Monday, March 14, 2011

Locating the Foreign in Early Modern Italy: RSA 2012

Long before the Grand Tour became de rigueur for European peripatetics, the Italian peninsula witnessed an influx of merchants, pilgrims, refugees, and slaves whose presence in Italy contributed to polyglot cultures, multicultural exchange, and international commerce. Whether attracted by piety, pleasure, or profit, or forced through poverty and persecution, these outsiders challenged peninsular regimes to define the proper social, economic, and cultural place for foreign populations. Particularly when examined in the context of the Ottoman wars in Europe, post-Tridentine repression, and the economic shift towards the Atlantic, the presence of foreign people, ideas, and merchandise in post-Renaissance Italy offers a compelling counter-narrative that challenges the cultural stagnation and decline of Italy’s “forgotten centuries.
This panel will examine the social, economic, and cultural place of foreign people and ideas in Italy between the late fifteenth and early eighteenth centuries. Papers may investigate the physical presence of foreigners and diasporas in Italy’s ghettos, fondacos, and neighborhoods, or may examine the strategies used by peninsular authorities in accommodating these people. Scholars are also encouraged to submit papers that interpret the theme conceptually, by interrogating ideas of the foreign propagated by early-modern Italians or ideas of Italy held in the mind of foreigners. Cross-disciplinary studies are welcome.
Please send a CV and paper abstract of up to 250 words by April 11, 2011 to:
Panel Chair: Daniel Bornstein, Panel Co-organizers:
Lisa M. Lillie, Washington University,
Stephanie Nadalo, Northwestern University,