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RSA Dublin 2021 Calls for Papers
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Representing violence in Counter-Reformation Italy (1550-1650)

Posted By Gabriele Bucchi, Sunday, June 7, 2020
Updated: Sunday, June 7, 2020

The Counter-Reformation culture involves a deep change in celebrating ethical examples of virtue (mythical or historical) compared to the first half of the XVIth century and before. The praise of physical strength and violence in the age of Machiavelli is frequently rejected as unable to coexist with major Christian values such as clemency and compassion. In this context, the official discourse (e.g. treatises on behaviour and devotion, but also on political governance) proposes ancient and modern paradigms of self-control and prudence often inherited from the classical tradition (e.g. from stoicism and Aristotle’s Ethics). On the other hand, the expression of physical violence has still a leading role in celebrating political and religious authority, whether that of communities (e.g. the Catholic Church vsProtestants or Turks) or of individuals.

This session will explore, through some case studies, the relationship between the official discourse about violence and violent passions and the representation of these in literature (e.g. epic poetry) and arts in Italy across more or less one century (1550-1650). In which context (public or private, religious or secular) and to which purpose does the representation of violence appear? It is possible to observe some incoherence or ideological conflicts in the discourse against violence? How does the use of the most cherished mythical or biblical examples of violence and physical strength (e.g. Apollo and Marsyas, David and Goliath) change in literature and the arts from the first half of XVIth century to the Counter-Reformation era? Could we see the representation of violence as a contribution to the discourse against violence or as an aesthetical and powerful justification of it? Proposals for papers that focus on connections between theoretical discourse and literary and artistic representation are warmly welcomed.

Please email your proposal, including abstract (150 words max) and short CV to co-organizers: gabriele.bucchi@unil.ch (Université de Lausanne) and giacomo.vagni@unil.ch (Université de Lausanne) by July 10, 2020.

Tags:  Art and Architecture  Art History  Classical Tradition  History  Italian Literature  Rhetoric 

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