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Literature CfPs for RSA 2019 Toronto
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This blog is for CfPs for sessions in literature 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: Literature  early modern  gender  book history  Poetry  material culture  print culture  Renaissance literature  drama  Iberian Peninsula  identity  women  epic poetry  history of reading  printers  reception history  religion  archival research  art history  catholic reform  classical literature  classical reception  colonial Latin America  cultural history  devotional  digital humanities  history of the book  interdisciplinary  Italian literature  Italy 

CfP: Hero and Antihero in Renaissance Literature

Posted By Marcello Sabbatino, Monday, June 18, 2018

Since ancient times heroes cross the immense lands of literature. From place to place famous poets narrated actions and passions of heroes, holding them up to us. The figure of hero has never left literature. It goes through centuries and several literary genres. Although in the collective consciousness the word ‘hero’ has always been connected with courage, fortitude, force, justice, wisdom and other chivalric virtues, during the Renaissance the image of hero changed, assuming new aspects. The Renaissance revalued the study of human beings. In fact, as reason illuminated the complexity of the human spirit, heroes displayed their murky side. Such figures as Tancredi and Orlando arose and showed the deep contradictions of everyone. The Renaissance hero is no longer different from other people by nature but only by degree. This is immediately clear if we compare Renaissance hero to great Homer’s characters. The passions that move Homer’s heroes and more generally Medieval heroes, are very powerful, but they are simple and erupt quickly. On the other hand, even Ariosto and Tasso felt the intricacy of their hearts and described it in their poems.

This panel aims to investigate the changes that occurred in the figure of the hero and his/her fvalues. We invite proposals for papers, in English or Italian, on the base of, but not limited to, the following themes:

  • the changes in epic form;
  • the values and disvalues of hero or antihero;
  • the chivalric virtues;
  • how Renaissance culture influenced a new concept of hero;
  • the concept of hero in the collective imagination;
  • the expectations of the reader or audience.

Please send a 250-word abstract, a short bio, a CV and a request for audio-visual equipment to: Vincenzo Caputo ( and Marcello Sabbatino ( by 1 Augustt 2018.

Session Chairs: Vincenzo Caputo, University of Studies of Naples Federico II, and Marcello Sabbatino, University of Studies of Pisa.

Tags:  epic poetry  hero  literature  poetry  renaissance culture  virtue 

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CFP: Transforming Bodies in Early Modern Drama (July 16th, 2018)

Posted By Christina M. Squitieri, Sunday, June 17, 2018
Updated: Monday, June 18, 2018
Transforming Bodies in Early Modern Drama

**This is a guaranteed session**

How are bodies–of people, plants, or animals–transformed on the early modern stage? What are the agents of transformation, and is there something about drama in particular that allows for bodily transformation? How is transformation represented (or not represented) dramatically? What constitutes a "body" on stage, and is a body still the same if parts of it transform? What does the transformation of the body tell us about corporeal unity, identity, transformation, or the instability of the body or identity? How can bodily transformation intersect with theoretic frameworks such as materialism, historicism, ecocriticism, animal studies, or the post-human?
Topics may include (but are not limited to) the way violence (physical, sexual, verbal), ritual, disguise, death, love, the natural world, disease, wounds, language, power, fear, etc have a transforming effect on the early modern human and non-human bodies that populate early modern drama, through any theoretical lens.
Please send 150-word abstracts and brief CV to Christina M. Squitieri ( and Penelope Meyers Usher ( by Monday, July 16th, 2018. This panel will be sponsored by the Early Modern and Renaissance Society at New York University.


Tags:  animal  bodies  body  drama  early modern  ecocriticism  english  human  identity  nature  shakespeare  theater  transformation  violence 

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: East Meets West: The ‘Studia Humanitatis’ and the Migration of Greek Culture

Posted By Roberta V. Ricci, Sunday, June 17, 2018


RSA 2019, Toronto


SESSION ORGANIZER: Roberta Ricci, Bryn Mawr College


SESSION CHAIR: Eugenio Giusti, Vassar College


SESSION TITLE: East Meets West: The ‘Studia Humanitatis’ and the Migration of Greek Culture




Thanks to both exiles traveling to the West and humanists traveling to the East, for the first time during the fifteenth century the accumulated knowledge of Greek civilization becomes the subject of the studia humanitatis in Europe. Rome, Florence, Venice, are among the Italian cities that contribute to the spreading of ancient language/literature in Italy, initiating prolific intellectual exchanges with Byzantium within Mediterranean multiculturalism. With the Greek printing press established in Venice by Aldus Manutius, the readership became much wider in that city or even in the Veneto with other printers being quick to imitate the novelty.  This panel aims to bring to light all aspects of this revolutionary acquired knowledge, which has been the subject of groundbreaking studies in recent years.



  • paper title (15-word maximum)
  • abstract (150-word maximum)
  • 3-page curriculum vitae (pdf or doc upload)
  • general discipline area (History, Art History, Literature, or other)
  • keywords

Roberta Ricci,

Eugenio Giusti,

Download File (DOCX)

 Attached Files:
RSA 2019.docx (15.86 KB)

Tags:  Byzantium  Greek Studies  Renaissance  Venice 

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Kircher’s World

Posted By Thomas Beachdel, Friday, June 15, 2018
Updated: Friday, June 15, 2018

Call For Papers

Renaissance Society of America

Annual Conference, March 17-19, 2019, Toronto, Canada

Kircher’s World

This panel invites papers on the work, influence, or problematization of the seventeenth-century polymath, Athanasius Kircher (1602-1680). A category defying figure caught between the encyclopaedism of the Renaissance and the turn toward specialized knowledge, Kircher has not received the attention of his more “scientific” contemporaries, such as Kepler or Newton, and is often regarded as an outside figure, given his penchant for the arcane, the mysterious, and his adherence to the Hermetic tradition, despite the work of Copernicus. At the same time, the vast outpouring of Kircher’s work on a broad range of subjects—Egyptian civilization and hieroglyphs (Oedipus Aegyptiacus), music (Musurgia Universalis), China (China Monumentis), geology (Mundus Subterraneus)—was extremely influential to a wide audience during his lifetime. Of particular interest are papers dealing with Kircher’s Mundus Subterraneus and the influence of this text and his viewpoint on geology, theories of the formation of the earth, and volcanism.

Session Chair: Thomas Beachdel, CUNY, Hostos

Please submit a short (max. 150 word) abstract and CV by July 31, 2018 to:

Tags:  art  cities  early modern  print culture  transatlantic  visual arts 

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Watersheds of Empire: Seascapes, Seafaring, and Ports in Iberian Culture (1500-1700)

Posted By Mariana-Cecilia Velazquez, Thursday, June 14, 2018

Early sixteenth to late seventeenth-century Spain and Portugal registered the blossoming of cultural production alongside overseas expansion. As European explorers charted and claimed maritime routes and transatlantic territories, this period witnessed the emergence of textual forms and literary networks that reshaped conventions regarding prose and poetry.   

In particular, nautical metaphors and descriptions of port-cities became central tropes in Iberian transoceanic notions of empire. Processes of political vindication and territorial assertion thus overlapped with the dissemination of imaginaries regarding maritime landscapes in writing that explored the limits of traditional genres, the articulation of national identities (both proper and alien), and the inclusion of contemporary events in epic and lyric verse. 

This panel invites submissions that explore the maritime aspects of imperial ramifications, contraband dynamics, pillaging practices, and paradigmatic coastal-spatial imaginaries depicted in both canonical and non-canonical Iberian authors and works. At the same time, this panel seeks papers that investigate how these renderings of early modern political struggles, the refashioning of proper and alien national identities, and issues of imperial prosperity and decay blur, adapt, or model literary genres. 

Topics may include, but are not limited to:

·      Early modern Iberian representations of port-cities, coastal zones, and depictions of sea-faring or other maritime activities in visual and textual cultural production. 

·      The fictionalization of pirates or maritime interlopers in pre-imperial and imperial narratives of power.

·      Imagery regarding maritime cities in lyric poetry, Iberian drama or court spectacles.

·      Comparative approaches to rhetorical mechanisms that register notions of flow and overflow in the age of empires. 

·      The network of texts, images or narratives that circulated and configured intertwined portrayals of attempted citizenships, nationhood, and/or imperial ambitions found in cross-disciplinary, hybrid, Iberian and transatlantic early modern narratives.

Please send a 250-word abstract, a short bio, a CV and a request for audio-visual equipment to: Antonio Arraiza ( and Mariana Velazquez ( by August 1st.  

Tags:  cities  Iberian Peninsula  overseas  piracy  ports  seascapes  the Indies  transatlantic 


CFP: The Female Body as Text in Renaissance Literature

Posted By Allison Collins, Wednesday, June 13, 2018
Updated: Monday, July 16, 2018



*This is a guaranteed session*

 The Female Body as Text in Renaissance Literature

As the Renaissance saw a rise in female literacy and texts addressed to women readers, the relationship between gender and genre was foregrounded in debates about the appropriate texts for women to read – or if it was appropriate for women to read at all.  These conversations particularly centered on the genre of romance, simultaneously a genre classed as feminine and a genre deemed morally inappropriate for women to read. While these debates raged outside literary texts, within the texts themselves, we see women reading and women as objects to be read – both by the reader of the text and by other characters within the text. How does the female body serve as a text within a text? What unique possibilities does the female body offer for allegory, for interpretation, or for generic symbolism? How is the female body productively linked to literary meaning in the Renaissance? This session, sponsored by  UCLA’s CMRS, proposes to explore these issues through interdisciplinary papers and discussion.

If interested in submitting a proposal for this panel, please send a paper title, a 150 word abstract, and a CV to Allison Collins ( by Friday, July 27th.

Tags:  early modern  gender  literature  reception history  Renaissance literature  women 

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National Histories and Historical Nationalisms

Posted By Kelsey Ihinger, Wednesday, June 13, 2018

National Histories and Historical Nationalisms


In 1611, Spanish historian Luis Cabrera de Córdoba wrote the following about the author of histories: “escribe mejor el que no es natural de la provincia de quién hace historia” (“he who writes best is the man who is not native to the province whose history he tells”). To support this claim, Cabrera de Córdoba points to the famous Polydore Vergil, an Italian employed in writing the history of English kings. If the chronicle is meant to both portray historical events and celebrate a nation’s monarchy, can a foreign author more effectively achieve balance between truth and praise than a native historian? How does the depiction of history in other genres play with these same limits and what freedom exists within them to create or question the depiction of national history? The relationship between the historical genre and the creation of a coherent, regional, national, or imperial identity is the subject that this panel hopes to explore. Both history and nation are subjects that we will consider in their broadest and most multivalent senses. Historical subjects were treated in texts in many genres—from history plays, to chronicles, to broadside ballads—and nations both existed within smaller regions of a single monarchy’s territory and also stretched to the limits of its vast empire. By contemplating the connection that exists between various historical genres and concepts of nation and empire, this panel seeks to explore questions of how a cohesive identity was conceived of, created, fomented, or even dismantled in the early modern period. With attention paid to the context in which historical texts from various genres emerge, it is the hope of this panel that scholars from diverse disciplines and geographical areas of study will come together to discuss the questions posed by our theme.


Please send a 150-word abstract and a 300-word CV to Kelsey Ihinger ( Proposals must be received by Friday, July 13. This panel will be sponsored by the Center for Early Modern Studies of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. 

Tags:  broadside  chronicle  empire  history play  identity  nation  social history 

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Slavery in Early-Modern Italian Literature, Visual Arts, and Music

Posted By Armando Maggi, Tuesday, June 12, 2018
Updated: Friday, June 22, 2018
In recent years, a few art-historians and historians have dedicated fascinating studies to the concept of slavery in early-modern Italian culture, but much more work needs to be done in this area. It is worth considering that we speak of 'slaves' in Italian culture we should bear in mind that, in numerous literary texts, slaves were not only individuals marked as 'others' because coming from 'savage' countries, but Italians themselves could become slaves. The concept of 'slavery' in Italian culture is multi-layered. A comprehensive approach to all aspects of early-modern Italian culture (visual arts, operas, narratives) will shed light on a still poorly-known, albeit crucial, aspect of the Italian canon. 
Anyone interested in submitting a proposal for this session must send a 150-word abstract and a CV to Armando Maggi ( by August 1th 2018 (10 am CT).


Tags:  epic poetry  Italy  novellas  opera  short stories  slaves  visual arts 

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New Aspects of Renaissance Love Philosophy

Posted By Armando Maggi, Tuesday, June 12, 2018
Updated: Friday, June 22, 2018
Italian Renaissance love Neoplatonic philosophy produced innumerable and diverse treatises, which still await to be read and examined. It is worth bearing in mind that we still miss a comprehensive history of this immensely popular literary and philosophical genre. Important academic works usually address the best-known examples (Castiglione, Bembo, Bruno, etc.) but show almost no interest in investigating the extremely inventive forms that this genre took during the sixteenth century. This session welcomes papers that address unknown or poorly-known tracts and show their cultural relevance. Anyone interested in submitting a proposal for this session must send a 150-word abstract and a CV to Armando Maggi ( by August 1st 2018 (10 am CT).

Tags:  Ficino  Italy  love treatises  Neoplatonism  sexuality 


Tasso After La Gerusalemme Liberata

Posted By Armando Maggi, Tuesday, June 12, 2018
Updated: Friday, June 22, 2018

In recent years Torquato Tasso's 'late' works, which usually means all the texts in prose and verses he composed after his masterpiece, have received a renewed critical attention, primarily limited to the "Gerusalemme conquistata" and to the critical edition of key texts such as his philosophical dialogues and a "Il mondo creato." However, Tasso's fame is still exclusively linked to his epic poem. His philosophical texts, his poetic self-commentary (the two volumes of "Rime"), his numerous religious poems, and his masterpiece "Il mondo creato" deserve to be examined much more closely. Tasso is the greatest Italian early-modern religious poet, and no later author compares to him. This session welcomes papers that addresses Tasso's late works from original and thought-provoking standpoints. 

Anyone interested in submitting a proposal for this session must send a 150-word abstract and a CV to Armando Maggi ( by August 1th 2018 (10 am CT).

Tags:  epic poetry  Italy  religious poetry  Tasso 

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