Call for papers for a panel at the annual meeting of the Renaissance Society of America, 27–29 March 2014, New York, NY.
That the early modern era saw increasingly global patterns of trade and consumption is undisputed. What has still to be established is how the circulation of goods also conveyed ideas and practices across cultural boundaries. In what ways were meanings, uses and rituals transmitted together with objects? When, in contrast, were objects shorn of their original meanings, and to what misunderstandings and reinterpretations were they subject upon arrival in a new location? This panel examines processes of early modern cultural exchange by uniting the history of goods with the history of ideas.
To treat this exchange as it occurred in multiple directions and across the globe, the panel welcomes equally submissions about Eurasia, Africa and the New World. Individual contributions might examine the transmission of a certain cultural product (e.g., consumer goods, artworks, technologies) or the role certain actors (e.g., scholars, artists, traders) played in this transmission. Close studies of single goods or places are as welcome as broad views that cross geographic or cultural divides.
Please send abstracts of 150 words or fewer and a CV to Alexander Bevilacqua or Helen Pfeifer (firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com) by May 20, 2013.
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