Thursday, November 30, 2006

Questioning Renaissance Pieties

Call for Papers

***A Graduate Conference Hosted by Princetonís Renaissance Studies Program***
4th-5th May, 2007

Keynote Speaker: Nigel Smith, Department of English, Princeton University

This conference takes as its theme the various permutations of piety in the early modern period, considering piety not only in a doctrinal but also in a political and/or cultural context. The early modern individual is implicated in a web of complex and often conflicting dutiesóto God, to the sovereign, to parents, neighbors, intellectual communities, and country. Thus, while the conventional deployment of notions of piety seems to invoke a vision of a stable, harmonious order, it also offers a rubric under which that order may ultimately be problematized or subverted.

Thus, we hope to explore the notion of multiple pieties across the disciplines of Renaissance studies, from poetics to theology to political theory. How might ideas of Renaissance piety be complicated by the invocation of classical antiquity? That is, how might pietas manipulate a polysemous existence, operating in a Christian sense while maintaining a relation to antiquity? How does the contested nature of individual piety map onto broader Renaissance debates about the relation between faith and works, body and spirit, liberty and authority, order and disorder? Moreover, how has the relation between such ìpietiesî informed the evolution of the studia humanitatis in the early modern period? We also encourage papers that reflect on the contemporary academic context: how,for instance, might current scholarly and critical practices be shaped by pieties and impieties of our own?

Possible topics include:
* Antiquity in the early modern period; history-writing and changing notions of the past
* Renaissance confessional struggles (e.g. Tridentine censorship, conscience and conformity, resistance theory)
* Transgressive poetics (e.g. debates on Neo-Aristotelianism, canon formation, chivalric romance)
* Canons of representation in the visual arts
* Youth, age and authority; generational relationships and the domestic sphere
* Gender and class roles; hierarchy, deference and decorum
* The legitimation of vernaculars
* Devotional practices and the place of religious ceremony
* History of the book and material culture (Ramism, antiquarianism, censorship and publication practices)
* Neo-Platonism, influences and reactions (e.g. Savonarola)
* Reception of the Renaissance in succeeding centuries
* Critical methodologies, historiography, and disciplinary histories

The conference will combine traditional panel sessions with less structured workshops dedicated to examining particular texts and/or objects. We seek papers of no more than fifteen to twenty minutes employing any of a variety of methodologies, including historical, literary, and theoretical perspectives. Interdisciplinary approaches are especially welcome.

Abstracts of not more than 350 words should be submitted via email to

The deadline for all submissions is Friday, January 19th 2007.

Any questions should be directed to Alana Shilling,, or Lisa Wilde,


Post a Comment

<< Home

FREE hit counter and Internet traffic statistics from