CFPs in Renaissance Intellectual History

Capturing Time: The Passage of Time Imagined, Narrated, and Depicted in Early Modern Texts, Images, and Performances

Source of Information: GEMCS-L 2000-03-27
Date of Event: 2000-11-16 to 19
Location of event: New Orleans, USA
Deadline for abstracts etc.: 2000-04-08

With apologies for the lateness of this posting -- since completed session
proposals (with participants' information, paper titles, etc.) must be
submitted to the GEMCS conference organizers by the April 15, we'll have to
ask that everyone interested in participating send us their proposals by
April 8, at the latest.  Please email proposals BOTH to and to  Thanks!

Call for Papers
Group for Early Modern Cultural Studies 2000

Session Title:
Capturing Time: The Passage of Time Imagined, Narrated, and Depicted in
Early Modern Texts, Images, and Performances

Susan Shifrin, Swarthmore College and Chris Orchard, Indiana University of

   At the end of the sixteenth century, a portrait painted by an
anonymous artist to memorialize the Englishman Sir Henry Unton encapsulated
within a single canvas the odyssey of his professional and private life,
juxtaposing scenes from his birth with those of his professional exploits
and -- ultimately -- with visual accounts of his death and interment.
Throughout, the iconic image of his face appearing on every figure meant to
stand in for him in this progress of his life, reinforced the
quintessential nature of this portrait image even as it departed from
standard "norms" of the portrait genre in its narrative subtext and marking
out of the passage of time.   Half a century later, circa 1646, another
portrait -- this time constituting a monument to the life, works, and
legacy of a woman sitter, Lady Anne Clifford -- utilized similar strategies
to encompass the span of a lifetime within the framework of a single
portrait image.
   At around the same time that the portrait of Lady Anne Clifford was
painted, a kind of "stop the clock" concept was at play in the masques of
the period, particularly those that originated during the Civil War.
Closet masques written largely by Royalists and inherently nostalgic in
their tone deplored the incivility and ruin that was perceived to have
gripped and undermined the nation.  A condensation of time similar to that
remarked in the Unton and Clifford portraits characterizes these masques,
along with the solutions they offered of retrospection rather than
anticipation, a looking back to a far more peaceful time before the wars.
   While popular early modern genres such as that of portraiture and
the masque are generally characterized as non-narrative and therefore
assumed to fall outside the purview of time-related or time-driven themes,
this session seeks to explore the various ways in which these supposedly
non-narrative genres (and others, more typically conceived as truly
narrative in their nature) denote, describe and capture time.  Short
presentations (of 10 minutes each), as well as less formal summaries or
brief discussions of works in progress are sought from art historians,
literary historians, cultural historians, and others working

Susan Shifrin
Director, Visual Resources Collections
Department of Art, Swarthmore College
Swarthmore, PA 19081-1397 USA
TEL:  610-328-8083
FAX:  610-328-7793