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RSA Dublin 2021 Calls for Papers
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This blog is a space for RSA members to post calls for papers and lightning talks for sessions in all disciplines to be held at RSA Dublin 2021. Papers could be solicited for a traditional panel or a seminar session which will have pre-circulated papers.

To post a CfP, log in to your RSA account and select the "Add New Post" link further down this page. Make sure to include the organizer's name, email address, and a deadline for proposals. The session organizer is responsible for uploading the finalized proposal to the RSA Dublin 2021 submission site.

The general submission deadline for RSA Dublin 2021 is 15 August 2020. For more details on the submission process, see the Submission Guidelines page.

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: Art and Architecture  Art History  Italian Renaissance Art  History  English Literature  Women and Gender  Book History  Italian Literature  Medicine and Science  Visual Studies  Classical Tradition  Comparative Literature  Philosophy  Humanism  Material Culture  Religious Studies  Literature  Performing Arts and Theater  Religion  Rhetoric  Legal and Political Thought  Neo-Latin Literature  Digital Humanities  Hispanic Literature  Associate Organizations  French Literature  history of science  interdiscplinary  Italy  Renaissance Architecture 


Posted By Samantha J. Hughes-Johnson, Monday, August 3, 2020


(Deadline: 10 August 2020)


The Society for Confraternity Studies will sponsor a number of sessions at the 67thAnnual Meeting of the Renaissance Society of America (7- 10 April 2021) in Dublin. Accordingly, it invites proposals for papers on the following theme:


Contagium: Exploring the Nexus Between Confraternity, Pandemic and Renaissance Society



Since global communities are currently experiencing the liminal stage of withdrawing from varying degrees of quarantine and social isolation, the Society for Confraternity Studies is keen to scrutinize how Renaissance lay charitable institutions and sodalities grappled with the corporeal, emotional and fiscal injuries caused by society’s exposure to pandemics and epidemics and how their various actions can inform our own social, economic and psychological recuperation. Accordingly, we invite papers that explore the breadth and impact of lay sodalities operating in affected geographical areas between 1300 and 1700. Papers might focus on, but are not limited to the following topics:

  • The impact of pandemics on the restrictions of goods and humans and how quarantines, social distancing and limitations on travel affected regular confraternity operations and in turn, touched recipients of charity.
  • Legacies and donations awarded to confraternities in light of the plague. Including comparative studies of bequests during times of epidemic and good fortune and those that juxtapose geographically disparate data for the purpose of analysis.
  • The orientation of medical science and spiritual doctrine during epidemics and lay charitable institutions’ roles in this co-ordination.
  • Artistic commissions of confraternities and other lay charitable institutions and how these reflected the various injuries caused to society by outbreaks of pestilence. 
  • The impact of post-plague art, architecture, drama, music and ephemera commissioned by confraternities on public spaces and/or the popular conscience.
  • The actual and notional value of prophylactic measures designed to protect the body and soul during outbreaks and to what extent these were taken up by lay brotherhoods.
  •  Confraternity membership and how this was affected by one or more of the following: fear of mass burial; church and oratory closure; fear of the afterlife; concerns regarding spiritual conduct in the face of imminent death. 
  • The personal toll of plague on those lay brothers and sisters entrusted with public service, healthcare and the custody of people or objects.
  • The influence of pestilence on public and private confraternal ritual. 


Papers should concentrate on confraternal activities between 1300 and 1700. We are however, also particularly interested in proposals that discuss the value of emerging confraternity studies focusing on historical pandemics and how their findings can inform our own twenty-first century recuperation following our recent encounter with Covid 19. 

Proposals should include the presenter’s name, academic affiliation, email, the paper title (no longer than 15 words), the abstract of the paper (no longer than 150 words), a short academic C.V. (between one and five pages), and a series of key-words that suit the presentation. Please be sure all seven (7) categories of information are clearly provided. 

Please submit your proposal to Dr Samantha J.C. Hughes-Johnson at by [10 August 2020].

Tags:  Art and Architecture  Art History  black death  bubonic plague  charity  confraternity  death and gender  Death studies  History  History of Medicine  history of science  hospitals  interdiscplinary  Italian Renaissance Art  lay sisterhoods  Material Studies  Medicine and Science  Performing Arts and Theater  piety  Religious Studies  Renaissance  renaissance medicine  ritual  Women and Gender 

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Renaissance Dialogue between Visual Art and Humanism

Posted By Anne H. Muraoka, Thursday, July 23, 2020
Updated: Wednesday, July 29, 2020

  The sweeping relevance of Leon Battista Alberti’s De pictura is that the treatise joins the two most conspicuous cultural developments of the early Renaissance, namely, humanism and visual art. With this avant-garde fusion, Alberti elevated the status of painting to parity of esteem with the liberal arts, thus transforming the standard of artisan into the archetype of artist — executor of personal vision — and essentially initiating the discipline of art criticism with the first ‘how-to’ book of the modern era. A persistent polemic, however, surrounds the influence of classical literature upon early Renaissance aesthetics. The primary debate regards the extent of mutual influence between humanism and the visual arts. Recent scholarship aims to correct the common notion that the two disciplines were intertwined during the early Quattrocento. Cennino Cennini’s instructional manual Il libro dell’arte, of the late 1300s, and Lorenzo Ghiberti’s Commentarii of 1450, are the other major surviving discourse on visual arts of the early Renaissance. However, these are not humanist texts. The absence of surviving humanist discourse, however, does not invalidate a possible bilateral influence of antique aesthetics that would further mutual awareness in humanists and artists. Art may have affected early humanists through aspects of antiquity’s visual history. On the other hand, humanists may have influenced the discussion of art and architecture. Accordingly, if antique art and its post-antique imitation impacted early humanist thinking — or vice versa — art and text would begin to interchange values, and the resulting conjunction would inform painting. This panel examines how the two disciplines — humanism and the visual arts — may have specifically intersected in the early Renaissance, bringing art and intellectual history into a more specific dialogue. 

Paper proposals must include the following: full name, current affiliation and e-mail address; PhD completion date (past or expected); brief CV (2-page maximum); paper title (15-word maximum); and abstract (150-word maximum).

Please submit proposals to Peter Weller ( and Anne H. Muraoka ( by 12 August 2020.



Tags:  Art and Architecture  Art History  Classical Tradition  Humanism  Italian Renaissance Art 

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CfP: The Material Culture of the Thirty Years’ War

Posted By Roisin Watson, Wednesday, July 22, 2020

The Thirty Years’ War is often synonymous with destruction. Tales of its devastation in central Europe – including pillaging, fire, theft, looting –  frame histories of the seventeenth century. The war’s destructive power would appear to be irreconcilable with histories of early modern material culture, with their focus on the dynamics of production and consumption. But this panel proposes to rethink the way we view relationships between conflict and material culture in the early modern period by exploring how the damage wrought by the Thirty Years’ War established new opportunities for material production and memory making. How did warfare reconfigure the trajectories of existing objects as their biographies became entangled with the unfolding conflict? Building upon cultural studies of the Thirty Years’ War, a focus on the material brings new insight to the experience of conflict. How were individuals’ involvement in war shaped by their material interactions? How did soldiers and civilians navigate the extremes of warfare through objects? In what ways did objects’ proximity to and intimacy with conflict determine the value placed upon them by contemporaries? How did encounters with destruction shape the afterlife of objects of war? Broadening our definition of “objects of warfare,” we wish to move away solely from the study of armour and weapons to include the everyday, the ephemeral and the accidental. 

Papers might consider, but do not have to be limited to:

  • Soldiers as artists and artisans
  • The migration of objects
  • Plunder, booty, looting and the Brandschatzung
  • The afterlives of objects associated with the Thirty Years’ War
  • Ruins and rebuilding
  • Commemoration and objects of war
  • Preserving, collecting, and displaying relics and souvenirs of war

Proposals for papers should be sent to & by 10th August 2020. They should include paper title and abstract (no more than 200 words), along with a short CV (one page). 

If you are interested in this topic but will not be attending RSA or have already committed to another panel, please still be in touch as we hope to hold other events in the future.

Tags:  Art and Architecture  Material Culture  Thirty Years' War  Warfare 

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Fragments of Order. Inventing antiquity between Italy and the Low Countries

Posted By Max Wiringa, Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Session organized by prof. Krista De Jonge (KU Leuven) and Max Wiringa (KU Leuven) as part of the project Fragments of Order, supported by the Research Foundation Flanders. Chair: Ethan Matt Kavaler (University of Toronto) – Respondent: Michael J. Waters (Columbia University)

The early sixteenth century saw a growing interest in Roman antiquity of painters and other artists, specifically from the Low Countries: for instance, Maarten van Heemskerck and Hermannus Posthumus roamed the city, copying its architectural fragments. This interest had its counterpart in contemporary architectural theory where archeological fragments were combined into the canon of the Five Orders. This long process of gestation came to a provisional end with the landmark publication of Sebastiano Serlio’s Fourth Book in 1537.

Combining architectural fragments is known as composto or composé, an important creative principle. The architectural strategy on which the Five Orders are based, has this in common with the visual discourse of representing space in antique guise. It led to much critique, amongst others by the translator of Serlio’s treatise, Pieter Coecke van Aelst, who directly connected it with the contemporary Netherlandish artistic context, i.e. painters such as Jan Gossart, Bernard van Orley and Lanceloot Blondeel. (Next to the traditional practice of copying on paper, )The transmission of motifs was aided by the newly invented medium of prints, which spread antique fragments to the Low Countries. Loose-leaved prints provide evidence of discourse through image alone, next to more text-dependent treatises.

This session thus focuses on a particular point of intersection between painterly and architectural practice in the Northern Renaissance during the early decades of the sixteenth century, in dialogue with contemporary developments in Italy. Against this background, possible topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Painters and other artists as inventors of the Antique
  • Visual architectural discourse and the role of prints and drawings in the design process
  • Composto as design strategy
  • Antique architectural fragments in contemporary visual culture

Proposals should adhere to the RSA guidelines:

  • Paper title (max. 15 words)
  • Abstract (max. 150 words)
  • CV up to 5 pages
  • PhD or other terminal degree completion date (past or expected)
  • Full name, current affiliation, and email address

Please send your proposal to Krista De Jonge ( and Max Wiringa ( by Friday, August 7th.

Tags:  Art and Architecture  Art History  Art Theory  Netherlandish art  Renaissance Architecture 

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New Avenues for Processional Devotions

Posted By Mitzi Kirkland-Ives, Sunday, July 19, 2020

In the late medieval and early modern period a body of devotional practices emerged in which Christians engaged not only in contemplation of the episodes of the Passion and similar narratives but also in imaginative reenactment of those events: the Stations of the Cross in various forms, the Sorrows of the Virgin, the Falls of Christ, and related traditions. These devotions were often structured via passage from station to station across a real (or purely imagined) landscape, sometimes mapped out onto the preexisting landscape—urban streets, cloisters, church interiors—and sometimes supported by environments constructed for the purpose: Sacri monti, field chapels, and the like. This session seeks to highlight new contributions to this area of study in art history, literature, and other relevant fields of study; particularly welcome are contributions reflecting developments across a wide geographical scope including the Americas and less studied corners of Europe and the Mediterranean basin.

Please submit a title and 150 word abstract to Mitzi Kirkland-Ives (, as well as a two-page research c.v., by August 10, 2020.

Tags:  Art and Architecture  Art History  interdiscplinary  Material Culture  Religion  Religious Studies  Renaissance Architecture  Visual Studies 

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Queenly Architectural Patronage: Cooperation and Conflict

Posted By Sarah W. Lynch, Friday, July 17, 2020

Although the study of queenly patronage has made huge progress over the last decades, a fundamental methodological problem still consists in analysing the cooperation of royal couples. How can the queen’s contribution to joint projects be documented? To what extent did queens create their own patronage network and import traditions from their country / court of origin? What is the evidence for their support of or rivalry with their husbands’ initiatives? The panel seeks to shed light on these questions through fresh case studies concerning both ecclesiastical and secular architecture. In addition, papers dealing with independent architectural commissions by queens regnant, queen consorts or dowager queens are all welcome.

Topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • Motivations, aims and functions of queenly architectural patronage
  • The impact of the queen’s patronage networks on architectural projects
  • Cultural transfer instigated by exchanges with the queen’s court of origin
  • Models and norms informing the architectural patronage of queens (as opposed to kings)
  • Cooperation / conflict in the architectural patronage of king and queen
  • Methodological issues regarding the cooperation of royal couples

If you are interested, please send an abstract to Christina Strunck ( by 13 August. Submissions need to contain the following information:

  • paper title (15-word maximum)
  • abstract (150-word maximum)
  • curriculum vitae (no longer than 5 pages)
  • PhD or other terminal degree completion date (past or expected)
  • full name, current affiliation, and email address

For more information about the RSA Annual Meeting, please see the conference website:

Tags:  Art and Architecture  Cultural Networks  Cultural Transfer  Patronage  Queens  Women and Gender 

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Artistic Migration: Approaches, Problems, Interpretation

Posted By Sarah W. Lynch, Thursday, July 16, 2020
Updated: Thursday, July 16, 2020

The artistic culture of the early modern period is characterized by increasing migration of artists, as well as an exchange of ideas, forms, knowledge, and technologies. These issues of artistic migration and cultural exchange have become key topics in the field of early modern art history, both within Europe and globally. Scholars approach these topics from a variety of points of view, using a wide range of evidence and analytic techniques including: contemporary written sources and descriptions; financial accounts; iconographic analysis; the motivations for and routes of migration; instances of collaboration or conflict between local and migrant artists; and careful examination of the style, materials, and techniques of resulting works. Recent reassessments of the geography of early modern art history and critiques of the center-and-periphery model of influence and reception further complicate matters.

This panel seeks to assess the approaches taken to issues of artistic migration from a broad range of sources. Papers that either address scholarly approaches broadly or use case studies to illuminate the value of or problems with a particular approach are welcome. Topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • Themes of center-and-periphery, cultural or stylistic transfer, and reception, their value or limitations
  • Studies of artists’ motivations for migration, their routes, financial situations
  • Issues of integration in the new location including collaboration or conflict with local artists, and relationship to existing corporate structures such as guilds or court bureaucracies
  • The reception of migrant artists by scholars in their home region or destination region
  • Concepts of “nationality” for migrant artists in the early modern period and in modern scholarly or popular interpretation
  • Approaches to the analysis of early modern written sources, archival or literary, and their value and limitations for the interpretation of artistic migration and the works it produced

If you are interested, please send a 150 word abstract and 1 page CV to Sarah W. Lynch ( by 10 August. For more information about the RSA Annual Meeting, please see the conference website:

Tags:  Art and Architecture  Art History  Cultural Networks  Cultural Transfer  Historiography  Migration 

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Adapting Torquato Tasso: the legacy of La Gerusalemme liberata in visual arts, music, and theater

Posted By Luca Zipoli, Monday, July 13, 2020
Updated: Tuesday, July 14, 2020

“Adapting Torquato Tasso: the legacy of La Gerusalemme liberata in visual arts, music, and theater”

Organizer: Luca Zipoli (Scuola Normale Superiore),

Chair: Laura Benedetti (Georgetown University)

ABSTRACT: Torquato Tasso encountered an extraordinary fortune between the end of the 16th and the beginning of the 18th thanks to his epic masterpiece, La Gerusalemme liberata (Jerusalem delivered). During the Renaissance and then the Baroque era, the poem was read, appreciated, and commented upon, but it also enjoyed many forms of adaptations through a vast range of visual arts and media, from illustrated printed editions to operas, from paintings and frescoes to theatrical plays. This panel aims to investigate, through a multidisciplinary and trans-cultural approach, this multidimensional phenomenon by examining some of the newly discovered and most relevant case studies of the legacy of La Gerusalemme liberata, from the Cinquecento up to c. 1700. The theoretical framework of this panel will be rooted in the up-to-date paradigms of the “adaptation studies” (e.g. Thomas Leitch et alii 2020, Linda Hutcheon 2013, Julie Sanders 2005), and we will seek to respond to some of these questions: which features made Tasso’s poem such a rich source for creative re-elaborations? What do the multifaceted appropriations of La Gerusalemme tell us about the Baroque aesthetics and the various cultures that inspired them? How can the studies on Tasso’s reception contribute to the general field of adaptation studies? The aim of this panel is to present scarcely known or neglected cases within the long tradition of adaptations from Tasso, while shedding a new light on more frequent themes through cutting-edge interpretations and a new theoretical benchmark.

This panel invites paper proposals which may include but are in no way limited to:

  • illustrated printed editions of La Gerusalemme liberata (e.g. the editions Castello 1590, 1604, and 1617, Ruffinelli 1607, and Tozzi 1628);
  • paintings, drawings, and artworks inspired by the epic poem (e.g. the cases of Annibale Carracci, Nicolas Poussin, and Antoon van Dyck);
  • theatrical, music, and operatic adaptations of Tasso’s masterpiece (e.g. the works by Giaches de Wert, Claudio Monteverdi, and Giulio Rospigliosi);

Please send paper proposals to Luca Zipoli ( by 10 August 2020. The submissions must include:

  • paper title (15-word maximum);
  • abstract (150-word maximum);
  • curriculum vitae (.pdf or .doc, no longer than 5 pages);
  • PhD completion date (past or expected; as per the RSA guidelines, PhD students must be ABD);
  • full name, current affiliation, and email address.

 Attached Files:

Tags:  Art and Architecture  Book History  Italian Literature  Music  Performing Arts and Theater  Print  Reception Theory  Tasso  Visual Studies 

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Witchcraft and Demonology in the Art of Early Modern Europe

Posted By Hannah Segrave, Sunday, July 12, 2020

The visual language of witchcraft, developing in conjunction with the witch hunts in early modern Europe, has been considerably studied in the past three decades. As scholars have often noted, these images speak simultaneously to the artistic and the demonological. These works of art not only were inspired by or responded to cultural and legal notions but also served to shape understandings of both magical and artistic practices and practitioners. Not unlike the heterogeneity of witchcraft beliefs themselves, the images were varied and aimed for diverse purposes, from didactic and moral functions to entertainment and pure expressions of artistic fantasia.

This panel invites papers that investigate how artists tackled ideas relating to witchcraft and demonology ca. 1400–1700, and what meanings viewers might have gleaned from these images. We aim to bring together scholars to discuss the role and signification of these images in order to delve into the range of the rhetorical power, artistic experimentation, and complex iconographies of this captivating subject matter.

Possible topics include, but are certainly not limited to:

  • The role of artworks of witchcraft in artists’ careers
  • Visual language of witchcraft and its transmission throughout Europe
  • Representations of unspecified or literary witches (mythology, the Bible, epic poems, etc.)
  • Witchcraft imagery and demonology
  • The devilish, the monstrous, and the fantastic
  • Patronage and collecting of witchcraft artworks
  • Social, historical, cultural, artistic, and intellectual contexts of an image of witchcraft

Proposals must include:

  • Paper title (15-word max)
  • Abstract (150-word max)
  • Full name, current affiliation, and contact details
  • C.V. (up to 5 pages)

Please submit proposals to Hannah Segrave ( and Guy Tal ( by August 10.

Tags:  Art and Architecture  Art History  Demonology  Magic  Witchcraft 

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Renaissance Bergamo: At the Edge of the Venetian Terraferma

Posted By Emanuela Vai, Friday, July 10, 2020

Present day Bergamo is bifurcated into an upper and lower portion of the city by the Venetian walls, built in 1561-1623 to discourage Milanese northward expansion, as well as to limit contraband trade. Bergamo was one of the most important of the strong points fortified by the Venetian state in the sixteenth century, through its position at the end of the chain in acting as the true shield of all the other cities, as one of its officials described. Resting among the foothills of the Bergamasque Alps, it lies a mere twenty-five miles northeast of the Spanish duchy of Milan. Under Venetian rule, Bergamo was the westernmost fortress town of the Venetian Republic’s terraferma empire. In addition to the Milan/Venice border, Bergamo sat at an important crossroads between the Venetian Republic, German lands north of the Alps, and other Italian city states. This begs the question, why is a location such as Bergamo, crucial as both an interregional communication point between the Venetian Republic and other parts of the Italian peninsula, largely side-lined in Renaissance and Early Modern studies?

Recent studies in Renaissance geopolitics have highlighted the important strategic role of liminal cities and their function in wider socio-political landscapes. To this end, this CFP invites paper proposals for a series of interdisciplinary panels from scholars working in musicology, art history, cultural history, book history and material and visual culture studies looking at Bergamo at the dawn of the early modern period. The aim is to rethink and reassess critical perspectives within Venetian Studies from the analysis of the Venetian state’s borders, with a view to an edited collection on the subject.

Topics could include/address, but are not limited to:

  • Architectural languages
  • Codicology
  • Confraternity studies
  • Education studies
  • Mediation and circulation of music
  • New technologies and historical research
  • Practices of patronage, collecting and selling art
  • Regionalism, mobility and cultural exchanges
  • War history
  • Women’s studies

As per RSA guidelines, proposals should be submitted in English and should include:

  • Paper title (15-word max)
  • Full name, current affiliation, and email address
  • Keywords (4 max)
  • Abstract (150-word max)
  • Short bio (150 words)
  • Short CV (2-page max)

Please send your proposal to Emanuela Vai (Worcester College, Oxford) and Jason Rosenholtz-Witt (Northwestern University, Chicago) by Wednesday, 5 August 2020:

Tags:  Art and Architecture  Art History  Book History  Italian Renaissance Art  Italy  lay brotherhoods  lay sisterhoods  Music  Religious Studies  Renaissance Architecture  Urban Studies  Veneto  Visual Studies 

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Reframing the Paragone: New Approaches to a Comparative Method of Artistic Analysis

Posted By Stefano Colombo, Thursday, July 9, 2020
Updated: Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Scholars have dealt at great length with the notion of paragone from the early modern period onwards. In art criticism, paragone is a technical jargon generally used to refer to the similarity between two things (for example artistic media) through the act of comparison. Because it involves the analogy between one thing and another, paragone invokes a comparative meter through which artistic practice is judged or recognized. Significantly, art historians have often resorted to paragone to refer to the competition of the arts, most notably painting and sculpture or poetry and painting. Although this interpretation of paragone is not unsubstantiated, recent scholarship has clarified that the actual meaning of paragone is much broader (Dempsey 2009; van Gastel et al. 2014; Nygren 2017). Going beyond the quarrel over the nobility of the arts, paragone implies the dialogic mode of reasoning typical of a debate, where both sides of an argument are discussed by means of a disputation (Dempsey 2009). This interpretation, which traces its roots in classical rhetoric and was revived in the Renaissance, has reshaped the notion of paragone as the basis of formal academic debate which is fundamental to all the arts and sciences.

This panel invites to reflect on paragone as a comparative method of visual analysis in the early modern period (ca. 1300-1700). In what ways does the flexible meaning of paragone help us reconsider the sources that laid the foundations of paragone itself, such as Benedetto Varchi or Leonardo da Vinci? Is paragone a fabrication of historiography, or was it already in effect in the Renaissance? Especially welcomed are papers that address paragone during Mannerism and the Baroque period. This is the moment when paragone entered the artistic debate of accademie, the learned societies whose members were erudite of various disciplines encompassing the visual arts, literature, law and philosophy. How did paragone influence artistic discourse in the accademie? And how did the exchange of ideas among members of these accademie inform on the production and reception of different art forms?

Topics of interest might include but are not limited to: interaction among different media, in particular, sculpture, architecture and literature; ekphrasis and visual rhetoric; the extent to which artists (and their patrons) relied on technical, scientific or theological formulations and how these influenced the making and reception of artworks; or the analysis of the dialogic mode of paragone through the analogy between the liberal arts and other branches of knowledge, such as the natural sciences, medicine or theology.

Please send an abstract (150-word maximum), a paper title (15-word maximum), 3-5 keywords, academic affiliation, PhD completion date (past or expected), a brief curriculum vitae, and any audio/visual requirements to Stefano Colombo ( by August 8, 2020.

Tags:  Accademie  Art and Architecture  Art Theory  Classical Tradition  Ekphrasis  Italian Literature  Italian Renaissance Art  Literature  Paragone  Philosophy  Renaissance Architecture  Rhetoric  Sculpture  Transmediality 

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Experiencing Death in Early Modern Italy

Posted By Ariana Ellis, Thursday, July 9, 2020
Updated: Thursday, July 9, 2020

Death saturates early modern Italian culture, from Dance of Death artwork and religious scripture to elaborate execution processions and the scaffold literature they inspired. But what did it mean to experience death? How did it look, sound, and feel? Where did the boundaries between life and death truly lie?


This panel is seeking papers that explore what it meant to experience death in Italy at any point during the early modern period. Analytical perspectives including: the senses, the emotions, philosophy, memorial culture, death culture, and art history are all welcome.


Please send proposals to the organizer ( by July 27th. Paper proposals must include:


·      Abstract (150 word maximum)

·      Paper title (15 word maximum)

·      Full name, current affiliation, and email address

·      CV (.pdf or .doc; 5 page maximum)

·      Date of PhD or terminal degree completion

       (past or expected)


Selected applicants will be notified as soon as possible. Please note- you must renew or activate an RSA membership to participate in the conference.

Tags:  Art and Architecture  Art History  death and gender  Death studies  Digital Humanities  emotional history  Florence  Italian Literature  Italian Renaissance Art  Italy  Memory Studies  Performing Arts and Theater  Philosophy  Sensory history  Sound studies  Urban Studies  Venice 

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Early Modern Privacy?

Posted By Mette B. Bruun, Wednesday, July 8, 2020
Updated: Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Organizer: Centre for Privacy Studies, University of Copenhagen (


Privacy is hardly a hallmark of Early Modern life. Rooms are crammed; beds are shared; doors are open; letters are copied; gossip runs wild; church and state survey the movements and mores of their subjects. Nonetheless, thresholds and boundaries do exist – be they material or immaterial ­– and they delineate spaces with regulated access, thus creating spaces with a particular potential for solitude, intimacy or a life without civic obligations.

In this panel, we will explore the terminologies, characteristics and ambience that pertain to Early Modern spaces of privacy. Perhaps such spaces are associated with terms related to ‘privacy’ or ‘the private’, and then it becomes a question how to identify the historical meaning of such terms. Perhaps such spaces are associated with emotions, activities or statuses that we think of as private or related to privacy, and it becomes a question how to avoid anachronism when dealing with them.

This panel is dedicated to spaces of privacy that are admired in poetry, explored in fiction, defined in legislation, identified in architectural plans, qualified in devotional treatises, represented in artworks, moulded in sermons or indicated in political theory. We are interested in spaces of privacy as they are built, furnished, adorned, portrayed, used, imagined, cultivated, restricted, protected, accessed, feared or lauded in the Early Modern period, and we are looking forward to learning more about scholarly approaches that enable us to grasp the complexities and historical particularities of such spaces.

To apply:

Please upload an abstract (150 words), a CV (3-5 pp) and, if relevant, a request for a travel bursary via this form

Deadline 10 August


If you have questions, please contact Mette Birkedal Bruun, Professor of Church History at the University of Copenhagen and director of the Centre for Privacy Studies:

The speakers whose proposal are accepted will be expected to engage in a dialogue to enhance the cohesion of the panel.


Please note: Speakers must become RSA members by 1 November

Tags:  Art and Architecture  Art History  Book History  Closet Drama  Daily Life  Diaries  English Literature  Gardens  Italian Literature  Legal and Political Thought  Neo-Latin Literature  piety  poetics  Renaissance Architecture  sexuality  social history  Visual Studies  Women and Gender 

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Theatres of Knowledge: On the Theatricalisation of Scientific Practices

Posted By Oscar Seip, Tuesday, July 7, 2020
Updated: Monday, July 20, 2020

Studying the intertwined history of the theatre and the sciences is crucial to understand the development of different styles and strategies that developed during the Early Modern Period for the discovery and presentation of knowledge. Indeed, previous scholarship has studied the importance of the locality of the theatre to understand how scientific practitioners acquired and disseminated knowledge. While this has focused on the anatomy theatre, its impact beyond the field of medicine has received relatively little consideration. In this panel, we explore the anatomy theatre in relation to a broader vision of the world as a theatre.

Bringing together case studies from various contexts allows us to explore our main question of how the anatomy theatre relates to a hypothesised radical shift towards the theatricalisation of scientific practices. Did it lead to a new genre of printed works? Was it a new tool and practice of observing the world? Were these observations recorded and transmitted in a new and unique way?  How is the theatre different from contemporary metaphors such as the mirror and the book of nature? How does the theatre relate to the concepts of performance and spectacle? In other words, is there a distinctly theatrical style and strategy for the discovery and presentation of knowledge?

Our aim is to compare case studies of the theatre’s use across different periods (from the Early Modern period to the Enlightenment), fields of science or subjects (e.g. geography, medicine, architecture, mathematics), and different kinds of knowledge (practical or theoretical) and the different styles and strategies that they employ to represent this knowledge (figural/pictorial or abstract and textual). Particular attention will be given in this to the translation from the (imaginative) mental and physical space of the theatre to the space of the page.

We invite speakers (including junior scholars) from literary studies as well as intellectual history and history of science to submit papers. Proposals for 20-minute papers (no more than 150 words), together with a short CV should be sent to by 31 July 2020. Please do not hesitate to get in touch with any questions.


Tags:  Art and Architecture  Art History  Book History  Digital Humanities  Dissection  English Literature  European literature  History  History of Medicine  History of Science  Humanism  Italian Literature  Italian Renaissance Art  Material Culture  Medicine and Science  Neo-Latin Literature  Performing Arts and Theater  Renaissance  Visual Studies 

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Comparative Antiquarianism: Europe-China

Posted By Clare E. Guest, Friday, July 3, 2020

Comparative Antiquarianism: Europe-China

This session opens the question of comparative study of collecting practices and antiquarian scholarship in Europe and China, two civilizations which shared a veneration of antiquity. The session seeks to explore lines of similarity in such areas as epigraphy, the collecting and significant display of antiquities, the contexts of antiquarian activity, from court ceremonial to scholarly retreat or conspicuous consumption and the relationship with other humanistic disciplines concerned with the study of literature, history, ethics and ancient customs and religion.

These similarities are underpinned by profound differences in political thought, modelling of temporality and conceptions of form in European and Chinese civilisation. Exploration of the similarities in the light of the differences can illuminate preconceptions both in the systems of thought which shaped European classical antiquarianism and in our methods of studying it. In this way, we can enhance awareness of Humanist cultures beyond Europe without losing depth and detail.

Papers are invited in areas such as (for example) the early Jesuit missions in Asia, antiquities and religious practices, temporal modelling in antiquarianism, the contexts of antiquarian display and discussion, the role of international trade, the relationship between missionary work, pilgrimage and antiquarianism, the collecting of Chinese and East Asian artefacts in Early Modern Europe, the Humanist study of oriental languages and civilisations, Confucianism and Classical European Humanism.

Interested panellists should send an abstract (150 words) and CV to Clare Guest ( by July 31, 2020.

Tags:  Antiquarianism  Art and Architecture  Asia  China  Classical Tradition  Collecting  Humanism 

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