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30 sept.-1er oct. 2022, Chicago : Attending to Women, 1100-1800 : Performance

The Newberry Center for Renaissance Studies

In 2018, “Attending” asked how Early Modern women’s action and agency shaped their lives and world. In 2022, we will turn to performance, asking how women’s performances of power, gender, and art before 1800 provide powerful paths towards understanding their lives and our own today. The conference will ask such questions as : How do medieval, early modern, and Indigenous women draw on various forms of power, from the racial to the religious, to perform different roles ? How was the category of “woman” itself contested, reinforced, and complicated through the performance of gender ? What did women choose to perform through music, dance, and visual art ? Lastly, what responsibilities and possibilities do we have as scholars who teach and share our work with the public ?

The conference will retain its innovative format, using a workshop model for most of its sessions to promote dialogue, augmented by a keynote lecture and a plenary panel on each of the four conference topics : power, gender, art, and public humanities/pedagogy.

Workshops are 90-minute sessions organized by a group of two to four leaders who circulate readings, questions, and other materials in advance through the conference website. Leaders spend no more than twenty minutes framing the issues and opening up the conversation, then facilitate active participation and focused discussion. The best workshops are often comparative and interdisciplinary, and all allow participants to share information, pass on knowledge, ask advice, and learn something new. All workshop organizers are expected to register for, attend, and participate in the entire conference, not just their workshop.

Friday, September 30

8:45-9 am Welcome Coffee

9-10 am Plenary Roundtable 1 : Performing Power

Larissa Brewer-García, University of Chicago
Carissa Harris, Temple University
Carole Levin, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

10:15-11:45 am Session 1

Workshop 1A : Finding Their Voice : Women Acting, Singing, Writing in Sixteenth and Seventeenth Century Italy and Beyond

Led by :
Caterina Mongiat Farina, DePaul University
Alexandra Coller, Lehman College, City University of New York
Paola De Santo, University of Georgia-Athens
Emily Wilbourne, Queens College and the Graduate Center, City University of New York

Workshop 1B : Performing Gender in the Visual Arts : Women Artists/Female Patrons, Collectors, and Viewers

Led by :
Sheryl E. Reiss, Newberry Library/University of Chicago
Sheila Barker, Medici Archive Project/University of Pennsylvania
Emma Luisa Cahill Marrón, University of Murcia

Workshop 1C : Performing Gender in the Roman de Silence

Led by :
Anna Klosowska, Miami University
Jesssica Rosenfeld, Washington University in Saint Louis
Gina Psaki, University of Oregon
Masha Raskolnikov, Cornell University

Workshop 1D : Performing the Power of Female Theology : A comedia de santos on Sor María de Ágreda

Led by :
Anna Nogar, University of New Mexico
Nieves Romero-Díaz, Mount Holyoke College
Rosilie Hernández, University of Illinois at Chicago

Workshop 1E : Gender and Race in the Archives

Led by :
Shannon Kelley, Fairfield University
Elisa Tersigni, University of Toronto
Claudio Eduardo, University of Texas

12-1 pm Plenary Roundtable 2 : Performing Gender

Jennifer Park, University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Sawyer Kemp, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Eleonora Stoppino, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

1-2:30 pm Lunch Break

For SSSEMWG Members : Society for the Study of Early Modern Women and Gender : General Business Meeting

2:30-4 pm Session 2

Workshop 2A : Destabilizing Diagnosis : Gender, Power, and Early Modern Disability Studies

Led by :
Simone Chess, Wayne State University
Lindsey Row-Heyveld, Luther College
L. Bellee Jones-Pierce, Centenary College of Louisiana

Workshop 2B : Performing Gender and Capital in Early Modern Spain and Mexico

Led by :
Valentina Tikoff, DePaul University
Grace Coolidge, Grand Valley State University
Elena Deanda, Washington College
Elizabeth (Betsy) Franklin Lewis, University of Mary Washington

Workshop 2C : Performing Gendered Botanical Worlds

Led by :
Emily Kuffner, California State University
Kathryn Bastin, Eckerd College
Jacob Ladyga, Bucknell University
Susan Cogan, Utah State University

Workshop 2D : Fashionable Carriage : Women, Materiality, and Display in the 17th and 18th Centuries

Led by :
Katharine Landers, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Bridget Donnelly, Middle Tennessee State University

Workshop 2E : Making Mermaids : Early Modern (Re)writings of Eve and Mary

Led by :
Jamie Keener, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Cassidy Short, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

4:15-5:15 pm Plenary Roundtable 3 : Performing Art

Mira Assaf Kafantaris, Butler University
Andaleeb Banta, Baltimore Museum of Art
VK Preston, Concordia University

5:30-6:30 pm Keynote Address

Regina Buccola, Roosevelt University

6:30-7:30 pm Reception

Saturday, October 1

8:45-9 am Coffee

9-10:30 am Session 3

Workshop 3A : Presentation as Performance : Contemporary Approaches to Exhibiting Early Modern Women Makers

Led by :
Theresa Kutasz Christensen, Baltimore Museum of Art
Alexa Greist, Art Gallery of Ontario

Workshop 3B : Performing Memory : Loss, Presence, Commemoration

Led by :
Saskia Beranek, Illinois State University
Rabia Gregory, University of Missouri
Jennifer L. Welsh, Eastern New Mexico University
Marta Watters, University of Missouri

Workshop 3C : The Thorns of Love : Performing Gender in Persian and Old French/Occitan Music and Literature

Led by :
Kelli McQueen, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Eva Kuras, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Workshop 3D : Native, Black and European Women Performing Power in Religious Spaces in the Spanish Empire (17th and 18th Centuries)

Led by :
Monica Diaz, University of Kentucky
Sarah Finley, Christopher Newport University

Workshop 3E : Performing Spiritual Authority

Led by :
Abigail Rawleigh, University of Notre Dame
Laura MacGowen, University of Notre Dame

10:45-11:45 - Plenary Roundtable 4 : Performing Pedagogy & Public Humanities

Erika Gaffney, Amsterdam University Press
Carol Symes, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

11:45 am-1:15 pm Lunch Break

1:15-2:45 pm Session 4

Workshop 4A : ‘And Draw Her Home with Music’ : Women, Girls, Music and Musical Instruments in Domestic Space in England and the Netherlands, ca. 1500-1800

Led by :
Linda Austern, Northwestern University
Frima Fox Hofrichter, Pratt Institute
Deanne Williams, York University

Workshop 4B : Theatrical Drag and Gendered Performance

Led by :
Hilary Gross, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Joseph Gamble, University of Toledo

Workshop 4C : Religious Women and Liturgical Performance : The Role of Visual and Material Culture in Shaping Power and Authority in the Iberian World

Led by :
Mercedes Pérez Vidal, Universidad de Oviedo
Cristina Cruz González, Oklahoma State University
Claire Becker, University of Rochester
Helena Queirós, Universidade do Porto/Université Sorbonne Nouvelle

Workshop 4D : Early Modern Dutch Women and the Household : Performing Art, Performing Gender

Led by :
Catherine Powell-Warren, Ghent University
Judith Noorman, University of Amsterdam

Workshop 4E : Performing Literary Authority : Intertextuality in Early Women’s Writing

Led by :
Sarah Connell, Northeastern University
Julia Flanders, Northeastern University
Elizabeth Maddock Dillon, Northeastern University

4-5:30 pm Public Performance

An Italian Renaissance Diva’s Take on Love, Marriage, and Philosophy

Note : This event will take place at the Instituto Cervantes, not the Newberry Library.

A prodigy in theater, literature, and music, Isabella Andreini was the most famous prima donna of the sixteenth-century commedia dell’arte, a colorful theatrical form featuring lively characters and spirited dialogue.

Actors from the Shakespeare Project of Chicago will perform excerpts from Andreini’s Lovers’ Debates—in which elegant lovers exchange witty, heated, and amorous lines on topics ranging from the nature of love and marriage to slander, sexual violence, and philosophy—and from her Letters, which touch on many of the same topics in her own voice.

Following the performance, a roundtable discussion with Julie Campbell (Eastern Illinois University), Pamela Allen Brown (University of Connecticut), Eric Nicholson (Syracuse University Florence), Caterina Mongiat Farina (DePaul University), and Paola De Santo (University of Georgia will explore the recent translation and analysis of Andreini’s work.

Cost and Registration Information
To register, please complete this online registration form. During registration, you’ll select the workshops you would like to attend. Please also indicate if you’d like to attend the public program/performance on Saturday afternoon. The conference fee is $75.

Space is limited for this conference. Once the limit is reached, registrants will be placed on a waiting list and will be notified if a space becomes available.