Proposed panel for the 2010 Annual Meeting of the Renaissance Society of America
8 – 10 April 2010
In the early modern period people often responded to paintings, sculptures and buildings as if they were alive: the artworks seemed to be moving, speaking or looking at the beholder. In this session, we welcome papers that are dealing with this type of response in terms of agency: that is, by considering works of art not as signs or codes referring to something outside themselves, but as agents acting upon the viewer. Topics to be addressed in our session could be, but are not necessarily limited to, the following:
- Qualities such as lifelikeness, liveliness, vivacità in the work of art;
- The power of social conventions such as ritual, theatricality and ‘period eye’ in guiding the viewer’s response;
- The usefulness of the concept of ‘agency’ in analyzing these responses.
We are welcoming case studies as well as contributions that are more methodologically or theoretically oriented.
Please submit a 150 word abstract and a short cv before 15 April 2009 to Minou Schraven (firstname.lastname@example.org) and to Elsje van Kessel (email@example.com).
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