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On the Eve of the Reformation: The View from Then and Now

On the Eve of the Reformation: The View from Then and Now
Time: Mar 31st, 11:59 pm End: Mar 31st, 11:59 pm
Interest Categories: History (FAS), Historical Studies (UTM), Historical and Cultural Studies (UTSC), 1500-1800, 1200-1500
Call for Papers for Conference to be held Oct 21-22, 2016


On the Eve of the Reformation: The View from Then and Now

An interdisciplinary conference at Victoria College in the University of Toronto
21-22 October 2016
sponsored by The Toronto Renaissance and Reformation Colloquium

As we prepare to commemorate the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther's posting of his 95 theses in October 1517, it may be useful to pause for a moment and consider two important questions: first, how were the historical and cultural events of the late fifteenth and very early sixteenth century defining the European world that would soon break apart along sectarian lines, and, second, how did writers, thinkers, and artists later in the century look back at that earlier world and culture. The years immediately preceding 1517 were richly marked by events/works that were to have a lasting impact on their times. In 1516, for example, the fifteen-year-old Charles von Habsburg was crowned king of Spain, Thomas More published his Utopia, Erasmus his Novum Testamentum and Ariosto his Orlando furioso, and the Venetians established the Ghetto. The previous year, 1515, the twenty-year-old Francis I was crowned king of France, Thomas Wolsey was named cardinal and then Chancellor of England, Martin Luther began to lecture on Paul's Letter to the Romans, Johannes Reuchlin established the first university chair of Greek in Germany, while across the ocean the Spaniard Diego Velázquez de Cuéllar founded the city of Havana. How did people later in the sixteenth century and early in the next see these events? How, for example, did Shakespeare see and depict pre-Reformation England in some of his historical plays? How did Montaigne, or Cervantes, or Caravaggio, or Monteverdi see the world before the Reformation?

This interdisciplinary conference seeks, therefore, to take the pulse of European history and culture in two different ways: from our perspective as early twenty-first-century scholars and from the perspective of late-sixteenth/early-seventeenth-century writers and artists. In so doing, the conferences seeks to cast its eyes on both the Old World and the New, Europe as well as in its African and Asian extensions, history as well as the arts, society as well as events.

Proposals for papers to be presented at the conference should include:
the name of the speaker; the speaker's academic affiliation (or "independent scholar", as applicable); the title of the presentation; a 150 words abstract; full contact information for the speaker (name, address, telephone, email); the speaker's one-page CV. In the case of complete session proposals, this information is to be repeated for each presenter.

Proposals should be emailed to both conference organizers:
Prof. Elizabeth Cohen at ecohen@yorku.ca
Prof. Konrad Eisenbichler at konrad.eisenbichler@utoronto.ca

Deadline for submission: Thursday, 31 March 2016.

For further information, please contact either one of the conference organizers.

For further information on the Toronto Renaissance and Reformation Colloquium, visit its web site at:


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