Appel à communication : « Seeing the Soul : Representations of the Invisible » (New York, mars 2014)

The soul was a matter of importance to people in the 14th-16th centuries. There were questions about the nature of this illusive being,
and, of course, the perennial concern over its ultimate fate. Images of the soul appeared in frescoes, manuscripts and paintings, but the soul is incorporeal and in some fundamental way, unknowable. It simultaneously IS us, and distinct from us.

This panel seeks papers that address the problem of picturing that which is always out of sight and yet present, and investigate the methods used by artists and writers in the 14th-16th centuries to visualize the invisible.

Papers may address questions such as how the soul was represented in a specific time/place; the influence of antique models; how literary descriptions of the soul translated into image; the religious/scholarly discourse on the nature of the soul; the appropriateness of images of the soul; common visual and literary tropes that develop; the ‘life’ or journey of the soul (Dante, pilgrimage/visionary narratives, allegories); and venues for such representations.

Papers from all disciplines will be considered.

Please submit 200 word proposals to Sarah Schell ( Please include a brief CV with name, email address, institutional affiliation, and title of paper. Feel free to email with any questions.

Session at the Renaissance Society of America Annual Meeting 2014

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