RSA CFP: Cultural Exchange in Italian Port Cities (Venice, 8-10 April 2010)
Scholarly debate concerning the “shift to the Atlantic” often implies that post-Renaissance Italy lost something of its mercantile and international character. However, the development of Italian port cities during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries offer a productive means to interrogate the validity of this narrative. While access to the sea was always of critical importance, the political and economic vulnerability of the sixteenth century encouraged Italian peninsular regimes to refocus on port cities as the hub for transitory populations, commercial and industrial projects, government resources, and military defense. Regimes met this challenge in diverse ways. For example, whereas Venice and Livorno developed policies that were particularly encouraging to foreign merchants and outsiders, Genoa adopted a downright exclusionary approach. While the different solutions were prompted by economic and political concerns, they also served to structure social and cultural relations in port cities.
This panel will examine the social, economic, and cultural landscape of Italian port cities between 1500 and 1700. Papers might discuss such topics as the government policies toward the presence of outsiders, the development and interaction of foreign communities, relations between foreigners and natives, and the relationship between commerce, culture, and politics. Comparative studies and papers reaching beyond the Italian peninsula are also encouraged.
Stephanie Nadalo (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Corey Tazzara (email@example.com)
Edward Muir (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Please send a short C.V. and an abstract (max 200 words) to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org by May 4th.
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