Source of Information: FICINO 2000-05-25
Date of Event: 2001-04-17 to 21
Location of event: Toronto, Canada
Deadline for abstracts etc.: 2000-09-05
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From: Linda Pellecchia <Lpell2000@CS.COM> Below please find the description of a session I have organized for the Annual Meeting of the Society of Architectural Historians to be held in Toronto from April 17-21. If you are interested in participating, please send a proposal and a resume or CV by Sept. 5 to: Linda Pellecchia Dept. of Art History University of Delaware Newark, DE 19716 Neighborhoods in Early Modern Italy (1300-1700) The concept of neighborhood has fascinated and frustrated social historians of Italian Renaissance and Baroque cities. How do we define the sense of shared values embodied in our word "neighborhood?" What forces "economic, familial, political, or religious" create an atmosphere of community or destroy it? How does the study of architecture and urban space help define issues of social cohesion and exclusion in early modern cities? This session aims to stimulate an exchange between architectural and social historians concerned with issues of urban community. The Italian city in the Early Modern period can be defined as a series of overlapping, permeable, and sometimes transitory areas of social interaction. Defined by class, gender, religion, economic interest or political allegiance, neighborhoods are both public and private arenas. The space of neighborhood can create enclaves of privilege or unite groups across social and economic boundaries. In Florence, the district (gonfalone), in which tax burdens are assessed and political eligibility determined, is often synonymous with patrician neighborhoods. Parishs, which can overlap the boundaries of gonfaloni, provide the focus for the working class. Neighborhood rarely means mere physicial proximity. Yet in some cases, imposed proximity creates a "neighborhood." Would prostitutes in Rome have chosen to live in a ghetto? What was the result of forcing Jews to live in restricted areas of the city? What results when clusters of artisans or foreigners create specialized enclaves within a city. Thus, social groups, both transgressive and mainstream, define the neighborhood. Even transitory events can have an impact: if only for a day, the public space in front of patrician palaces can be transformed"by groups such as the potenze of Florence"into working-class "Kingdoms". Ephemeral architecture associated with religious feste or political entries create temporary spatial foci within the city. Religious and secular processions, such as the possesso, unify neighborhoods across class boundaries while restrictions on women create gendered pathways between patrician palaces and parish churches. This session welcomes papers that explore the concept of neighborhood in its broadest terms. Topics might address: neighborhoods that change over time; urban planning for transients and tradesmen; the role of institutions (religious, political, etc.) in shaping social space; neighborhoods as seen in maps or catastal records; the effect of ritual space on the image of the city; the social containment of women.
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