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After Civic Humanism
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7/13/2011 to 8/19/2011
When: 08/19/2011
Contact: Nicholas Baker
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Call for Contributors to Edited Collection: After Civic Humanism: Learning and Politics in Renaissance Italy, 1300-1600

For over fifty years scholars have investigated the integration of ideas and the active life from an intellectual historical point of view, focusing on the writings of a handful of prolific writers, editing little-known texts to add to the discussion, and using Hans Baron’s The Crisis of the Early Italian Renaissance as a model or a foil. Many of these newly edited and translated texts practically beg for new and innovative studies that will offer first sustained analyses of them. Moreover, scholars have picked most of Hans Baron’s book apart, but have yet to offer a new paradigm to replace it. This proposed edited collection can help fill this void, not only through the content of its essays, but also by serving as a model for future studies on the integration of intellectual history with the broader political history of the Italian Renaissance. In sum, the goal of this collection is to move beyond Baron’s paradigmatic book and explore the insights that historical approaches developed over the past several decades can bring to age-old questions about the application of learning in the active life of a citizen. The editors seek interdisciplinary essays for this collection that investigate how men and women applied their learned studies in contemporary politics and how in turn politics influenced their learned studies. We are particularly interested in studies from historical disciplines and methodologies traditionally associated with art and social history, such as neighborhood, gender, prosopographical, cultural studies, the history of space and ritual, and postmodern as well as more traditional textual studies. Examples of potential essays could look at how learned studies influenced expected gender roles in political situations, how neighborhoods influenced learned discussion groups and how these discussion groups influenced political factions, and the role of learned culture in political rituals during the Renaissance. Interested people should submit a working title and 250 word abstract to Nicholas Baker ( and Brian Maxson ( by August 19. We plan to submit a full proposal for the collection to a publisher by mid September 2011 for consideration for publication. A first draft of accepted projects will be required by August 2012 in order to meet a planned publication date of 2013.

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