Emblem Studies 2017 Conference: Transnationalism

Society’s website : http://www.emblemstudies.org

The Eleventh International Conference of the Society for Emblem Studies will take place in Nancy (France) from Monday 3 July to Friday 7 July, 2017. The conference will devote itself to the entire spectrum of emblem studies. Papers on all aspects of emblematics are welcome. Please submit proposals before 1 September 2016.
The conference will focus on four main directions which continue those pursued at preceding conferences: the history of printed books; theoretical and critical approaches; the “adaptable” emblem; the idiosyncrasy of the emblem.
Eight broadly different themes are proposed :

1. Making an emblem book.
This theme should focus on the various agents in the conception and production of emblem books (publishers, printers, patrons, academies, engravers, draftsmen, copperplate printers, authors, commentators, translators, proofreaders…), as well as on the steps and procedures of its creation (edition and re-edition, re-use, recurrence, plagiarism, counterfeits ; cooperation, competition…) until its sale.

2. Reading and collecting.
Further inquiry into the history of emblem books is prompted by studies focussing on their readers (inventories, foreclosures, ownership marks…), the rare books market, the liber amicorum, satire and censorship, collectors, the place of emblem books in collections and libraries, and connoisseurhip of emblems. Papers about important collectors in the 19th and 20th centuries, the organization and cataloguing of their collections, and the scholarship and literature devoted to them would be particularly welcome.

3. Methodology and historiography.
This theme includes the main theoretical issues in the ancient and recent development of emblem studies; the need for interdisciplinary approaches; problems of periodization; working practices and methods; the peculiar ethos of emblem studies; access to digitized documentation, and its effects on scientific language and production.
Meanwhile, any paper about the “pioneers” of emblem studies, such as Mario Praz or Karl-Ludwig Selig, Karl Josef Höltgen (and others such as Daniel Russell, Peter M. Daly), about the history of great thesauri (Henkel & Schöne) and databases or websites would be welcome.

4. The symbolic process.
The sessions in this part of the program might include discussion of theorists and treatises concerning the impresa and the emblem, including emblem book Prefaces, from the 16th to the 18th century.
They might also include discussion of the rules of the emblem as a defined genre, its relation with ars memorativa, ars meditandi, pedagogy and lusus, the function and role of enigma, the place of prosody or translation and polyglot texts.
Special attention might be given to the links between emblem and allegory.
This theme also includes research into the relationship between the semiotics of emblematics and comics, subtitling, or any other form of presenting inscriptions in art combining word and image.
The emblematic process in contemporary art also deserves special attention.

5. Emblem books, material culture, history of art.
This theme (cross-cutting with theme 2) aims to increase our understanding of the emblem book as an artefact, whether as an aesthetic object or more rhetorically as “une machine à communiquer”.
The focus may be on the shaping of text, page layout, typography, calligraphy; technical and artistic aspects of the woodcuts or engravings; printer’s marks; manuscript additions; bindings. Special attention might also be given to the role of ornament and decorative frames in the emblematic process.

6. Adapted and diffracted emblems.
Research related to applications of emblem to architectural spaces, furniture and objects has grown significantly in recent years; this rubric constitutes one thematic highlight of the call for papers.
The “adaptation” of emblematics might be concentrated in two areas: festivals and objects.
This section should therefore investigate the various uses of device, emblem and any symbolic combined form (including heraldry) in theater and festivals (entries, tournaments, masques…) ; the way they contribute to staging and meaning ; their application on medals and tokens ; portraits ; epigraphy ; Haussprüche ; sgraffito ; painted decorations and programs. As far as objects are concerned special attention might be devoted to household items (furniture, table and kitchenware, embroideries, textiles, costume, iron firebacks, sundials, domestic utensils) as well as to advertising, popular and educational imagery, posters and labels. Unexpected, unintentional uses or misappropriations of emblems might also be identified.

7. Emblems, curiosities, mirabilia
This theme intends to explore the relationships between emblematics and encyclopedic collections, cabinets of scientific and wondrous curiosity; taxonomy; categories of objects belonging to archaelogy, natural history, ethnography, historical and religious relics; the role of emblem in thinking, expressing and dramatizing the mundus symbolicus as a microcosm.
The representation of emblems and emblem-books in paintings, especially still-lifes, or any pictorial record of emblematics, constitutes a significant part of this topic.
A special highlight on technical and scientific innovation (engines, inventions) in emblems would be appreciated.

8. National idiosyncrasy of the emblem?
The theoretical and historical issues about the emblem as indicative of a peculiar mentalité symbolique (Daniel Russell) have proved very fertile. The Conference would like to verify the validity of such hypothesis firstly by inviting Shakespeare and Cervantes scholars to discuss the emblematical productions of these writers and secondly by focusing mainly (though not exclusively) on three cultural contexts and their protagonists: Italy, Central Europe, Lorraine and Grand Est France.

Papers on all aspects of your research into emblematics, in addition to these topics, are welcome.
Papers can be given in French, English, German, Spanish, or Italian. Please let us know if you would like to moderate a section.
Please submit proposals for a twenty-minute presentation before 1 September 2016 to both:

Paulette CHONÉ, Professeur émérite des Universités, Présidente des Amis des Études Emblémistes en France paulettechone@gmail.com
Ingrid HÖPEL, Professorin am Kunsthistorischen Institut der CAU Kiel, Chair der Society for Emblem Studies ihoepel@kunstgeschichte.uni-kiel.de

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