Panel Finder

The following panel organizers are seeking paper proposals.

13. Translating Style: ornament as vernacular language

Ornament in early-modern Europe operates as a cross-disciplinary tool, often transcending both contemporary regulatory boundaries set by the guilds, as well as present scholarly borders (e.g. art en architectural history, the study of ‘applied arts’). The Gothic, as well as antique ornament has often been considered as signifying political, social, or cultural meaning and relevance, and thereby surpassing a sheer decorative function (Onians 1990; Kavaler 2012). Ornament can be understood as a language through which the beholder comprehends and ‘reads’ the object. In addition, Ornament and language share the ability to assimilate and adapt to local and vernacular requirements and tastes. In an attempt to stimulate a debate on ornament as style, decorum or language we especially welcome papers that explore the regional and local characteristics and meanings of ornament – both gothic and antique – in northern European art between 1450 and 1600.

Applicant speakers should send a 250-word abstract and a brief biography to by Feb 15, 2016.

12. Colard Mansion’s network - Book printing and early printmaking in the Low Countries (1450-1500)

Considered to be one of the first book printers to experiment with engravings in early incunables, the Bruges Colard Mansion (active 1457-1484 and contemporary and befriended to William Caxton) is one of the most fascinating figures in the early history of printed books. To celebrate the upcoming exhibition in 2018 on the Bruges scribe, translator, printer, and (book-) entrepreneur, this session has an interdisciplinary focus on manuscripts, incunables and prints produced in the Low Counties during the second half of the fifteenth century. In relation to this subject, we invite speakers in any state of research to reflect in this context upon issues such as international book production and trade in Bruges, patronage and intended public of luxury Burgundian books (manuscripts and printed books), (international) relationships in the rising printing world, interdisciplinary links between incunables and their illustrations and other works of art, the combination of various techniques in one medium, working methods and workshop practices, the production and careers of early Netherlandish engravers, the rise of new markets for new media.

Applicant speakers should send a 250-word abstract and a brief biography to by Feb 15, 2016

11. Mother, Earth, Universe

In this paper panel, we will take up discussion of early modern representations of the material, maternal body as a microcosm; of the universe as a generative gendered body, and/or of the many diverse “bodies” experienced and imagined in that universe. These other bodies include but are not limited to Earth’s body; the ecological body of the sublunary sphere; animal, meteorological, and/or botanical bodies, etc. We will consider all such bodies great and small in light of their capacities for and/or relationships to generative creation. Please send an abstract to Rebecca Totaro by February 13th.

10. The Emotions of News in Early Modern Europe

Sponsored by the Australian Research Council’s Centre for the History of Emotions – Media and Emotions Research Cluster

We are looking for a panelist and chair to join our session on the emotions of news in early modern Europe. Una McIlvenna (Kent) will be giving a paper on street news-singers in early modern France and Abaigéal Warfield (Adelaide) will give a paper on fear of the Devil in news/crime reports in the sixteenth century Germany. Anyone working on the reporting of news in the early modern period is welcome to send a proposal (see details below) to or

9. Exemplars in Action: Visual Biography in the Long Sixteenth Century

In the long sixteenth century, the genre of visual biography flourished as never before in European painting, sculpture, tapestry and printmaking. Artists and patrons collaborated in celebrating the worthies of their own time through cycles of imagery that recounted individual lives or the lives of dynasties. This genre combines aspects of portraiture with aspects of narrative, with the protagonist shown in a sequence of scenes, enacting his or her most important deeds. Inevitably these biographical cycles cast history in forcefully positive terms, arguing for the historical and moral worthiness of their protagonists. The genre shares certain topoi and modes with contemporary written biography, while also drawing on the conventions of hagiography, mythology, allegory and ancient Roman history.

While some of the most monumental biographical cycles come from ruling dynasties, this session is also considering examples from aristocratic, bourgeois and ecclesiastical settings. And while most cycles celebrate a hero, we are also interested in those considerably rarer ones that excoriate a villain. Papers may examine individual biographical cycles, or may compare cycles to establish themes and patterns. Studies that theorize the genre are particularly welcome. Consideration of context is also important, and questions we intend to probe include the following: Why did the genre flourish in the Renaissance? Do the characteristics of the genre remain consistent or do they shift in response to changing cultural norms (or any other factors) over the course of this period? Are certain media better suited to certain types of message? Can the binary of public/private be used to understand the cycles and the layering of messages within them? And finally, how do artists and programmers strike the balance between the plausible and the panegyric?

It is hoped that a diversity of examples will help session participants and audience members to understand the genre more deeply and to discern similarities and differences between the cycles of different regions and differing social, political and religious conditions.
Interested scholars should submit a 225-250 word abstract and a c.v. by February 1, 2016 directly to James Harper at

8. Devotion and identity: iconography of foreign communities in Early Modern Italy

Processes and efforts of maintaining or constructing the cultural identity of communities considered as foreign in Early Modern Italian cities (both Italian and non-Italian minorities) frequently resulted in prominent artistic commissions conceived as expressions of individual or collective devotion, which also ensured the visibility of the foresti and stranieri within their adopted urban environments. With Venice as the most eminent example, the multicultural host societies generally sustained these immigrant communities by providing the social framework which permitted the preservation of group identity through the establishment of colleges, confraternities or scuole. Conceived within the project Visualizing Nationhood: the Schiavoni/Illyrian Confraternities and Colleges in Italy and the Artistic Exchange with South East Europe (15th - 18th century), University of Zagreb, the panel seeks to bring together case studies which explore issues of maintaining or constructing the cultural identity of immigrant communities in urban centres of Early Modern Italy, interactions and artistic exchanges between different foreign communities and possible influences of immigrant minorities on the artistic production in major Italian centres.

Topics may include but are not limited to:

  • - artistic commissions by members of foreign communities
  • - imported objects of devotion (relics, icons or other particularly venerated works of art)
  • - construction of identity through works of art dedicated to particular saints venerated by foreign communities
  • - visual narratives and their textual and/or archival sources
  • - choice of artist as an expression of identity
  • - artistic exchanges between host societies and foreign communities
  • - local reception and perception of works of art commissioned by foreign communities
  • - works of art imported from the foreign communities places of origin

Please submit a 250-word abstract and a one-page CV to Tanja Trska ( by 5 February 2016.

7. Cultural networks in the Renaissance: methodological challenges

This session focuses on the study of cultural networks in the Renaissance and the methodological issues that accompany it. Rather than only focusing on the outcome of research on cultural networks in the Renaissance, this session aims (also) to address explicitly the methodological issues that historians deal with while conducting this type of research. Presenters can choose either to focus on methodological questions concerning the analysis of cultural networks in the Renaissance in general, or present a specific case study (at any stage) concerning cultural networks in the Renaissance and use this in order to address also the main methodological issues that have been encountered. There are no geographical, chronological, or thematic restrictions on the type of cultural network. Some possible methodological issues to address include, but are not limited to: usefulness and limitations of digital humanities in network analysis; how to connect various networks to each other when different studies have different methods, technologies, and goals; advantages and disadvantages of visualization tools; small, closed circles vs. large, open networks; types of sources; definition of geographical and chronological range of the analysis.Please send a title, an abstract (max. 250 words), and a short CV (max. 150 words) to Renaud Adam, Universite de Liege ( and Sandra Toffolo, Centre d’Etudes Superieures de la Renaissance, Tours ( Please detail any A/V needs that you might have. The deadline for submission is 31 January 2016.

6. Sisters and Sisterhood in the Renaissance

Female siblings have received relatively little attention in the literature on early modern families, yet there's much to be said about intimacy, rivalry, identity, primacy and subordiacy among Renaissance sisters, as well as about the representation of sisters in Renaissance art. Please send paper proposals to Sally A. Hickson via email by Jan 15:

5. The Journal of Jesuit Studies is sponsoring sessions on any aspect of Jesuit studies. Currently we are looking to complete sessions on the following topics within Jesuit studies up to the year 1700:
  • 1- anything related to architecture in the Netherlands or Belgium
  • 2- correspondence with rulers and/or consorts
  • 3- relationships with non-Catholic Christians (globally)

Please submit abstracts on these or other topics related to Jesuit history--literary studies, art history, music history, or related topics, of no more than 250 words, along with brief biographical information (no more than 3 to 4 sentences, including affiliation, rank and one or two important publications or other evidence of scholarship) to Kathleen Comerford,, no later than January 20 2016.

4. Alternative Ecologies in 16th Century Romance

Proposed Session at SCSC, August 18-20, 2016 in Bruges, Belgium. This session invites papers that explore non-anthropocentric or non-normative ecologies in 16th century English prose romance. Paper topics may include but are not limited to: Queer ecologies, Object Oriented Ontology, Actor-network theory, Non-human ecologies, Destructive ecologies, Non-reproductive creativity, Affective approaches to ecosystems, ElementsRocks, minerals, animals, vegetables and The Arcadia.

Please send abstracts of no more than 250 words and a CV to Sallie Anglin at The deadline for submissions is Monday February 8th 2016.

3. CFP Sixteenth-Century Society Conference, Bruges (August 18-20, 2016)
Panel: Sacred Spaces, Secular Acts: Non-Religious Functions of Italian Church Buildings

The Italian church interior in the early modern period witnessed far more than mere religious rite. As a venue for courtship rituals, dances, theatrical performances, political meetings, legal business and even sexual encounters, churches were versatile, multi-functional spaces which could change their purpose and ambience in response to distinct activities.

Conservative ecclesiastics such as Archbishop Antoninus of Florence, San Bernardino da Siena and Fra Savonarola condemned such acts, indirectly confirming their widespread practice. Further evidence is provided by notarial documentation, which often specified the precise ecclesiastical location where legal or political meetings took place; other written records relating to specific non-religious events; and literary and visual sources.

But despite this wealth of evidence describing secular activity, scholars still tend to interpret churches – and the images and objects they contained – largely for their religious functions. While the domestic sphere is increasingly considered for its devotional components, non-religious activities in church have been noted anecdotally but rarely for their own merits.

This panel will place such activities at the centre of investigation, seeking to address diverse issues related to function, access and audience. How precisely were the church's main and sub-spaces used for these events? Could the church building function in different ways at precise times of the day or year? What do these activities reveal about the potential for diverse members of society – in particular women – to access spaces normally reserved for clergy?

Topics for papers could include, but are not limited to, analysis of:

  • - New archival evidence on the types of non-religious activities which took place in church
  • - Depictions or descriptions of non-religious activities in church
  • - Complaints and exhortations against certain behaviours
  • - How secular and sacred values intersected in the church interior
  • - How these non-religious activities relate to issues of class, gender and status
  • - Works of art, music, or literature which responded to this use of space

Please email 250-word paper proposals together with a curriculum vitae to Joanne Allen ( by February 1st 2016.

2. Early Netherlandish Artists and Their Money

This session invites papers broadly addressed to the related topics of artistry and money in the early modern Netherlands. From early modernity to the present, studies of artists and money have frequently opposed creativity with economic limitations and financial ambitions. The critical response to Svetlana Alpers's touchstone study of Rembrandt's entrepreneurship offers an instructive example. By situating the Leiden artist within a complex of economic concerns, Alpers provided a fresh perspective for a field traditionally fixated on Rembrandt's seminal genius. But critics argued that her emphasis on the economic forces surrounding the artist obscured the individualized force of his creativity. Reviews of Matt Kavaler's brilliant study of Pieter Breugel within his socio-economic milieu offered similar complaints. This session therefore is especially interested in approaches that reconcile notions of artistic genius with financial concerns at a moment when the artist's economy was expanding rapidly.

Topics could include but are not limited to:

  • - financial concerns as they arise in artist's biographies
  • - the picturing of financial transactions as a manifestation of the artist's money consciousness
  • - artist's campaigns on the marketplace
  • - the poverty of artists, in their biographies and/or art
  • - economic status as self-fashioning
  • - the historiography of the relation of early modern Netherlandish art and money
  • - perceptions of (or biases against) artistic entrepreneurship as a form of "selling out" or compromise of artistry
  • - historiographic approaches to the consciousness of Netherlandish artists and their money
  • - the intersection of class consciousness in genre and / or sacred imagery with notions of artistic identity
  • - artists' other jobs, or art as a "side job" vs. main source of income.

Deadline for submission: Monday, February 8, 2016. Please submit an abstract of no more than 250 words and a CV with contact information to Arthur J. DiFuria (, Nicole Cook (, and Sara Bordeaux (

1. Evolving Spaces: Shaping and Representing the City and the Periphery in Italy and Europe, ca. 1450 - 1660

Recent publications on Early Modern cities have increasingly focused on urban spaces as defined by literary, historic and visual sources. In the wake of this renewed interest on the representation of the city, this session aims to widen the scope of current research to examine the ways in which the interaction between the city and surrounding territories shaped urban and suburban spaces, and how these were portrayed in visual culture and described in documentary sources, considering also the evidence in terms of material culture. More specifically, it will look at how spaces evolved as a consequence of the political changes that caused the transformations from city-states to macro-states and how this reflected on new visual narratives of cityscapes and rural landscapes. This panel also seeks to articulate how cultural traditions contributed to visual representations of cities and their periphery by looking at:

  • - The role of city-walls, gates and boundaries in defining community and cultural identities or as expressions of architectural development and defensive strategies.
  • - Urban spaces in relation to triumphal entries and related spectacles.
  • - The relationship between public and private space in terms of representation of power during the early Modern period: i.e. how venues such as gardens and squares were transformed in this period and what role they played in this respect.
  • - How real and ideal city views contributed to the creation of cultural, political and social identities.
  • - The use of maps and illustrated inventories in defining spaces and to exercise control.

Please submit an abstract of 300 words max. and a short CV with affiliation and contact information to the session organizer, Dr Sandra Cardarelli, University of Aberdeen at: by 2 February 2016.