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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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Sensory Experiences and Early Modern Objects

Posted By Leah R. Clark, Friday, July 17, 2020

Sensory Experiences and Early Modern Objects

Interest in sensory experiences of the past has grown in recent years, with scholars engaging with both interdisciplinary and anthropological approaches in order to better understand historical lived experiences. This panel aims to connect such scholarly sensorial approaches with early modern artefacts, and to consider the extent to which we can understand past human experiences of these artefacts today. By using a particular object or type of object/ material as a starting point, papers in this panel will explore how these items were experienced by those who encountered or made use of them, in local or cross-cultural contexts. They will consider how individuals’ engagement with an artefact involved the visual, auditory, tactile, gustatory or olfactory senses, as well as the broader cultural, economic and social factors that may have shaped these sensory experiences. The panel welcomes all disciplinary and sensorial approaches to the exploration of early modern artefacts. The object(s) at the focus of each paper may be those clearly connected with the creation of a sensory experience (e.g. incense burners, musical instruments or books, goblets or tableware) or items not yet explored from a sensory perspective. Papers may focus on extant, lost or conceptual objects and take either a multisensory or single sensory approach.

Topics to be considered might include, but are by no means limited to, the following:

  • How sensory experiences were shaped by and in turn shaped cultural, social and economic conditions.
  • Sensory experiences of the same objects in different environments (considering, for example, transcultural exchange or experiences of objects in different architectural spaces and/or geographical locations).
  • How sensory experiences of the same objects varied according to gender or social class.
  • What tangible objects/materials can reveal about intended and real sensory experiences in particular places or contexts.
  • Contemporary perceptions of the senses in relation to objects/materials.

Papers are invited from scholars working in any discipline, including musicology, art history, cultural and/or social history or book history.

As per the RSA requirements, please send proposals of no more than 150 words, including your paper title (15 words maximum), full name, current affiliation (if applicable), email address and a brief CV to Leah Clark ( and Helen Coffey ( by 7 August 2020.

Presenters will need to be members of the RSA by the time of the conference.

Tags:  Art History  Materiality  Music  objects  senses  Transmediality 

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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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Transmedial Techniques

Posted By Michael J. Waters, Monday, July 6, 2020
This session seeks to explore the historical significance of techniques of design and facture that crossed media and materials. It aims to develop a new interpretative framework for the study of Renaissance art and architecture that challenges the conceptual boundaries between building/object and image/representation; hierarchies of minor versus high art and original versus copy; and oppositions of structure and ornament. We invite object-based studies that consider how certain techniques, such as (im)printing, inscription, and engraving, enabled or modeled effects of transformation that engaged simultaneously form and material. We also invite theoretical considerations of the potentially discursive or self-reflexive nature of such techniques. The session ultimately aims to consider how the study of techniques—from specific physical operations and craft practices to broadly defined cultural techniques—may provide an understanding of transmediality as a conceptual model for related acts of transfer and translation that cross linguistic, cultural, and geographic boundaries. In other words, can a theory of transmedial techniques move beyond traditional disciplinary categories to offer new interpretations of Renaissance artisanal, artistic, and architectural culture?

Please submit proposals to Michael J. Waters ( and Kathryn B. Moore ( by August 10th.  All proposals must include a paper title, abstract (150-word maximum), and curriculum vitae (no longer than 5 pages).

Tags:  Art History  Art Theory  Facture  Materiality  Media  Transmediality 

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