Renaissance Bergamo: At the Edge of the Venetian Terraferma
The Renaissance Society of America
Location: Dublin
Conference dates: April 7–10, 2021
CFP deadline: August 5, 2020 

Present day Bergamo is bifurcated into an upper and lower portion of the
city by the Venetian walls, built in 1561-1623 to discourage Milanese
northward expansion, as well as to limit contraband trade. Bergamo was one
of the most important of the strong points fortified by the Venetian state
in the sixteenth century, through its position at the end of the chain in
acting as the true shield of all the other cities, as one of its officials
described. Resting among the foothills of the Bergamasque Alps, it lies a
mere twenty-five miles northeast of the Spanish duchy of Milan. Under
Venetian rule, Bergamo was the westernmost fortress town of the Venetian
Republic’s terraferma empire. In addition to the Milan/Venice border,
Bergamo sat at an important crossroads between the Venetian Republic,
German lands north of the Alps, and other Italian city states. This begs
the question, why is a location such as Bergamo, crucial as both an
interregional communication point between the Venetian Republic and other
parts of the Italian peninsula, largely side-lined in Renaissance and Early
Modern studies?

Recent studies in Renaissance geopolitics have highlighted the important
strategic role of liminal cities and their function in wider
socio-political landscapes. To this end, this CFP invites paper proposals
for a series of interdisciplinary panels from scholars working in
musicology, art history, cultural history, book history and material and
visual culture studies looking at Bergamo at the dawn of the early modern
period. The aim is to rethink and reassess critical perspectives within
Venetian Studies from the analysis of the Venetian state’s borders, with a
view to an edited collection on the subject.

Topics could include/address, but are not limited to:
- Architectural languages
- Codicology
- Confraternity studies
- Education studies
- Mediation and circulation of music
- New technologies and historical research
- Practices of patronage, collecting and selling art
- Regionalism, mobility and cultural exchanges
- War history
- Women’s studies

As per RSA guidelines, proposals should be submitted in English and should
- Paper title (15-word max)
- Full name, current affiliation, and email address
- Abstract (150-word max)
- Short bio (150 words)
- Short CV (2-page max)

Please send your proposal to Emanuela Vai (Oxford) and Jason
Rosenholtz-Witt (Chicago):
emanuela.vai -at-
jasonkrw -at-


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