Appel à communication : neuf nouvelles sessions pour le congrès 2016 de la RSA (Boston, 31 mars-2 avril 2016)

RSANewLogoLe congrès annuel 2016 de la Renaissance Society of America (RSA) se tiendra à Boston, du 31 mars au 2 avril 2016. Neuf nouvelles sessions appellent à communication :

1. Crafting a Brussels Artistic Network in Early Modern Europe (ca. 1400-1750)
2. Monstrous Things
3. Makers: Women Artists in the Early Modern Courts of Europe
4. Artists and Friendship in the Renaissance
5. Artists and their Friends: New Questions and Ideas
6. The Spatial Politics of Architectural Barriers in Renaissance Europe
7. Art and the Emotions of Renaissance Women
8. Constructing Connections: Place and Identity in Early Modern Visual Culture
9. Rethinking the Rhetoric of Images

Informations complémentaires.

1. Crafting a Brussels Artistic Network in Early Modern Europe (ca. 1400-1750)

Session Chairs:
Dr. Koenraad Brosens, KU Leuven (
Dr. Lara Yeager-Crasselt, KU Leuven (

The artistic landscape of the Southern Netherlands has traditionally been dominated by Antwerp, but this panel aims to redefine this historical model by focusing on the significance of Brussels and its artistic networks. As a court city, tapestry center and international hub, Brussels distinguished itself from the rest of the region as a dynamic, complex urban center with a distinctive artistic and cultural identity. Yet because of these very functions, Brussels remained inextricably linked to cities both within and outside of the Netherlands, such as Antwerp, Madrid, Rome, and Paris. This panel seeks papers that address the artistic culture of Brussels and its place in a pan-European artistic network in the period c. 1400-1750, considering painting, sculpture, prints and/or tapestry. It also encourages papers that address the broader methodological issues raised in this context. How can this approach shed new light on Brussels and the ways in which artists, artistic communities and cities were connected in the early modern period?

This session is sponsored by Historians of Netherlandish Art ( Preference will be given to proposals from HNA members. PhD candidates may propose papers, but please ask your supervisor to send a letter of support. Presenters must be members of RSA and are responsible for their own costs. For RSA guidelines on paper proposals and other information about the conference, please consult the RSA website:

Please send an abstract (maximum 150 words) and a c.v. by email to both panel chairs BY MAY 15.


2. Monstrous Things

Giants, wild men, beasts, grotesque creatures, and other marvels abounded in the Renaissance imagination. Monsters were profoundly different and disturbing, yet they could also be familiar and comical. While much has been made of literary representations of monsters and medical monstrosities, investigations of their visual appearance are less numerous. This panel seeks to understand the proliferation and polyvalence of monsters in early modern visual culture. What did Renaissance monsters look like? What meanings did monsters communicate to artists, patrons, and beholders? How did early modern people experience the monstrous and the grotesque? What distinctions, if any, did early modern people make between monsters, giants, and marvels?

We seek papers that analyze monstrous things in the art and visual culture of early modern Europe. Topics may include, but are not limited to:
– The relationship between monsters and nature
– Topographical or geographical places of monsters
– Monsters in the context of gender, sexuality and/or the body
– Monstrous individuals (artists, patrons, sitters)
– Theoretical approaches to the study of monsters
– Cross-fertilization between literary and visual representations of monsters

Please send an abstract of 300 words and a current CV to Maria Maurer ( and Catherine Walsh ( by Friday, May 22.


3. Makers: Women Artists in the Early Modern Courts of Europe

Even as significant contributions have been made to our understanding of women as patrons for and subjects of early modern art, analysis of their roles as “hands-on” makers of the rich variety of visual and material culture that characterized the courts remains challenging. The goal of this session is to encourage sustained consideration of women as artists/makers in the courts of Europe between c. 1350-1700. Topics might include, but are not limited to, considerations of a particular artist/maker or a class of objects; historiographic or institutional challenges to this line of inquiry; the traditional rubric for defining the court “artist” or product (painter/painting; sculptor/sculpture); or categories of production traditionally marginalized in art historical consideration, such as needlecraft or miniature painting.

By 5 June 2015, please send paper title, abstract (150 word maximum), and a short CV (300 word maximum) to session organizer Tanja L. Jones, University of Alabama ( Please put “RSA 2016” in the subject line of emails.

4. Artists and Friendship in the Renaissance

Organizers: Meryl Bailey (Mills College, and Elizabeth Carroll Consavari (San Jose State University,

In his brief biography of the sixteenth-century painter Girolamo of Treviso, Giorgio Vasari describes a concorso for a commission in Bologna. Vasari notes that many of the artists had an advantage – some due to merit, but others due to amicizia (friendship). Hampered by his own lack of a social network, Girolamo left the city in frustration. Friends and friendship played an important role in establishing an artist’s career and reputation in the Renaissance. Artists relied upon friendly connections to gain commissions, to distribute their work, to establish contacts with patrons, and to further their reputations. We seek to organize one or more panels that broadly explore how notions of friendship, amity/enmity, and social ties impacted the lives of artists or the production of art in Europe. Topics might include: case studies of friendship among artists; the visual commemoration of friendship in portraits or other genres; marketing and self-promotion through networks of friends; patrons as friends/friends as patrons; gift exchange among friends; professional collaboration and affinity (or lack thereof) among artists; or the impact of classical formulations of friendship on art production.

To apply please submit an abstract of no more than 150 words and a CV to organizers, Meryl Bailey ( <> and Elizabeth Carroll Consavari ( <>) by May 25, 2015


5. Artists and their Friends: New Questions and Ideas

The role played by friendship in early modern artistic practice and identity is a subject that has continued to receive growing attention in recent years, building upon questions asked in foundational studies of the 1980s and ’90s. This panel seeks papers that address this field of inquiry, c. 1450-1700, but push it into new territory by asking different questions. The impact of intellectual social circles in the professional development of the artist, the collaborative nature of the workshop and studio, the filial ties artists cultivate with patrons, or the iconographic manifestations of friendship in works of art—these are areas of frequent analysis. What of other, less-probed types of friendships—those that perhaps cross gender boundaries, cultures, or even time (friendships of the mind, as much as the body)? Are there as-yet unidentified friends neglected by the canon and its prevailing devotion to artistic and intellectual ‘superstars’ (the Poussin’s and Dal Pozzo’s), and what have they offered the artist? Are there new ways of analysing the more conventional relationships that comprise the field, which move beyond narratives of collaboration and influence? Are there unexplored discourses or definitions of friendship—alternatives to the main line (qua Cicero et al.)—that inform early modern art, art practice, or art theory? What, ultimately, is the value of friendship as a subject to the study of early modern art?

Session Sponsored by the Italian Art Society.

Please send a brief abstract (no more than 150 words); a selection of keywords for your talk; and a brief curriculum vitae (300-word maximum in outline rather than narrative form) to Alexandra Hoare ( by Sunday May 24. Please put “RSA” in the subject line of your email.

6. The Spatial Politics of Architectural Barriers in Renaissance Europe

Organizers: Joel Penning (Northwestern University); Maggie Bell (UC Santa Barbara); Morgan Ng (Harvard University)

Architectural barriers such as walls and military defenses are never just innocent markers in the built environment, but instruments of socio-spatial exclusion and inclusion whose significance becomes especially pronounced in conditions of crisis or emergency. While scholarship on such structures in the early modern period has largely fallen within the purview of architectural and military history, it may be greatly enriched by insights from social and cultural history, and even the history of science and medicine. From this broad interdisciplinary perspective, then, we invite papers that consider two such categories of architectural boundaries situated physically or metaphorically at the limits of Renaissance civic life.

For the first session, “Renaissance barriers I: between sickness and health,” we seek papers that tease out the spatial politics of early modern medical practices. How did Renaissance understandings of contagion or the effects of the natural environment on health affect the division of spaces in medical wards? How were the diverse charitable and salutary functions of hospitals physically organized along the lines of class or gender? How did hospital architecture negotiate between its functions as institutional symbols of religious or civic pride, and as spaces of bodily abjection? And how did public authorities physically contain diseased populations at the urban scale, as well as regulate entry into and exit from the city during periods of plague?

In the second session, “Renaissance barriers II: city walls,” we extend the theme to the subject of urban fortifications. To what extent did fortifications serve to control the populace inside the walls, and to what extent did they guard against external intrusion? How did the physical thickness of early modern defensive systems, which were far more substantial than two-dimensional surfaces, change their effectiveness as spatial or conceptual barriers? In addition to serving military functions, how did these boundaries negotiate the movement of urban and rural populations? How did city walls reflect period conceptions of urban identity and citizenship, whether as codified in law, or as represented in the visual arts?

Please send a paper title, a 150 word abstract, and a brief CV (300 words max.) for consideration by MAY 29, 2015 to;;


7. Art and the Emotions of Renaissance Women

This session explores the relationship between Italian art and the emotional lives of Renaissance women. Renaissance texts, including sermons, spiritual guidebooks, and conduct manuals, reveal complex and contradictory ideas about women’s emotions (passions or affections) and their significance. On the one hand, women’s emotions were considered a sign of intellectual weakness and an inability to control the appetite of women’s senses. This negative characterization of women’s emotions was interpreted as evidence that women were naturally more sinful, deceptive, and dangerous than men, thereby justifying male authority over women’s bodies. On the other hand, certain female emotions were required for proper penitence, mourning, and affective devotion, making women (or men who behave like women, such as weeping St. John the Evangelist) more adept at these spiritual practices. This session seeks papers that examine how Italian Renaissance art reflects either side in this discourse. Papers may address (but are not limited to) how Italian Renaissance art represents or suppresses the emotions of women or emotions gendered as “female” and/or how art was used to channel, condition, or control the emotions of Renaissance women for ethical, religious, social, or political purposes.

Session Sponsored by the Italian Art Society

Please send in Microsoft Word format: 1) a brief abstract (maximum 150 words; may not contain footnotes or endnotes); 2) a selection of keywords for your talk; and 3) a brief curriculum vitae (300 words maximum in outline rather than narrative format) by e-mail to the session’s co-organizers: Theresa Flanigan, Associate Professor of Art History, The College of Saint Rose and Esperanca Camara, Associate Professor of Art History, University of St. Francis, by May 27.


8. Constructing Connections: Place and Identity in Early Modern Visual Culture

Late medieval and early modern artists and patrons constructed and communicated civic, religious, and personal connections with specific places through various image modes. This session seeks papers that explore these profound and complex associations between identity and place as they developed in global visual culture between 1300 and 1700. Possible topics include (but are in no way limited to): topographical iconography, the establishment of saints’ cults and pilgrimage destinations, the development of civic and regional styles, imagined locations and/or travel, and the trans-national movement of artists and/or objects. Papers that address the imaging of place and identity in materials beyond that of painting and sculpture are particularly welcome.

Please send a paper title, an abstract (150 words maximum) and a CV (300 words maximum) to Ashley Elston (Berea College) and Madeline Rislow (Kansas City Art Institute) at by May 31, 2015.


9. Rethinking the Rhetoric of Images

Anna Marazuela Kim, Courtauld Institute of Art (2015-16)
Robert Williams, University of California Santa Barbara

Respondent: Frank Fehrenbach, University of Hamburg

The relation of the “visual” arts to rhetoric has long been an important theme in Renaissance studies. Since first being foregrounded by scholars such as John Spencer and Michael Baxandall in the 1950’s and ’60’s, consideration of the issue has gone through numerous permutations, filtered through varied conceptual vocabularies and framed in terms of the relation between « figure » and « discourse, » « image » and « word, » and « iconicity » and « discursivity. » Efforts to redefine the study of art history around the “power” or “force” of visual images – some recent examples of which, like the Bildwissenschaft and Bild-Anthropologie developed in Germany, draw upon the analytical techniques of phenomenology – might even be described as a perennial feature of the discipline, even if they have also met with resistance and criticism.

This panel aims to assess the ways in which recent developments have inflected our understanding of this longstanding concern, perhaps offering important new avenues of approach to Italian Renaissance art. We welcome papers from a wide-range of orientations toward the issue: theoretical, historiographic and art historical.

Please submit an abstract (150-word maximum) with paper title and brief curriculum vitae (300-word maximum) by May 31 to and



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