FORMS OF CENSORSHIP
Sixteenth Century Society Conference 2012 (Oct. 25-28), Cincinnati, OH (USA)
Cultural production in the sixteenth century developed under the increasingly strong threat of censorship, while an ever-greater number of extant works of art underwent expurgation – if not complete prohibition – at the censor’s chopping block. Censors and expurgators became more and more active through the course of the century despite the lack of a stable definition of what social and moral vanguards considered appropriate material for exhibition and circulation. This panel will analyze and discuss emended, expurgated, and otherwise manhandled works of art and literature produced in the sixteenth century and use them to address the materiality of censorship across various media. Shifting our focus from content – a discussion that limits itself to what does or does not appear during an era of heightened ecclesiastical vigilance – to how the imposition of censorship impacted the physical, visual, and aesthetic forms on works of art and literature allows us to expand scholarly engagement with censorship in new directions. We will consider the physical presentation of censored material to be just as, if not more, important to official endorsements or prohibitions of texts and images than the substance of those works. Such a discussion places new importance on the cultural artifacts of the sixteenth century themselves and allows for new approaches to the considerations of interpretation, reception, and circulation of text and image over the course of this period. The organizers of this panel thus invite new works that critically engage the material aspect of censorship across diverse media. Possible investigations include:
1.How has the implementation and/or threat of censorship shaped the appearance of text and image?
2. How does physical form influence or determine the process, idea, and effectiveness of censorship?
3. How did print technology influence the possibilities of censorship? Did it make previously out-of-reach media susceptible to censorship? Did technological advances make the spread of censored art possible? Did they extend the reach (physical or metaphorical) of censorship beyond local impact?
4. How does censorship not only alter extant works of art and literature but also influence the creative process?
5. What does censorship look like in various parts of the Christian world?
6. How do the requirements of censorship influence and determine the history of the book? What are the ways that exploitations of the physical artifact in order to conform to censorial demands influenced the development of that physical artifact?
7. How do the material effects of censored texts and images impact practices of seeing and/or reading?
Andrew Casper and Daniel Tonozzi of Miami University invite abstracts from scholars and graduate students who are willing and able to present their work at the Sixteenth Century Conference in Cincinnati, OH (USA) from October 25-28, 2012. Please send abstracts (150 words) and a brief CV by April 1 to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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