Sunday, April 16, 2006

CFP: Renaissance Anatomies

RSA 2007 Call for papers

Dissecting Renaissance Anatomies

We invite paper proposals for an RSA conference panel on early modern anatomy and performance. The sixteenth and seventeenth centuries witnessed a proliferation of anatomies, both physical and metaphorical, in England and on the Continent. Anatomical dissection staged the production of knowledge in that the body became a site for students to explore (and not merely to witness) the structure of the human body, leading to what Jonathan Sawday has called "a confrontation between an abstract idea of knowledge, and the material reality of a corpse" (Sawday 1995). Anatomies in Latin and in the vernacular, as well as surgical guides on the treatment of wounds, dissected in text and image the body into its parts, turning the familiar into the uncanny. Metaphorical anatomies tested the boundaries of analogies drawn between the body and its material and spiritual worlds by finding new ways to "stage" the body, altering thinking about the body and its relation to God, the universe, and culture.

Possible paper topics include, but are not limited to:

-Theatrical performance of anatomical gestures
-Embodiment and sensory experience
-Gender and sexuality in the anatomy
-Early modern renderings of Anatomia
-Intellectual or religious anatomies
-Cross-genre comparisons of anatomical work
-The anatomy in alternative discourses
-Transfers in practice and theory from the Continent to England
-Early modern stagings of Ancient anatomical practices

Abstracts and proposals, maximum 250 words, to Allison K. Deutermann ( and Lianne Habinek ( by 15 May, 2006. Please remember that in order to present a paper, you must be a member of the RSA by the time of the convention.


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