CFP: SRBHP-sponsored panels @RSA 2017 (Chicago)


CHICAGO, 30 March-1 April 2017

1. Against poetry. Disputes, condemnations, invectives and poetic discourse (XVI-XVII centuries)

This session welcomes papers interested in examining the relationship between poetry and the discourses that challenged its epistemological distinction. Specifically, we aim to bring together scholars with an innovative approach to the conflictive relationship between poetry and the different discourses that seek to establish a negative—or at least ambivalent—image of the poetic métier. Of particular interest are proposals that discuss the tense cultural relationship between poetic practice and the works penned by poetry’s detractors. Together we aim to explore how the cultural interventions that challenged the status of poetry paradoxically can help us to understand the complexity of Spanish Renaissance and Baroque culture. What can we learn by considering poetry as an impugned object, and how does the study of this situation enhance our understanding of early modern Spanish culture?  How did writers reflect, represent, and reinterpret the role of poetry? Possible themes include, but are not limited to: deterritorialization of the poetic practice; poetry as moral deviation; poetry as a contested art form; reversions, inversions and aversions about poetry; poetry and the sacred; challenged subjects and contested genres.
Please send a 150 word abstract and 1-page CV to Juan Vitulli ( by May 28. See the guidelines for CVs on the RSA’s annual meeting page.

Tags:  Arts  Baroque  Control  Crisis  Cultural Field  Culture  Disputes  Distinction  Golden Age Spanish Literature  Invectives  Poetic Genres  Poetry  Profane  Renaissance  Sacred

2. Visual/Textual Encounters with the Tomb: Ekphrasis and Death in Early Modern Hispanic Poetry

Early modern Hispanic poetry often recurred to funerary imagery as a rhetorical strategy aimed at the expression of an amorous sentiment, or at the elaboration of the panegyric of an illustrious deceased person. The presence of the tomb in early modern poetry is especially pervasive in the ekphrastic genre, where the description of funerary monuments and the poetic voice’s appellation to them respond to the original meaning of ekphrasis in the classical tradition, “a telling, a speaking (phrazo) out (ek)”. What mechanisms does the poetic voice employ in the description of tombs and other funerary artifacts? What is the nature of the relationship between the poetic voice and the silence of death in the ekphrastic text? What happens when the poetic voice deals with the liminal space of the tomb, that ultimate frontier of language? This panel aims to provide new perspectives on the ekphrastic poetic genre and its relation to funerary imagery in Renaissance and Baroque Hispanic culture, especially in connection to the visual arts. We welcome proposals on topics such as the poetic description or voicing of funerary monuments, the tradition of the sonnet-epitaph, laudatory ekphrasis, the relationship between funerary poetry, emblematic literature, and the visual arts.

Please send a 150 word abstract and 1-page CV to Leticia Mercado (<>) and Elizabeth Davis ( by May 28. See the guidelines for CVs on the RSA’s annual meeting page.

Tags:  Baroque poetry  death  Early Modern Spain  ekphrasis  emblematic literature  emblems  funerary poetry  poetry and painting  Renaissance poetry  text and image

3. Poetry and Music in the Early Modern Hispanic World

This panel seeks to explore the multifaceted relations between music and poetry in early modern Iberia and colonial Latin America. What are the soundscapes of Golden Age and colonial Latin American poetry? How do music and poetry coexist, interact, and compete in social/cultural spaces and institutions such as the court, the church, or the public square? How do innovations in the way of writing music in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries influence the writing of poetry, and vice versa? These are a few of the questions we hope panelists will address in papers that also engage the question of how disciplinary approaches (new formalisms, musicology, the history of ideas, lyric theory, or aural studies) contribute to our understanding of the relationship between poetry and music in Spain and colonial Latin America during the early modern period. We welcome papers on topics such as poetic voice, performance, rhythm, and musicality; practitioners and audiences of poetry and music; affect and power in music and poetry; humanistic approaches to ancient lyric; the relation of music and poetry to other disciplines such as philosophy, theology, visual arts, astrology, and mathematics.

Please send a 1-page CV and an abstract of no more than 150 words to Lorena Uribe Bracho ( and Elizabeth Davis ( and by May 28. See the guidelines for CVs on the RSA’s annual meeting page.

Tags:  affect  aurality  lyric  music  performance  poetry  rhythm  sound  soundscape  voice

4. Comparative intersections of epic and lyric in the Renaissance

Seldom studied together, much less from a comparative perspective that encompasses neo-Latin and vernacular traditions, Renaissance epic and lyric cannot be understood without one other, as they developed dialectically and borrowed tropes, strategies and language from each other. By the end of the sixteenth century, epic had seemingly triumphed on the European literary stage: Tasso’s reinvention of the Christian epic, the historical-nationalist epics of Camões and Ercilla, Ronsard’s attempt at a French national epic, and Spenser’s innovations on Italian romance-epic all mark this period as the zenith of epic production in Europe. At the same time, lyric had achieved a different kind of primacy with the pan-European obsession for Petrarchan verse in the vernacular and a Horatian turn in both neo-Latin and vernacular poetry. These models enabled the emergence of a new thematics of subjectivity and singularity. And yet lyric as a genre barely found definitions in contemporary poetics, and often needed to apologize (or appear to apologize) for not engaging in the heroic business of epic. The latter, in turn, struggled with completion and the instability of identities—national, religious, ethnic and gender—that lyric was better equipped to deal with.

The organizers seek papers that explore how epic shaped the way that lyric was practiced and theorized, and vice versa; how epic and lyric shared and differed in their performance, transmission and reception; and how epic engaged in lyrical acts of self-awareness, voicing desire and identification with the other, even as lyric engaged in epic acts of discovery, appropriation of other voices, and narrative-building.

Please send proposals with name, a 1-page CV, title, and a 150-word abstract to or by May 28. See the guidelines for CVs on the RSA’s annual meeting page.

Tags:  classical tradition  comparative literature  epic poetry; lyric poetry; poetics; theory of the   theory of the epic  theory of the lyric


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