CfP: Sixteenth Century Studies Conference (SCSC) 2023 Baltimore: Disability in the Early Modern Mediterranean World

“Disability in the Early Modern Mediterranean World”. Sixteenth Century Studies Conference, 2023

26 - 29 Octavar, Baltimore, MD, USA

We are looking for papers for one or more sessions under the broad title, “Disability in the Early Modern Mediterranean World,” for the Sixteenth Century Studies Conference, to be held in Baltimore, MD in October, 2023. 

For the past forty years or so, disability studies theories have suggested understanding of human bodies and minds and their place in histories and cultures. Studies by scholars such as Tobin Siebers, Rosemarie Garland-Thomson, and David Mitchell and Sharon Snyder illuminate the importance of giving attention to varied human bodies, minds, and sensoria and to what Garland-Thomson has called “the social process of disablement”. Of course, the conditions of life in the early modern period led to a wide variety of impairments from birth; from accident, injury, or corporal punishment; from war, childbirth, illness, and hunger.. The impacts of those circumstances on people in the thirteenth through seventeenth centuries has, indeed, been the subject of focused study particularly of England, the Netherlands, the Holy Roman Empire, and other parts of northern Europe–as seen in the work of scholars such as Elizabeth Bearden, Jess Bailey, Barbara Kaminska, Irina Metzler, and Rosamund Oates.

While there has been some very good work on the Mediterranean world, the picture in the region remains incomplete. We need more scholarship on less-studied regions that can connect with related issues such as embodiment, emotions, infirmity, and madness. We seek papers on any aspect of disability and on any aspect of human variance in bodies, minds, and sensoria in the Mediterranean world. In particular, we welcome papers from a wide variety of disciplines and methodologies that understand and use disability studies theories to analyze history, culture, artwork, and literature.

Please send questions and/or proposals by email to Jana Byars and Julia DeLancey by 7 April, 2023. Please include:

  • Name
  • Email address
  • Paper title
  • Abstract of 250 words
  • Note of affiliation: name of affiliate institution or independent scholar
  • Presenter Biography or Brief CV. Provide a 3- to 4-sentence (max 150 words) biography that includes affiliation, rank and one or two important publications or other evidence of scholarship.  
  • A note of any audio-visual needs