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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 

Character beyond Shakespeare

Posted By Harry Newman, Thursday, June 7, 2018
Updated: Thursday, June 7, 2018

Despite the rise of new character criticism and other important movements (e.g. new materialism, the history of emotions, digital humanities), early modern scholarship on character remains dominated by Shakespeare’s plays and their dramatis personae. “Non-Shakespearean” character and characterization tend to be judged according to “Shakespearean” models of “interiority”, “individuation” and “depth”. Narratives of the historical development of character continue to focus on ground broken by Shakespeare, especially at the turn of the seventeenth century, with plays such as Julius Caesar and Hamlet still reigning supreme as game-changers.

This panel invites papers that investigate non-Shakespearean models and paradigms of character in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century England, whether in dramatic, non-dramatic or non-literary contexts. Papers might consider the following:

·         What are the significance of characterization techniques developed by playwrights such as Thomas Kyd, John Marston, Francis Beaumont, John Fletcher, Thomas Heywood, Thomas Middleton and Philip Massinger?
·         How does character work in non-dramatic genres such poetry, historiography and life-writing? How were notions of fictional persons shaped—for example—by the rise of English prose fiction from the 1560s, the vogue for sonnets and epigrams in the 1590s, and the popularity of “character” books from the 1610s?
·         Do neglected or derided types of character need to be (re)assessed, such as allegorical characters, bit parts or “extras”, animal characters, humoral personalities, and co-authored characters?
·         What is the importance of authors who write across genres such as George Gascoigne, Robert Greene, John Lyly, Thomas Dekker, Thomas Nashe and John Webster, female authors such as Isabella Whitney, Mary Wroth, Aemilia Lanyer, Mary Sidney, Anne Clifford and Margaret Cavendish, or non-authorial agents of character-creation such as stationers, scribes, patrons, actors, audiences and readers?
·         What are the roles of character and impersonation in “non-literary” texts, such as sermons, medical manuals and conduct books, or even “non-textual” forms in material and visual culture (e.g. paintings, architecture, emblems, jewellery, gaming cards & tokens)?
·         How does the lexicon of character and characterization (e.g. charactery, personation, passionating, inwardness) develop outside the Shakespeare canon?
·         How are digital media creating new access to and new forms of interaction with early modern characters beyond the Shakespeare canon?

Papers may discuss Shakespearean drama, but must do so in relation to other early modern authors, genres or forms. Non-traditional and experimental approaches are encouraged, as are alternative historical narratives that challenge Shakespeare’s place at the epicentre of early modern character criticism. Proposals are welcome from scholars working in any discipline.

Please submit your paper proposal by 15th July 2018 to Harry Newman at The proposal should include:

·         Name, affiliation and email address
·         Paper title (15 words max)
·         Abstract (150 words max)
·         Keywords
·         Curriculum vitae (300 words max)

Tags:  book history  character  digital humanities  drama  early modern  literature  material culture  Shakespeare  the canon  the non-Shakespearean 

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CfP: Herms and "terms" in literature and art

Posted By Claudia Echinger-Maurach, Thursday, June 7, 2018

Herms are an important object of studies in the Renaissance for humanists and artists. Humanists are interested in the portraits on top of a quadrangular pillar and in the inscriptions identifying the person. Artists are attracted by the unusual form, which combines figural and architectural elements and enriches the architectural language of the Renaissance with a new element to sustain an entablature instead of pilasters and columns; at the same time it provides the opportunity to express a great variety of iconographical concepts through the anthropomorphic part and its attributes.

These sustaining herms, called in literature often “caryatidherms”, should be better designated terms (termini in Italian, Termen or Termes in German and French literature), as the god Terminus was venerated in form of a herm (see Achilles Statius, Inlustrium viror… 1569). For an introduction see Claudia Echinger-Maurach, Studien zu Michelangelos Juliusgrabmal, 2 vols (Hildesheim: 1991), vol. 1, pp. 206–219.

The panel proposes to define and to explore the multitude of aspects of these today rarely studied herms and terms in Renaissance literature, in architectural treatises and commentaries on Vitruvius, in drawings and reproductive prints, in frontispizes, in painting (from Peruzzi to the Carracci), in sculpture and in European architecture of the Renaissance.

Scholars of Renaissance literature and art history are kindly invited to send an abstract (150-word maximum), a list of keywords, any A/V requirements, a short curriculum vitae (300-word maximum) to the organizer Claudia Echinger-Maurach ( before Monday, 23 July 2018. Presenters will have to be active RSA members.

Tags:  Architectural treatises  architecture  commentaries on Vitruvius  frontispizes  Herms  painting  Renaissance literature  reproductive prints  sculpture  Terms 

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Age and Gender in Early Modern Italy

Posted By Chiara Girardi, Thursday, June 7, 2018
Updated: Monday, July 2, 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 aging female 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 Modern literature;

- 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 300-word abstract, a short bio and request for audio-visual equipment to Chiara Girardi: by July 30th.


Tags:  early modern  gender  Italian literature 


Manuscript Lyric

Posted By Jaime L. Goodrich, Tuesday, June 5, 2018

The Renaissance English Text Society invites papers on "Manuscript Lyric" for the 2019 annual meeting of the Renaissance Society of America in Toronto.  The topic is purposely open-ended in order to encourage a range of approaches to the early modern circulation of lyric poetry in manuscript.  In keeping with the Renaissance English Text Society's mission to publish editions of early modern texts, papers that emphasize editing, textual criticism, history of the book, or circulation networks are especially welcome.


Anyone interested in submitting a proposal for this panel should send a 150-word abstract and a CV to Mary Ellen Lamb ( and Jaime Goodrich ( by 1 July 2018.

Tags:  book history  circulation  editing  lyric  manuscript  networks  poetry  textual criticism 


Hoc est corpus meum: Montaigne’s Bodies

Posted By Sanam Nader-Esfahani, Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Hoc est corpus meum: Montaigne’s Bodies*

* Proposed French Discipline Sponsored Panel

« Je n'ay pas plus faict mon livre que mon livre m'a faict, livre consubstantiel à son autheur, d'une occupation propre, membre de ma vie » (II.18). With the goal of considering new directions in the study of Montaigne, the self-professed (af)filiation between the author’s own body and that of his written work serves as a promising point of departure.

Given the parameters by which Montaigne describes and analyzes his own body (aging, impotent, desiring, ill, suffering, generating/generating, naked/clothed, changing, traveling, etc.), this panel invites reflections on the dynamic between corps and corpus insofar as they (a) invite new ways of reading and understanding Montaigne; (b) examine the place of Montaigne in other disciplines; and/or (c) speak to the relevance of Montaigne as an object of study today, particularly in the classroom.

Papers that consider comparative and interdisciplinary perspectives are especially welcome. Please submit your abstract (150-word maximum), keywords, and a short CV (300-word maximum) to Sanam Nader-Esfahani at by July 15th, 2018 12:00 pm EST.

Tags:  body  French  literature  Montaigne 

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Spenser's Afterlives

Posted By Colleen R. Rosenfeld, Monday, June 4, 2018
Updated: Monday, July 9, 2018
This panel is a broad call for papers on Spenser's Afterlives: How have people read his poetry? What have people done with his poetry?  Possible topics include: Spenser's immediate imitators (e.g. Giles and Phineas Fletcher); translations of Spenser (e.g. the Latin translations of The Shepheardes Calendar in the 17th c.); The Faerie Queene as children's literature; Spenser's influence on Milton, Melville, or Hawthorne; Spenser's influence on 20th and 21st century fantasy literature (Tolkein, C.S. Lewis, Michael Moorcock, Philip Pullman); the Poet's Poet; the afterlife of the Spenserian Stanza (Keats, Byron, Shelley); reception history; the history of Spenser criticism (from New Critics to High Theory); the history of editions (including the contemporary Spenser Lab at University of Washington, St. Louis); Spenser's place in the modern university (from pedagogical treatments of the 18th-century to your classroom); Victorian Spenser; Spenser and the Gothic.  Why have people continued to read Spenser?  How have people continued to read Spenser?  What will Spenser's poetry look like in the future?  Did Spenser’s poetry anticipate and attempt to shape its own afterlife?
Please submit the following materials to Colleen Rosenfeld ( by August 1 to be considered for inclusion: paper title; abstract (150-word maximum); 3-5 keywords; and a one-page abbreviated curriculum vitae (300-word maximum). Please note that RSA is very strict about word count: the system will not accept entries that go beyond the maximum limit.

Tags:  critical history  Edmund Spenser  future  presentism  reception history 

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Spenser's Ethics

Posted By Colleen R. Rosenfeld, Monday, June 4, 2018
Updated: Monday, July 9, 2018
Where should we look in Spenser’s writing to reconstruct the poet’s ethics? Or a Spenserian ethic? Should we look to the legendary virtues that organize the books of The Faerie Queene? To the various forms that his fictions take? To the figures of speech through which he constructs (and reconstructs) ideas and conceptual categories? To the kinds of readers and readings his work has attracted and/or fashioned? This panel seeks papers that investigate the tension between the requirements we bring to the texts and authors we champion and the capacity for writing to shape our evaluations. Possible topics include, but are not limited to: models for judgment; prescription; resistance; presentism; form and obligation; the shaping of character; habit; crisis management.
Please submit the following materials to Colleen Rosenfeld ( by August 1 to be considered for inclusion: paper title; abstract (150-word maximum); 3-5 keywords; and a one-page abbreviated curriculum vitae (300-word maximum). Please note that RSA is very strict about word count: the system will not accept entries that go beyond the maximum limit.

Tags:  Edmund Spenser  ethics  fiction  form  history of reading  judgment  philosophy  poetry  virtue 

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Books and Bodies in Early Modern England

Posted By Jillian Linster, Monday, June 4, 2018

Organizers: Jillian Linster (University of South Dakota) and Harry Newman (Royal Holloway, University of London)

This panel investigates links between literary and medical culture in early modern England (c. 1500-1700), focusing on the intersections of book history and medical humanities. Scholarship has started to address the physiology of reading, the role of the book trade in disseminating and shaping medical knowledge, and the mutually influential relationship between literary and medical texts. Building on this work, we seek papers focused on the physical and conceptual relationships between books and bodies in early modernity. Papers might consider the following:

·      How did changing technologies, laws, reading habits, and/or the rise of print culture affect the interaction of bodies and books in this period?

·      How did specific books come to represent individual people, and vice versa?

·      How were the bodies of books shaped and reshaped by physical encounters with human bodies (e.g. printers, book binders, readers)?

·      Does the relationship between books and bodies help us to understand power and agency in early modernity?

·      Why is it important to investigate the material lives and textual histories of medical books (anatomical works, midwifery manuals, dietaries, casebooks, herbals, medical receipt books, etc.)?

·      How is the relationship between books and bodies depicted in literary works, artistic renderings, and historical documents from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries?

·      How useful are distinctions between ‘literary’ and ‘medical’ texts when considering the book-body relationship?

·      What was the influence of other cultures (European or non-Western) on English perceptions of books and bodies?

Approaches might include or combine book history, medical humanities, ecocriticism, new materialism, sociological or anthropological theory, social and cultural history, and biblical studies. Non-traditional or experimental lines of inquiry are encouraged. Proposals are welcome from scholars working in any discipline.

Please submit your paper proposal by 15th July 2018, to Jillian Linster and Harry Newman at The proposal should include the following information in a single document:

·      Name, affiliation and email address

·      Paper title (15 words max)

·      Abstract (150 words max)

·      Keywords

Tags:  book history  early modern  gender  history  literature  material culture  religion 

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New Approaches to Catholic Reform

Posted By Marie Louise Lillywhite, Monday, June 4, 2018

Recently, scholars have approached Catholic Reform in new ways, by looking beyond Tridentine frameworks, extending beyond European borders, and challenging traditional arguments and understandings of this critical period in the history of the Church. Rather than focusing purely on a top-down enforcement of reform, or failed attempts to combat Protestantism, scholars of history, history of art, music, and literature have used new and varied approaches to understand the impact of religious reform in the early modern period and the ways in which people negotiated it.

The organizers of this panel would like to invite papers that consider Catholic Reform from across the disciplines, with the aim of contributing to a broader and more holistic understanding of the process, bringing together research from different fields and varied geographic locations. Papers might directly address new methods and approaches, or might demonstrate them through specific research, but all will contribute to a growing conversation on the nature and significance of Catholic Reform.

Potential topics could include:

-       Approaches to Catholic Reform broadly or within specific field/subfields

-       Reinterpretations of older arguments and narratives about Catholic Reform

-       The influence of Catholic Reform on music, literature, culture, politics, etc.

-       The influence of Catholic Reform on art and architecture (patronage, examples of censorship, debates concerning the nature of the sacred image)

-       Limitations of Reform

-       Reform in a global context

-       Reactions of the laity to Catholic Reform

Proposals should include the presenter’s name, academic affiliation (if applicable), email address, paper title (15 words maximum), abstract (150 words maximum) and brief academic CV (300 words maximum). Please submit proposals by July 20 to Marie-Louise Lillywhite ( and Celeste McNamara ( Presenters will need to be members of the RSA by the time of the conference. The RSA offers a limited number of travel grants; see their website for more information. 

Tags:  catholic reform  devotion  early modern  literature 

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CFP: Sidney Circle at RSA Toronto 2019

Posted By Rob Stillman, Thursday, May 31, 2018

(Deadline: 1 August 2018)

The International Sidney Association plans to sponsor four sessions at the 65th Annual Meeting of the Renaissance Society of America (17–19 March 2019) in Toronto, Canada. We are eager to invite papers on any and all topics related to Philip Sidney, Mary Sidney Herbert, Lady Mary Wroth, the Sidney Family or the Sidney Circle generally. That Circle is conceived broadly, and hence we would welcome papers not only about Fulke Greville, Samuel Daniel, and William Herbert, but also papers about Alberico Gentili, Veronica Franco, Vittoria Colonna, George Buchanan, Philippe Duplessis-Mornay, Étienne de La Boétie, Giordano Bruno, Justus Lipsius, and any number of figures in the Circle’s large cosmopolitan network. We would be particularly happy to receive paper proposals on (but not limited to) the following topics:

  • The Poetics of Secrecy in Sidney Circle Fictions: Hidden Bodies and Sex and Topical Allegory
  • The Sidneys and Confessional Identity: In Church and Out
  • The Sidney Galaxy: Connections In Britain and Beyond
  • The Sidneys and Toyful Fictions

Proposals should include an abstract (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. Indicate too whether you will require A.V. equipment for the presentation. Please email your proposals to Rob Stillman ( by 1 August 2018.

Tags:  Allegory  Fiction  Sidney 

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