italian literature. This session aims to address this gap in literary studies and invites presentations that explore historical and fictional representations of old women in Early Modern Italy. From the elderly female advisors in Giovanni Boccaccio’s Elegia di Madonna Fiammetta and Alessandro Piccolomini’s La Raffaella to the agingfemale lover in Italian lyric poetry, the depictions of old women in Early Modern Italy are numerous and rarely marginal. Topics may include, but are not limited to:

The aesthetics of old age and the body of the elderly;
Comparative approaches to gender and age: elderly women versus men; the male versus female gaze on old women;
The authorial voice of the old woman (in poetry and epistolary writings);
Portrayals of aging and old age in medical treatises and conduct manuals;
The roles assumed by the elderly woman: grandmother, widow, advisor, mezzana, witch;
Old age and the performance of the memory of the past;
Reception of ancient and biblical old women into Early Modernliterature;
The influence of Fernando de Rojas’s Celestina in Italian comedies;
The relationship between gender, age and literary genre;
Education and gender, or the role of the elderly adviser in amatory treatises;
Old women versus young women;
Issues of ageism in scholarship, contemporary or historical;


Please send a 150-word abstract, a short bio and request for audio-visual equipment to Chiara Girardi: by August 10th.

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