2022 New England Renaissance Conference “Instruments of Power in the Global Early Modern”
CFP deadline: 15 July 2022
Conference dates: 14-15 October 2022
- Friday, October 14, 2022 (8 PM): a concert of late fifteenth-century music, including Johannes Okeghem’s Requiem, performed by the award-winning ensemble Blue Heron, directed by Scott Metcalfe.
- Saturday, October 15, 2022: day-long conference, including panels and a keynote address by Valeria López Fadul (Wesleyan University).
Conference venue: Center for Humanistic Inquiry, Amherst College, Amherst, MA
Conveners: Sanam Nader-Esfahani (Amherst College) and Evan Mac Carthy (UMass Amherst)
Power relations in the global early modern are witnessed in political and legal engagements, military conflicts, domestic and family spheres, devotional practices, religious reforms, scientific experimentation, humanistic and historical scholarship, vernacular languages and national literatures, trade and gift exchange, imperial, missionary, and colonizing ambitions, as well as evolving habits of conspicuous consumption, collecting, and connoisseurship in the pursuit of prestige or social distinction. This conference seeks to bring scholars into conversation about the instruments–objects, texts, music, images, ideas, spaces, practices, and people–that contribute to the creation, consolidation, preservation, subversion, or transformation of power in these and other areas.
We hope to solicit papers that address topics and questions including, but not limited to, the following:
- What constitutes an “instrument” of power, and what distinguishes an “instrument” from an “agent” of power in this period?
- In what ways does the study of early modern material culture, systems of knowledge, or social, political, cultural, or economic structures allow us to perceive the performance of power by individuals and institutions and to rethink assumptions about power and agency?
- How might we examine the use of novel entities, or the novel use of existing entities, in the creation, preservation, subversion, or destruction of structures and/or agents of power?
- How do we understand the transformation and redefinition of the relationship between center and periphery, focus and margin, introduced by the designation of an entity as an instrument of power, or as a consequence of its application?