Call for Papers

Cultural Encounters: Tensions and Polarities of Transmission from the Late Middle Ages to the Enlightenment

The Warburg Institute will host its first Postgraduate Symposium on 17 November 2016. It will explore the concept of cultural encounters and focus particularly on their productive outcomes. We are interested, above all, in the dynamics of cultural change across time and space. The Symposium will be multidisciplinary, and will cover topics that fall into the unique classification system of the Warburg Library: Image, Word, Orientation and Action.

The aim of the Symposium will be to map the diverse and intricate forces which have driven cultural encounters in the past and which also help define contemporary societies. Amongst the questions that we hope to address are: the degree to which productive outcomes can be seen as a conscious reception and reformulation of external ideas and models; resistances to exchange and in what form; the long-term implications of such encounters and their outcomes.

The Symposium is intended for postgraduate students and early career researchers. It will bring together speakers from different backgrounds in the humanities and draw on a variety of disciplinary tools and methodologies. Submissions are invited across a wide range of topics represented by the global cultural interests of the Warburg Institute, including but not limited to:

  • Artistic creations: forms, models, styles;
  • Literary productions and transmission of texts: translations, adaptations, copies;
  • Philosophy, rhetoric and transmission of ideas;
  • Personal encounters: Academies, universities and epistolary exchanges;
  • Encounters with the ancient past: reception, interpretation, visualisation;
  • Religious encounters, propaganda and politics;
  • Geographical discoveries: new continents, new cultures and animal species, etc.
  • Scientific innovation: findings, theories, inner contradictions, etc.

Proposals for papers should be sent to warburg.postgrad@gmail.com by 31 May 2016:

  • Maximum 300-word abstract, in English, for a 20-minute paper, in PDF or Word format.
  • One-page CV, including full name, affiliation, contact information.

All candidates will be notified by 31 July 2016. Limited funding to help cover travel expenses is available. Attendance is free of charge.