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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 

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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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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Emblem Studies

Posted By Tamar Cholcman, Friday, June 26, 2020

Call for Papers

Discipline of Emblems
Renaissance Society of America 2021
7–10 April 2021

The Discipline of Emblem Studies invites papers and panels for its sessions at the annual meeting (which may be on site or virtual). We may submit up to four panels. We invite papers and panels on any subject appropriate to our discipline and especially welcome those that address the following:

  • New perspectives on the origins of emblems
  • The whole is greater than the sum of its parts: Exceptions to the tripartite emblem
  • Emblems of the Unknown: Utopia and the New World
  • Emblems and the Republic of Letters
  • Emblems and Cosmology
  • New perspective on emblem books
  • Practice and theory of emblem digitization.
  • Jesuit emblems (in memory of G. Richard Dimler)

Panels must be organized by a current member of the Renaissance Society of America. Panels should ordinarily include no more than three presenters.

Please submit the following:

  • A session title no longer than 15 words;
  • 150 word abstract for description of the panel;
  • 150 word abstract for each of its papers;
  • 300 word curriculum vitae for each presenter, including full name, affiliation, and email address;
  • any audiovisual requirements;
  • session keywords.

Papers may be submitted by anyone. Graduate students should be doctoral candidates (post prelims).

Please submit the following in a single Word document:

  • 150 word abstract of the paper;
  • 300 word curriculum vitae, including full name, affiliation, and email address;
  • any audiovisual requirements;
  • paper keywords.

Send all materials to Tamar Cholcman ( The deadline for submissions is 31 July 2020. Decisions on submissions will be sent out at least one week before the RSA submission deadline of 15 August 2020.

All participants in the Dublin conference (on site or virtual) must be members of the Renaissance Society of America.

Please note: RSA rules allow a participant to present only one paper.

Tags:  Art History  Book History  Cultural Networks  Digital Humanities  Discipline Representatives  Emblem  Emblems  Humanism  Jesuits  Literature  Neo-Latin Literature  Print  Visual Studies 

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**Deadline extended 8/10** SHARP at RSA: Intersectional Book History

Posted By Andie Silva, Monday, June 22, 2020
Updated: Thursday, August 6, 2020

The Society for the History of Authorship, Reading & Publishing (SHARP) will sponsor up to four sessions at the Renaissance Society of America’s annual meeting in Dublin, Ireland on 7-10 April, 2021. SHARP @ RSA brings together scholars working on any aspect of the creation, dissemination, and reception of manuscript and print and their digital remediation. Special consideration will be given to early career scholars and BIPOC applicants.

The proposed theme for this year is “Intersectional Book History.” This theme reflects ongoing conversations about engaging our work in broader political and social contexts that move the field forward and look to the needs and goals of the next generation of book history scholars. What work are we doing to centralize and call attention to under-studied, under-represented texts and authors? How has book history contributed to upholding hegemonic, exclusionary systems, and what can be done to disrupt this? What does it take to promote a book history that is radical, inclusive, and accessible?

We invite individual submissions or fully constituted panels/roundtables about the study or remediation of books and manuscripts from 1350 to 1700 across a range of perspectives, especially work that focuses on global perspectives. Roundtables may also consider provocations, theories, and new questions orienting the field. Potential topics include but are not limited to:

  • Decolonial approaches to book history and/or print culture
  • Archival studies of underrepresented authors or understudied texts
  • Feminist and Queer bibliography
  • Racialized and gendered labor in/and book production and its digital remediations
  • Women in/and the print marketplace (stationers, printers, authors, readers)
  • Decolonizing book history pedagogy

Please send a 150-word abstract and a brief CV to Dr. Andie Silva ( by 10 August (note that this is earlier than the RSA’s own deadline). Accepted applicants must be members of SHARP by the time they register for the RSA conference but if you are experiencing financial instability please do not let that keep you from applying! SHARP and RSA are both open to discussing flexible dues.

Please consider the following RSA guidelines before applying:

  • You must be a member of the RSA by the time you register for the conference. RSA will be taking into consideration the financial strains put on many due to the COVID-19 pandemic. If you are concerned about the cost of membership, please get in touch with RSA to discuss alternatives.
  • Graduate students must be within two years of defending their dissertations to be considered as speakers.
  • Individuals may submit only one paper for consideration (including rollovers from 2020). This paper may be an independent proposal, a paper proposed for a seminar session, or part of an organized panel.

Download File (PDF)

Tags:  Book History  Digital Humanities  Emerging Scholars  Global Literature  Material Culture  Women and Gender 

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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

Download File (DOCX)

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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Renaissance Architecture in the Archives

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


For the purist, to know a building is to experience it first-hand, sensorily – to see its forms, to hear its echoes, to touch its surfaces, and to feel its spaces. Of course, history does not always allow for this full experience. For buildings of the early modern period – few of which survive, and even fewer, if any, in their “original” form – the historian must rely on “secondary” sources: drawings, commentaries and treatises, correspondence records, and contracts. It’s from the archives that the great histories of the Renaissance Europe’s iconic constructions unfold: the Duomo of Florence, St. Peter’s Basilica, the Royal Palace of Amsterdam, the Royal Site of El Escorial, the numerous palaces of merchant princes. The study of architecture through the archives likewise unveils works that would otherwise be invisible: constructions and monuments, long ago destroyed; ephemeral designs and stage scenery; unrealized feats of engineering; legal disputes; and theoretical debates. It’s in the archives that we also learn the extraordinary tales of the unsung protagonists of building design.   


For centuries, the archives of Renaissance architecture were largely fixed and immobile, providing scholars with a wealth of information – at times, electrifying, at times, terribly banal – of the history of the built environment. Yet the archives have evolved, slowly over the course of the twentieth century, and increasingly so in recent years. New technologies have changed how documents are located and accessed. Drawings, manuscripts and rare printed sources have not only been digitalized, but have also been made Open Access. Within the archive, scanning devices and cell-phone cameras allow the historian to assemble years’ worth of data in a single afternoon. Off-site, computer software facilitates the processes of cataloguing documents, and even their transcription and translation. Where previously extensive time, training, resources and patience were necessary to access the precious records of Renaissance architecture, now these treasures can be easily retrieved by even the casual researcher in a distant locale.


The changing nature of the archive introduces exciting new opportunities, but also caveats and questions. It’s clear that the virtual world is no real substitute for first-hand exploration: the accidental discoveries in the library or archive; the feel and sight of a drawing, manuscript or book; the shadows, the light, the sense of a place. For this panel, we invite papers that examine the “architecture in the archives” in its many forms and meanings. Papers might consider different archival sources and the light they shed on architectural history.  We welcome submissions that point to new directions in archival research or highlight recent findings. Papers might also reconsider or “re-read” published documents. We are equally interested in submissions that address research methodologies and the challenges brought about by new technologies.


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  Digital Humanities  Italian Renaissance Art  Visual Studies 

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Lexicographic Studies of Arts

Posted By Anna Sconza, Monday, June 8, 2020

The use of digital textual analysis tools has marked a profound renewal of studies on artistic lexicography in different languages, which has led to the creation and the putting online of numerous databases that have made available and usable wide sets of texts related to art. Digitization, indexing and marking simplify the search for occurrences in large corpora and make it possible to study translations, the treatment of literary motifs and the lexicological characteristics of texts, which are in this way made available to the scientific community.

This panel aims to bring together coordinators of digital projects - completed or in progress - around the lexicon and the scientific edition of texts of artistic or technical literature, with researchers who have adopted this terminological approach to analyze in an innovative way well known or unpublished texts, related to the production, the practice of the arts and interpretative theories derived from practice and which marked the history of taste. The papers will aim to provoke discussions about the method, contributions and perspectives of the lexicographic approach in the artistic field, in an interdisciplinary logic, in order to federate language historians, digital humanities specialists and art historians.

Please, send abstracts of 200 words and CV to Anna Sconza ( and Margherita Quaglino( by July 15, 2020.

Tags:  Art and Architecture  Digital Humanities  Italian Literature  Italian Renaissance Art 

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CFP: Digital Humanities

Posted By Angela Dressen, Monday, June 8, 2020

As the Discipline Representative for Digital Humanities I am inviting proposals for all aspects related to the Digital Humanities. Sessions will be formed on the basis of the topics of incoming proposals. 

Please send a title, a max. 150 word abstract and a short bio, including the year of the PhD defence (not needed if more than five years ago).

Deadline: July 20, 2020

Angela Dressen (

Tags:  Digital Humanities 

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Call for Submissions: The Renaissance Uncanny

Posted By Sherry C. Lindquist, Sunday, May 31, 2020
Updated: Wednesday, June 3, 2020

The theory of the “uncanny,” first proposed in the early twentieth century by Ernst Jentsch and Sigmund Freud, identifies the unsettling feeling that arises when one suspects something that appears to be knowable and familiar is instead unnatural, mysterious, supernatural. Jacques Lacan noted that something is labeled "uncanny," because it confuses "bad from good, pleasure from displeasure," and arouses anxiety. More recently the “uncanny” has become the basis for ongoing studies in robotics, CGI (Computer Generated Imagery), and neuroscience, which indicate that simulated humans seeming at once too real and not real enough fall into the “uncanny valley,” prompting a neurological reaction of revulsion or horror.

This session proposes that Renaissance artists intuitively exploited the uncanny in works that address phenomena considered almost human, non-human, not-quite-human, and suprahuman, such the soul, dolls and animate forms, primates, disembodied body parts (disconnected pars toto), monsters, angels, ghosts, and the dead. Supernatural topics call for non-naturalistic strategies, which are often neglected, because they do not conform to an art historical narrative that prioritizes Renaissance humanism and naturalism. We particularly welcome papers that explore the intersection between the uncanny and sexism, racism, and classism.  

Interested participants should send an abstract (200 words) and CV to Sherry C.M. Lindquist (; and Diane Wolfthal (

Tags:  Art and Architecture  Digital Humanities 

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