1) Idealizing Women in the Italian Renaissance 

Organizers: Elena Brizio (Georgetown University - Fiesole Campus); Marco Piana (McGill University)

Session’s Chair: TBA

Between the fifteenth and seventeenth century, Italy witnessed a lively debate regarding the role of women in society, history and religion. Contemporary authors, both men and women, appealed to the authority of classical and medieval philosophers in complex and nuanced ways to redefine the idea of womanhood in a changing society. Despite this open and fruitful dialogue, women were often idealized according to a strict model of female virtue based on a culture of honor and chastity that was reflected in the arts as well as in law and daily life. The aim of this panel, therefore, is that of analyzing how women were idealized, what rhetorical, philosophical, or historical tools were used, and how this vision differs from theory and practice. Papers might focus on (but are not limited to) the following aspects of this comparison across the early modern world from 1400-1700 CE:

  • Iconographic representations of idealized women, and the different requests in male and female art patrons;
  • Idealized women in literature and theatre;
  • Idealized representations of the self in the visual arts and in literature;
  • Idealization of women in philosophical texts as well as in their sources;
  • Personal practices of piety and the devotional trends active within or outside Church orthodoxy;
  • Sumptuary laws and their importance in 'making or breaking' the image of a woman;
  • Manipulation of rules, accommodation of conflicts, social negotiation.
Please send an abstract in English or Italian, a 150-250 word bio, an AV request and, if possible, 1 page CV to eb893@georgetown.edu and/or marco.piana@mail.mcgill.ca by January 10, 2018.

2) Italy in the Mediterranean and the Mediterranean in Italy

Organizers: Rosario Pollicino (University of Western Ontario)

Session's Chair: TBA

The Mediterranean has always been a geographic area of important movements and crossings from the ancient until contemporary times. This session focuses on the relationship Italy has with the Mediterranean intended as link, which goes beyond the simple geographic area by highlighting connections, which have been established through history, and historical facts that are still relevant today. 

In regards to Humanities, this session welcomes any cultural production embedding but not limited to literature, poetry, films and media, artifacts, photography, plays and more but an interdisciplinary approach is also encouraged. We seek to understand what are the messages these artistic expressions manifest and the heterogeneity that comes out of them while still being connected. Although a focus on modern and contemporary period is preferred this panel accepts also presentation of any time period related to Italy and the Mediterranean. A comparative approach is also welcome especially with other nationalities/cultures involved with the theme or through different cultural productions or disciplines.

The presentations may include but are not limited to the following topics through any theoretical approach:

  • Italy and the Maghreb
  • Italy and the Former Yugoslavia
  • Italy and the Dodecanese
  • Migration through the Mediterranean
  • Jews Studies and the Mediterranean
  • Globalization and Nationalism in the Mediterranean
  • Holocaust in the Mediterranean
  • WWI, WWII and the Mediterranean
  • Women and Gender Studies in the Mediterranean

Please submit an abstract in English, Italian or French and a short bio to Rosario Pollicino, Western University, rpollici@uwo.ca by February 15, 2018

3) Italian Studies in the Digital age


Organizers: Isabella Magni (Newberry Library (Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow)), Andrea Penso (Vrije Universiteit Brussel – VUB (FWO Postodoctoral Fellow))

Sessions Chair: TBA

In the past few years we are witnessing a tumultuous development of the digital humanities on an international scale, offering innovative research and teaching methods, often leading to new questions, reading and interpretations. The panel aims to open a discussion to investigate how Italian Studies are dealing with technological and methodological innovations, to understand the developments, risks and potentials, and to discuss future prospects of the discipline. Topics may include: 

  • application of new technologies to any aspect of Italian studies (literature, culture, arts, cinema etc.); 
  • digital editions and digital projects, completed or in progress; 
  • individual case studies or collaborations; 
  • working groups engaged in the digitization process of big amounts of data; 
  • social, gender, cultural and multicultural aspects of digital humanities; 
  • digital methods: achievements and setbacks; 
  • digital humanities in pedagogy and curricula; 

Please send an abstract in English or Italian and a short bio to andrea.penso@vub.ac.be and magnii@newberry.org by January 20, 2018.

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Contact's Name

Prof. Mary Watt - CSIS Secretary

University of Florida

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