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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 

"Poco sufficienti a poterli intendere": Auto-Commentary and Self-Exegesis in Early Modern Italy

Posted By Francesco Marco Aresu, Monday, July 2, 2018
Updated: Monday, July 2, 2018

This session aims to prompt critical reflection on early-modern forms of auto-commentary and self-exegesis as they appear in Italian literature in various textual and material forms. Ranging from Dante’s foundational experiments in authorial (and authoritative) hermeneutics to Lorenzo’s Comento de’ miei sonetti, these forms include extended commentaries accompanying the text (Dante’s quasi comento in the Convivio), marginal and interlinear glosses (Petrarca’s annotations to his drafts, Boccaccio’s edition of the Teseida), forewords, and afterwords, as well as connective sections that discuss the work of which they are a paratext (Boccaccio’s poetics discourse in the framework of the Decameron), and autonomous texts materially appended to the work they comment on or circulating separately (Dante’s disputed epistle to Can Grande). Furthermore, self-exegetical practices may vary in pragmatics: they can provide a genetic narrative or re-semantization of texts (Dante’s ragioni in the Vita Nova), offer an allegorical interpretation (Dante’s divisioni), clarify obscure passages (Campanella’s apparatus to his poetic anthology), engage in literary polemics, or extend apologetic or palinodic remarks (Tasso’s Lettere on the poetics of his works). Above all, these such auto-commentative practices represent the authors’ attempt to condition the reception of their work beyond their own Barthesian death. In this session, we look at the auto-commentary as an intersection of physical, rhetorical, and intellectual elements. We solicit philological and hermeneutical inquiries, and welcome theoretical and historical approaches as well as projects that are comparative and multilingual.


Please send title, abstract, and bio to Beatrice Arduini ( or Francesco Marco Aresu ( by 07/31.

Tags:  Authoriality  Authorship  Auto-Commentary  Boccaccio  Dante  Exegesis  Hermeneutics  Italian Literature  Italian Renaissance  Literary Criticism  Lorenzo de' Medici  Manuscript Culture  Materiality  Paratext  Petrarch  Philology  Poetics  Poetry  Reception  Tasso 

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Rewriting and Adapting Classical Women in the Italian Renaissance

Posted By Victoria G. Fanti, Wednesday, June 27, 2018
Updated: Wednesday, June 27, 2018

From compendia of “illustrious women” modelled on Boccaccio’s De mulieribus claris, to Machiavelli’s Lucrezia in the Mandragola, to Giambattista Gelli’s (male-driven) philosophical dialogue La Circe, women from the classical tradition are resurrected in many forms and to many ends over the course of the Italian Renaissance. This panel seeks to investigate how authors and intellectuals rewrote, revised, and (in some cases) reclaimed classical women in Renaissance Italian discourse and literature. 

Topics, authors, and questions that papers might address include, but are not limited to:

-       How do discussions or representations of classical women in philosophical or didactic genres like dialogues, treatises, and compendia of “illustrious women” engage with the ancient past? How are classical women recast or reframed to argue contemporary issues, such as the debate surrounding the querelle des femmes?

-       How do Italian Renaissance women writers like Gaspara Stampa, Lucrezia Marinella, or Moderata Fonte recall, rewrite, or reclaim narratives of classical women in their textual production and/or in their authorial personae?

-       How were classical women reimagined or emulated in Italian Renaissance drama? This might include women’s roles as heroines or antiheroines in comedies like Machiavelli’s Mandragola and tragedies like Trissino’s Sophonisba, or the legacy of the cult of Diana in the pastoral.

-       How do exempla of classical women compare to discussions of contemporary women? What function do classical women fill in light of new female regents and their emerging presence on the European stage? (e.g. Tasso’s Discorso della virtù femminile e donnesca or Serdonati’s Donne illustri)


Please send questions and/or abstracts (150 words) with a brief biography, A/V requests, and keywords to Victoria Fanti at by July 25, 2018. 

Tags:  early modern  gender  gender studies  Italian literature  literature  reception studies  Renaissance literature  women 

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DEADLINE EXTENDED--Wonder Women: Amazons in the Early Modern European Imagination

Posted By Victoria G. Fanti, Wednesday, June 27, 2018
Updated: Thursday, July 26, 2018

**Deadline extended to August 3**

Session chair: Gerry Milligan, CUNY

The blockbuster success of the 2017 film Wonder Woman reignited a global interest in the figure of the Amazon, eliciting celebrations of female strength and independence alongside debates about her exoticism and sexualization. A sequel, already highly anticipated by many, is slated for release in late 2019.

Such a widespread interest in the Amazonian warrior-woman—both her allure and her paradox—is not, however, a new phenomenon; the Amazons likewise captured the popular and elite imagination of the Early Modern period, featuring in literary productions across Europe. Building on scholarship by Frédérique Verrier, Kathryn Schwarz, Sarah Colvin and Helen Watanabe-O’Kelly, Eleonora Stoppino, and Gerry Milligan (among many others), this panel seeks to put Early Modern representations of Amazons into dialogue with one another, across linguistic traditions and national borders, in order to explore the nuances of how these women were imagined, discussed, and disseminated across Europe.

We welcome papers that explore questions of sexuality, female violence, gender-bending, orientalism, politics, and the like. Texts and themes of interest might include, but are not limited to:        

-       Histories (and “histories”) of the Amazons

-       Literary and poetic imaginations of Amazonian women and/or their descendants, such as in the epic-chivalric tradition or in theater and/or opera

-       Treatises, dialogues, or correspondences that make reference to Amazons in order to engage with the querelle des femmes

-       The Early Modern use of Amazonian lore or symbolism for encomiastic purposes


Please send questions and/or abstracts (150 words) with a brief biography, A/V requests, and keywords to Victoria Fanti at

Tags:  early modern  English literature  French literature  gender  gender studies  German literature  Iberian Peninsula  inter  interdisciplinary  Italian literature  literature  Renaissance literature  women 


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 

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