Orality, Language, and Communication in the Early Modern World
Call for Papers
Renaissance Society of America Conference
Venice, 8-10 April 2010
Early modern individuals and communities were equally fascinated by and anxious about spoken language. From the Renaissance interest in the study of rhetoric to emerging debates about national languages, from civic decrees punishing blasphemy to the preoccupation with the divulgation of political secrets, this was a culture that thought deeply about talk. Speech was a topic of intellectual, social and political significance. Language reflected social order, but how did it help shape social and political arrangements? If speech worked to build communities, could it also, paradoxically, also threaten their stability by functioning as a form of protest and resistance? Coincidentally, what are the challenges, and the advantages, for the historian studying oral communication?
The organizers welcome proposals from graduate students as well as more senior scholars of history, language or literature for papers at the Renaissance Society of America Annual Conference, to be held in Venice on 8-10 April 2010. Depending on response, we are hoping to put together one or more panels addressing a broad scope of topics on the history of oral culture in the early modern world, roughly between 1400 and 1650. Such topics include, but are not limited to: the legal history of speech; the civic management of communication, including laws about blasphemy, insults, foul language, or the sharing of state secrets; the cross-fertilization of print and oral culture; the history of language as seen through the Renaissance dialogue and oratory; the circulation of ideas and manipulation of propaganda; the political and social roles of gossip and rumor; the relationship between language and power or empowerment; the textual representation of talk; the politics of dialect and language; language, gender and sexuality; language and social class; the methodologies of studying the history of language and oral communication. Selected papers will later be used as the basis for an edited volume on the history of language and communication in the early modern world.
Papers may be proposed and given in either English or Italian.
The Renaissance Society of America conference will be held in Venice, Italy, April 8-10, 2010. Conference rates will be offered in several hotels, which will be announced later in the year.
Please send a brief abstract, as well as a short CV, to the organizers, Liz Horodowich and Filippo de Vivo, at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com, with the subject line "Venice RSA", by Friday, April 11th. Accepted proposals will be announced by May 2nd.
History Department, MSC 3H
New Mexico State University
PO Box 30001
Las Cruces, NM 88003 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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