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Interdisciplinary and Other CFPs for RSA 2018 New Orleans
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This blog is for CFPs for interdisciplinary and miscellaneous sessions for RSA 2018 New Orleans. Members may post CFPs here: sign in to RSA and select "add new post" to do so. Your post should include a title, and the CFP itself should be no longer than 250 words. Adding tags (key words) to your post will help others find your CFP. Make sure the CFP includes the organizer's name, email address or mail-to link for email address, and a deadline for proposals. Non-members may email to post a CFP. Please use the email address of the session organizer posted in the CFP to submit a paper proposal. CFPs are posted in order of receipt, with the newest postings appearing at the top of the blog. 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: Literature  philosophy  Art History  music  visual culture  Devotion  early modern  gender  Historiography  Italy  Renaissance  Classical Reception  Digital Humanities  humanism  Interdisciplinarity  Materiality  poetry  Religion  rhetoric  Spain  translation  architecture  Art  classics  history of medicine  History of Science  Latin  print  sensory experience  women 

The Aesthetics of Suffering in Early Modern Europe

Posted By Sarah R. Kyle, 10 hours ago
Updated: 9 hours ago

Boccaccio described Florence in 1348 as a living tomb riddled with fear and hypocrisy where “the multitude of the deaths . . . was such that those who heard the tale . . . were struck dumb with amazement.”  His account of the incomprehensibility of the Black Death roughly coincides with the beginning of a seismic shift in the conceptualization of suffering.  Pre-modern European sensibilities generally regarded suffering, even its most extreme forms, as part of an inalterable divine order of redemption—nowhere more evident than in the ubiquitous image of the Crucifixion.  However, by the time of the Lisbon earthquake of 1755 philosophers like Voltaire found it impossible to make sense of “evil” with reference to the plan of God.  Between the Black Death and the Lisbon earthquake, the human ability and responsibility to reshape nature radically increased, even though the response to suffering was still unstably compounded with the pious acceptance of suffering.  From “dance” or “triumph” of death imagery to illustrated parables, humanist iconographies of “soul care,” and physicians' regimens of physical and mental health, artists, writers, and philosophers navigated the space between meaningless and meaningful tragedy, depicting suffering in ways that reflected and shaped the shifting cultural ground that would eventually consolidate the modern concepts of nature, pain, and medicine.  This session invites papers that explore questions of how visual art created an aesthetics of suffering to explore the spaces between meaningless and meaningful tragedy.

Please send your proposal (150-word maximum), paper title, and a brief CV (300-word maximum) to Sarah Kyle ( and Scott Samuelson ( by Friday, June 2, 2017.

Tags:  Art History  Devotion  early modern  history of medicine  humanism  interdisciplinary  magic  poetry and painting  punishment  Religion  ritualized responses  sensory experience 

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Self-Fashioning and Re-fashioning the Renaissance

Posted By Imogen Tedbury, 10 hours ago

Every major artistic, political, and ecclesiastical figure of the Renaissance consciously manipulated their public image, intentionally fashioning how diverse audiences in different contexts would perceive them. The creation of these personae rendered both identifying features and historical narratives malleable. This practice often extended beyond the self, with lineages traced to fantastic origins, remembered ancestors glorified through manipulated memory, and the narrative of historical events rewritten. Since the Renaissance, nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century scholarship has created new mythologies around these same Renaissance figures, sometimes derived from their original personae but often re-fashioned from more recent conceptions of history, patronage, art, or literature. In some instances, Renaissance self-fashioning has become obscured by the re-fashioned mythologies of scholarship.

At forty years’ distance from Stephen Greenblatt’s Renaissance Self-Fashioning and in light of recent research re-examining the reception of Renaissance art in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, this panel seeks to interrogate the relationship between Renaissance and modern mythologies. It aims to reconsider present-day conceptions of major artistic, political, and ecclesiastical individuals based on (or contrasting with) the crafting of identity in the Renaissance period, alongside mythologies now recognized as modern lore. We welcome proposals that explore the Renaissance self-fashioning and modern re-fashioning of figures from 1300-1700 throughout Europe. Topics might include, but are not limited to:

       Case studies and Comparisons: The reassessment of a Renaissance figure (artistic, political, ecclesiastical, etc.) and their contemporary or modern mythology; a discussion of an understudied individual who has remained overlooked; the examination of a figure who has had a cyclical resurgence of scholarship over the past centuries

       Reception Networks: The investigation of the relationship between patron, artist/writer, public, and/or scholar in the development of both modern and Renaissance myths

       Sources and Resources: Parallels and/or disjunctions between the art, literature, etc. that contributed to a figure's public image, the archival sources that fueled nineteenth or twentieth-century scholarship, and/or contemporary conceptions of an individual, including political, geographical, and personal agendas

Papers are welcome from multiple fields (art history, history, literature, sociology, etc.). Please send 150-word abstracts and a brief CV (see RSA guidelines here) to Alexander J. Noelle ( and Imogen Tedbury ( by Sunday 4th June 2017.

Tags:  Historiography  identity  private  public sphere  reception  Renaissance  self-conception 

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Papers and Panels in Jesuit Studies welcom

Posted By Kathleen M. Comerford, 13 hours ago

The Renaissance Society of America (RSA) is now accepting proposals for individual presentation proposals and complete panels for its 2018 annual conference, to be held March 22-24, 2018 in New Orleans, LA.  The Journal of Jesuit Studies regularly sponsors panels at this conference.  We are looking to organize panels in any aspect of Jesuit studies in any region, up to the year 1700.

Please submit abstracts on topics related to Jesuits on the subjects of: history, literary studies, art history, music history, or related topics, of no more than 150 words, along with a short list of keywords, and brief biographical information (no more than 300 words, including affiliation, rank and one or two important publications or other evidence of scholarship) to Kathleen Comerford,, no later than May 29, 2017.  We will consider panels, individual papers, and roundtables for sponsorship by the Journal of Jesuit Studies.

Further information about the RSA and the general Call for Papers is available at  Please note that the RSA requires all presentations to be given in person, not via a third party or using video-conferencing.

Thank you.

Kathleen M. Comerford
Professor of History, Georgia Southern University

Tags:  architecture  Art History  Colonial Latin America  Devotion  early modern art  education  France  Holy Roman Empire  Interdisciplinarity  Italy  Jesuits  Literature  missions  music  Netherlands  Northern Europe  philosophy  Religion  rhetoric  Spain  theater  Travel Accounts  visual culture 

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The Far North in the Early Modern Imagination

Posted By Kjell Wangensteen, Monday, May 22, 2017

Since at least the time of Hesiod, the land of the far north has been described in wondrous, exotic, and even paradisiacal terms.  The Hyperboreans—those living “beyond the north wind”—were extolled by Pindar as an especially peaceful and long-lived race.  In his famous Historia de Gentibus Septentrionalibus (History of the Northern Peoples), printed in Rome in 1555, the exiled Swedish archbishop Olaus Magnus (1490-1557) described his homeland as a place of noble warriors, strange myths, fantastic beasts, and extraordinary natural phenomena.  Magnus’s account was reprinted in numerous editions and translated into six languages, stoking interest throughout Europe in the far north and its inhabitants.  Well into the seventeenth century, this fascination manifested in nearly all aspects of European culture, from politics and literature to art and the natural sciences. 

This session invites papers from a variety of disciplines that investigate and interpret the early modern understanding of the far north (broadly defined), from the sixteenth century through the beginning of the eighteenth.  Topics may include travel accounts to northern climes and their reception, contemporary visual depictions of the lands and people of the far north, the discovery and publication of rune stones and other pre-Christian archaeological finds, historical claims to Gothic lineage and their use for political ends, the construction of patriotic narratives and mythologies, and the study, depiction, and analysis of northern flora and fauna.

Please email paper proposals, including a title and abstract of approximately 150 words, as well as a list of keywords, a current C.V. and a short bio (300-word maximum) to Kjell Wangensteen ( by Saturday, June 3.

Tags:  Art History  History  History of Science  Landscape  Northern Europe  Scandinavia  Travel Accounts 

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Languages of Heterodoxy: Translating Religious Dissent

Posted By Claudia Rossignoli, Monday, May 22, 2017
Updated: Monday, May 22, 2017

Organizers: Eugenio Refini, Claudia Rossignoli, Eleonora Stoppino


The translation into the Italian vernacular of doctrinal, spiritual and exegetical texts written by Reformation thinkers had a direct and significant impact on the way in which sixteenth-century Italian believers approached, interpreted and experienced faith. Translations from the works of leading reformers, including Luther, Calvin, Melanchthon, Bullinger, Juan de Valdés had a central function in disseminating ideas and aspirations. But alongside their spiritual message, these translations offered a renewed language to express religious attitudes and articulate spiritual needs, becoming a crucial medium for the expression of religious dissent. A uniquely varied body of works, exemplifying the transmission, interpretation, and appropriation of values and beliefs across cultures, communities and languages, they also highlight the crucial function of intermediaries in the transfer of religious meaning across different cultural systems. And yet their linguistic significance remains virtually unexplored, except for a number of studies concentrating on the circulation of single works or specific individuals. This panel aims to investigate this less charted aspect of the circulation of Reformed ideas, and will aim to address (without being limited to) the following issues:


  • The mapping of communities and social groups in terms of the doctrinal, linguistic, or even political factors involved in the production and circulation of these texts. A case in point would be Renée of France’s circles in Ferrara and Montargis;
  •  The physical characteristics of the volumes in which these translations were transmitted and their principal channels of production and circulation;
  • The presence and use of paratextual materials, and their function in explicitly framing these texts within a defined spiritual and theological approach to reform;
  • The mediating and often transforming function of translators;
  • The strategies they employed to transmit to their audiences notions and attitudes often inextricably rooted in the culture and identity of different countries and cultural traditions;
  • The linguistic and rhetorical strategies translators chose to utilize, and the connections between such strategies and contemporary linguistic theories and debates;
  • Issues of authorship, anonymity, censorship and literariness;
  • The relationship between these texts (and their translating techniques and approaches) and contemporary translations of the Scripture, especially of books with particular exegetical and theological interest (such as the Psalms);
  • The ways in which the imposition by the Catholic authorities of a specific  linguistic framework affected the individual’s assimilation of doctrinal principles and involvement into religious behaviours.


Proposals for this panel (in adherence with RSA guidelines) should include:

-Title (15-word maximum);

-Abstract (150-word maximum), and keywords;

-CV, with affiliation and contact details (300-word maximum, no prose bios).

Please send your proposals to by 31st May. 

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Teaching Race: A Roundtable

Posted By Anna Wainwright, Saturday, May 20, 2017

Organizers: Alison Frazier, Anna Wainwright

This roundtable explores how we early modernists engage race in our classrooms. We seek five-six participants, each willing to share an innovative lesson plan: what sources do you use, what activities and projects have you found successful for introducing students of different race-, class-, and gender-positions to the history, philosophy, art, and literature of the early modern world? More generally, this panel aims to encourage discussion about public engagement: what does it mean to teach Renaissance constructions of race in this global moment, so fraught with racial violence? How do we at once acknowledge the historiographical traditions of our disciplines, as we surpass the limits of those traditions to fashion inclusive and intersectional historiographies of the Renaissance?

Contact Anna Wainwright (NYU) with your titled abstract of not more than 150 words.

For questions about submissions, see

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Panels sponsored by the FISIER

Posted By Eugenio Refini, Saturday, May 20, 2017
Representing the Self in the Renaissance 

A common trope in scholarship is that the Renaissance invented the modern notion of identity. Within this narrative, the invention of the “self” is usually singled out as one of the most important achievements of Renaissance culture. Seminal studies such as Greenblatt’s Renaissance Self-Fashioning (1980) contributed to enlighten the many ways in which authors, artists, and philosophers found new communicative tools to construct and stage their “self.” More recently, works such as Charles Taylor’s Sources of the Self: The Making of the Modern Identity (1992), Thierry Wanegffelen’s Le Roseau pensant. Ruse de la modernité occidentale (2010), and Marie-Clarté Lagrée’s «C'est moy que je peins»: Figures de soi à l'automne de la Renaissance (2012) have widened our understanding of the new status acquired by the “self” in the Renaissance. However, the way in which the notion of the self and the notion of identity were shaped in the period remain controversial and difficult to seize. The primary aim of these panels is to reconsider our current assumptions about the emergence of the self as a category of thought in the Renaissance through the analysis and discussion of texts and other relevant sources from the period. We invite proposals for three-paper panels focusing on the ways in which the category was used, described, performed, denied. Possible topics include (but are not limited to):

1. The Renaissance reflection on the self in contemporary theory and criticism.
2. Representation of the self in the context of poetry of art.
3. Representation of the self in political contexts (including the ways in which rulers and 
public figures stage themselves, for instance in historical memoirs, epistles, etc.).
4. Representation of the self in private contexts (autobiography, personal memoirs, essays). 
5. Representation of the self in religious contexts (preaching, meditation, prayers, mystical literature, etc.).
6. Representation of the self in scholarly contexts (thinkers, humanists, scholars, translators who represent themselves in philosophical and scientific texts).
7. Representation of the self in motion (travel literature, memoirs, etc.). 

Proposals for panels should include:
- Title (15-word maximum), abstract (150-word maximum), and keywords for each of the three papers;
- CV, affiliation and contact details for each panelist (300-word maximum, NO prose bios);
- Chair.

Individual paper proposals are also accepted. 

Please send your proposals to by May 31st.

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Representing Adultery in the Early Modern Netherlands

Posted By Barbara A. Kaminska, Friday, May 19, 2017
Updated: Friday, May 19, 2017

This session is sponsored by Historians of Netherlandish Art.

In the Institution of Christian Matrimony (1526), Erasmus lamented: “Why is it necessary to have certain stories depicted in church at all? Why a youth and a girl lying in the same bed? Why David watching Bathsheba from his window and summoning her to be defiled, or embracing the Shunammite who was sent to him?” Despite being deemed inappropriate, stories of adulterous encounters and their aftermath were common in early modern Netherlandish art – but they were rarely understood as negative examples of sexual transgressions only. Rather, as scholars in recent years have shown, these images connoted a variety of meanings. In the sixteenth century, adultery began to be associated with idolatry and viewers’ susceptibility to the “seduction of sight”; artists’ experiments with different pictorial idioms and traditions were described – as we learn from Karel van Mander – in terms of “committing adultery”; and the focus of themes such as Christ and the adulterous woman shifted from the sins of the flesh to much graver sins of the heart. Following these new approaches, this panel seeks to investigate the fundamental redefinition of adultery in the context of both the religious and art theoretical discourses of the early modern period. While the session focuses on the sixteenth century, papers addressing seventeenth-century Dutch and Flemish culture will also be considered. Possible topics may include, but are not limited to:

  •  Depictions of biblical and mythological stories of adultery
  • Collecting and display of images of adultery
  • Adultery in vernacular plays of the rhetoricians
  • Discussion of adultery in catechisms, sermons, and devotional literature
  • Adultery as a metaphor in the art theoretical discourse

Please send your proposal including your contact information, the paper’s title (max. 15 words), an abstract (max. 150 words), a brief CV (max. 300 words), and keywords to Barbara Kaminska ( by May 26, 2017.

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Thomas More in history, literature, and theology

Posted By Emily A. Ransom, Wednesday, May 17, 2017

On the heels of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, the International Association for Thomas More Studies is continuing to garner enthusiasm for Thomas More studies among both rising and established scholars at the Renaissance Society of America annual meeting (New Orleans, March 22–24).  Any research relating to Thomas More is invited, including:

  • Utopia (and utopias, law, transatlantic studies, travel literature, satire, etc.)
  • Richard III (and historiography, tyranny, drama, influence on Shakespeare, etc.)
  • The epigrams (and translation, poetic theory, polemics, proverbs, jestbooks, afterlife, etc.)
  • Reformation controversy (and law, ecclesiology, consensus, polemics, rhetoric, biblical translation, Luther, Tyndale, Henry VIII, etc.)
  • Martyrdom (and consolation, devotion, historiography, afterlife, competing literary legacies, Shakespeare’s Book of Thomas More, etc.)

To submit a proposal, please send a 150-word abstract and current CV to Emily Ransom ( by June 1.  Proposals will be considered as they come with a fast turn-around time.  Scholars at any stage of their careers are warmly welcome.

Tags:  devotion  Historiography  humanism  martyrdom  poetry  politics  Religion  rhetoric  translation 

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Philology (AAR-SOF sponsor)

Posted By Alison K. Frazier, Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Sponsor: American Academy in Rome-Society of Fellows

Title: Philology

The AAR-SOF invites papers on theoretical, historical, and procedural aspects of philology, with special attention to the capacity of philology to open connections to the past, to establish cultural meaning, and to frame a scholarly way of life.

Recent proliferating attention to philology—witness new handbooks (e.g. Trovato 2014, Hanna 2015) and trade histories (e.g., Turner 2014), and well as radical re-positionings (e.g. Pollack-Elman-Chang 2015) and reconceptualizations (e.g. Butler 2016)—suggests that this cultural moment of disdain for the humanities figures equally as a renewal and re-thinking of ancient global traditions of learning. 

Contact Alison Frazier with your titled abstract of not more than 150 words. You need not be a fellow of the American Academy at Rome to participate. Questions about procedure? Consult


Tags:  classical reception  classics  linguistics  philology  philosophy 

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