CFPs in Renaissance Intellectual History

Printed Voices: A Comparative Outlook on Renaissance Dialogue

Source of Information: FICINO 1999-06-16
Date of Event: not applicable: Volume of collected essays
Deadline for abstracts etc.: 1999-09-01

*Printed Voices: A Comparative Outlook on Renaissance Dialogue*

        Until recently, dialogue as a genre has been conspicuously absent
from Renaissance anthologies and scholarship. Seemingly,
nineteenth-century generic categories (based on poetry, the novel,
theatre) and modern literary history have blinded scholars to the
dialogue, which, being a fundamentally hybrid genre, spans not only what
modernity has described as "literature" and "philosophy" but also
rhetoric, ethics, social history, and pedagogy. Moreover, dialogue tends
to blur, and bridge, the modern distinctions between orality and literacy,
fiction and non-fiction, or poetry and prose.

        Thus, most of the extant publications on the subject of the
dialogue have confined themselves to limited studies of single works,
authors, or, at best, one national tradition. Serious comparative, and
theoretically well-informed, studies of the genre's importance in the
context of early modern Europe have yet to be undertaken. The proposed
volume aims at initiating a cross-cultural, interdisciplinary, and
theoretically oriented discussion on the dialogue by inviting scholars
with different linguistic and cultural backgrounds to create a more
stimulating critical discourse. At the present stage of our project, we
have a partiuclar interest in texts from England, Spain, and Germany.

        This collection of essays aims at repositioning dialogue within
the Western literary and philosophical canon. In the context of the
ongoing contemporary reassessment of disciplinary, cultural, and
communicational boundaries, a truly comparative and theoretically informed
study of this paradoxical genre might help shed new light on early modern
writing and thinking practices. Please contact either Dorothea Heitsch
( or Jean-Francois Vallee (
more information. The deadline on all contributions is September 1999.

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