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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 

Condottieri di Ventura nelle guerre d’Italia/Soldiers of Fortune in the Italian Wars

Posted By Milos Mitrovic, Wednesday, July 22, 2020

A proposal for a panel at RSA Dublin, 2021

Since its first publication more than forty years ago, Michael Mallett’s classic Mercenaries and Their Masters has remained the point of departure for study of mercenaries and Italian warfare in the period from the thirteenth to the sixteenth century. In his revisionist interpretation of the French invasion of Italy in 1494, Mallett successfully debunked the myth fostered by Niccolò Machiavelli, who portrays mercenaries as “useless and dangerous” companies who ruined Italy. A large body of scholarship on this topic grew since then, focusing on mercenary soldiers themselves and their famous captains. However, most of this scholarship deals with trecento and quattrocento condottieri, while the period roughly between the battle of Fornovo and the emergence of Giovani delle Bande Nere remains surprisingly unexplored.

Inspired by some recent collections of essays, books, and research initiatives on Umbrian condottieri, this panel seeks to examine Italian soldiers of fortune not only from a modern prosopographical standpoint but also from the broader one of the political, cultural, and socioeconomic contexts for the period between 1494 and 1526. More specifically, this panel aims to interrogate condottieri’s: political aspirations and ambitions in this period, complex relationships with their paymasters in Italy and beyond the Alps, military prowess and innovativeness in battle, unwritten military code and camaraderie, rivalries and deceptions, portraits, weapons and arms, social bonds and patronage. Among the questions this panel will attempt to answer are: to what extent did the Italian Wars alter, for better or worse, the role condottieri played in Renaissance Italy? How do the 16th century condottieri differ from those at the time of John Hawkwood or Guidobaldo da Montefeltro? Were they more self-made opportunists than Italian patriots? What were the most common challenges all condottieri had to face in their relationship with their paymasters, soldiers, and amongst themselves? What is the connection between the 16th century condottieri and the organization of the territorial state, urban restructure and new artistic and intellectual schools? To answer those questions, we invite contributions from all disciplines and geographic regions.

The deadline for all RSA Dublin 2021 submission is August 15, 2020.

Proposals for 20-minute papers (no more than 150 words) – together with a CV (no more than 5 pages) – should be sent to the panel organizer Milos Mitrovic ( by August 8th 2020.

Tags:  Artillery  Condottieri  Florence  History  Italian Renaissance Art  Italy  Machiavelli  Renaissance  the Italian Wars  Warfare 

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The 'I' in the Margins: Poetry, Memoirs, Letters and Paratexts by Reformed exiles

Posted By Clara Marías, Tuesday, July 14, 2020
Updated: Wednesday, July 15, 2020

In the last decades, increasing attention has been paid to the works written or translated by Reformed exiles during the 16th and 17th centuries. From a European perspective, the monographies published by the members of the research group EMoDiR are a good example, and on the Spanish reformed exiles, scholars such as Carlos Gilly, Massimo Firpo, Ignacio García Pinilla, Doris Moreno, James Amelang, or Rady Roldán-Figueroa have edited and studied several works, expanding our knowledge about them. However, these translations and original writings from Juan de Valdés, Francisco de Enzina, Juan Pérez de Pineda, Casiodoro de Reina, Antonio del Corro, Tomás Carrascón, Nicolás y Sacharles, among others, have been studied from the perspective of History or History of Religion, rather than as literary works and often without a focus on their self-fashioning perspective and the ideological and political intentions of the authors.

For this reason, this panel invites proposals from scholars interested in analyzing the poetry, memoirs, letters and paratexts (introductions, dedicatory epistles, etc.) from Reformed exiles, dealing with the manners in which the authors, far from their countries and often persecuted and in danger, living “in the margins”, presented their lives and ideas and their faith and conversion by means of various rhetorical strategies, including dissimulation, persuasion, fictionalization or confrontation.

The proposals should study works by reformed exiles from any European country with a Catholic majority during the Early Modern period, with a literary approach to the poetry, memoirs, letters, prologues and dedicatory epistles selected for discussion.

Interested participants should send the following in a single document to Clara Marías ( by August 7, 2020:

  • Paper title
  • A single page CV
  • Abstract (about 500 words)

Tags:  Cultural Networks  Diaries  emotional history  European history  European literature  exile  French Literature  Hispanic Literature  History  Humanism  Intellectual History  Italy  Literature  memoirs  Memory Studies  Networks  Philosophy  Portuguese Literature  Religion  Religious Studies  Rhetoric  self-fashioning  Spanish literature  translation 

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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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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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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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Landscape and Italian Renaissance Books of Poetry

Posted By Jakub Koguciuk, Wednesday, July 1, 2020

This panel aims to bring a rarely considered set of material to the study of landscape : Renaissance books of poetry. The rise of independent landscape painting is a classic subject in the study of Renaissance art. The development of pictorial naturalism and single-point perspective, among others, led to vivid evocations of the visual world. In contrast, historians of the book such as Sachiko Kusukawa explore how books of the period engage with knowledge of nature in innovative ways. Italian poets of the period created new literary forms of conceptualizing nature: from experiments in the dolce stil novo to the revival of ancient pastoral. All of these forms of literature were presented to readers in the form of books.

This panel invites scholars working at the intersection of book history, literary studies and the history of art. Examples of “landscapes” featured in Renaissance books include but are not limited to full-page images such as frontispieces, designs in the margins, maps, city views, emblematic images and other figural representations of nature. We are also interested in how potential and imagined landscapes interact with the materiality of the book. Potential papers may focus on manuscripts as well as printed books within the long period of 1300 to 1600. We welcome all approaches to landscape, from studies rooted in the visual, the verbal and the codicological, as well as considerations rooted in environmental humanities and ecocriticism.

Interested participants should send a title, abstract of 250 words (with relevant images) and a CV to Zoe Langer, NEH Postdoctoral Fellow - The Digital Piranesi, Irvin Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, University of South Carolina ( and Jakub Koguciuk ( by July 21st, 2020.

Tags:  Art and Architecture  Art History  Book History  Comparative Literature  Italian Literature  Italian Renaissance Art  Italy  Visual Studies 

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Alchemy, Wonder and Belief in Renaissance Naples

Posted By Marco Marino, Tuesday, June 30, 2020

The Aragonese court was instrumental in the spread of the Italian Renaissance around the Neapolitan area: at the time of Alfonso V (1442-58) a strong cultural program was developed.

Under Ferrante I (1458-1494) the court, along with academies focusing on philology, poetry, and scientific and political thought, became the reference points for the vernacular's culture. The hermetic, alchemical, magical, and astrological traditions formed an outstanding and well defined corpus, subsequently enriched by Pontano and his school, Telesio's naturalism, Della Porta's physiognomy, Tasso's reflections on the marvelous, up until the speculations by Giordano Bruno.

This panel intends to analyze the role of this cultural crucible in the development of the philosophical and literary thought of some of the protagonists of Renaissance Naples.

Please send proposals by 5 August 2020 via email with the subject line “RSA 2021” to Marco Marino ( The proposal should include a title (15 words max.); an abstract (200 words max.); and a one-paragraph bio (300 words max.). Please provide also full name, current affiliation, and email address.

Tags:  Alchemy  Aragonese  History  Italy  Medicine and Science  Naples  Religion  Wonder 

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Symbols and Appropriations: Constructing Identities in Early Modern and Renaissance Italy (1350-1600).

Posted By Valentina Tomassetti, Thursday, June 18, 2020
Updated: Monday, July 13, 2020

Renaissance Society of America Annual Meeting

Dublin, 7-10 April 2021

Through history and times, architecture has always been used to express cultural messages and a social status. Since the Late Middle Ages and then throughout the whole Renaissance, the rising and developing system of Italian cities took extensive advantage from the evocative symbols of classical and Christian tradition, and borrowed elements from the past to create “emotional” architectures. Thus, by constructing new buildings and urban patterns, new identities were forged too, engaging citizens and users on social, political and cultural issues.

This panel invites papers addressing the role of the architecture as a way to arouse or conceal emotions, to build consensus through shared values, or to reconnect the urban community to its alleged ancestry. These could include, among others, studies on urban aspects, as well as on the reuse of spolia and the reinterpretation of classical standard models.

Interested panelists should send an abstract (200 words) and CV to Dr. Francesca Lembo-Fazio ( and Valentina Tomassetti ( by August 3, 2020.

Tags:  Art and Architecture  Emotional Architecture  History  Italian Renaissance Art  Italy  Material Studies  Renaissance Architecture 

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