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Friendship in Early Modern Europe

Friendship in Early Modern Europe
Alumni Hall, Old Victoria College
Time: Apr 30th, 11:59 pm End: Apr 30th, 11:59 pm
Interest Categories: Women/Gender, Visual Studies (UTM), Spanish & Portuguese (FAS), Slavic Studies (FAS), Religion, Study of (FAS), Philosophy (UTSC), Philosophy (UTM), Philosophy (FAS), Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations (FAS), Music, Faculty of , Medieval Studies (FAS), Italian Studies (FAS), History (FAS), Historical Studies (UTM), German (FAS), French (FAS), English and Drama (UTM), English (UTSC), English (FAS), Critical Theory, Comparative Literature (FAS), Art (FAS), Archaeology, 1500-1800
Call for Papers for an interdisciplinary conference to be held in April 2012.


Friendship in Early Modern Europe (1300-1700)
An interdisciplinary colloquium at the Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies
Victoria College, University of Toronto
14-15 October 2011

In the past decade, there has been a virtual explosion of interest on friendship in early modern Europe. A rich array of monographs, articles, and collections has inquired into the idea and practice of friendship in pre-modern European society. In particular, friendship has been seen as a fundamental element of humanist intellectual discussion, as a figure for more intimate same-sex relationships, as a bond that united individuals who shared similar interests or living arrangements, as an alternative to marriage and as marriage itself, as an important element of knowledge networks, professional associations, personal relationships. In short, it seems that friendship could serve to signify fellowship, companionship, accord, unity, brotherhood, association, alliance, harmony, and many other crucial elements of human existence. The vast amount of correspondence produced in early modern Europe points clearly to the emotional, intellectual, or spiritual bonds that joined individuals in friendship, but so also do the art, literature, court records, and even funerary monuments of the time. The friendship that joined individuals such as Montaigne and La Boétie, Sir Philip Sydney and Fulke Greville, Marguerite de Navarre and Anne de Montmorency,  Niccolò Machiavelli and Francesco Vettori, Vittoria Colonna and Michelangelo, Sir William Neville and Sir John Clanvowe, clearly points to the rich variety and assorted nuances present in the term “friend”.

This interdisciplinary colloquium will continue this examination of early modern friendship in its all its diversity of forms and multiplicity of meanings.

Papers are invited that analyse the idea and the practice of friendship in early modern Europe and in the European expansion into the Americas, Africa, and Asia. We welcome a variety of perspectives including, for example: the rhetoric of friendship; anxieties surrounding friendship; friendship in marriage; friendship among colleagues; companionship; sex; gender; politics; religion; spirituality; visual and literary representations;  legal, political, religious repercussions; ambivalent friendships; etc. We also welcome proposals for complete sessions and/or round-table discussions.

Proposals should be sent by email to Prof. Konrad Eisenbichler at konrad.eisenbichler@utoronto.ca and should contain the following:

  • your name and academic affiliation
  • your mailing address
  • the title and the abstract of your presentation (100-150 words maximum)
  • your brief c.v. (one page)

Deadline for submission: 30 April 2011.

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