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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 

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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Ways of Knowing: Re-evaluating Artistic Education in Early Modern Italy

Posted By Caroline E. Paganussi, Tuesday, July 14, 2020

The establishment of observation and experimentation as essential modes of knowledge formation in early modern Italy has been well-established in recent scholarship. Artists participated in this paradigm shift, using contemporary rhetorical strategies to forcefully and eloquently assert the nobility of their profession. Often without the benefit of advanced education, they drew on discourses such as the disputa delle arti to prove their intellectual credentials and, by extension, their proximity to the studia humanitatis. This last observation invites us to reevaluate the issue of artistic education. What did artists know in early modern Italy? How did they come to know it outside of traditional academic settings? What communities and interactions informed their practice? And how did less traditional modes of knowledge formation inform the cultivation of artistic identity?

We invite proposals that explore early modern artists and the acquisition and dissemination of rhetorical, philosophical, and theological knowledge. Topics may include (but are not limited to): the acquisition of religious, historical, poetic, and philosophical concepts expressed in artworks; repetition or re-use of knowledge in multiple projects; methods of knowledge transmission within the workshop, the confraternity, or court; and networks of learning.

Please send paper titles, abstracts (150 words), 3-5 keywords, and a curriculum vitae (max. 2 pages) to both Lindsay Dupertuis ( and Caroline Paganussi ( by August 1.

Tags:  Art History  Humanism  Intellectual History  Italian Renaissance Art  Networks  Rhetoric  Visual Studies 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Call for Papers: “Global Conversion: Cultures, Religions, and Encounters”

Posted By Frank Lacopo, Wednesday, June 24, 2020

The early modern period is characterized by increasing human movement, exchange of cultural knowledge, and resulting encounters between previously isolated epistemologies, belief systems, and language families. As a result of reform, early modern communities identified new forms of difference and magnified existing ones, creating yet more opportunities for encounter with the “other.” Rather than simply accept and tolerate cultural, religious, and intellectual difference, early moderns more often sought to convert persons and ideas as they crossed lines of encounter. New definitions of confession, race, and humanity necessitated institutions, ideologies, and rituals to facilitate the transfer of knowledge and bodies across hardened lines that formed at loci of encounter. Knowledge, practices, and bodies had to be converted into acceptable and comprehensible forms as they crossed marked boundaries across the early modern world.

This Call for Papers seeks scholarly presentations on any aspect of intergroup encounter and the processes, rituals, and spaces of conversion that they necessitated in the early modern world. Paper topics might include but are not limited to:

  • Ideologies and rhetorics surrounding religious conversion
  • The intersection of religious conversion and subject-making
  • Loci of conversion (conversion houses, missions, etc.)
  • The conversion/translation of non-European knowledge into forms comprehensible to Europeans, and vice versa
  • The place of religious conversion and the conversion of persons to new political loyalty in diplomacy
  • The intersection of migration, itineracy, and conversion
  • The conversion of bodies and spaces for new uses and functions as a result of reform or colonialism
  • The limits of conversion and translation for achieving cross-cultural legibility and political loyalty
  • Persons and knowledge that resisted conversion and the question of “toleration”

Please send a short CV (limit to one page), a presentation title, and a 150-word abstract to the session organizer Frank Lacopo ( OR In addition, please detail any A/V requirements that you expect to have.

All presenters must register for the 67th Annual Renaissance Society of America Meeting, be committed to attending the conference in Dublin, and make their own travel arrangements.

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

The deadline for the submission of materials for this panel is August 10, 2020, to allow ample time for final panel submission on August 15.

Tags:  Americas  Education  History  Jesuits  Legal and Political Thought  Missions  Religion  Rhetoric  social history  theology 

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Intersecting Practices: Architecture and the Visual Arts c. 1300- c. 1700

Posted By Livia Lupi, Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Architectural structures are often a prominent feature in narrative images. They create striking settings, or are themselves the main subject of representation, from wood inlays to sculpted reliefs, from frescoes to panel and oil paintings, from illuminations and scroll paintings to print. They engage with the narrative whilst also providing a narrative of their own, as they testify to the architectural imagination of artists and communicative ability of architectural forms.

Yet, two-dimensional buildings are often discussed only as spatial devices articulating depth, and as lesser counterparts of large-scale three-dimensional structures. This approach hinders our understanding of the structural and ornamental ambition of many two-dimensional buildings, which can present architectural solutions that were adopted only decades later in built structures. It also prevents us from fully recognising the cultural value attached to architectural forms and their rhetorical dimension.

These sessions aim to challenge traditional approaches to the representation of architecture in the visual arts in order to bridge the historiographical gap between art and architectural history, as well as furthering research on the intersection of artistic and architectural practice. Whilst focussed on the period between c. 1300 to c. 1700, the sessions intend to explore the topic from a broad geographical and cultural perspective. Therefore, proposals exploring material in any medium from any part of the world are welcome. Papers may address a variety of topics, including but not limited to: 

  • Interaction and exchange between artists and architects
  • Craftsmen working as both artists and architects
  • The roles architecture plays within a narrative image
  • The symbolism of architecture
  • The relationship between representation of architecture and built structures
  • The development of architectural project drawing in relation to painted and sculpted buildings
  • Ornamental originality and structural ingenuity in both two- and three-dimensional architecture

Please send proposals to Livia Lupi ( by 31 July 2020. They should include a title (max. 15 words), an abstract (max. 150 words) and the candidate's brief CV (max. one page).

Tags:  Africa  Art and Architecture  Art History  Asia  British Empire  Rhetoric  Spanish Empire 

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Sponsored session: Poetry, Science, and Disciplinary Boundaries in the Italian Renaissance

Posted By Francesco Brenna, Tuesday, June 9, 2020
Updated: Tuesday, June 16, 2020

This will be a session sponsored by the disciplinary area of Italian Literature for the next Renaissance Society of America annual meeting (Dublin, Ireland, 7-10 April 2021). NB: there is the possibility that the RSA meeting will be held virtually: panelists should be prepared to present online.

This panel aims to examine how literary and scientific culture looked at each other in order to define their respective disciplinary limits in the Italian early modern period. How did literature react to the dawn of the new science? What precisely were the ways literature used to define its specific contribution to human learning? Was it able to delineate that which could only be learned through poems and fiction? How did science deal with the same issues when defining and placing itself within a system dominated by what we now call the humanities? To answer these questions, this panel invites papers on early modern Italian (or Italian-related) vernacular and Latin texts, including but not limited to:

  • theoretical texts (treatises on poetry, science, pedagogy, and commentaries on classical texts);
  • literary works conveying scientific notions of various kinds (e.g., pathology in Fracastoro's Syphilis sive de morbo gallico, geographical and hydrological information in Tasso's Gerusalemme liberata, and especially Gerusalemme conquistata, anatomy in Marino's Adone, and new inventions, observations on nature, and discoveries, such as those described in works by Daniello Bartoli and Giacomo Lubrano);
  • intellectuals whose output lies at the intersection of science, poetics, and philosophy, such as Galileo, Tesauro, Campanella, and Bruno.

Please send paper proposals to Francesco Brenna ( by 22 July 2020, including:

  • paper title (15-word maximum);
  • abstract (150-word maximum);
  • curriculum vitae (.pdf or .doc);
  • PhD completion date (past or expected; as per the RSA guidelines, PhD students must be ABD);
  • full name, current affiliation, and email address.

Decisions on submissions will be communicated soon after the deadline, and before the RSA submission deadline of 15 August 2020.

Tags:  Bartoli  Bruno  Campanella  Comparative Literature  Fracastoro  Galileo  Marino  Medicine and Science  pedagogy  Philosophy  poetics  poetry  Rhetoric  Tasso  Tesauro 

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CfP: Sponsored Sessions, Discipline of Philosophy

Posted By Sara Miglietti, Monday, June 8, 2020

Call for Papers
Discipline of Philosophy

Renaissance Society of America 2021 Dublin
7–10 April 2021

The Discipline of Philosophy invites submissions for sessions at the next annual meeting of the Renaissance Society of America in Dublin (which may be on site or virtual). Please send proposals for FULLY-FORMED panels or roundtables on any subject appropriate to our discipline. We especially welcome submissions on the following topics:

  • Debates over the disciplinary boundaries of philosophy and its relationship with other fields (e.g. medicine, rhetoric, theology), 14C–17C
  • Women in Renaissance philosophy (as authors, readers, patrons, translators, etc. or as a topic of philosophical discussion)
  • Encounters between European philosophy and non-Western forms of thought, 14C–17C
  • Teaching Renaissance philosophy in the 21st century

All sessions must be organized by a current member of the Renaissance Society of America. Please send the following materials to Sara Miglietti ( by 15 July:

Panel Proposal (min 2, max 4 speakers)

  • panel title (15-word maximum)
  • a 1-2 page description of the panel
  • any audio-visual requests
  • panel chair
  • respondent (optional for three-paper panels, required for panels with only two presenters)

Each paper presenter must provide:

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

Roundtable Proposal (min. 4, max 8 discussants)

  • session title (15-word maximum)
  • a 1-2 page description of the roundtable
  • session abstract (150-word maximum)
  • discipline area
  • discussants (min. 4, max. 8)
  • any audio-visual requests
  • session chair
  • current email addresses for all participants

Decisions on submissions will be sent out at least one week before the RSA submission deadline of 15 August 2020.


  • No dual submissions please. RSA rules allow a participant to presentonly one paper. A dual submission could lead to the cancellation of an entire panel.
  • Sessions composed entirely of graduate students will not be considered, in keeping with RSA policy. Graduate students should be doctoral candidates within one or two years of defending their dissertations.

Tags:  Legal and Political Thought  Neo-Latin Literature  Philosophy  Rhetoric 

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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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Call for Papers: The Long History of the French Early Modern Pamphlet

Posted By Elisa Jones, Tuesday, June 2, 2020

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

Submission Deadline: July 3, 2020

Recent scholarship in the history of the book and reading practices has emphasized the need for a more comprehensive and interdisciplinary investigation of ephemeral print and premodern reading practices. Often seen as ‘the crowd made text’, pamphlets were at once individual items conveying specific messages, and contributory parts to broader movements. They were objects designed to reach a large audience that were engaged with individual readers. Although many have survived down to the present day, we are aware that even more have been lost.

The history of the so-called French political pamphlet as both a material form and cultural object over the course of the early modern period offers a unique opportunity to address the complex and overlapping motivations for writing, publishing, buying, engaging with and keeping pamphlets. In a session planned for RSA Dublin 2021, “The Long History of the French Pamphlet” proposes to explore the printed pamphlet as a material and cultural object in France from the sixteenth through the eighteenth centuries. Papers that place French pamphlets in a larger comparative frame, or that focus on the material study, use, or reading practices of pamphlets, are encouraged, as are papers that approach new methodologies in pamphlet studies. Proposals from all disciplines are encouraged.

The session is sponsored by the Newberry Library's Center for Renaissance Studies, and is a part of its larger project of expanding the time frame of the Newberry Library’s French Pamphlets Digital Initiative and re-creating it as a research and pedagogical resource in cooperation with a network of scholars interested in the pamphlet as a form. This resource includes over 38,000 digitized French pamphlets from the sixteenth century to the French Revolution, and is free to the public online. The results of these conversations will be made available as a part of this digital resource with author attribution, further widening the conversation of pamphlet studies. For this reason, if Covid-19 prevention measures affect RSA 2021 scheduling, the session will be held virtually.

To apply, please send a 150-word abstract and short CV to co-organizers Elisa J. Jones (, 2019–20 CRS Postdoctoral Fellow and Assistant Professor of History at the College of Charleston, and Sara Barker (, Associate Professor of History at the University of Leeds, by Friday, July 3, 2020.

Tags:  Associate Organizations  Book History  Comparative Literature  French Literature  Rhetoric 

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Call for Papers: Rhetoric at RSA Dublin 2021

Posted By RSA, Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Call for Papers

Discipline of Rhetoric (view list of RSA Disciplines)
Renaissance Society of America 2021
7–10 April 2021

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

  • the enduring value of Renaissance rhetoric
  • the works of Petrus Ramus
  • educational practice and reform
  • delivery and visual rhetorics
  • transatlantic and colonial discourses

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;
  • a 1-2 page description of the panel;
  • a 1-2 page abstract for each of its papers;
  • a 150-word version of each abstract;
  • a 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. Please submit the following in a single Word document:

  • a 1-2 page abstract of the paper;
  • a 150-word version of the abstract;
  • a 300-word curriculum vitae, including full name, affiliation, and email address;
  • any audiovisual requirements;
  • paper keywords.

Send all materials to Elizabeth Skerpan-Wheeler ( 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.

Note: RSA rules allow a participant to present only one paper. Please! No dual submissions. A dual submission could lead to the cancellation of an entire panel.

Tags:  Discipline Representatives  Rhetoric 

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