CFPs in Renaissance Intellectual History


Perceptions of Continuity and Discontinuity in Europe, c.1300 - c.1550

Source of Information: H-HRE, 2007-04-17
Date of Event: 2007-08-31-2007-09-01
Location of event: Edinburgh, UK
Deadline for abstracts etc.: 2007-05-01

CFP: Renaissance? - An international conference
Date: April 17, 2007

This conference will attempt to re-examine the essence of Panofsky´s
influential 1944 article, where he stated the Renaissance

"looked upon classical Antiquity from a historical distance; therefore,
for the first time, as upon a totality removed from the present; and
therefore, for the first time, as upon an ideal to be longed instead of a
reality to be both utilized and feared."

Panofsky´s proposition was not entirely new, but it remains the single
most influential statement of the historical character of the Renaissance.
It helped to create the idea of the Renaissance as a southern European
phenomenon and gave credence to Huizinga's contention that, despite the
spread of Italian cultural modes, the Middle Ages continued to cast their
shadow on the north.

Despite its profound influence, however, Panofsky's definition of
'Renaissance' has recently come under question. Was it really the case
that classical Antiquity was viewed as having been forgotten in the Middle
Ages? Was the medieval period actually viewed as a distinct period of
remove, separating individuals from the pure culture of the classical
past? How strong was the notion of a 'Dark Age'? Was there ever a sense of
conceptual continuity stretching from the ancient world through the Middle
Ages to the 'Renaissance'? Was there really a Renaissance in the south
whilst the rest of the continent continued to exist in a medieval cultural

These are vitally important questions for our perception of Europe
during these centuries. They also affect every aspect of the past.
Questions about perceived continuity and change are as relevant to Art
History as to the history of Christianity. A more refined understanding of
the influence of Classical Antiquity on the politics, economics, and
culture of Europe in the period between 1300 and 1550 should challenge
many of the preconceptions which dominate our view of the Renaissance.

Papers are, therefore, invited from all disciplines, to address
Panofsky´s legacy. Focusing specifically on attitudes towards
classical Antiquity, scholars are invited to consider the reality and
perception of continuity and discontinuity in the period c. 1300 - c.1550.
Contributions should be of no more than 30 minutes. Scholars from all
fields are welcome, and papers adopting an interdisciplinary approach are
encouraged. It is anticipated that a volume of selected papers will be

Keynote speakers:

Robert Black (Professor of Renaissance History, University of Leeds)

Michael Bury (Reader in the History of Art, University of Edinburgh)

Andrew Pettegree (Professor of History, University of St. Andrew´s)

Robert Wegman (Professor of Music, Princeton University)

Proposals for papers should be sent with a brief abstract (c. 300-c.500
words) by May 1st 2007 to either:

Alex Lee ( or Harry Schnitker

Conference Website: