CALL FOR PAPERS: ‘Fate and Fortune in Renaissance Thought’

Albrecht Dürer ~ Fortuna
A one-day Colloquium to be held at the University of Warwick on 27th May 2016

Keynote address: Dilwyn Knox (University College London).
Respondent: Stephen Clucas (Birkbeck, University of London)

The aim of the colloquium is to explore the significance of the concepts of fate and fortune in Renaissance thought. While having a significant medieval background in theological texts and in The Consolation of Philosophy and other philosophical treatises, these concepts received new interpretations during the Renaissance period. The cause was a renewed interest in Cicero’s treatises, as well as in Alexander of Aphrodisias and Stoic philosophy. On the other hand, the question of fate and fortune seems to be closely related to religious disputes of the sixteenth century.

Hopefully, the colloquium will contribute to a better understanding of these concepts and their crucial role in the history of Renaissance thought. Despite some valuable publications on the topic, a number of its aspects still remain unclear. The interdisciplinary character of the conference would allow to explore the place of fortune and fate in religious, philosophical and artistic contexts in the Renaissance.

A number of fundamental questions will be addressed including:
  • The classical tradition and its contribution to the (re)consideration of these concepts in the Renaissance
  • Renaissance Stoicism and the reception of Alexander of Aphrodisias 
  • Religious controversies in the sixteenth century and the disputes on free will, fate and fortune in theological texts. 
  • Determinism
  • Fate and fortune in respect of controversies on astrology and magic in the Renaissance 
  • The image of fate and fortune in Renaissance art
Please send a title and abstract of no more than 250 words as well as a one-page CV to no later than 1 February 2016.

Neapolitan Phoenix: Heritage and Renewal in Renaissance and Early Modern Naples’ (1442-1647)

Registration is now open for ‘Neapolitan Phoenix: Heritage and Renewal in Renaissance and Early Modern Naples’ (1442-1647) on Thursday 26th May 2016. Jointly hosted by the University of Warwick’s Renaissance Centre and the University of Avignon, the conference will be held at Compton Verney Art Gallery in Warwickshire. Places are limited. Neapolitan Pheonix

26 May 2016 at Compton Verney Art Gallery

Naples – Nea-polis – is, by virtue of its name, eternally a “new” city. Yet in studies of the history and intellectual culture of the Italian, or indeed, the European Renaissance –that period of “rebirth” and “renewal” par excellence– the city and the region are often left somewhat apart. This multi-disciplinary workshop aims to take stock of the various ways in which Renaissance and Early Modern Naples treated its Ancient and Medieval heritage and adapted it to changing political and socio-cultural circumstances. How did the Neapolitans reconcile their medieval legacy with the discovery and recovery of Ancient ruins? How did Naples negotiate the transition from the reign of the house of Anjou, to Alfonsine and later Spanish and Bourbon Naples? What role did humanists and Neo-Latin poets play in this never-ending process of reinvention?

Draft Programme:

09:45-10:15 Registration

10:15-10:30. Opening comments: Ingrid De Smet and Steven Parissien (Director of Compton Verney)

10:30 Florence Bistagne. ‘O Franza o Spagna purché se magna’: pseudo-Guicciardinian misinterpretation and the construct of a Neapolitan identity.

11:30 Roxane Chilà. Royal Ideology in a Nutshell: the Preamble of the Neapolitan Privileges during the Reign of Alfonso the Magnanimous (1442-1458).

11:30-11:45 Break

11:45 David Dominé-Cohn. Naples, Nantes, Guingamp. Circulation culturelles autour d’un modèle politique angevin entre XIVe et XVe siècle.

12:15 Oren Margolis. After the Angevins: Their Legacy in the Humanistic Literature of Quattrocento Europe.

12:45 Lunch
13:30-14:30 Gallery Tour

14:30 Carlo Vecce. Et in Arcadia Neapolis. Naples in the Pastoral Imagery of the Early Modern Age.

15:00 Lorenza Gianfrancesco. Antiquity and civic identity in early modern Naples: historiography, iconography and politics.

15:30-15:45 Break

15:45 Jean-Louis Fournel. Campanella, Naples et la pensée politique napolitaine du début du XVIIe siècle.

16:15 Carlo Caruso. Poetic celebrations of Neapolitan art collections, ancient and modern.

16:45 Conclusion/closing remarks

Organised by Florence Bistagne (Avignon/IUF) and Ingrid De Smet (Warwick), the workshop will be held at Compton Verney Gallery on Thursday May 26th 2016, approx 10-6pm, and registration is now open. We currently have eight confirmed speakers (Florence Bistagne, Carlo Caruso, Roxanne Chilà, David Dominé-Cohn, Jean-Louis Fournel, Lorenza Gianfrancesco, Oren Margolis and Carlo Vecce), minibus travel is being arranged from campus, and there will also be a tour of the gallery after lunch (inc). Costs for the workshop are £40 (external), £35 (Warwick staff), £30 (students) and numbers are very limited, so early registration is essential, by using the online form (on left) or by sending your details/cheque to (Cheques need to be made payable to the 'University of Warwick', and have your name and the event title on the back).

Jayne Brown
Centre Administrator
Centre for the Study of the Renaissance
H448b, 4th Floor Annexe, Humanities Building
The University of Warwick

Email: ~ Web:
Tel: 024 7652 4587 ~ Fax: 024 7657 4582
Office Hours: Tues-Fri 9-5pm ~ @Ren Warwick

CALL FOR PAPERS: The Materiality of Mourning: an Interdisciplinary Workshop

The Materiality of Mourning: A 2-day interdisciplinary workshop at the University of Warwick, 19-20th May 2016. Funded by the Wellcome Trust

Organiser: Dr Zahra Newby, Dept of Classics and Ancient History, University of Warwick, UK.

Papers are invited for this interdisciplinary workshop, which aims to bring together scholars and practitioners across a range of disciplines for a two-day workshop exploring the roles and uses of images and objects in contexts of grief and mourning. Speakers’ UK travel and accommodation expenses will be met by funding provided by the Wellcome Trust.

Grief and bereavement are human constants, affecting all of us, across time, religions and cultures. Yet our responses to them are both emotionally and culturally conditioned, and can take a variety of forms. For historians, the remnants of past grief are often revealed to us through physical memorials: a tombstone, a carved epitaph, or a cherished possession which passes into the ownership of the bereaved. The physical object stands as a tangible remnant of embedded sets of relationships, emotions and desires which it is the job of the he historian to unpick.

This workshop sets out to explore the role of material objects and images in the processes of grief,mourningand commemoration, across a range of time periods and cultures. The aim is to open up awareness of the different ways of studying this material, allowing for cross-disciplinary insights which will deepen our understanding of both present and past societies, while allowing for the recognition of social and cultural differences. Papers are invited from both academic researchers and practitioners involved in supporting the bereaved, or the terminally ill and their families. There are two main themes:

1: Objects and images in grief, mourning and remembrance.

This session will explore the use of material objects in contexts of grief, mourning and memory in both contemporary society and the past, from a number of different perspectives: how are tangible objects, mementoes and memorials seen as beneficial aids to the process of mourning? What roles can they play in the different rituals around death? Papers may include examinations of group responses to death, as well as those of individuals and families. Discussions of the ways material objects are presented in the contexts of grief in literature and thought are also welcome.

2: Embodied Emotion: accessing historic grief and mourning through material remains?

This session will ask how far we can gain access to the lived experience of grief and mourning through the material remains of the past. Archaeologists, historians and art historians often seek to understand past societies and cultures through the physical remains they have left behind; yet cultural values and practices around death and mourning can vary widely from one society to another, and issues such as changing rates of mortality can affect the ways in which societies approach death and bereavement. Papers will address the question of how much we can glean about past emotions through the physical monuments which remain, and the representation of such objects in literature or philosophy, as well as the question of agency and responsibility: whose grief is expressed; to what extent is it ‘real’, or the reflection of societal expectations, and which agents are involved in the creation of the tomb and its imagery?

Confirmed Speakers:
Sarah Tarlow, Professor of Archaeology, University of Leicester: ‘Body, Thing, Memory'
Michael Brennan, Senior Lecturer in Sociology, Liverpool Hope University. 'Why materiality matters'
Douglas Davies, (Professor of the Study of Religion, Durham): ‘Grave and hopeful emotions’
Lucy Noakes (History, Brighton): Memorials and grief in WWII Britain
Su Chard (independent funerary celebrant) 'When the mantelpiece spoke.'
Dawn Nevin, Director of Counselling and Family Support at Myton Hospices, Warwickshire.
Pam Foley, Sculptor ‘Routes of Sorrow: grieving without finality’

Academics and practitioners across all disciplines are warmly invited to offer papers exploring the research questions outlined above. PhD candidates and Early Career Researchers are particularly welcome. Disciplines may include, but are not limited to: Psychology, Sociology, History, Medical Education, Philosophy, Bereavement Counselling, Religious studies, History of Art and Architecture, Classics and Ancient History, Literary studies, Politics and Public policy. Please send a title and brief abstract (up to 200 words) to by 29th February 2016.

CALL FOR PAPERS: Truth, Certainty and Toleration: a conference on Edward, Lord Herbert of Cherbury (1582-1648)

University of York, 13-14th May 2016

Herbert of Cherbury is, today, an under-rated philosopher. However, his main work of philosophy, De veritate (1624) was an internationally influential book in its time, as were his writings on religion De religione laici (1645), and the posthumously published De religione gentilium (1663). A man of wide cultural interests, Herbert of Cherbury was abreast of philosophical developments of his day, in contact with Bacon, Hobbes, Descartes and Gassendi. The aim of this conference is to take a first step towards re-establishing Herbert’s reputation as a philosopher and to consider the best means of developing timely projects to make his philosophy accessible today.

Organisers: Sarah Hutton and Tom Stoneham

Confirmed speakers: Justin Champion, Adam Grzelinski, Sarah Hutton, Richard Serjeantson, Adam Smrcz

Papers are invited on all aspects of Herbert’s activities, particularly those relating to his intellectual interests. Please send a title and 300 word abstract to Prof. Sarah Hutton by 14th March 2016. General enquiries about the conference should be sent to
Professor Sarah Hutton

Visiting Professor
Dept. of Philosophy
University of York
YO10 5DD

CALL FOR PAPERS: Communication, Correspondence and Transmission in the Early Modern World

The University of Leeds will be hosting a Northern Renaissance Seminar on 12-13th May 2016.

We are now inviting submissions from a range of disciplines, including history, literature, art history, archaeology, languages, and drama. It is a commonplace that the advent of printing in Europe revolutionised communication and the transmission of ideas. This Northern Renaissance Seminar event seeks to complicate and move beyond the “printing revolution” narrative to consider the messy and multiplicitous facets of communication, correspondence and transmission in the early modern world. How was it conceptualised, theorised or deployed as metaphor? What were its geographical, temporal or linguistic limits? How might it be transgressive or disruptive, and who might try to circumscribe it? 

Please email proposals of no more than 300 words to by Friday 15th January 2016.  All queries should also be directed to this address. Please also include biographical information detailing your name, research area, institution and level of study (if applicable).

Further details can be found on our website:

CALL FOR PAPERS: International Congress on Medieval Studies 2016, Special Session: Medieval Settlement and Landscape in Modern Ireland & Britain

Deadline: 1 September 2015

The 51st International Congress on Medieval Studies takes place May 12-15, 2016.
Proposals are invited for 15 to 20-minute papers from any field or theoretical approach relating to medieval settlement and landscapes. Potential papers can relate to any of the issues made in the CFP below, or may consider a related topic. Please send abstracts of around 300 words and a brief bio to session organizer Vicky McAlister, Southeast Missouri State University, by Sept. 1, 2015.

Probably the most striking aspect of the proposed paper session is its inherently interdisciplinary composition. Medieval settlement and landscape studies have combined theories and techniques from a variety of disciplines, most overtly those of history, archaeology and geography. A significant question tackled by this session therefore is: How do these intellectual approaches inform one another? Ireland and Britain is a neat geographical concentration, with their intertwined histories, but also in terms of historiography. Papers that can make links, however, between Ireland and Britain and the outside world are encouraged. Implicit in the session title is the issue of context. Settlement and landscape studies often take a ‘bottom up’ approach to look at the impact wide sections of medieval society had on their physical context. They provide necessary background upon which to contextualise events and changes from the middle ages. This session will also discuss new technologies for studying the middle ages. In particular, the contributions of GIS and LIDAR to our understanding of the historic landscape could be discussed. At the same time, technical jargon should be avoided so as to make the session as relevant to as many scholars as possible. Finally, as stated in the session title, the papers will consider the place of medieval landscapes in the modern world. Heritage preservation is an issue for all practitioners in the field. On the flip side, it provides a means of interaction with the public. Presenters will be urged to consider this positioning of the medieval within the modern.

Further details will be published at

The congress is an annual gathering of around 3,000 scholars interested in medieval studies. It features more than 550 sessions of papers, panel discussions, roundtables, workshops, and performances. There are also some 90 business meetings and receptions sponsored by learned societies, associations, and institutions. The exhibits hall boasts nearly 70 exhibitors, including publishers, used book dealers, and purveyors of medieval sundries. The congress lasts three and a half days, extending from Thursday morning until Sunday at noon.