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Call for Papers

For the call for papers for our forthcoming special issue on Imagineering violence: the spectacle of violence in the early modern period, please click here (or scroll down).

JNR invites submissions on any aspect of cultural practice in Northern Europe in the period 1430-1650, including but not limited to the following disciplines:

We are particularly interested in studies exploring alternative cultural geographies, challenging existing conceptualizations and periodizations of the Renaissance in the North, and/or establishing continuities and ruptures with earlier and later epochs.

Potential contributors are advised to consult the Information page for details of the submissions procedure and our style guidelines. We also welcome initial enquiries regarding possible contributions, which can be sent to us at northernrenaissance@gmail.com.


Special issue call for papers

Imagineering violence: the spectacle of violence in the early modern period

Guest editors: Karel Vanhaesebrouck (Université Libre de Bruxelles) & Kornee Van der Haven (Ghent University)

The early modern period witnessed an explosion of the representation and performance of violence. In European cities, renaissance and baroque theatre staged gruesome and passionate plays, while in the streets, during religious festivals and public entries of sovereigns, state and church conjured up violent images of subjection and suffering.The book market added to this spectacle of violence, as the early modern period saw the development of an advanced material infrastructure for the production, distribution, consumption, and appropriation of such imagery.

A fast-growing body of texts and prints registered violent episodes of the past and the present. On a daily basis, the public could study in detail the techniques used in battle, to torture martyrs, or to execute criminals. How can we explain this apparent fascination for violence? What effects and affects did these scenes aim to arouse? What relationships were evoked or enforced between the audience and the depicted or enacted scenes? What groups were depicted as violent, and with what specific violent practices and qualities were they associated?

This special issue aims to analyze early modern techniques of representing violence and their transformations over time. We invite proposals from all relevant fields of studies, including, but not limited to, history, theatre studies, art history and visual culture studies, literature, book history, emotion and sensory studies, the history of ideas, and cultural studies. We specifically invite articles that cover the technical and performative aspects of the depiction of violence, whether in print or painting, on stage, in the anatomical theater, the scaffold, or elsewhere. What regimes of representing and staging violence can we trace?

We assume that by zooming in on the concept of violence, we are forced to rethink traditional boundaries, between secular and religious realms, between East and West, between baroque and classical styles, between theatricality and spectacle, and between the public and the private sphere. Violence engages audiences in complex ways: it provides strong embodied experiences, can fascinate or repulse, exploit the curiosity and the desires of the public of consumers, install a breach with daily life, or turn reality into a stage.

Papers could explore how the development of an advanced market for violent imagery could drive spectators into new realms, getting caught in new technical loops by advanced visual means, and rethinking their own position towards the institutions in power. Authors may also exploit the cultural (social/gendered/religious) distinctions enforced by these visual regimes: which groups were depicted as violent, and how were these distinctions made into embodied experiences?

Submitted articles should be around 6,000 – 8,000 words, including all references and bibliographical material, and should be sent to northernrenaissance+iv@gmail.com. If you plan to submit a significantly shorter or longer paper, please contact the editors beforehand. We welcome informal inquiries from authors considering submitting work: these should be addressed to karel.vanhaesebrouck@ulb.ac.be and Cornelis.vanderHaven@UGent.be.

The deadline for submissions is 30 October 2019.

All essays should be double-spaced, in 12 point Times New Roman, and have paragraphs clearly numbered. When using images, pictures, or sound files, it is the responsibility of the author to secure copyright permission from the relevant copyright holder. Each image or sound file should be accompanied by a caption. JNR follows the Style Guide of the Modern Humanities Research Association (MHRA). For any further information please refer to http://www.northernrenaissance.org/information/