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Interdisciplinary and Miscellaneous CfPs for RSA 2019 Toronto
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This blog is for CfPs for interdisciplinary sessions for RSA 2019 Toronto, as well as those that do not fit into the Art History, History, or Literature discipline categories. 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  art history  interdisciplinary  early modern  material culture  social history  art  book history  cultural history  gender  history  architecture  print culture  religion  circulation  classical reception  global  History of Science  identity  patronage  political history  transcultural  courts  digital humanities  gender studies  history of reading  Humanism  Philosophy  urban spaces  visual arts 

Cultures of Doubt in Early Modern Europe (1460-1560)

Posted By Marco Faini, Friday, May 25, 2018

Cultures of Doubt in Early Modern Europe (1460-1560)



This session seeks to explore the presence and role of doubt in European culture from the mid-fifteenth century to the mid-sixteenth century. Doubt can lead to scepticism – questioning religious and philosophical ideas – but can also reinforce current ideas or promote new ones. Doubt can ignite conflict but also promote irenism. Doubt is often a state of mind more than a recognizable philosophical doctrine, and as such it cuts across the whole social spectrum. The rapidly evolving world of the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries eroded many notions previously held true. How did this affect Italians and Europeans? Did doubt become a somewhat daily experience? Is it possible to write a social history of doubt? What is the role of the vernacular in the diffusion of doubt? What did doubt represent in European culture, how was it practiced and in what fields? How did doubt contribute to the advancement and rejuvenation of disciplines and of culture in general? These are some of the questions this deeply interdisciplinary session will try to address. The Italian Renaissance is the main focus of this session, contributions on European culture are warmly encouraged. While scepticism, atheism, or libertinism are certainly related fields, this session centres on the manifold notion of doubt. Topics may include:


– Doubt and medicine;

– Doubt and natural philosophy / science;

– Doubt and religion;

– Doubt and politics;

– Doubt and jurisprudence;

– Doubt and rhetoric;

– Doubt, sophistry and paradox;

– Doubt and historiography;

– Vernacular works on doubt;

– Doubt and gender;

– Doubt and the visual arts: representations and allegories;

– Doubt and music.


Your proposal should include a title, a 150-word abstract, key-words (up to five), a one-paragraph CV (in prose, max. 300 words), and an indication of whether you have any audio / visual needs. 


Please submit your proposal as well as any inquiries to Dr Marco Faini: marcofaini25@gmail.comby August 1, 2018.


University Ca’ Foscari, Venice

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

Posted By Maria DePrano, 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  furnishings  gender  home  material culture  palaces  religious communities 

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Beyond Eastern Europe, 1400–1700

Posted By Tomasz Grusiecki, Tuesday, May 22, 2018
Updated: Saturday, July 21, 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 culturecirculation 

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

Posted By Michele N. Robinson, 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:  dress history; economic history; fashion; working- 

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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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Time, Seasons, & the Senses:  Urban Space & Environment, 1300-1700

Posted By Nicholas Terpstra, Sunday, May 20, 2018

Time, Seasons, & the Senses:  Urban Space & Environment, 1300-1700


Call for Papers;  Sessions for Renaissance Society of America meeting in Toronto 2019 (17-19 March 2019)

Prato Consortium for Medieval and Renaissance Studies


How did those living in early modern cities experience the seasons and time, and how did these rhythms shape life and movement within the city and between urban and rural spaces?  Work, diet, migration, and religion all had significant seasonal patterns, as did sickness, health, birth, and death.  The sensory experience of any city could shift radically from summer to winter, as foods went in and out of season, as changing weather brought life in or out of doors, and as work activities and ritual calendars brought changing sights, smells and sounds into the streets.  Even war and violence had seasonal ebbs and flows.


In this workshop, we will aim to trace how the seasons and time shaped the experience of life in cities and in the countryside around them. We are particularly interested in papers that explore the intersections of environmental, sensory, and economic history, and how men, women, and children moved through these intersections. While our focus is on the Renaissance and early modern period (1300-1700), we are aiming for a global scope, and welcome studies dealing with these dynamics around the world.  We welcome papers that incorporate tools or methods of the digital humanities. 


Please send an abstract (150 words max), a list of 5 keywords, and brief academic CV (300 words max) to: Cecilia.hewlett@monash.eduOR

 by 30 June 2018. 

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Margaret Cavendish Society Sponsored Sessions CFP

Posted By Lara A. Dodds, Wednesday, May 16, 2018

The Margaret Cavendish Society will sponsor one or more panel sessions at the Renaissance Society of America annual Meeting in Toronto (March 17-19, 2019). We invite proposals for presentations on any topic related to the works of Margaret Cavendish.  Please submit abstracts (150 words maximum) and a brief CV (300 words maximum) to Lara Dodds ( and James Fitzmaurice (

 by August 1, 2018.

Tags:  Cavendish  gender  gender studies  history  History of Science  Literature  women 

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

Posted By Marcello Calogero, Tuesday, May 15, 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  courts  italian art  patronage 

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CfP, Panel Series: Cultures of Bureaucracy

Posted By Rachel Midura, Thursday, May 10, 2018

Organizers: Giacomo Giudici (Istituto Italiano per gli Studi Storici/Warburg Institute), Rachel Midura (Stanford University) & Luca Zenobi (University of Oxford)

We seek papers to contribute to a cultural history of Renaissance bureaucracy. During the last forty years, scholars have applied a cultural-historical perspective to the production, reception, and use of textual objects in a number of domains, yet the cultures of Renaissance administration remain largely unexplored.

The very notion of “bureaucracy” seems to run counter to themes of cultural history: hierarchy in place of agency, exclusion in place of collaboration, and formality in place of negotiation. A cultural approach to the people, practices, and material texts of Renaissance bureaucracy has the potential to challenge traditional notions of early modern statecraft and administration. Local and regional officials, secretaries and clerks, diplomats and couriers weathered the storms of war, the upset of regime change, and the occasional bankruptcy of their employers. Tax records, chancery documents, and ample official correspondence show an ongoing tension between ideals and customs in the worlds they moved between. How did notions of publicity and privacy, patronage and service, honor and dishonor guide documentary production, reception, and use? How do seemingly formulaic texts demonstrate both cultural influence and individual ambitions? How did protocol and administrative ideals shape the private lives of bureaucrats?

For this series of panels, we encourage papers to draw from any cultural-historical approaches, including material, gender- and class-based analyses. We particularly welcome papers that find collaboration and negotiation in bureaucratic archives, and/or contribute to a more humanized understanding of the Renaissance state. Potential themes might include:

  • bureaucracy from below: agency and informal networks in the production, use, and reception of political-administrative documents, including outsiders to bureaucracy, women and non-traditional office-holders
  • popular perceptions and depictions of bureaucrats, and their positive and negative influence on governance
  • spatial histories of administration and the spaces of action (from offices and archives, to public venues and private houses)
  • bureaucracy on the move: traveling personnel and exchange of administrative ideas
  • philosophical, literary and artistic themes related to imagined administrations, notions of civil service, and self-fashioning by agents of the state;
  • bureaucratic patronage and the political administration of art, music, and architecture.

Please send a brief abstract (max. 150 words) and CV to the panel organizers at The deadline is June 30 2018.

Tags:  administration  bureaucracy  government  networks  patronage  statecraft 

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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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