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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 

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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The Early Modern Tacitus: Tacitism, literature and political thought

Posted By Jan H. Waszink, Tuesday, July 14, 2020
Updated: Tuesday, July 14, 2020

The Early Modern Tacitus: Tacitism, literature and political thought

Tacitism is the broad term for a range of secular and sceptical moral and political discourses in Europe from the mid-16th to the 18th century inspired by the works of the Roman historian Cornelius Tacitus. Usually understood in close (but not always straightforward) connection with the reception of Machiavelli's Principe, the early-modern reception of Tacitus contributed not a little to the rise and gradual acceptance of reason of state as a political discourse. Retrospectively, Tacitist ideas thus belong to the 'winning' ideas of history. For example Tacitist authors were among the first to advocate the separation of religion and politics. In its own time however Tacitism was a highly controversial mode of political discourse, as can be seen from the personal difficulties Tacitist authors in their lives or with the publication of their works. Also the complicated literary formats and rhetorical devices found in many Tacitist works testify to expected problems in the perception and acceptance of their content. Thus the history of Tacitism provides a fascinating basis to study the complicated interplay of political thought, rhetoric, and historical context.

In this panel we invite papers on such topics as:

  • The early modern reception of Tacitus, Thucydides, Polybius, and that of Machiavelli
  • Late humanist thought on politics, reason of state and history
  • political literature as a genre, or as an aspect of other genres (e.g. drama)
  • the changing relationship (or confrontation) between ethics, law, and religion, and 'reality' or 'politics'
  • changes and continuity in the application of history to literature in the 16th and 17th centuries
  • changes and continuity in the application of history to practical politics in the 16th and 17th centuries
  • the rise of political science as a separate discipline from the 17th century onwards
  • The secular nature (or not) of politics and history
  • The early history of secularisation and/or church-state relationships
  • Prudentia, justitia, reason of state, interest of state
  • Realism and natural law

If you want to participate in this panel, please contact the organiser before 7 August 2020, j.h.waszink [at]

Tags:  Classical Tradition  History  Legal and Political Thought  Tacitism  Tacitus 

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Rubrics and Rubrication in Medieval and Early Modern Book Cultures

Posted By Jane F. Raisch, Monday, July 13, 2020

Despite the fact that rubrication is one of the most visible textual components on printed and manuscript pages - from ancient Egypt to the Islamic world - it remains one of the most undertheorized. Scholarly attention in recent decades has focussed on the many ways in which paratexts organize and convey information, especially how the margins afford a space in which the authority of the text is displaced and decentred. But current theories of authorship and of book history find it difficult to account for the textual power of rubrication, frequently seen as the sole-purview of medieval manuscripts. This panel will seek to correct this oversight by inviting papers on questions of rubrication and rubrics across late medieval and early modern books. Unlike the paratext, the rubric is often situated prominently within the body of the text, and yet clearly remains distinct from it. Standing apart from such authoriality, the rubric nonetheless profoundly inflects the reader’s encounter with the text in ways that have yet to be fully understood. This panel aims to deepen our understanding through an interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary exploration of rubrication from diverse cultural traditions.

Papers might explore:

  • The ways in which rubrics transition between manuscript and print
  • The rubric as title, and its role in attributing the text to a particular author
  • The changes in rubrication across multiple copies of the same text
  • Editing rubrics (in or from medieval/early modern texts)
  • Writing rubrics, and authorial rubrication
  • Reading rubrics, and the role of the reader
  • Rubrication and religious texts/confessional identities and rubrication
  • Sacred texts and the uses of red
  • Technical processes of rubrication across manuscript and print; scribal practices in the age of print; methods and processes of printing in red
  • How ornamental rubrication inflects the printed text
  • Rubricated marginalia
  • Rubrication and epigraphy/ rubrication and philology/ rubrication and scholarly practice

Please email a 300-word proposal and a short CV to Dr Jane Raisch ( and Dr K P Clarke ( by August 12, 2020.

Tags:  Antiquarianism  Art History  Book History  Classical Tradition  Collecting  Comparative Literature  Education  English Literature  European literature  History of Technology  Material Culture  Materials and Materiality  pedagogy 

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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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Machiavelli and the Art of War

Posted By Alexander C. Lee, Monday, July 6, 2020

Published in Florence in 1521, the Arte della guerra is Machiavelli’s most detailed and comprehensive treatment of how states should organize themselves for war. Its impact is almost impossible to over-estimate. As Felix Gilbert memorably observed, it was the “foundation” upon which all subsequent military thought was based. Yet for many years, it was by far the least studied of Machiavelli’s major works. Regarded as little more than a technical appendix to his more overtly political writings, it was rarely mentioned – and almost never considered in its own right. Only recently has this begun to change. Thanks to a growing interest in the ‘Renaissance of war’, it has been (re-)translated into English by Christopher Lynch and is now the focus for some ground-breaking work by a new generation of scholars.


Marking the 500th anniversary of the Arte della guerra’s publication, this panel aims to reassess Machiavelli’s dialogue in light of recent research – and to explore new avenues for future study. Deliberately broad in focus, it seeks: (a) to provide new perspectives on the Arte della guerra, its Florentine context, and its place in Machiavelli’s life and thought; and (b) to re-consider its place in the development of Renaissance military theory, its originality, and its legacy.


This panel is being organised by Prof. Stephen Bowd (Edinburgh), whose recent book Renaissance Mass Murder: Civilians and Soldiers in the Italian Wars (Oxford, 2018) addresses the key question of the ‘Machiavellian Massacre’, and Dr. Alexander Lee (Warwick), whose biography of Machiavelli was published by Picador in March 2020. 


Proposals for 20-minute papers (no more than 150 words) – together with a CV (no more than 5 pages) – should be sent to by 27 July 2020. Applicants will be informed of the decision by 1 August 2020.


Contributions are invited to address themes including (but not limited to) the following:

  • Machiavelli’s relationship with classical and contemporary military theory
  • Machiavelli and the technology of war
  • The role of religion
  • The Arte della guerra and the Florentine militia
  • The politics of war
  • Civilians and soldiers
  • The place of the Arte della guerra within Machiavelli’s oeuvre
  • The textual reception of the Arte della guerra
  • The impact of the Arte della guerra on military theory and practice
  • Criticisms of Machiavelli’s military thought.

 Attached Thumbnails:

Tags:  Book History  Classical Tradition  Florence  Italy  Legal and Political Thought  Machiavelli  Warfare 

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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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Women Worth Remembering: Female Models from Antiquity in the Visual Arts, c. 1350-c. 1650

Posted By Claudia Daniotti, Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Renaissance Society of America Annual Meeting

Dublin, 7-10 April 2021

Antiquity has long offered a repository of exemplary models to look at, stories of notable figures whose lives and deeds provided examples of good or bad moral behaviour, and therefore guidance as to what emulate or avoid. This is particularly true in the late medieval to the Renaissance and early modern period, when attention was first drawn to Famous Women – rather than to Illustrious Men alone – and a flourishing visual tradition established around them, stemming from Boccaccio’s De mulieribus claris and Christine de Pizan’s Livre de la Cité des Dames. Figures as different as Penthesilea, Cleopatra, Lucretia, and Judith, among others, came to play particularly potent roles in European art from the mid-14th to the mid-17th century; their stories featured in a vast and varied corpus of paintings, manuscript and book illustrations, sculptures, tapestries, and a number of decorative objects in domestic interiors such as marriage chests and maiolica.

This panel seeks to explore the impact that these models from antiquity had on the developing notion of female identity between the late Middle Ages and the early modern period. It also aims to investigate more extensively the related iconographic tradition which, despite several recent scholarly publications and exhibitions, remains unevenly explored.

Proposals are invited to discuss examples of the visual reception of Famous Women in European art from c. 1350 to c. 1650, and to assess the kind of contribution these figures made to the formation of female identity in the period. While the panel focuses chiefly on figures from Greco-Roman myth and history, contributions on Famous Women from the Hebrew and Christian tradition (e.g., Biblical heroines and saints and martyrs) are also welcome. Paper topics might include but are not limited to: the visual tradition connected to collections of lives of women and educational treatises (e.g., Boccaccio, Christine de Pizan, Eustache Deschamps, Jacopo Filippo Foresti); case studies of medieval and Renaissance appropriations of Famous Women; the querelle des femmes; virtues and vices exemplified by representations of Famous Women.

Please submit proposals to Claudia Daniotti ( by 2 August 2020. They should include a paper title (max. 15 words), an abstract (max. 150 words), relevant keywords, a brief CV (max. one page, including your full name, affiliation, email address, and degree completion date, past or expected), and an indication of any audio/visual requirements you may have.

Tags:  Art and Architecture  Art History  Classical Tradition  Humanism  Italian Renaissance Art  Visual Studies  Women and Gender 

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“Otium cum dignitate”. Leisure and amusement of Early Modern elites.

Posted By Cristina Agüero, Friday, June 19, 2020
Updated: Saturday, June 20, 2020

“Otium cum dignitate”.

Leisure and amusement of Early Modern elites.

CFP | RSA Dublin 2021, April 7-10



The concept of “otium cum dignitate” –fruitful leisure in opposition to idleness– present in Cicero’s texts was restored by the Humanism and pervaded the noble culture from 15th to 17th centuries. “If you have a garden and a library” –wrote Cicero to his friend Varrone– “you have everything you need” (Epistulae ad Familiares IX, 4). The model of the Renaissance ville formulated by architects such as Sangallo and Palladio responded to this ideal by reflecting the principles of Vitruvio’s treatise De architectura. This revival of the antique forms implied the assumption of the ideals of decorum (adequation of the house to the social rank and public role of its proprietary) and magnificence as a sign of distinction. Consequently, the garden, the gallery and the library were core elements inside the dwellings of early modern patricians. These places not only played an essential function within the strategies of representation and construction of the family memory but also served as a scenario for the “conspicuous leisure” (as named by Veblen in The Theory of the Leisure Class) distinctive of the elites. Art collecting, gardening, and amateur writing, painting or drawing were common practices among early modern nobles and sovereigns, who found shelter from melancholy –the disease of the soul– in the rarities of the cabinets, the beauties of the galleries and the amenities of the gardens (teeming with fountains, sculptures, exotic plants, fruits and animals). They hosted intellectuals and artist to amuse themselves with the art of conversation, commenting poems or discussing the stories represented in the paintings they gathered. The theater performances, banquets and concerts celebrated by members of the political and ecclesiastical elites –often in honor of foreign visitors– evinced the performative and political dimensions of some forms of “otium”.


This panel aims to examine various aspects of the leisure events and activities cultivated by the early modern elites; considering their cultural, symbolical and political implications, the venues (ville, family palaces, libraries, galleries, banqueting houses, gardens, etc.) where they took place, and the artifacts and artistic creations (books, poems, plays, paintings, etc.) used or produced in these places. Studies on the cultural networks that thrive on the idea of “otium” (like the Accademia degli oziosi) and presentations concerning the concept of leisure and the criticism articulated thereon by moralists and arbitristas are also desirable.


We welcome proposals by researchers from every humanistic discipline –including history of art, history, philosophy and literature– at any career stage. Those interested in participating in this panel are requested to submit an abstract (no more than 300 words) and a short academic bio to by July 31


*Please note that all speakers must become RSA members in order to present their papers at the conference.

Organizer: Cristina Agüero (Universidad de Barcelona).

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Tags:  Art and Architecture  Art History  Classical Tradition  Collecting  Cultural Networks  Galleries  Gardens  Humanism  Leisure  Libraries  Literature  Material Culture  Nobility  Performing Arts and Theater  Philosophy  Poetry  Sculpture  Villa 

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Painted Faces: Documenting the Frescoed Façade in Renaissance Rome and Beyond

Posted By Alexis R. Culotta, Thursday, June 18, 2020
Updated: Friday, June 26, 2020

In early sixteenth-century Rome, as the architectural language of grand domestic spaces was being further refined, elaborate façade fresco decorations became popular. These cycles, some of which were designed to root the structure (and its owner) in Roman antiquity and others which aimed to make a humble space more imposing, were celebrated in their day and even documented (albeit sporadically) by artists. This session welcomes papers that explore frescoed facades in Rome and beyond from various perspectives, such as earlier roots, relations to other cities in Italy (such as Venice, where the tradition has been more extensively studied), or “painted faces” as a mode of artistic exchange.

Please send proposals to the organizer ( by Monday, July 13, 2020.  Paper proposals must include:

  • Abstract (150 words max)
  • Paper title (25 words max)
  • Your full name, current affiliation, email address, and Ph.D. completion date (past or expected)
  • A brief c.v. (300 words max, and must be in a list – not narrative – form)
  • A list of keywords (8 max)

*Please note: Speakers must become RSA members by November 1 to speak at the conference.

 This session is sponsored by the Italian Art Society (IAS). 

Tags:  Art and Architecture  Classical Tradition 

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Mining for the Earth-Based Sciences

Posted By Katie Jakobiec, Thursday, June 18, 2020

Organizers: Stefano Gulizia (PAN, Warsaw); Katie Jakobiec (University of Toronto)

This panel is sponsored by the Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies (CRRS), University of Toronto, for the 67th Annual Meeting of the Renaissance Society of America, to be held in Dublin, Ireland, on 7-10 April 2021. We warmly invite submissions and hope to select 3-4 papers for presentation according to the following outline.

Between 1450 and 1650, in the aftermath of a great technological change in metallurgy, a vast Central European space including centres such as Trento, Chemnitz, and Goslar specialized and clustered into new industrial hubs. In our historiography of the period, as well, mining has emerged as a nexus for studying the interface between natural history, physiology, and the processing of materials. Thanks to Anna Marie Roos’s The Salt of the Earth (Brill 2007) and Laboratories of Art, edited by Sven Dupré (Springer 2014), to name only a few contributions, we have a refined understanding of how this artisanal knowledge related to alchemy and philosophy. More recently, a special issue of Renaissance Studies (34.1: 2019) edited by Tina Asmussen and Pamela O. Long undertook the ambitious and impressive task of accounting for Berggeschrey, or ‘mountain uproar’ in all its technological, legal, textual, and symbolic features, including the core ambivalence of ethnographic collections up to the new histories of labor in a reunited Germany.

By design, our session assigns a premium on epistemic practices over the two major viewpoints adopted by historians, namely folklore and socio-economic development. Overall, we would like to see the Renaissance mine and its paperwork as a concrete example of Hans-Jörg Rheinberger’s laboratory, and how objects appear and disappear, or perhaps, move from being merely ordinary to epistemic. Another larger outlook of this project is environmental. Paracelsus already endowed subterranean things with an enduring, palingenetic power which was then developed within an experimental framework; both James Delbourgo and Philippa Hellawell argued for a substantial yet persuasive extension of the domain of mining to include seascapes and submarine knowledge.

Given all this, and without pretenses to limit the analysis only to these points, we propose that:

  • the morphing of sites of extraction into sites of connectivity is potentially problematic; likewise, it is difficult to constraint the sheer variety of actors and agencies at a mine into the concept of a “trading zone” in which not everyone was “trading” (e.g. some were ‘accounting for’, others ‘enslaved to’, and so on). Could we improve on our metaphorical usage? In this regard, Renée Raphael’s 2019 essay in RS offers a valuable model of how the current ‘practical’ view of the trading zone hides a heavy reliance on textual learning.
  • there is a relation between cartographic curiosity and mining that still awaits to be fully explored, and this means dealing with maps, sections, landscapes, and representations of specimens. For example, we couldn’t find any reference in English-speaking scholarship to the Delineatio Wielicensis of 1645, that is, the map of the massive salt mine of Wieliczka, outside Cracow, in the context of the Polish scientific book of the seventeenth-century. How do we assess mining with regard to visual representation in earth sciences histories? Could we profitably turn to the tradition of geodesy and its instruments? And does the cartographic imagination link mining to topography, territoriality, and the military arts?
  • as a corollary to the last point, and because of our typical reliance on tacit or vernacular learning within an interdisciplinary-oriented history of knowledge, issues of mobility and redeployment have completely overwhelmed the traditional framework of geology, seen as the birth of a “new” science. Yet, there is still a lot to be gained from the longue durée of fifteenth-century artisanal humanism, as Ivano Dal Prete has stressed. We simply suggest that we need better studies of how mining relates to epistemic images of “deep time;” and to remind ourselves that even rocks and fossils were aligned to anatomical exercises.
  • so far, almost the entirety of our case studies came from the German-speaking world, which, in point of fact, has become synonymous with research on Renaissance mining. There is, however, an untapped wealth of materials pertaining to Italy, the Czech Republic, Poland-Lithuania, and the colonial Iberian experience. How would the ensuing picture differ? And how did the historical actors consider these lesser-studied mining towns as a built environment? Did an enviro-technical site function more like a networked object?

The deadline is July 15, 2020; notification of acceptance will come within 15 days after that date. To apply please: 1) submit an abstract of no more than 250 words, describing your proposal, and a 150-word narrative CV, which would serve as a basis for introducing you; 2) explicitly confirm proof of, or plan to obtain, a RSA membership; and 3) send all this as a single attachment to both organizers, at and

Tags:  Art and Architecture  Art History  Artillery  Classical Tradition  Humanism  Legal and Political Thought  Material Culture  Materiality  Medicine and Science  Philosophy  Renaissance Architecture 

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The Renaissance Gallery

Posted By Andrea M. Gáldy, Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Call for Papers

Renaissance Society of America Annual Meeting

Dublin, 7-10 April 2021

International Forum Collecting & Display

The Renaissance Gallery

Ever since the ground-breaking publications by Wolfram Prinz (1970) and Rosalys Coope (1986), the renaissance gallery has been investigated by art historians and historians of collecting as an architectural setting, as well as a room for display. The focus has been either on the general phenomenon or on individual case studies. Quite different from our modern perception of the gallery as a museum space for paintings or a commercial space used for trading in art, during the Renaissance, a gallery fulfilled a wider range of functions and displayed a much more diverse group of items than they do today.

Renaissance galleries were coveted by many but only owned by the nobility, males and occasionally females. Aristocratic owners displayed items that were in keeping with a particular collectors’ standard in close proximity to other collecting rooms such as libraries and armouries. Some galleries had a themed display that went hand in hand with a decorative programme devised by owner and court artists. Our sessions will therefore focus on different uses of the gallery, changes in terminology and architectural evolution. We are also interested in galleries created for women.

We invite proposals that present new approaches to issues of room type, diverse development, function, set-up, decoration and contents in a pan-European context, as well as with the gallery’s potential role for museology and museum displays.

If you wish to participate, please send your abstracts of 250 words and short bios (no CVs) by 15 July 2020 to

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Tags:  Art and Architecture  Art History  British Empire  Classical Tradition  Digital Humanities  Italian Renaissance Art  Material Culture  Material Studies  Women and Gender 

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CfP: Italian Art Society Sponsored Session, RSA Dublin 2020

Posted By Cristelle Baskins, Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Renaissance Society of America
Dublin, 7-10 April 2021

Painted Faces: Documenting the Frescoed Façade in Renaissance Rome and Beyond

Session organizer: Alexis Culotta, Tulane University

In early sixteenth-century Rome, as the architectural language of grand domestic spaces was being further refined, elaborate façade fresco decorations became popular. These cycles, some of which were designed to root the structure (and its owner) in Roman antiquity and others which aimed to make a humble space more imposing, were celebrated in their day and even documented (albeit sporadically) by artists. This session welcomes papers that explore frescoed facades in Rome and beyond from various perspectives, such as earlier roots, relations to other cities in Italy (such as Venice, where the tradition has been more extensively studied), or “painted faces” as a mode of artistic exchange.

Please send proposals to the organizer ( by Monday, July 13, 2020. Paper proposals must include:

  • Abstract (150 words max)
  • Paper title (25 words max)
  • Your full name, current affiliation, email address, and Ph.D. completion date (past or expected)
  • A brief c.v. (300 words max, and must be in a list – not narrative – form)
  • A list of keywords (8 max)

Please note: Speakers must become IAS and RSA members by Aug 15.

Tags:  Art and Architecture  Classical Tradition  Italian Renaissance Art 

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Architecture for the Common Good

Posted By Elizabeth M. Merrill, Thursday, June 11, 2020

During the recent health crisis, individuals across the globe have yielded to the intrusive politics of public authorities in the attempt to secure public health. Governing bodies highly controlled the movement and activities of their citizens, instructing them to stay at home, preventing them from meeting with friends and family members, sitting in parks, shopping and eating in restaurants. These intrusions on private liberties – and the questions they provoked from individuals as to accept them or not – brought back a central theme of political theory: that of the common good.

Since antiquity, the idea of the common good has problematized the shared political and social goal of communal well-being, which might or might not be in conflict with private interests. How to obtain this common good, in relation to private interests, recurs as an important question throughout the history of political theory. In these discussions, architectural patronage and design appear as important contributing factors in the obtainment of the common good. Architecture, urban planning and infrastructure development also incorporate innumerable tensions that exist between public and private interests.

This session invites papers that explore the “Architecture for the Common Good” in the Renaissance. Papers might focus on a primary-source text, examining the contribution of architecture to the public good. They might also present an architectural, urban or infrastructural project that hopes to contribute to the well-being of the community. Papers that specifically address the tensions that existed between public and private interests and that might have informed architectural patronage or design are likewise welcome.   

Please send proposals by 1 August 2020 via email with the subject line “RSA 2021” to Nele De Raedt ( and Elizabeth Merrill at ( The proposal should include a title (15 words max.); an abstract (200 words max.); and a one-paragraph CV (in prose, 200 words max.). Provide also full name, current affiliation, and email address.

This session is sponsored by the European Architectural Histories Network.

Tags:  Art and Architecture  Art History  Associate Organizations  Classical Tradition  Italian Renaissance Art  Medicine and Science  Visual Studies 

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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: (Université de Lausanne) and (Université de Lausanne) by July 10, 2020.

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

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The Renaissance Cicero

Posted By Marijke Crab, Friday, June 5, 2020

Call for Papers: The Renaissance Cicero


The Renaissance Society of America, Dublin, 7-10 April 2021


Submission Deadline: 20 July 2020


Although it might be exaggerated to state that the Renaissance was vor allen Dingen eine Wiederbelebung Ciceros, und erst nach ihm und dank ihm des übrigen klassischen Altertums” (T. Zielinski), it is certainly impossible to overestimate Cicero’s cultural importance in the early modern period. All humanists were avid readers of both his speeches and his treatises on philosophy, rhetoric, and law; moreover, they regarded him as a political role model, admired his literary genius and were, even to a fault, enthusiastic imitators of his style.


Since Cicero’s afterlife is one of the most varied and wide-ranging of any classical author, this session proposes to study his Renaissance reception in the broadest sense possible. To this end, proposals from all disciplines are encouraged. Possible topics include, but are not limited to, the study of:

  • early modern editions, translations, commentaries, florilegia, etc. of Cicero’s works;
  • early modern biographies of Cicero (vitae Ciceronis);
  • intertextuality with Cicero’s works in early modern literature, either in Latin or in the vernacular;
  • early modern appreciations, or criticism, of Cicero as a writer, philosopher, statesman, or historical person;
  • Cicero as a literary and stylistic model, the debate on Ciceronianism, and his importance for early modern rhetoric and epistolography.

Interested participants are invited to send a 150-word abstract and short CV to Marijke Crab ( by 20 July 2020. Please follow the submission guidelines set out at

Tags:  Book History  Classical Tradition  English Literature  French Literature  Germanic Literature  Hispanic Literature  Humanism  Italian Literature  Neo-Latin Literature  Rhetoric 

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