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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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Lists in Early Modern Women’s Writing: Life and Literature *extended deadline*

Posted By Nikolina Hatton, Friday, July 10, 2020
Updated: Monday, August 3, 2020

Lists proliferate in texts written by women and texts written about women, from the typical enumeration of “women worthies” within the querelle des femmes tradition to the lists of possessions and household accounts found in early modern commonplace books. Within women’s writing itself, functional everyday lists and literary lists sometimes merge, such as in Isabella Whitney’s “The Maner of her Wyll”—a poetic description of and reflection on London in the form of a Last Will and Testament.  

This panel seeks to reflect on the forms and functions of the list within early modern women’s writings and everyday lives. Literary studies has seen a recent resurgence of interest in the list, as scholars have noted the list’s ability to bring together questions of functionality and literariness. Scholars have shown that, as a form that deceptively appears simpler than it really is, the list and examinations of it shed light on the evolution and manipulation of literary conventions and can further signal important discursive distinctions between texts that at first feel otherwise quite similar. Such a project intersects well with the study of women’s writing in the early modern period, not only because lists appear so often in investigations into women’s everyday lives, but also because the corpus of literature by women is generally marked by subtle but significant deviations within the genres deemed acceptable for women writers. In material culture studies as well, the list has been hailed as an affordance for accomplishing everyday tasks as well as a container that emphasizes metonymy and materiality over metaphorical meanings. This panel seeks to open up these questions by broadly investigating the use of the list within early modern women’s utilitarian and literary writings.

To submit a paper for consideration, please send your paper’s title (max 15 words), a short abstract (150 words), your CV, and institutional affiliation/contact details to Nikolina Hatton ( by 10 August 2020. A longer abstract may also be included in addition.

Tags:  Book History  Collecting  Comparative Literature  Daily Life  Diaries  Ekphrasis  English Literature  fiction  French Literature  Germanic Literature  Global Literature  History  interdiscplinary  Italian Literature  Libraries  Material Culture  Material Studies  Materiality  Memory Studies  networks  poetry  Portuguese Literature  Print  Spanish literature  Women and Gender 

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Sequestration and the City: Confinement, Exclusion, and Enclosure

Posted By Jessica A. Stevenson Stewart, Monday, June 22, 2020

Although cities are fundamentally sites of connectivity, the pandemic-induced isolation of 2020 has renewed our awareness of the strain and tension that seclusion brings, especially in densely urbanized areas. This session draws on our recent experiences of the Covid19 crisis and revisits the history of urban disconnection and disconnectedness. Rather than focusing strictly on epidemics, we want to take a broader view of seclusion and sequestration as marked forms of social exclusion. While scholarship in the wake of mobility studies has expanded our understanding of the global flow of people, goods, and ideas, it has often overlooked social and spatial barriers that constrained movement, particularly within cities. For even though urban centers functioned as networks, they also instituted and perpetuated division, separation, and exclusion.

This session explores the spatial and representational means by which certain persons and groups were separated from the urban life around them, either voluntarily or involuntarily. We ask how zones or sites of separation were established within the city, and how the immobility of some interacted with the mobility of others. Such spaces may have been constructed by and for an individual, by civic authorities, or by groups formed with the intent of exclusivity. The confinement in question may have been a form of punishment (e.g., the prisoner, heretic, or exile), a means of quarantine (e.g., the leper or plague victim), a welcome and self-imposed withdrawal, (e.g., the individual in a “closet” or study), or an ethical detachment, (e.g., religious retreat behind walls or within cloisters). We ask whether urban configurations hid the excluded and isolated, or if their presence was known and even advertised.

What architecture, rituals, and representations kept the excluded bodies present and acknowledged in the urban psyche? How did the exclusion of some mark civic identity for others? How did the interior and exterior architecture of particular buildings enforce social separation? What forms of material culture accompanied the separated individual and were those objects part of what marked the person as apart from normative civic culture? When were seclusion and sequestration valued? What historical philosophies informed early modern conceptualizations of exclusion, seclusion, isolation, and confinement? What contemporary theories provide frameworks for understanding the psychological, social, and geographical valences of these experiences?

Please send abstracts (150-word length) with title (15-word maximum), keywords, and a brief curriculum vitae by August 1 to Elizabeth Honig at and Jessica Stewart at

Session Keywords: Urban History, Immobility, Exclusion

Tags:  Art and Architecture  Art History  History  Legal and Political Thought  Literature  Material Studies  Religious Studies  Urban Studies  Visual Studies 

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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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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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A Fresh Look at Fresco in Venice

Posted By Lorenzo Buonanno, Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Since the sixteenth century the place of Venetian painting within the history and theory of art has been inextricably linked with the use of oil paint on canvas. Yet the city was once renowned for its frescoes too. Noting that the palaces along the Grand Canal were all painted, the French envoy Philippe de Commynes, visiting in 1495, deemed it the “most beautiful street in the entire world.” Francisco de Hollanda (1548) described the entire city as one enormous “good painting.” Even Lodovico Dolce, whose treatise L’Aretino (1557) promoted the idea of a distinctly Venetian mode of painting exemplified by Titian, predicated largely upon the looser handling and chromatic range of oil paint (colorito), praised Venice’s frescoed facades over those clad in more luxurious, and durable, polychrome marble.

It was known that the city’s humid and saline climate was ill suited to the medium—a fact more than attested to by the scant remains of the city’s early modern frescoes. Modern scholarship treats fresco largely as an aside in the history of Venice’s art. Still, Venetian patrons continued to commission works in fresco for exteriors as well as interiors throughout the early modern era—even into the nineteenth century. Nearly every major painter in sixteenth-century Venice, from Giorgione to Tintoretto, painted in fresco at some point in his career.

What was the “place,” then, of fresco within Venetian art? This session aims to examine where fresco fits within the city’s artistic economy, within the technical and critical processes of its artists, and within the critical reception and historiography of its art.

This session welcomes papers focused on the medium of fresco in Venice and the Veneto from c.1400 to c.1800. Potential topics might include, but are not limited to: conservation or technical studies on surviving frescoes; documentary or iconographic studies of specific works; patronage of frescoes; comparative studies of works in fresco and oil; broader studies that broach underlying critical or historiographic issues regarding this medium in Venice.

Please send title of paper, abstract (150 words max), and brief CV (1 page max) as a single document to by August 10th, 2020.

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

Tags:  Art and Architecture  Art History  Fresco  Italian Renaissance Art  Material Studies  Materiality  Tintoretto  Titian  Veneto  Venice  Veronese 

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Women, Domesticity and Closet Drama in Early Modern England

Posted By Aurelie Griffin, Wednesday, June 17, 2020

We are seeking proposals for an Epistémè-sponsored panel at RSA Dublin, 2021, entitled ‘Women, Domesticity and Closet Drama in Early Modern England’. This panel seeks to examine women’s agency in closet drama by questioning its definition as a ‘domestic’ genre. Closet drama is traditionally defined in opposition to commercial theatre, by pitting professional companies performing in front of a wide, mostly anonymous audience against amateur writers and actors performing for a restricted audience of families and friends within the home. This domestic context enabled women to perform at least some of the parts in plays that portray and usually focus on complex female characters, allowing them to break to a certain extent from the social constraints of the early modern stage, from which women were barred. Yet closet drama often engages with political, societal and historical issues, using the protected space of the home to reflect upon the wider cultural environment in which it takes place. Although these plays were first devised for a restricted circle, then circulated in manuscript form, they were also usually published – most notably those written by women: Mary Sidney Herbert’s Antonius (1592) and Elizabeth Cary’s The Tragedy of Mariam (1613). Those are usually considered as respectively the first and last of the corpus, which also comprises Fulke Greville’s Mustapha (1596) and Alaham (1601), Thomas Kyd’s Cornelia (1594) or Samuel Daniel’s Philotas (1604), among others. To what extent, therefore, can such plays be called ‘domestic’? How do they make use of the specificities of a private, enclosed space for their own production? What role(s) did the materiality of the home play in the creation of these plays, and did it influence the materiality of the texts themselves? How does closet drama challenge our understanding of what is private and what is public, and how did women in particular make use of such ambiguities to explore certain issues, affirm their own voices and legitimise their authorship? Despite the generalising phrase, ‘closet drama’, the corpus brings together plays whose similarities should not eclipse their differences, so that the responses to these questions will not necessarily be the same for all of the plays in the corpus. We are inviting proposals for examinations of individual plays, comparative and cross-cultural approaches, as well as gender and material-oriented perspectives. 

150-word abstracts, together with a one-page CV (indicating current affiliation and a valid email address) can be sent by July 15, 2020 to Aurélie Griffin :

Tags:  Closet Drama  Material Studies  Performing Arts and Theater  Women and Gender 

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